Case Study

Interim CIO: Specialty Chemicals, Germany

Through a detailed vulnerability analysis, an interim CIO identifies optimization potential in both the business model and the supply chain and brings an immature and flawed SAP implementation on track.

By Norbert Eisenberg

The Client

Our client is a leading global manufacturer of chemical auxiliaries for various industries. It is a family-owned company whose business areas include B2B with, for example, the ceramic industry, textile, chemical fiber, and leather industries, as well as manufacturers of cosmetics and cleaning products. In addition, other chemical sectors are also served.

The Challenge 

The position of CIO in the company is being filled. Due to the previous poor project management and inadequate leadership of the employees, core projects in the company have become unbalanced and at the same time cannot be postponed. The department is therefore supported by an interim CIO in order to improve the situation until the new incumbent takes up his post. The main task is to modernize the old IT infrastructure and eliminate the deficits in the entire process chain. This is preceded by a detailed analysis of the structure's responsibilities, functionalities, and transparency. The lack of system transparency impedes efficient work. The interim CIO's priority is to review the company's business processes with regard to optimized IT support and the opportunities for increasing efficiency and effectiveness and establishing improvements.

The Solution 

At the beginning of the project, a detailed survey of all SAP users was conducted to evaluate the current situation. This quickly identified prioritizations to improve the status quo (troubleshooting, optimization, documentation, etc.), iteratively in a 2-week rhythm. Effective project management tools were introduced with a focus on transparency and collaboration. The IT organization was restructured and rebuilt based on the realities (personnel, skills, and competencies) and future orientation. A cooperative and participative management style in terms of employee empowerment was introduced. As a communication channel, direct communication with the CIO was always enabled. In coordination with HR and the Works Council, direct reports were implemented in the IT area and a multidisciplinary project organization was established with the participation of various departments in the value chain and in IT. The IT infrastructure was modernized and the supply chain optimization project was significantly improved by outsourcing shipping processing, among other things.

The Results

"In just six months, the interim CIO set the course for improving the IT organizational structure and drove the supply chain optimization project forward to our complete satisfaction. With his open management style and enthusiasm, the interim manager motivated the employees in the best possible way. As a result, the handover to the permanent CIO went smoothly." Boyden Client, specialty chemical company

The following results were achieved by the time the permanent CIO took over the position:

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