Case Study

Interim Project Manager: Successful Reorganisation of Customer Management Towards Service Excellence

Identification and implementation of significant savings in project time and resources through successful interim project management at a leading German electron beam technology company.

By Tapani Hänninen

The Client

In electron beam material processing (welding, coating and perforating), the German company is one of the most innovative and leading companies worldwide. With 450 employees, it generates a turnover of EUR 80 million.

The company offers its customers contract or customised equipment manufacturing. Typical customers are companies in the automotive industry, research, and aerospace engineering.

The Situation

A project that was initially only set up internally was to be analysed, evaluated, adapted and driven forward by an experienced interim project manager with regard to solution strategies for a customer management team.

The Challenge 

On the one hand, the specific processes required within a location were to be further developed, while on the other hand, cross-location standards in internal sales were to be defined and introduced at the same time.

The following milestones were implemented:

The Solution 

Establishment of an umbrella project team:
After a brief analysis of the 3 manufacturing sites, the necessary project plan was prepared and a cross-site project team was formed. First, due to the complexity, one site was determined for the implementation of a pilot phase.

Adaptation of commercial processes as an essential basis for efficient day-to-day business: 
The commercial processes for reminders, quotation and price validity as well as questions of liability regulations were updated in detail; previously identified weaknesses could be directly optimized in terms of time savings, transparency and legal certainty into adapted process instructions.

Reactivation of SAP key user roles for cross-divisional, uniform applications:
The site analyses revealed a wide variety of SAP usage practices. In SAP workshops, the key issues were quickly identified and cross-site exchange of experience and definitions for process-related or system-side adjustments were initiated.

Service excellence through definition of clear responsibilities:
The process map of the product development process was reviewed across all parties involved in the overall process (> 130 individual tasks). The currently most critical interface between sales and internal service was mutually optimized and the people responsible for the respective part of the process were defined.

The Results

A detailed analysis of the current processes and the resources actually required enabled a customer management structure to be developed that was integrated into the plant and directly linked to project management. Particular emphasis was placed on the interface to sales and on short internal communication paths for the purpose of coordination.

In particular, it became clear to the management that service excellence does not result from an internal service department becoming the drop-off point for all customer-relevant activities.

The analyses carried out across all sites made it possible to avoid setting up completely new projects. The use of the results enabled significant savings in project times and resources, so that cooperation is dovetailed and thus coordinated.

About the Author
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more