Focus on supply chain and logistics increases demand for interim managers

Robert Knieriem, Principal in the interim management division

At the moment, around 3,600 interim managers are active in Belgium, which is more than double compared to 10 years ago. Over the last year alone, the number of interim managers on the Belgian labour market increased by 11%*.

Although a majority of interim management assignments are within finance (58%) and human resources (13%), we have noticed a significant increase for interim managers in logistics and supply chain, which currently represents 10% of all interim management assignments in Belgium.

Robert Knieriem, Principal in the interim management division at Robert Walters, explains this trend.

What has caused the increase in demand for supply chain interim managers this year?

Robert: "SMEs have been subjected to cost-cutting periods in the recent years which have led the optimisation of their supply chain activities to often remain overlooked. Optimising the supply chain is rather complex and not exactly "low hanging fruit". As the economy re-emerges and e-commerce activities continue to increase, more investments are being made to improve the supply chain, particularly in the optimisation of business processes and digitalisation. Organisations often do not have the adequate talent on hand to meet those needs and must rely on external specialists. External specialists are also being called on to develop supply chain processes from scratch within certain organisations”.

When do companies hire an interim supply chain manager?

Equipped with previous experience in rolling out similar projects and processes, an interim manager allows for operations to run smoothly.

"An interim manager is usually hired when the entire supply chain process needs to be reviewed or set up. Equipped with previous experience and expertise from rolling out similar projects and processes, an interim manager allows for the process to run smoothly. Once everything has been implemented, the interim manager's assignment is done and daily management and follow-up can easily be passed on to the organisation’s supply chain manager in permanent employment."

What is the average duration of an interim management assignment in supply chain?

"Usually, such an assignment takes six months to a year, depending of course on the size of the company. For bigger structures, we often speak about one year, which is longer than the average interim management assignment which usually last three to nine months."

What is the cost of hiring a supply chain interim manager?

"The average fee of an interim manager within supply chain is around 1000-1200 EUR per day. But it is an investment that pays for itself: with years of experience working on similar projects within a range of companies and sectors, an interim manager is immediately operational and can start implementing the necessary changes right away. An interim manager knows all about the risks involved with these types of projects, which saves organisations time and money while getting the desired results”.


Would you like to learn more about these trends or our interim management solutions within supply chain? Contact our interim management division.

*Source: Federgon statistics.

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