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The experience of an interim manager in the industrial sector

We had the opportunity to interview Amaya Echevarría Moreno, an interim manager that collaborates with us closely at Servitalent, about the figure of an interim manager in the industrial sector where she has a very solid and multiple experience. 

For starters, the Interim Management consists on the incorporation on a full- time or part-time basis of professionals with extensive management experience to carry out a specific mission within the company with previous defined objectives and within a specific time frame.

So Amaya, could you please tell us, what are the most important aspects you would highlight from your experience as an interim manager on assignments in companies in the industrial sector?

  • The diversity of the sector includes many activities: naval, automotive, food, and so on, so each assignment is different and a challenger for the interim manager because they have to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the company and the sector very quickly.
  • And you have to work with different types of people, and it is not the same to deal with engineers than with veterinarians, for example, and you have to have the ability to understand the way they work and think.
  • For me these jobs, where you have to sharpen your skills, are rewarding.



Why do you think the interim management fits well in companies in the industrial sector? 

  • Because in the industrial sector there are many SMEs and you can find two situations:
    - Companies with a strong family tradition, where the grandfather founded the business and continued over the years with the following generations. In these companies, tradition has huge weight, and it is very difficult for younger generations to make changes to adapt the company to the future or to new technologies.

    - Another case is companies created by people with a strong technical profile who know a lot about the core of the business but not about management. In my opinion these situations are where an interim manager can help with his experience. 

What values does interim management bring?

  • I could give you a long list, but I want to focus on one of them because it is the most important: teaching how to deal with people.You don't hire an interim manager when your company is calm, you contract them when you need to make changes or when you need to implement some project. And in these situations the most important factor is the support of the team, due to you can´t reach the objective alone. 
  • Then, the job of the Interim Advisor  has a significant internal mentoring, because they leave the company but the employees have to continue with the project.

In what kind of circumstances do you think it would be a better fit to hire an interim manager

  • Companies can contract an interim manager for many reasons, but I believe they add more value when:
    - The company needs to make deep changes.
    - The company wants to design and implement strategic plans or establish news business.
    - Or when it is necessary to professionalize some areas of the company.

What kind of previous experiences have helped you to face your last assignment?

  • My experiences as a certification auditor in management systems where I knew many sectors, and gave me the ability to understand the operation of the companies very quickly. And my experience as Managing Director in the chemical sector, because it is a very complex and dynamic industry where a wide range decisions need to be made on the go and where I lived critical situations, as the shutting down of the company with firing, decommission, and so on.

What are the most important competencies you think an interim manager should have?

  • They must have extensive experience, global business vision and be able to get results in a short period of time but thinking long term.
  • Besides they must have integrity and impartiality, flexibility to adapt to the company very quickly and effective communication (because they work with people and the communication is key).

How do you envision the development of the figure of the interim manager in Spain in the coming years?

  • I am sure the figure of the interim manager is going to grow, because they are a necessary profile in companies, mainly in SMEs, where they can´t afford a Senior in their staff, but they need to have a professional for a specific project such as we mentioned before.
  • At the moment the figure of the interim manager is not well known. Many people ask me what an interim manager is when I tell them about my job. In this sense, the work done by Servitalent or AIME showing the advantages of hiring an interim manager is essential.