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Procadres International Suisse grows faster than the market
Within an interim executive management market which has been growing for many years, we have carried out more than 350 assignments, 30% of these internationally. The success of the project is emphasised by the involvement of a partner who accompanies the executive through the different phases and in addition, brings their personal experience to the assignments carried out, such as:
Is the profitability of your business not good enough? Is your performance not meeting market expectations? Perhaps you would like to boost your business growth and improve your bottom line. Our interim executive focuses on these objectives, mobilising your teams and quickly achieving tangible progress.
Duration: 8 months
Scope: Transformation of an innovative start-up company through industrial scale-up
Background: A Swiss start-up company from the Canton of Vaud, promoting the ecological transition for better energy efficiency in data centres and for other cryptocurrencies has its R&D centre near Annecy, France. The CEO is under pressure, as a result of both the financing of Series C and of potential clients in the telecom industry requesting to produce hundreds, if not thousands, of devices.
The Procadres solution: A production manager from a major tier-1 automotive supplier, with a history of product engineering involving plastic, bonding, electronics and conductivity quickly stands out from the crowd of interim executive managers met in a week between Geneva airport, the ITU and the President Wilson hotel in Geneva. The visit to the R&D site, intended to become a prototype industrial site before replication on a larger scale in France and the Middle East, is encouraging. We had to wait 7 weeks for the end of the Series C fundraising and start the assignment. An unusual timeframe during which the trust between Procadres Suisse and France partners and the well-known interim executive manager was crucial in order to maintain focus on the upcoming assignment.
Outcome: The site moved from R&D to mass production, with a target of 200 devices per month by the end of 2022.The interim executive manager planned all the key steps in a workbook pending the start of the assignment, which accelerated the process. The shareholders of the Swiss holding company regain confidence at every stage of the industrial progress and the question arises as whether to create a second site in Switzerland or the Middle East, because the state-of-the-art methods provided by the interim executive manager allow a large scale-up.
Metal trading company
Duration: 3 months + recruitment
Scope: Take back control of a metal trading back office
Description of the assignment: A French-Swiss metal trading company had entrusted its back office to an external service provider. Differences with the front office and divergences had appeared and persisted over time, leading to a loss of trust and to a pessimistic outlook. The situation required an expert capable of taking over the back-office function, re-incorporating it through personnel highly skilled in market finance and in specialist practices such as mastering Bloomberg data processing.
The Procadres solution: For this very hands-on resumption of function, we needed an expert, committed individual. Procadres turned to the pool of managers who were still very familiar with the technique but less so with team management. Only one manager could be introduced.
Outcome: “He did in 15 days what the service provider had promised to do for a year”, exclaimed the client during the first monthly progress meeting. The renewed confidence was such that, unsurprisingly in this case, the manager became ‘essential’, and in the end, a recruitment agreement was entered into for this local manager from Geneva.
Sales and marketing scale-up
Duration: 15 months
Scope: Sales and marketing scale-up of a drone start-up for Europe and the US
Background: An Asian start-up company offering data management solutions sensed by drones wants to move to large-scale commercialisation, based on new priority regions, i.e. Europe and the Americas. They contacted Procadres Suisse because they knew we had a proven track record in just this field and required it to provide, along with the network of international partners of the Transition Management Group, a number of positions to be filled without delay.
The Procadres solution: Our partner from Singapore takes care of their needs in Asia, involving several dozen positions, and Procadres first provides the Sales and Marketing Manager for Europe before dealing with the US.
Outcome: A project conducted very quickly, exploiting the emergency solution offered by interim executive management, its established networks and also involving more traditional recruitment practices, allowing the client to reach its growth stages worldwide, develop its sales and therefore, meet the expectations of its shareholders.
Mergers and acquisitions
External growth is an essential component in the life of a group or company wishing to maintain operational excellence. Thanks to the extensive practice acquired in the field by our interim executives, we have the necessary expertise to be able to carry out merger/acquisition operations.
Growth capital Building sector
Duration: 7 months
Scope: General turnaround management
Description of the assignment: The company appeared to be in good health however, cash flow was declining rapidly. The Growth Capital fund called on Procadres International to find an interim Chief Executive, with expertise in the field, able to diagnose the situation and quickly implement the appropriate solutions. Result: continued growth in the business, improvement in WCR with the overhaul of contracts and renegotiation of bank financing enabled successful turnaround in 7 months.
Organisational change management
Faced with organisational change, your business can appoint an interim executive to lead the change, reorganise your structure in depth, develop your IT system, better manage innovation, create new functions… a former executive with experience in change, our interim executive took quick and effective action, involving the teams in order to obtain tangible results.
Duration: 18 months
Scope: Implementation of an ERP for 12 African subsidiaries of a Swiss group by 2 managers
Background: A Swiss group implemented a SageX3 ERP worldwide. In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the ERP had to be implemented in all sub-Saharan African subsidiaries. Travel restrictions meant that only regional managers could travel and operate across the borders of different countries. There were technical and management challenges for the integration, but also challenges relating to the commitment of the finance teams to apply the core model and evaluate the exceptions.
The Procadres solution: Procadres Suisse collaborated with Procadres Africa, in particular with the team based in Nigeria and together they selected a pair of managers from the 500-strong talent pool of managers at Procadres Africa. A Cameroonian and master of Sage X3 and its code plus a manager based in Nigeria, a finance specialist who had carried out two ERP projects already, took charge of the transformation.
Outcome: After a phase of adjustment of the core model, of rapprochement of cultures between Africa and Switzerland, key implementation materials, training and user tests were implemented in the first two countries. The lessons learned from these two projects allowed the calibration of the following two implementations which finally were rolled out on an industrial scale. The assignment continues until the end of 2022. The contribution of the Procadres partner for Africa, Xavier Jacomet, former CFO of Microsoft Africa, specialist in cloud technology and ERP of Microsoft was decisive during certain difficult periods in these assignments.
HR - Transformation of headquarters
Duration: 6 months, renewed
Scope: HR challenges during the transformation of the headquarters of a multinational corporation
Background: A corporate project required the creation of a team based in Geneva, starting with the application of corporate HR standards for multinationals to new local employees as well as to relocated expats, preparing the induction and continuity of corporate functions.
The Procadres solution: Our partner Olivier Taburet immediately contacted an HR manager who had been assigned several projects since 2015 with Procadres Suisse. With expertise in the field of activity, she had carried out assignments of arrival and departure of multinational groups on numerous occasions already.
Outcome: The client was only introduced to this manager, who perfectly met the needs required; after a few days the assignment started on a part-time basis at 60% for a first period of 6 months. The manager coordinated at fast pace all the stakeholders, from lawyers to insurers, from top management to cantonal authorities, as well as the various service providers. In her toolbox, she has expertise in employment contracts, compensation & benefits issues and residence permits for foreigners. The structure developed, arrivals went smoothly and the manager’s contract was extended for a few months to support the new CHRO in taking up her duties.
Duration: 8 months
Scope: Support to the Human Resources Department
Description of the assignment: After a merger of two companies, our executive aligned remuneration terms, the associated policies and set up an Employment Protection Plan.
Site closure, a subsidiary in difficulty, poor performance, vacant executive position… if your company is faced with a crisis situation, whether financial, social or operational, it is necessary to act urgently. Such critical circumstances require strong technical skills as well as leadership qualities to properly manage the crisis and get the company out of the turmoil. The intervention of an interim executive manager can rectify many situations: they can lead a restructuring operation, implement an employment protection plan, outsource or sell an activity.
Crisis management following the resignation of a strategic position
Duration: 3 months, renewed
Scope: Crisis management with respect to the payroll function
Description of the assignment: A multinational corporation with its headquarters in the Canton of Fribourg was facing the departure of a key person in the HR organisation, responsible for the coordination of the payroll system between different specialist operational departments and an external payroll administration provider. The client urgently required a manager to finish the December payroll, the most difficult of the year, and ensure the continuity of the function. Familiarity with the payroll system of the outsourcer was required, such as a high level of ability to respond quickly in order to rapidly take the next step.
The Procadres solution: Our HR partner Marie Manin d’Haegeleer, thanks to her extensive HR network in French-speaking Switzerland was able to identify the right manager. The manager was overqualified compared to their usual position, however, this was required in order to ensure the success of the crisis management and then be able to expand the system and prepare for the future.
Outcome: The continuity of function was successful. The company is organising for the medium-term and, thanks to Procadres and its manager, has found a part-time assignment maintenance formula while organising their own back-up on this key function.
Cash flow crisis, unfinished accounts, unsuitable ERP
Duration: 7 months, extended to 13 months
Scope: Crisis management Finance of a construction SME in the Canton of Vaud
Background: An SME based in the Canton of Vaud, active in the construction sector, was struggling: the 2020 accounts were not finalised, cash flow crisis, ERP not adapted to its trade, uncontrolled margins when entering into contracts.
The Procadres solution: A manager from Zurich, specialist in finance and with expertise in the construction sector, with knowledge of construction sites, consortia and site management was introduced, as a second candidate. After a first period dedicated to stabilising the contracts, finalising the accounts and reviewing them, the interim manager tackled the organisation and the ERP. Baubit was chosen, some people were promoted within finance, others returned to operations, business control processes were put in place.
Outcome: After more than a year of stabilisation, the interim executive manager transferred his responsibilities to a younger, local CFO, who was able to benefit from a restored situation.
Vacancy of a position as Director
Duration: 7 months
Scope: Takeover of a large set of infrastructure projects
Description of the assignment: A large public body in French-speaking Switzerland was facing the vacancy of a director position, responsible for several areas and dozens of projects to improve building infrastructure in the short, medium and long term. The stakes were multiple and beyond the technical aspects, project management skills were required for the delegated management of a large team, as well as an expertise in the management of inter-departmental stakeholders, including municipalities and cantons
The Procadres solution: 3 managers were introduced, who all met these different criteria and were available immediately. The client identified a specific experience of one of them at SBB which had similarities with their situation. They were quickly chosen and hired for the position.
Outcome: Continuity of function was ensured with strong engagement from the part of the teams, further strengthened by the cultural and technical adequacy of the manager, which contributed to the success of their integration.
Duration: 12 months
Scope: CEO for a subsidiary in North Africa
Description of the assignment: After implementing an internal solution, the group turns to an interim executive, familiar with turnaround and North Africa, in order to rectify the situation of its subsidiary
Parental leave, long-term absence… If an executive is missing or a key position remains vacant, our interim executive can perform their duties temporarily. After having analysed the challenges of the assignment, their role is to optimise the performance of the duties assigned to them, whilst supporting the process, where necessary, to recruit their successor.
Financial management in a European company
Duration: 1 year, extended
Scope: Takeover on short notice of a European financial department
Background: A food group, owned by an Asian investment fund, was relocating its corporate headquarters in Switzerland. Furthermore, the Chief Financial Officer for Europe was called to other duties. The issue was to take over from the CFO with respect to Northern Europe, pending a new organisation: this involved all the commercial aspects, 4 major countries, 2 JVs.
The Procadres intervention: 3 managers were introduced, all with the appropriate experience in this function, financial team management of more than 10 people and a special requirement: speaking Flemish! One of the selected managers started the assignment: after 2 weeks of handover from his predecessor, they found themselves doing the closing and reporting of May 2022. During this time, they got to know all the team members who were directly reporting to them, as well as the other members of the team, while committing to take care of all the essential aspects of the function. This was followed by a series of rotation of people, optimisations, and by the start of an SAP4 Hana project…
Outcome: The function was held to the full satisfaction of the CFO group, the team’s challenges are now better shared and understood, the SAP 4Hana transition is taking place. The manager has meanwhile been appointed chair of the board of directors of a number of subsidiaries, among which the Russian JV is managing the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis with the support of a Procadres Suisse partner. After a year, the assignment will be extended for a final phase of problem solving and transfer to their successor…
Accounting and sales administration
Duration: 6 months then recruitment
Scope: Substitution of an accounting manager and sales administrator of an investment fund stake
Description of the assignment: A Swiss investment fund took over an SME in French-speaking Switzerland active in the services sector. The accounting and sales administration functions needed to develop to a more mature level in order to deliver robust business model and cash management. The assignment involved the constraints of having to start within two weeks and mastering the ABACUS software.
The Procadres solution: The introduction of a first manager mastering the sector and with Abacus experience did not convince the client, who was also seeking experience and attitudes suitable for an SME more than to a large established corporation. A second manager was then introduced, from the hospitality sector, mastering Abacus with complex payrolls.
Outcome: After 6 days of handover, the manager resumed the processes and issued the deadlines for a first monthly closure in discovery mode. Subsequently, they were able to share their extensive experience of certain modules of Abacus and routinise the function, holding it at 60% while the company was preparing its medium-term organisation. Beyond the urgency of taking over, there was a permanent need: this is why Procadres chose a manager open to the possibility of recruitment, which in the end was accomplished.
Duration: 8 months
Scope: Controller for 120 projects of a NGO
Background: A medical NGO based in Geneva was facing the issue of a project management controller leaving because they could not increase their working time from 80% to 100%. The activity was increasing, thanks to the success of some programs but also of programs dedicated to support against Covid-19. An interim executive manager was required, with a great deal of enthusiasm for the management, monitoring and financing of projects.
The Procadres solution: An Italian manager from Parma was the best match for the situation. Well experienced, thanks to the monitoring of dozens of R&D programs, skilled on tools, she quickly adapted to the Tagetik software. With the support of a Procadres partner, thanks to her excellent international communication skills she was able to keep track of the progress of projects, with operational and financial staff on the ground in many countries. Assignment still in progress…
Outcome: The NGO has been able to continue to grow, providing excellent data quality to the various donors of each of the programs and so ensuring their sustainability. Assignment still in progress…
Replacement of technical management
Municipality in the Canton of Geneva
Duration: 5 months
Scope: Take over the technical management of a municipality at short notice
Context: A municipality in the Canton of Geneva lost their Technical Manager while the municipality was undergoing a vast transformation: tramway passage, extension of school group, road construction and optical fibre, in addition to preparations for the bi-centenary of the municipality.
The Procadres solution: Only an engineer familiar with Swiss SIA architecture standards, but also with the management of infrastructure projects while leading a team on road construction sites could do the trick. In just a week, Procadres was able to introduce 3 suitable interim executive managers.
Outcome: the continuity of function was ensured. In addition, as the manager chosen was an energy expert, they generated unexpected savings in addition to those reviewed. They tackled the projects helping the municipality benefit from their network of construction and engineering they had been preparing for more than 30 years. The municipality council was relieved and the assignment was largely paid for through the savings made.
Scope: Assignment or recruitment of a CIO for an international group
Background: In an international group based in Geneva, the IT manager had been poached. The time required for the recruitment process far exceeded the current manager’s notice. The group turned to Procadres for a mixed assignment and/or recruitment.
The Procadres solution: Procadres worked at two levels on this assignment: first, with its pool of interim executive managers, under pressure due to sectoral and linguistic constraints. Afterwards, it was down to pure head-hunting, thanks to its new partner, specialist in this recruitment practice for 15 years.
Outcome: Various options were presented to the client in order to ensure the short-term continuity of the function and allow for time to deal with challenges and major projects in progress.
Transport and mobility
Duration: 5 months
Scope: Maintenance of the rolling stock of a company from French-speaking Switzerland
Background: A large transport company from French-speaking Switzerland gave a promotion to its manager responsible for the maintenance of rolling stock (buses, trams). As their long-term replacement seemed problematic, in the meantime, an interim executive manager was required. Beyond the continuity of the function, which involved the management of over 80 people on two shifts, as well as a dozen deputies, the strategic preparation for the impact of the transition of the fleet of vehicles to the electric mode was to challenge processes and working methods for the following 3 years.
The Procadres solution: a mechanical HES engineer manager with similar team management experience and undeniable hands-on skills was chosen. In a context of budgetary restrictions, they started on 80%, quickly assessing the projects in progress, dealing with the teams in place and holding the position pending a recruitment which proved difficult and for which they could have actually applied…
Taking over holding company accounts
Scope: Taking over the accounts of holding companies following maternity leave
Background: A listed international group is managing its holdings from Fribourg. The Director of Consolidation and Accounting left on maternity leave in early 2022, before the annual closure of the accounts. The client asked for an executive able to manage the teams and provide knowledge about Swiss and European holding companies, returns, local regulations and IFRS, as well as many other skills.
The Procadres solution: A manager from Zurich, keen specialist of international accounting standards, with a background in a particularly complicated business sector and experience as CFO in an international group with multiple structures was chosen. Responsible for two teams, they managed the closings and audits of more than twenty companies, along a succession of board and general meetings involving 7-figure dividend pay-outs!
Outcome: The assignment was planned for an indefinite period and because parental leave is still in progress and transformation projects have been implemented, the manager is still in office a year later.
Duration: 5 months
Scope: Taking over the brand communication of an Oil&Gas group
Background: A brand communication manager of a Swiss Oil&Gas group based in Geneva left their job. Significant investments in the positioning of various product lines, some involving VIP influencers, were underway and could not wait.
The Procadres solution: A woman of German origin was chosen. She had expertise in the field of multinational corporations and knowledge of the tools used by corporate communication functions. She started part-time to ensure a minimum of transition with her predecessor, then she went full-time and structured the function; during the first month of the assignment, she even found herself at an English first league football club together with the VIP appointed by the brand in order to redefine some communication campaigns…
Outcome: The continuity of function was ensured, the participation of a VIP influencer optimised and 3 product lines were addressed during a critical period for the oil and gas industry. In addition, there are also the consequential benefits resulting from the contribution of a manager who is able to provide their specialist tools and the rigour of their management process.
Duration: 9 months
Scope: Management of the Research & Development department
Description of the assignment: Following the rapid departure of their previous head of department, the company took a step back to re-think the organisation they wanted to set up. The size of the department, 45 people, and the importance of the projects in progress, require an experienced head, able to master the technological aspects (software, mechanics, etc.) to hold the function during the organisation of the succession.
Monitoring of the assignments
The quality of execution is the focus of attention for both the partners and the executives of Procadres International, both in terms of preparation as well as of the performance of the assignments by the interim executive managers
Every assignment is described in a “Brief” drawn up by our partner together with the Client. This specifies the context and objectives of the assignment, thus making it possible to select the candidates who will be introduced and then, to guide the discussion on the first steps of the course of action.
How is an assignment carried out
The success of an assignment is emphasised by the involvement of a partner who accompanies the executive through the different phases and in addition, brings their personal experience to the assignments carried out.
Each assignment is the subject of a contract detailing the objectives, the planning, the governance as well as the financial terms and conditions relating to the assignment.
The initial phase of the assignment is rigorously monitored by a Procadres partner, who checks the quick and swift integration of the interim executive manager within the Client’s organisation.
At the end of this phase, the partner, together with the client and the manager, confirms the objectives, deliverables, schedule and the next deadlines.
The monitoring of the assignment is then carried out by the partner through regular progress checks with the client and the manager. Through these, they are able to assess the progress made, deal with any difficulties encountered and adapt to any changes in the circumstances of the client. Cost control is a key point in our interventions: if the cost of the service is significant, nevertheless it is entirely traceable and the return on investment is measurable though the actual results obtained.
The end of the assignment is also subject to special care from the part of the Partner/Interim Executiveteam, who, in particular, ensure that the organisation and processes are put in place to guarantee lasting results after the end of their intervention.
Areas of intervention
Developing, changing, managing crises, replacing an executive… Procadres International supports you in your challenges.
Our interim executive managers cover the whole of the company’s management, change, engineering and support functions.
Regardless of the size and field of activity of your business, we are able to meet all your needs in terms of change.