Aster Interim – 10 Years

Aster Interim at the Buisness awards

Aster celebrated 10 years of providing executive Interim Managers to the UK Manufacturing sector in March 2013. In those ten years we have seen the market place for Interim Managers change in a number of ways.

Paul Wilson, Managing Director of Aster reviews the past ten years and looks forward to the next ten. “When we started the business in March 2003 UK Manufacturing was under extreme pressure due to global economic factors as more and more work began to leave these shores to go to low cost countries. It was economics pure and simple and in some cases it was necessary for survival. For organisations like ourselves It was a real challenge to find manufacturers interested in using Interim Managers as part of their human resource strategy other than on assignments focussed on relocating their manufacturing to the far east or low cost economies.

The banking crash of 2008 moved the ‘goal posts’ again for UK Manufacturers as companies scrambled to find improved efficiencies and improve productivity either with less staff or the same number of staff. As a result, those Interim Managers able to provide clients with productivity improvements, implement lean and use six sigma to generate gains became valuable commodities. We picked up a lot of interim assignments in this area between 2008 and 2012 in particular and this is still a busy area of business for us today.

Fast forward to 2014 and the manufacturing tide has begun to turn with more and more manufacturing companies now engaged in what has become known as ‘reshoring’ or bringing manufacturing of their products back to the UK. Increased labour and transportation costs, lead times and communications issues have led to the conclusion that manufacturing back in the UK is actually more cost effective for many organisations.

This clearly presents new challenges to clients and Interim Managers able to provide the project management skills for these types of activities are likely to be in great demand.

Here’s to the next 10 years.