We selected an Interim Manager supplied by Aster Interim states Tom Barnard, MD of Quatro Electronics Ltd.
The Interim Manager was tasked with focussing on a small number of deliverables. These were to improve material control, manage the engineering change process, improve the factory layout and define staff roles and responsibilities. The work completed had a positive effect on the business almost straight away. We reduced the backlog of overdue orders, improved our turnaround rate for product upgrades, significantly improved our stock accuracy and the factory became ‘visitor ready’ at all times.
The changes made then allowed us to implement stage two of our business development plan which was to outsource some of the long established products in order to create the in-house manufacturing capacity for the new products we were planning to launch in 2013. Our Interim Production Director managed the outsourcing process and developed a formal process for us so we could repeat this activity in the future if required. The results were impressive with significant cost reductions being achieved which in turn increased our gross margin.
With many of our processes now improved, a very healthy order book in front of us and capacity available to launch new products we have now been able to afford to appoint a permanent Production Director. I would thoroughly recommend using an Interim Manager to other SMEs to help bring about change“.
Gary Allen, European Managing Director of TT Electronics IMS comments, “We had recently acquired the assets of a competitor and decided the business would be best served if we consolidated all manufacturing on to our main site in Newport.
This would involve transferring nearly 100 staff and all of the associated processes, equipment and materials necessary to support the sites’ customers. We knew that to simply ask our existing management team to take this project on whilst carrying out their main duties at the same time would not be the most efficient way of working so we engaged the services of Aster Interim (a company we had used previously when we had relocated our AB test business) to provide an interim relocation project manager.
Once in place the Interim Relocation Manager set about creating a very detailed plan and he provided me and my team with a weekly progress report for the duration of the project. This allowed us to mitigate risks and also keep our customers informed of the changes that were happening.
Transferring additional work, people and equipment into an already busy facility was a challenge but I have to say it was completed 3 days early against the project plan and inside the financial budget we had set aside for the project. Working with a professional interim manager had huge plusses for our business as it allowed us to keep our senior team focussed on satisfying customer requirements whilst at the same time knowing that we had someone managing the micro-detail of transfer.
I would thoroughly recommend using an Interim Manager and Aster Interim Solutions in particular”.
Now in its 29th year of trading, Derbyshire based Contract Electronics Manufacturer- Kingfield Electronics Ltd, recently turned to Aster Interim Solutions for assistance with their Sales & Marketing strategy. Managing Director, Nick Taylor briefly explains, “After our initial meetings, Aster impressed us with their extensive market knowledge, and with the help and guidance of Paul Wilson, a strategy was soon developed around our specific sales and marketing objectives.
After having failed with our own strategy in this area, namely that of directly employing a Business Development Manager, we opted to hand this requirement over to Aster with a view to allowing them to manage this project on an ongoing basis. Whilst still in its early stages, we have already seen significant increases in enquiries and new business opportunities and I have no doubt this will ultimately prove to be a highly effective business strategy. Not only are we seeing high quality results, but being a flexible resource enables us to increase and decrease the amount of input as required thereby making it a highly cost effective strategy too”.
To supplement our senior management team we enlisted the help of ‘Aster Interim Solutions’ to provide us with an experienced and capable Management Executive to assist us with the development and implementation of several new management initiatives.
They were able to provide us with a list of people from which we were able to choose a suitable candidate with the skills and experience to satisfy our requirements.
Over the coming months we were able to make the progress needed with a minimum of distraction for our senior management personnel to our satisfaction.
I would certainly not hesitate to enlist the help of Aster again in the future should the need arise.
Paul was excellent to work with, he managed the transfer of another business into ours, he was always focussed on the timescales and cost of the project. He got the best out of people with his collaborative approach. I would recommend Paul for any similar role and hope to work with him again in the future.
Aster Interim Solutions has been selected to provide Interim Management Services to Kingfield Electronics in Chesterfield Derbyshire. Aster will also provide coaching and mentoring support to the company’s managers and directors.
“We have used Aster twice in the last few years to help us complete extended and complex change management projects in both manufacturing and sales and marketing. From day one they hit the ground running, made immediate contributions and fitted in well with the team.
Their contributions covered a wide range of skills, from strategic through to detailed manufacturing operations and targets were achieved in all areas.
Not only that, working with them was a pleasure and I would certainly seek their help on future projects should such an opportunity come up.”
Gary Hewitt, Managing Director takes up the story, “Our business has been trading for over 25 years. However, we felt it necessary to take a fresh look at how we both designed and manufactured products. The increase in global competition over the past decade has meant that our industry has been slowly ravaged by companies operating in low cost geographies and as a result we needed to find a fresh competitive advantage.After a comprehensive search, we selected Aster because of their excellent lean manufacturing credentials and their ability to offer us on site lean implementation support through their interim management division.
As a result of work carried out by Aster the productivity in one of our manufacturing cells increased by over 33%, first time pass rates improved by nearly 10% and all with 12% fewer staff in the cell.
After running the programme for 3 months we are very pleased with the results. Not only has Aster helped us breathe fresh life into our lean manufacturing programme but I also believe that they have given us further tools to fight back against low cost offshore competition – all by working smarter and not harder, which was one of our initial objectives.
We would highly recommend Aster to other manufacturing businesses”.
“I wish to say that since bringing you on board in October of last year I have been delighted with the improvements we have seen. Indeed by focussing on the specific tasks we outlined at the very beginning you have transformed those specific aspects, giving our new permanent Operations Director a ‘fighting chance’.
In short Paul, you came highly recommended and you didn’t disappoint. I would have no worries recommending you to other companies and hope that you can perhaps be of service to us in time to come”.
Paul Wilson, Aster’s Managing Director won the prestigious Sales & Marketing Interim Manager of the Year Award for 2005. Sponsored by Praxis Interim Management, the award ceremony was held at the Landmark Hotel in London on 23rd September 2005. Patrique Haboo, Managing Director of Praxis Interim Management read out the citation written by Richard Dear, Business Manager for Ultra Electronics Manufacturing & Card Systems.
Our Managing Director, Paul Wilson was one of eighteen finalists at this years Praxis Interim Manager of the Years awards. The ceremony was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane on Friday 10th September. Paul had been sponsored by Phil Inness, Managing Director of Axis Electronics. Paul had enjoyed a very successful interim management assignment at Axis Electronics operating as the company’s’ Sales and Marketing Manager.
Phil Inness stated, “Paul hit the ground running and gained the respect of Directors and staff immediately. He was endlessly enthusiastic, helping to lift the whole management team. Paul secured new business representing 8% of turnover in the period he was with us and provided a good platform for future business growth”.
Patrique Haboo, Managing Director of Praxis indicated that the finalists had been short-listed by polling over 500 Chief Executives, Chairman and Managing Directors as well as an Interim base of over 3500 professional interims.
Buckinghamshire based diesel fuel system test and service equipment manufacturer, Hartridge Ltd, has engaged Aster Interim Solutions to provide an Interim Project Manager to implement some of the company’s plans following a successful MBO in December 2004. Peter Smallwood, Managing Director of Hartridge Ltd stated, “We needed someone quickly who had the experience of the type of issues we face in our sector, Aster were able to help out on both fronts”.
Aster Interim Solutions has received recognition of their contribution to local business by being selected as Highly Commended in the category ‘New Business of the Year’ in the Milton Keynes Citizen Business Awards 2004. The award ceremony was held on 12th November 2004.
The judges made the following comments “Aster Interim Solutions provided clear financial management information and clearly defined future goals. A proactive organisation that has developed strong networking relationships and a very honest approach to work, life and balance”.
Lisa Wilson, Aster’s Business Support Director stated, “We were over the moon to be short-listed for this award, it represents further evidence of our company’s growing standing in the local business community”.
Aster has been awarded the prestigious status of a “Centre for Expertise in Manufacturing” by the Department of Trade & Industry Manufacturing Advisory Service. This status recognises the contribution Aster, its principals & associates have made to the manufacturing sector.
Aster Interim Solutions has been awarded a contract to supply interim management services to Ultra Electronics Manufacturing Services based in Weymouth, Dorset. Our interim manager will be involved in a sales and marketing capacity helping the existing in house team to develop the ultra brand with respect to contract manufacturing. Ray Coles, Managing Director of Ultra Electronics Manufacturing and Card Systems stated, ” We selected Aster Interim because of their in-depth knowledge of our industry”.
Aster Interim Solutions were winners of the category “Most Promising New Business 2004″ at the South East of England Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for 2004. The category, open to all companies in the south east region (from Milton Keynes south to the Isle of Wight) which have been trading for two years or less, was hotly contested but in the end Aster Interim triumphed because of its innovative business services. Aster now has automatic entry to the British Chamber of Commerce awards to be held on 25th November at the Guildhall in London.
Ross McNally, Executive Director of the South East England Chambers of Commerce paid tribute to the company’s vision, creativity and forward planning.
Lisa Wilson, Business Support Director of Aster Interim Solutions stated “When you set up a new business the world is a lonely place as you tend to get caught up in the day to day tasks that need to be completed. We are very flattered to have won this award, it makes all the hard work worthwhile”.
Aster was awarded a contract to supply business services to MRP Electronics plc. Mike Perry, Managing Director of MRP stated, ” We chose Aster Interim Solutions because of Paul Wilson’s experience and in depth knowledge of the CEM industry. The decision proved to be justified by the timely and efficient way the business was conducted”.