Temporary management in the SME sector

There are many reasons why companies choose an interim manager:

Bridging a management vacancy, company reorganizations, development of new business areas, internationalization of the business, transformations, or even classic project management.

Not only in Switzerland is interim management becoming more and more popular and used more often.

In the past, interim management was often associated with recovery. Accordingly, many people still have the image of the merciless, cost-cutting job killer in their minds. This is certainly still the case today, but interim management is now used much more to buy in missing know-how for a predefined period of time.

Especially in SMEs, the situation is often such that certain know-how is missing, but at the same time, there is too little work available to create an appropriate position. Here are 3 examples:

  • The worldwide digitalization requires the employment of a CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CDO (Chief Digital Officer), who can work out a digital strategy together with the management and then implement it successfully. However, many SMEs are now making do by appointing the longest-serving manager to take care of the issue. After all, this person has already experienced a lot and knows the industry as well as FF customers. Unfortunately, the fact that new know-how is needed for the topic of digitization and that a company blindness is extremely damaging is too often ignored.
  • The activities of an SME’s finance department consist of 80% accounting activities. For this reason, the profile of the head of finance is also heavily focused on this task. However, this has little to do with a CFO (Chief Financial Officer), who controls the financial risk of the company and is also responsible for the entire financial planning. He should be able to act on an equal footing with the CEO. Especially if the company wants to operate internationally, it is essential that the company secures the services of a CFO, otherwise it will be exposed to considerable financial risks.
  • Again, and again, companies neglect their sales strategy. As long as the market is good and the products sell themselves, nobody will notice. If the environment changes and the market becomes tougher, the weaknesses become clearly visible. The best salesman is then appointed as head of sales, in the hope that all other salesmen will adjust their sales performance to his level. Most of the time, however, this is not a successful endeavor. It would be better to have a CSO (Chief Sales Officer) who is familiar with the company’s sales strategy and does not have to sell himself at the same time.

The problem of an SME is now the following. On the one hand, a great deal of experience and know-how is needed to fill the above-mentioned positions. It is not knowledge that one could acquire so quickly in a part-time position. On the other hand, an SME cannot fill such a position 100%. For this reason, such a position is uninteresting for most good candidates as a permanent position.

This is where interim management comes into play. Interim management can mean that this position is held for a certain period of time, according to the needs, for example as a part-time job. The advantages are obvious:

  • Experience and know-how as a manager and specialist are immediately available
  • Because the interim manager also works for other companies, he sees more possible solutions than an internal employee
  • The interim manager is not operationally blind and can question existing processes and behaviour patterns
  • The company pays only for the services and time effectively used by the interim manager
  • The company can benefit from the interim manager’s usually good network
  • The interim manager is quickly removed if he is not used or is no longer satisfied

Interim management is a chance for SMEs to gain knowledge that otherwise only large companies can afford. In a world where specialized know-how and proven leadership skills are becoming increasingly important, companies can react quickly and specifically to all kinds of situations without having to build up large blocks of fixed costs.

Panoff Consulting can offer you interim management for the following functions:

  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
  • CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
  • CSO (Chief Sales Officer)
  • CIO (Chief Information Officer)
  • CDO (Chief Digital Officer)
  • CRO (Chief Risk Officer)
  • COO (Chief Operating Officer)
Tobias Bald


Arbachstrasse 2
6340 Inwil / Baar