Every company understands the challenges that come with requiring additional resources for a large financial project. Competent individuals, who have relevant operational experience, are particularly important to a business. Independent experts, who are proven in their field and politically independent − thanks to the outside perspective that they bring − can efficiently bring complex projects to a conclusion. It is, therefore, unsurprising that modern companies are increasingly relying on external project managers in situations that are crucial to the success of a business.
Moving from the classic budget process to a ‘rolling forecast’ concept
The work involved in shifting from a rigid process of budgeting to a more tailored, agile and flexible model is often underestimated; this is because adjustments are required in many places − some items must be dropped and others must be newly implemented. The process begins with a thorough analysis, which then leads to the creation of an individual requirements catalogue. This forms the basis for defining the future structure of reporting, the system requirements and the changes in the company’s management concept. The successful implementation of the new model is concluded by training all internal stakeholders – this is a must, which unfortunately, is not often given enough importance. In the initial phase of a project, an experienced business manager can make valuable contributions that ensure a company takes the right course of action to enable it to develop sustainably in all aspects of business. Our experience also confirms that political independence, experience gained in other projects, and a healthy outside perspective, have a positive impact on the progression of a project.
Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or consolidation solutions
These projects often last between 12 and 18 months and regularly pose problems for any company in terms of the level of resources that are required; this is because day-to-day business must carry on as usual. Furthermore, the implementation of an ERP project often requires competent individuals who are not often readily available in a company. If the correct organisation is not established at the right time, this frequently results in painful delays and additional costs. In addition to the software supplier’s implementation team, this organisation should include an experienced project manager who has the necessary business expertise to work closely with the internal project members and act as a mediator to steer everything in the right direction.
Relocation projects abroad
In addition to the operational challenges such as building the factory, organising production, finding suppliers and much more, setting up a factory abroad also poses business management questions. The future business model and value flow must be objectively mapped, investment controlling expertise must be quickly established based on a clearly formulated schedule and action plan, and the necessary systems (ERP data exchange, etc.) must be connected. Also, the financial impact, particularly on the changes involved in product costs, fixed costs, etc., must be calculated correctly in a flexible business case, which clearly is a major project and, in any case, an enormous additional burden for the company and finance team. Therefore, this is often a situation in which an external project manager is the perfect solution.
Establishing a Shared Service
The establishment of a shared service centre mostly concerns larger globally positioned companies. Whenever different business units are involved, not only is a purely technical solution concept required, but necessary powers of persuasion need to be deployed until all activities are successfully combined in a shared service centre. This, too, is a project-oriented task, which companies are increasingly turning to external help for to complete.
Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) Transactions
Whether selling (carve-out) or buying (integration) a new company, M&A transactions cause a high workload. In the short to medium term, this creates additional tasks, if only to ensure financial due diligence. These are tasks that are ideally performed by an experienced controller or chief financial officer (CFO) in the role of a project manager.
FS Partners AG – Your Consulting Boutique for Financial Interim & Project Management