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Logistics project management at equipment manufacturer MWM

Case Study

Challenge

MWM GmbH, previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutz AG, decided to prematurely end the service agreement that governed the supply of replacement parts to MWM customers around the world via the logistics center in Cologne. The assignment was to organize global spare parts logistics with an internal logistics center within the space of one year.

Success

Atreus successfully relocated the logistics center, ahead of schedule and below budget, even achieving considerable cost savings.

Interview with Klaus Buchborn-Klos, CFO of MWM and Norbert Stolz, Head of Service of MWM

Mr Buchborn-Klos, why did you call on the services of Atreus?

The decision to move the logistics center was made for strategic and company policy reasons. The one-year period that had been set aside to complete this highly demanding task was very ambitious. In this critical situation, we approached Atreus, who had just successfully completed the IT carve-out from Deutz AG for us.

 

"We knew how the Atreus manager worked and were sure that he would make an excellent job of this logistics project too."

Klaus Buchborn-Klos, CFO of MWM
"The Atreus Manager's hands-on mentality and his pronounced sense of fair teamwork were of great importance for the project's success."

Klaus Buchborn-Klos, CFO of MWM

"The Atreus Manager's hands-on mentality and his pronounced sense of fair teamwork were of great importance for the project's success."

You want to know what Atreus can do for you in a similar situation?
Contact Rainer Nagel, CEO.

+49 89 452249-400 Rainer.Nagel(at)atreus.de

What demands did you place on the project manager?

In my experience, whether a project can be successful or whether it will get into troubled water is decided in the early project phases. The first thing the Atreus manager did was to compile a project plan that contained all the critical items and to set up a cost framework. This plan then served as the orientation and basis for building up a strong project team.

Mr Stolz, when did the project team start work and what were the procedures?

The Atreus manager and I soon agreed that we wanted a small team, which would contain the Head of Service Germany as a major customer, the logistician for the new motor business as a specialist, a controller as custodian of the budget and the external planners. In our regular weekly meetings and ad-hoc discussions, we openly discussed all project issues and made the final decisions together.

The Atreus Manager led and drove the project forward with purpose and focus on the goals. All aspects of the project came together on his desk, which proved to be essential for the project's success.

Norbert Solz, Head of Service of MWM

The Atreus Manager led and drove the project forward with purpose and focus on the goals. All aspects of the project came together on his desk, which proved to be essential for the project's success.

 

"Ultimately, it was the mixture of experience and personal characters that made the team so successful."

Norbert Stolz, Head of Service of MWM

What did the Atreus manager contribute to the success, Mr Buchborn-Klos?

Not everyone in the company recognized the urgency of the decisions and the interim manager repeatedly demanded more from us in that respect. The assignment was not just to move parts to a new warehouse but also to take over order processing, which had previously been taken care of by Deutz AG. There were varying views within the company as to what part of the company this responsibility should be located in. Ultimately, the interim manager convinced us that we had to build up an organization parallel to the supply chain process. So we brought the order processing, logistics and scheduling functions together in one department.

What were the critical moments in the project?

Equipping the warehouse with IT infrastructure and warehouse management software was a particularly sensitive business. We profited enormously from the experience of the Atreus manager, who had already been responsible for building up the autonomous MWM IT with a colleague a year previously. He convinced us, bearing in mind the short amount of time available, that it made sense to take over the warehouse management system from Deutz AG.

How would you sum up the Atreus manager’s work, Mr Buchborn-Klos?

Our experience with the Atreus manager was once again excellent. He worked through the project plan like a well-oiled machine, even remaining below budget and ahead of schedule! On top of that, he also reduced our operating costs.

Atreus is the leading interim management provider in Germany and one of the largest in its field in Europe. We solve difficult operational management and transformation problems quickly and reliably. Contact us and find out how we can help you master your situation with management expertise that is available at short notice and that is the perfect fit for you.

Atreus is a co-founder of Globalise – the market’s leading and largest provider of international interim management. Accelerating change and delivering success. Worldwide. Structured as a global group of leading interim management firms, Globalise has the reach to support you in solving your company’s most important issues around the world.