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Restructuring of a subsidiary of technical inspection company TÜV SÜD

Case Study

Challenge

Since its foundation as an independent company, TÜV SÜD Automotive had never achieved break-even, with earnings falling steadily over the years. The company had to be strategically restructured and led into profitability.

Success

Atreus quickly introduced loss-stopping and profit-making measures. They succeeded in reorganizing TÜV SÜD Automotive and taking all necessary steps to get the company on a growth course.

Interview with Horst Schneider, formerly CEO of TÜV SÜD AG

When did you approach Atreus?

After a series of attempts with internal and external directors had failed and a major management consultancy had also proved unable to get the company on track, we called Atreus and appointed their experienced expert from the industry to the top executive position in our company on an interim basis.

 

"We appointed the Atreus manager to the top of the management board, to thoroughly examine the company and achieve the turnaround."

What tasks awaited Atreus?

The objective was clearly defined: TÜV SÜD Automotive had to be restructured and led to sustainable profitability. We gave the new Managing Director full responsibility for the national and international business and, in doing so, gave him a free hand in his choice of measures. We left the analysis and evaluation up to him and then jointly discussed the goals and their realization.

What skills did the Atreus manager bring to the table?

As an engineer, he was ideally qualified for our business as a technical testing company. But what impressed us most of all was his extensive business management know-how and proven expertise in managing national and international companies. He has restructuring and change-management experience, and his outstanding communication skills were an enormous help in our critical situation.

"We had to find our way to profitability."

"The foundations were laid for most of the measures within the first three to four months. The Atreus manager proceeded with great purpose and quickly gained the trust of colleagues and the Group."

Horst Schneider

"The foundations were laid for most of the measures within the first three to four months. The Atreus manager proceeded with great purpose and quickly gained the trust of colleagues and the Group."

 

"Atreus assessed which products could be safely abandoned without having a negative domino effect on other products."

How did the new managing director proceed?

He gained an impression of the profit and loss influences in the company within a very short time. I was particularly impressed by the fact that his analysis was not restricted to evaluating numbers or product result reports. From the outset, he included the statements and assessments of his management staff, employees and staff council in his considerations. This meant that he very quickly achieved his first results. He knew which products had a positive prognosis and which didn’t.

What measures were implemented?

All products were discussed and evaluated in workshops, based on the market situation and their development potential. With those facts in hand, the first reorganization step was taken with the difficult decision to discontinue certain products. This had consequences for more than 20% of the staff. Although we took pains to move employees to other open positions within the group and parted with temporary staff first, some jobs sadly had to be cut within the framework of a redundancy plan.

What was the lever for success?

First of all, the interim manager freed the company from loss-making products and the costs they brought with them. This also applied to machines and buildings. Another item for adjustment was running costs. Here, the Atreus manager put together a cost-cutting plan and saved large amounts in a very short time, without any restrictions for the staff. He then established a central purchasing function with the corresponding processes. This cost-cutting alone resulted in seven-figure savings on operating costs.

"The Atreus Manager succeeded in reaching an agreement with the staff council and avoiding redundancies."

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.