Fast-growing tech company bought time with interim manager

NEO Monitors is an exciting Norwegian technology company that supplies laser-based gas and dust monitors to large industrial companies. Under the leadership of Ketil Gorm Paulsen, the company has seen a growth in turnover from NOK 70 million to NOK 140 million in the past five years, with a growth of 30% in 2014. In order to ensure quality in a high growth phase, they hired an interim manager.

Time can be bought

In autumn 2014, the company had begun to notice that the rapid growth was making things run less smoothly in the organisation. The many demanding customers meant that it was particularly important to keep track of quality processes. The person in charge of this also had another important role in the company. Paulsen therefore had to work to put in place a person who could take on the entire responsibility:

“We produced a job description and put a headhunter to work to recruit someone permanent. But we were growing so fast that we realised we had to buy time until we found the right candidate,” says Paulsen.

Stepping in at short notice

NEO Monitors needed a person who could step in as quality manager at short notice - someone with a good understanding of quality in a business context, who knew the formal procedures and had the right personal attributes.

“The candidate had to be firm enough, but still good with people and dialogue. And it was especially important to us that the person was solution-oriented.”

Consultant, personal contact or interim manager?

Paulsen considered various options to cover the position, ranging from consultancies to contacts in his own network in Norway and abroad. After some dialogue, meetings and interviews, he finally decided to hire an interim manager from InterimLeder:

“I found the process to be very straightforward and unproblematic. They quickly realised what we needed. The candidate they found was able to go straight into the main points and make a contribution from day one. We straightened out some processes and made sure our most demanding customers were taken good care of. And we got feedback from the customers that they appreciated this.”

He would hire an interim manager again

Asked whether he would hire an interim manager again in a similar situation, Paulsen replies:

“Yes, I would. Given the situation, I think I’m quite pragmatic, so I’d do it again without thinking twice about it. We’ve traditionally been very good at some things, but there are some other things we know we’re not brilliant at. We’ve always had a culture of hiring expertise, ranging from ERP systems to IT competence. It’s a good way for small companies to bring in resources,” Paulsen concludes.

NEO Monitors was founded in 2003 and is a subsidiary of Norsk Elektro Optikk AS (NEO), a company active in the field of laser-based gas analysis since the late 1980s. The company has a staff of 35 and had a turnover of NOK 144.5 million in 2014.

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