How an interim manager from the fast-food industry became crucial for OneMed's supply chain

With large volumes in stock, OneMed AS – Norway's biggest supplier of medical health supplies to the Norwegian health service – had plenty of capacity. But when Covid-19 struck, the logistics department was pushed to the extreme. Read how an interim manager from the fast-food industry became an important part of the solution.

After almost two years of extreme demand due to Covid-19, where resources and capacity were in full disaster mode, tasks related to the day-to-day operations within the supply chain department of OneMed AS was lagging.

In addition, the warehouse was to be moved from Sweden to Norway.

An operational supply chain manager

It became clear to Jan Knoph, CEO of OneMed, that he needed to strengthen the supply chain management team.

– Over a period of time we had internal discussions; ` What do we need? Where can we get that knowledge? ´ and more importantly; `For how long would we need such a resource? ´ Knoph says.

OneMed would need a supply chain manager who could manage the logistics department, in addition to work at the local warehouse and collaborate closely with the distributor to optimize end-consumer deliveries.

– We contacted Interimleder as we had heard a lot of good things about them, but I wasn´t sure if they would be able to offer the kind of candidate that we were looking for, Knoph adds.

Experienced and impressive candidates

Senior Adviser at Interimleder, Geir Erik Lian, set out to locate a perfect match late April 2021.

– After our initial talks, it became clear that OneMed was looking for an interim manager who could start up straight away and quickly achieve an overview of the situation. Someone who had experience in surgically dissecting high-volume supply chains, Lian states.

Within a couple of weeks, Lian and Interimleder AS had found several solid candidates to pre-interview. Resulting in two strong candidates which was then presented to Knoph.

– After interviewing the candidates together with the group's supply chain director, Thomas Wergeland stood out as a perfect match, says Knoph.

From fast-food to medical health supply

Thomas Wergeland is an experienced business advisor and interim manager with both national and international backgrounds in retail, FMCG and QSR (fast-food).

– Thomas understood our issues, clearly had an operational edge in what he was talking about, and we found it exciting that he came from different industries than ours, such as retail and fast-food. He had both the expertise and the professionalism in place and demonstrated a quick understanding of what we were looking for – in addition to being a sympathetic person, Knoph explains.

Supply chain management focusing on the customer journey

Wergeland was very pleased with the mission and the opportunity to contribute and strengthen the company.

– I had just finished an interim management assignment at Burger King, and the role seemed very relevant to what I have done in the past and the kind of knowledge that I have.

Wergeland's varied background from business development, sales and procurement has ensured him an important comprehension of the value chain. He is committed to quickly identify the most urgent issues within a supply chain and to implement solutions that improve the customer experience in the long run. This in addition to a customer journey approach to supply chain management.

– OneMed has so many talented people, and it´s a grateful task to come to an organization where people are willing to roll up their sleeves, even in busy and challenging times. As an interim manager, I'm used to people being a little skeptical at first, so I value their trust and the opportunity to shed light on certain areas that can be strengthened, while we all pull together as a team, Wergeland adds.

Part of the management team

Both OneMed and OneMed Group are satisfied with the process and choice of interim manager.

– We found Interimleder AS to be highly professional, and that the process was relatively fast, but not over-rushed. This, of course, comes at a price, but based on what we got in return, it's all well worth it. The advantage of using Interimleder is that they have a portfolio of candidates within supply chain and logistics, says Knoph, adding:

– Thomas has mastered managing the logistics department, in addition to working at the local warehouse and improving distribution schedules through close co-operation with the logistics operator. He is part of the management team and represents Norway as supply chain manager into group as part of the Nordic supply chain team.

About OneMed AS:

  • OneMed AS is the largest supplier of medical health equipment to the Norwegian healthcare system with 15% market share in the hospital sector and 40% market share in the municipal sector.
  • 6900 customers, 4300 delivery points in Norway, 320,000 products, 10,000 HS-codes.
  • 25 employees in Norway.
  • 2020 Turnover ­- NOK 600 million.

Situation and challenge:

  • In the spring of 2021, OneMed AS needed to strengthen its supply chain management team.
  • COVID-19 had been pushing the capacity of the supply chain management team for a long time, and they were struggling with a residual client balance.
  • In addition, the warehouse was to be moved from Sweden to Norway.
  • It was important for OneMed to bring in a resource with an omni-approach to logistics and solid experience within supply chain management and leadership.

Solution and results:

  • Hire an interim supply chain manager who could manage the logistics organization, in addition to work at the local warehouse and collaborate closely with the distributor to optimize end-consumer deliveries.
  • The interim manager first restructured the relocation project and laid out a solid operational plan.
  • Strengthened control over master data, inventory level and order forecasts, and promoted a strong focus on customer journeys and customer experience.
  • Improved distribution schedules through close cooperation with the logistics operator.
  • Has very little residual today.