Customer case Interim IT-management – interview with COO

Parts Point Group

PartsPoint Group is an international organization, specilized in the distribution and sales of carparts and car assessories. PartsPoint is the owner of various brands, formulas and retail chains in the highly competitive and specialized line of business: AD Nederland, Brezan, Stadegaard and TC Automotive. PartsPoint is innovative in the trends required by the market. One of these trends is the scaling required by the market; volume and purchasing power are crucial for the healthy company PartsPoint.

Director Central Operations (COO) Peter Meyer is a.o. responsible for IT in the board.

Why PartsPoint decided to hire an interim IT-manager

Peter Meyer explains: ‘There were a number of reasons to hire an interim IT manager. In the first place, we noticed that our IT department was very eager, but overloaded. In the second place, we experienced too many IT standstills, which might be overcome with cloud computing. And in the third place we wanted to takeover 38 stores of USN, and successfully integrate them. That combination of challenges required a clear strategy and leadership. We wanted to make a opportunity of these challenges, and asked Arjen Wierikx from our partner Mondea to give is opinion. After a short analysis, Arjen proposed to deploy Mondea associate Anton Dijkhuis as interim IT manager. Anton has managed the IT department from june 2015 until may 2016.  

‘Within a short time frame, Anton has made an inventory of the organizational and technical situation. Based on his recommendation, our board of directors has formulated a motto for organizational development: "From turbulent growth to profitable stability". This enabled us to select the initiatives that contribute to the success of our organization, and which don’t? That improved the focus of our board and IT department significantly. The IT standstills were solved with robust but pragmatic solutions. With his extensive know how of IT integrations after takeovers, the interim IT manager created a solid plan with our colleagues, to realize an almost flawless integration.’

How the integration was realized

‘The integration was prepared very thoroughly’, Peter Meyer explains: ‘at first we thought we could integrate the 38 USN-stores within a short timeframe. But with acquiring the 38 stores, we also became the brand owner of wonderful car parts brands in the automotive sector, and 250 skilled colleagues joined PartsPoint. And most important: we wanted to give optimal service to our new customers, and retain the turnover.’   

‘We also faced a fantastic logistics challenge: all 38 new stores will be supplied out of our central warehouse, which already supplies 200 stores’. Peter grins: ‘wonderful top sports!’

After thorough preparation with a program manager and the departments Sales, HR, Logistics and ICT, we did a ‘trial migration; of one store. Peter: ‘Everything had to be right. A number of examples: the store staff had to be educated in the new store application, the customer- and article data converted, the PC-, pin- and telephony equipment was replaced, the stores got a new look, etcetera. We created a special tool (the so called ‘pinball machine’), to facilitate the smooth transition.

After the trial, we have ‘Brezanized’ all stores in just 7 weeks in a controlled manner. For all departments it was a very complex and successful project. The turnovers stayed at the expected level, and the project has strengthened the cooperation within our organization. We have celebrated that success with a big party’.

Renewing a driving car at high speed

Parallel to IT integration, various improvements to the IT infrastructure and business applications were realized.

Peter: ‘That looks a bit like renewing a car at high speed: the speed of our organization is incredibly high, so all required IT improvements couldn’t cause our business to come to a stand still. The interim IT manager really has acted as a line manager, with a lot of attention and commitment for the IT team. Many of our colleagues, a.o. those of IT, got a big boost while executing projects thoroughly. By doing this, our colleagues felt focus and work satisfaction again. That gave a good motivation to design and realize the innovations with key users, managers and IT staff. For that reason, we have involved the interim IT-manager Anton Dijkhuis closely, in finding and introducing the new IT manager. By doing this, a seamless hand over has been realized.’ 

The advantage for PartsPoint: IT is on track!

Peter: ‘Luckily, the IT stand stills belong to the past, and we’ve got a clear IT strategy based on the Six IT success factors. In addition, our motivated IT department focusses more than ever on the business demand and on what propells our organization!’

After 11 months the new IT manager was found and appointed. Anton conveyed his tasks and responsibilities, and embedded the successful transition in our organization.



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