Stefan Hölzl – Interim Management

Project list Stefan Hölzl

Projekt list Interim
Manager Stefan Hölzl

Restructuring of a heavily loss-making business unit

Project objective: Complete realignment of the unit to ensure sustainable competitiveness.

Project duration: 09/2001 – 05/2004

Position: COO

Company: Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH: approx. 100 employees with direct project involvement, 20 Mio. € Turnover


  • Reaching the break-even point within the project duration.
  • Definition and implementation of all measures to ensure the long-term competitiveness and viability of the division.


  • Integration of all employees in the project. Ensuring transparent regular communication with clear targets and monthly comparisons target vs. actual.
  • Comprehensive program to reduce costs, including the relocation of a production site, the restructuring of the sales department and a massive reduction in quality costs through product improvements.
  • Increasing sales in high-margin segments by setting up a new service center and increasing aftermarket competence.


  • Staff reduced by 17% during the project period, with initially constant sales volume, later significant sales volume increase with stable management team size and composition.
  • Increase in HKI margin from 18 to 25%; operating break-even achieved as planned.
  • Reduction in inventories by approx. 40% with simultaneous improvement in delivery reliability by approx. 25% points.
  • Significant improvement in quality level to Group-internal benchmark level
Leadership / Change: Improvement of leadership culture and performance of a product group

Project objective: New factory with a demoralized and insecure workforce to become more productive and stable.

Project duration: 06/2012 – 12/2012

Position: Product Group Manager

Company: Voith Turbo GmbH, 500 employees, 120 Mio. € Turnover in the Product Group


  • Eliminate uncertainty among the management team and employees, create confidence.
  • Increase operational performance in several key areas (delivery reliability, inventory levels, operating result).
  • Improve cooperation with a joint venture of the product group in China, short term start of production at the Chinese site.


  • “Walk the Talk” – intensive exchange with all managers and employees, especially “on the store floor”; intensive analysis of performance-inhibiting causes.
  • Short-term replacement of a toxic, performance-inhibiting manager in a critical role.
  • Fundamental change in internal communication: inclusion of managers and the works council in planning and strategy development, monthly information rounds for all employees, open approach to problems, but also joint celebration of successes.
  • Definition and implementation of sustainable process improvements tailored to customer expectations.


  • RoS improved from 5% to 10% within 6 months.
  • Inventories reduced by approx. 15% within approx. 3 months.
  • Production started at the joint venture site in China within 6 months.
Supply Chain Benchmarks and strategic segmentation

Project objective: Increasing the efficiency of the supply chains in all divisions of the Group (Automotive OE and AM, Industrial)

Project duration: 08/2018 – 05/2020

Position: SVP with reporting line to the Executive Board

Company: Schaeffler Technologies AG, 90.000 employees, 14 Mrd. € Turnover


  • Benchmarks for classifying the performance of the supply chains and identifying potentials.
  • Entry into the strategic segmentation of Schaeffler supply chains, better alignment with customer requirements
  • Definition of supply chain optimization projects


  • Participation in the development of a suitable project team
  • Selection and management of external project supporters and consultants.
  • Training of project participants in all divisions on the topics of supply chain standards, reference models and strategic segmentation.
  • Implementation of the pilot projects


  • Supply chain optimization programs defined and launched in all divisions within approx. 18 months.
  • Continuation ensured at division level after the end of the project.
Elimination of a critical quality problem at a customer in Japan

Project objective: Solve field problems with the product as fast as possible and restore customer confidence.

Project duration: 08/2007 – 08/2008

Position: Head of Business Unit / „Center of Competence “

Company: Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, approx. 300 employees in the Business Unit, thereof approx. 50 employees with direct project involvement, 150 Mio. € Turnover


  • Permanently eliminate a critical quality problem with a product and the associated operational disruptions.
  • Restore lost customer confidence.
  • Ensure that the delivery stop is lifted, avoid negative effects on and opportunities for the group of companies in Japan.


  • Intensive analysis of the root causes of damage on site in close cooperation with the customer.
  • Use of the relevant methods from the “Six Sigma toolbox”, e.g. “5 Why” and FMEA.
  • Development and implementation of the necessary product improvements in a Japanese / German team
  • Monthly status reports to the customer, usually with personal presence


  • Problem solved to the full satisfaction of the customer, regained trust is made public by the customer’s manager.
  • Delivery approval regained, future market opportunities in Japan preserved.
  • The solution developed is also more practical and cost-effective than the original situation.
Increased efficiency in inventory and cash-management

Project objective: Short-term improvement in liquidity

Project duration: 06/2020 – 12/2020

Position: COO

Company: Bochumer Verein VT (BVV), rail vehicle industry supplier for wheelsets and low floor streetcar bogies, 800 employees, 200 Mio. € Turnover


  • Reduction of working capital
  • Definition of a restructuring concept that can be implemented following the project.


  • Establishment of a project team with clear tasks and “SMART” defined area targets as well as a reporting tool for inventory tracking; training of all employees in inventory and working capital-related topics.


  • Improvement in liquidity by approx. EUR 15 million within 6 months
  • During this period, reduction of inventories by approx. 20%
  • Restructuring concept developed and approved by the shareholders, start of implementation in the following year as CEO of the company
Business coaching: Avoiding personal overload

Project objective: Enable young managing director/entrepreneur to avoid critical personal overload.

Project Duration: 01/2023 – 04/2023

Position: Personal Coach / TAB Peer Board Moderator

Company: Innovative small mid-sized company in the high-tech sector


  • Self-overload of a young, motivated entrepreneur/managing director with critical dimensions must be avoided.
  • Entrepreneur requests support in defining and implementing suitable measures.


  • Personal Coaching
  • Together with the managing director and supported by a TAB entrepreneur board, suitable measures are defined, such as increased delegation, optimizing the management structure, creating more space for personal autonomy.


  • Workload reduced to target value within a few weeks.
  • Change is sustainable and leads to greater satisfaction for the entrepreneur.
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