3 Jan 18

Do you need a project manager? Interview with CPC, the Hidden Champion in Change Management

In the daily lives of the Fleet Manager, larger projects such as global supply chain harmonisation or Car Policy consolidation are increasingly frequent. Equally frequent are the obstacles that stand in between the initial ambition and enthusiasm and a successful closure of the project. This sounds familiar to Michael Babilon-Teubenbacher, Partner at CPC and head of CPC Consulting Beijing.

Installation versus Implementation

“For international corporations, the business cases of Car Policy-/supply chain harmonisation, or of implementing a self-insurance program, are straightforward. Savings are almost guaranteed, centralised steering becomes easier and processes become leaner, at least on paper”, says Michael. Unfortunately, less than one-third of all projects actually realise the intended value, as affected employees do not understand the reason behind the change. Focus gets lost along the way and conflicts arise. Mere installation fails to achieve the benefits that would be achievable by people-focused implementation.

Frequently the costs associated with professional Project- and Change Management are considered an obstacle. Michael continues: “The initial cost of professional PM is often considered as simple cash-out: spending money before savings are achieved. What needs to be considered however is that poorly managed projects not only underachieve, but also generate delays and frustration, which are less visible but extremely important and, in the end, very painful money burners.”

About CPC

The international project & change management consultancy with German origins has been house supplier to major OEM’s and many other automotive- and non-automotive related companies for several years. Michael explains CPS’s success, particularly in the automotive industry, as follows: “Most of the projects in the car and leasing sectors are either related to innovation or require explicit change management with a focus on people, two areas that CPC feels very comfortable with. CPC itself promotes a people-centric culture: we apply cross-functional team set-ups where people can contribute the best of their knowledge and skills to create new dynamics within the Client’s ecosystem.”

Hidden Champion

As of December 14, 2017, CPC is officially "Hidden Champion for Change Management and Implementation". The "Hidden Champions of the Consulting Market" is a highly regarded study of the Scientific Society for Management and Consulting (WGMB). The aim of the study is to use a detailed survey of executives from large and medium-sized companies to determine which comparatively unknown consulting firms in their field of expertise are rated higher by their clients than the major consulting firms. Interestingly, participants cannot apply themselves; they need to be nominated by their Clients and external experts. Babilon-Teubenbacher is a proud man today: “This award is a big thing for CPC. It’s a signal that our people-centric approach is highly appreciated by our Clients.”

When do I need a project manager?

There are 10 triggers to find out if your project requires a professional PM approach:

  1. Project Cost
  2. Severity / Deadlines
  3. Project Duration
  4. Team Size
  5. Reason
  6. Visibility
  7. Process Impact
  8. Dependencies
  9. Stakeholders
  10. Risks

CPC, in collaboration with Connector, has developed a simple tool to determine what type of project you are facing (Try out here!). By answering a short survey consisting of 10 questions, one for each PM trigger, the tool will provide directly applicable suggestions in the areas of Governance, Staffing and Application Guidelines. It also gives a number of tips & tricks for your future projects!


Our last question to Michael concerns his experience with the automotive industry in China, where Michael lives with his wife Anne, who also works at CPC. “Whenever I come back to Europe, I notice how fast everything changes in China. Innovations and new technologies are pushed to the market almost on daily basis, whereas my feeling is that Europe remains more cautious. It is linked to the spirit and agility of Chinese entrepreneurs, obviously, but also to the fact that China did not have to recover from a substantial financial crisis. In addition, Chinese entrepreneurs benefit from a huge market; when OFO, one of the Chinese bike sharing suppliers, kicked off, they dropped over 1 million bikes in Beijing – in one go. Scale is an important enabler for innovation.” To our question if he has tips for Fleet Managers who manage fleets in China, Michael concludes: “Make sure you don’t do everything on your own. Find local colleagues and partners who understand the country. People are often unaware about the specifics of the China; a mistake that, especially in this country, will be an expensive one. In particular, governmental regulations and interferences can be complex and often change unexpectedly. But regardless of that China definitely remains a great place to live and work!”

Authored by: Yves Helven