BuyEnergyOnline uses interim management as part of its long-term approach to staffing. is Europe's first independent retail energy exchange delivering the best energy deals to UK businesses. By auctioning a company's gas and electricity requirement on the exchange, leading suppliers compete for the business. The service is free to companies; the supplier that wins the customer's energy contract pays a set introductory commission.

Chair of is Claire Spottiswoode; the founder and CEO is Michael Boken. It's a winning formula. The company has grown very quickly, generating a £35 million turnover from 32 suppliers since it launched in May 2000.

To support its continued fast-growth strategy, the company uses interim management as strategic investment and a deliberate part of its long-term approach to staffing.

"We chose the interim management route early on to help us keep pace with our expansion plans," said Managing Director David Cole. "New challenges were on the horizon and we needed additional executive management support – fast."

A couple of specialist interim management agencies were considered. Executives Online was favoured because it offers a detailed project definition service to help profile the best candidate for the job. "Then, I was pleasantly surprised when a number of highly suitable candidates were proposed, all within a matter of days," said Cole.

Peter E, an interim manager with a track record in new business start-ups and turnarounds, was appointed, and quickly gained the confidence of the Board. He was asked to partner in a fundamental re-appraisal of business progress. With a review of the fixed and variable cost base, and a focus on prioritising target markets, his valued contribution was the catalyst for the instigation of a brand new business plan.

In addition, during his fixed four-month assignment, Peter was able to implement a review of end-to-end sales and management processes, and run a pilot on outsourcing lead generation. He also defined the strategy for strengthening affinity and channel partnership programmes, and created a comprehensive media relations and marketing communications programme. "The appointment immediately brought us new momentum and greater focus," said Cole. "We were delighted with Peter's contribution."