Hands On

Manager's Notebook

W&H Systems, a provider of automated distribution systems in Carlstadt, N.J., had grown from $10 million in sales to $38 million in six years. General manager Jim Iversen knew the company needed in-house financial expertise, but he lacked the time to search for the perfect chief financial officer. So he experimented by trying out a candidate recommended to him by a business contact. Iversen hired this seasoned CFO part-time for a three-month period. "If you bring on someone full-time, it takes a few months to get them up and running, and if they don't work out, it takes six months to a year to get rid of them," says Iversen. He paid a premium for his temporary talent, but the three-day-a-week CFO prepared the growing company for new hurdles, such as a private placement. Iversen is currently negotiating to bring him on as a full-time CFO.