A robust acquisition strategy involves having a clear idea of what you expect to gain from the purchase, what the business purpose is for acquiring the target company and what the future potential is post-acquisition.
Capture – The foundation of due diligence is data capture
As you move through the M&A Process it’s easy to go from the negotiation stage into due diligence thinking that you are almost there. With the next step of finalising the purchase and hammering out the sales contract it’s easy to overlook to possibility of re-negotiation or indeed walking away. One of the key parts of due diligence is understanding the business processes behind the company and how they fit together on a geographical, personnel and IT perspective. By capturing your people, application, device, server and other asset information (buildings etc) and providing interlinked, contextual knowledge to your due diligence team, you will be able to quickly see whether you are buying a duck or the proverbial golden goose.
Control – Post acquisition integration requires a smooth controlled workflow
Post-acquisition integration is where profits are made or disasters are created. Smashing two companies together in the hope that eventually it will all come good is the fastest way to fail. Integration requires the analysis and harmonization of every asset, system, business process and person from both companies (in mergers). Using the knowledge gained from a thorough due diligence process will enable the company to understand the scope and cost of what they are about to do. Each asset will need to go through a workflow (Identification, confirmation, scheduling, integration, completion). These assets will have inter relationships with other assets. For example the Finance Department in the New York office rely on these devices, applications, business processes etc. They can only be fully integrated when all of those things are ready. By having all of this knowledge, automated workflow is possible. Saving time, money and resources.
Communicate – People become lost, afraid and angry without timely communication
As part of the post-acquisition process you will need to let people know what is happening, when it’s going to happen and why it’s happened. You are going to need to send out surveys to verify information. Allowing people to self-schedule some of their asset moves will allow people to feel empowered and part of the process. Satisfaction surveys can give people a voice, but also be used to understand how things could be done better. Communication is what sets the stage for future progress.
Collaborate – Get everybody involved as one team with one objective
Post-acquisition integration is not just about IT systems. There are licensing, legal, business process, contractual, personnel and asset decisions to be made. How can that be done if people are using their own spreadsheets, charts and databases. By having everything in a single source of audited truth, it’s possible to quickly make those decisions and back them up with the easily accessible facts. Live reporting, PowerBI integration and Data Mining put contextual knowledge at in the hands of those who need it most.