Getting a transaction completed is only half the battle. Much of senior management's attention must be focused on developing a post-transaction strategy and integration plan that will generate the revenue enhancements and cost savings that initially prompted the merger or acquisition.
Since time is money and competitors do not stand still, integration must not only be done well but also must be done in an expedited fashion. Astute Diligence can play a valuable role in this process.
When organizing the post-transaction planning effort, we recommend the formation of post-transaction integration teams that includes representatives from both companies. We serve as a both a facilitator and working team member within the various planning groups. We apply a "tried and true" methodology that we believe leads to a disciplined and structured approach, smooth integration, and successful end results. Some of the core deliverables we prepare during the process are discussed below.
- Road Map Document. Documenting and communicating new strategies and business objectives based on the original rationale for the transaction is the key first step towards developing an effective integration plan. We prepare detailed integration workplans and performance milestones that will track integration progress. We focus attention exclusively on what is best for the business, rather than on issues surrounding hierarchy and turf battles.
- Communications Plan. When a transaction fails to achieve desired results, poor communication, more than any other factor, is often to blame. We assist with the structuring of the communications plan that will announce the transaction and, over time, its transition details to key stakeholders, including investors, customers, suppliers, employees, the media and industry analysts. We utilize a proven and effective communications methodology that includes templated communications that can be tailored based on the specifics of the transaction.
- Human Resources Plan. We assist with planning for the retention and integration of human resources after a merger or acquisition, including the board, senior management, professional, technical, clerical and production employees spanning all functional areas. We work closely with management to define the optimal organizational design based on revised business objectives. We help to create new organization charts and rationalize disparate titles, benefits plans, and compensation schemes. When appropriate, we assist with "reduction in force" initiatives to achieve cost savings driven by post-transaction redundancies in human resources.
- Management Information Systems Integration Plan. Integrating two different technological systems for complex business entities while continuing to run the business can be a massive challenge. It requires proper planning for phased transitions, extensive preparation, and intensive testing. We work with other members of the integration team to define workable implementation plans as to what needs to be integrated, when it should happen, and how it can be done successfully.
- Product and Technology Integration Plan. We work to define the go-forward product mix and ensure that product development teams understand and support the new plan. We help set priorities for new product development and we define feedback mechanism to track progress and obstacles. We identify and pursue product synergies, such as the acquired company's utilizing component technology that has been developed by the acquiring company or visa versa.
- Operations Integration Plan. We prepare a detailed integration plan for operations, including all functional areas, such as accounting, distribution, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, and sales. We establish a detailed vision of how things are going to work in the future and what steps need to be taken to get there. We create a forum for issue identification and resolution (e.g. a customer say it will stop doing business with us unless we commit to continued support for an old product line).