Understand what impact the acquisition will have on your business strategy. How does it meet your financial objectives as well as long-term and short-term goals? Try to not allow the emotions brought on by the situation overwhelm you and the members of your team. At times, it can be quite valuable to just take a step back so that you can remain objective.
1- Invite feedback and counsel from your outside advisors and board to ensure that the acquisition is the best decision to make for your company. Before the deal is closed, there is still time for you to say “no” or ask additional questions. It will be too late after the deal has been signed.
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2- Get an integration team appointed. For any acquisition, this is the most critical step next to communication. Make sure that the team has representatives from both companies. That way an entire range of issues can be brought up regarding employees, financials, products and customers. This team must together finalize the acquisition’s financial and business objectives and be held accountable for the integration’s failure or success.
You also need to remember to have an integration team leader to be accountable for and in charge of the integration’s success. However, you must choose the right individual. Your integration team leader needs to be somebody with a successful track record, has sufficient time for focusing solely on this integration, is a good facilitator and communicator, understands how important the integration is and knows how to make good decisions.
One final thing that you need to make sure of is that the integration team has all of the necessary resources – both external and internal – to succeed at their mission. Has the team been given a clear directive, access to everyone that is needed and adequate time for meeting and completing their tasks?
3- Get a communication strategy developed. Don’t underestimate how much communication will need to be done when trying to integrate two entirely different organizations. Customer and employee communications are not only critical, you also need to remember to keep your financial partners (bankers, accountants, etc.), suppliers and other key stakeholders informed on how they might be affected by the integration and how it fits in the overall business strategy of your organization.
Virtual data rooms can make mergers a whole lot easier and remove a lot of the things that cause issues from the process. These data rooms are akin to strong rooms but in the cloud and can make transfer and finding of detailed information a lot easier. Merger Technology have a list of the best ones for 2016.
I highly recommend that a separate task force be established specifically for communicating your integration mission, including its progress and process. It will be necessary for you to have frequent and accurate communication with all of your audiences. Some communication methods that can be used include FAQs, emails, hotlines and newsletters.
Include all supervisors and managers as part of your communication process, suggests mergertechnology.com. Since a majority of employees tend to go to their immediate supervisor directly with questions, make sure your managers are trained to provide the messages you would like to have delivered to employees.
4- Make an assessment of individuals. You are clearly trying to make sure that your newly integrated organization keeps the right people who will help you succeed and drive your company and business over the long-term. The first step that needs to be taken in this process is assessing your human capital. That can be done either informally or formally, however it does need to get done one way or another.
Spending the necessary time to assess your human capital is critically important since you need to have a good understanding of the individuals who have helped the acquired company succeed. Don’t be afraid spending the necessary time on this. Don’t rush to get through it. Make sure you have all the needed resources – both outside and inside your company – in order to help you properly assess the talent that you have acquired.
5- Meet your financial and business objective. Hold individuals accountable for achieving your integration and business goals. You have determined already that this acquisition was right for your company and have set specific financial objectives and business goals for your acquisition. There is one final step that is needed now: putting a process into place to determine if your objectives have been achieved. If your objectives are not achieved, then why would you have bothered with this acquisition to begin with?
Bottom line: The deal does need to work financially. However without focusing on the merging of the two organizations’ human capital and cultures, the chance of the deal succeeding over the long-term might be much less than what its overall potential indicates.