Top 6 Best Practices for Post Merger Integration

BusinessManagement

  • Author Lilly Stevens
  • Published November 25, 2019
  • Word count 590

Summary: Tried, tested, and true points to take note of in your post merger integration plan.

Mergers or acquisitions can be fast and furious, and oftentimes a surprise. Sometimes melding two businesses together isn’t as natural or as seamless as you would like it to be. A post merger integration plan helps to mitigate the hiccups a company anticipates to come after a big change of this nature occurs. Not having a post merger plan, on the other hand, can be a disaster.

Here are six best practices to tackle the post merger integration plan process.

Abide by the Nature of the Deal

Is it a scale deal where you are expanding within the same business or have a high rate of overlap? Or is it a scope deal where you are moving into a new market, product or channel? Before you fret, yes it can be some of both! But, generally speaking, how you answer this questions will influence what aspects of your business should be integrated or kept separate. It will also determine if your organizational structure needs to shift, which people need to be retained, and how you might need to tackle cultural integration. Knowing all of this in advance, or at least being aware of these possibilities, is the beginning of how you will plant a post merger integration. These are your major integration points, after all.

Plan for People Problems

You cannot escape it. Mergers and acquisitions make employees nervous. There will be power struggles as people jockey for position in a changing company. People will be worried about losing their jobs due to redundancy, automation, or centralization. You will need to map this out and know how many jobs will be lost or created, which job responsibilities will change and whether or not there will be a change in hierarchy and seniority. This is a major post merger integration plan point that will impact how well your transition goes.

Sort out your Top Level

Before the deal closes you must have your top-level employees sorted out and in place. You want your management structure to be solidly organized to help with the remainder of the post merger integration plan. There are a lot of steps you won’t be able to take until the deal closes, but once it does you will need to move quickly to get everything you need to achieve, done. You should have your top-tier structure mapped out and ready to go before the deal closes.

Set your Norms

Your business culture is decided upon. It’s not something that just happens, it is something that you intend. Have this rooted and made clear early on. You may decide to maintain your current culture as the business doing the acquiring, or you may want to adopt a new culture. Your business culture will impact what you place value on, because you want to produce a specific behaviour or result. An example might be bonuses or rewards based on billable hours, for example. Whatever you attribute your "that’s how we do things around here…" to, is your business culture.

Maintain Momentum

Mergers cause a lot of hub-bub and people will be distracted by all the changes. New employees or the loss of employees will generate a lot of water-cooler fodder. It’s important that this period does not last long, and does not impact the base operation of either business. You still need to be operationally efficient and generate revenue. You don’t want the change to slow performance.

Consider ways you might mitigate this in your post merger integration plan. Integration is difficult and if you achieve it, you certainly want to create a model of it that can be reviewed and repeated. You never know when you might grow again. For more information on mergers and integrations and consulting services, contact The Burnie Group.

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