Integration is for Closers: Harbor View Advisors M&A Integration Series (Part II)

Corporate Development

April 2019 — By Tyler Lamer

This three-part series outlines the key components for a successful integration.

In Part 1, we discussed how to kick off the integration by first identifying the type of integration required and secondly how to build a suitable team to run the integration. In Part 2, we will focus on the strategic steps required to make the vision come together.

Part II: Defining the strategy and methodology

With any integration comes risk. Risk of the company losing time, focus or the culture that made the company desirable in the first place…all of which can have negative financial implications. As the buyer, it is important to begin planning the integration well in advance of the actual closing in order to avoid these implications and to realize the maximum potential of the transaction.

Workstreams Work

Once synergies have been identified, you can then divide the deal team by functional area and have each area create their own detailed plan and determine the suitable tracking tools. Every task within the plan should identify the task owner, have a clear deadline and state the end goal. Certain cross-functional categories will require input from and may rely on one another so it’s imperative that all teams communicate their plan and have visibility into each other’s progress.

Synergy Saver

During the due diligence process, synergies were identified. The execution team will now need to finalize the list of desired synergies based on the long-term vision of the combined entity and finally, prioritize them for the duration of the integration.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Change instinctively makes people nervous. Top it off with the “unknown” and people become fearful of the future. It’s important to remember that employees on both sides of the deal will have questions and concerns but you can put their fears at ease, reduce unwanted turnover and preserve a positive culture by proactively and consistently communicating with all employees.

The same goes for your customers. They will want to know the why behind what the new company and how it will affect their pricing, service and overall quality. A single press release or social posting will not suffice. In order to communicate with your customers effectively, you will need direct, consistent and customized communication.

Stay Focused, Stay Organized and Move Quickly

The success of a business integration is dependent on setting a clear vision and the overall plan management. Without a doubt, this will be one of the most challenging initiatives the team members will take on during their career.

How will the company maintain integration success after the initial integration? Be on the look out for Part III coming next month, where we will take a look at what happens during the implementation phase and beyond.

If you missed Part I, you can read it here.

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