Once a merger has been closed you need to get your business in order. Don’t let too much time go by before you look at how the combined companies are operating. Even if you were fortunate enough to have adequate time and detailed data to do pre-merger planning, you may be surprised by how things are actually working. Here are some suggestions to get your business in order post merger.
The planning you did before closing included assumptions on key business processes and how they would work post merger. These processes need to be checked from the get-go to make sure they are operating as you assumed. If they are not working as planned, you need to quickly consider alternatives.
Business processes which directly affect customers need to be the top priority. Customers have little patience for problems that upset their operations.
Track and measure performance compared to the operating and financial goals used to justify the merger. Start measuring and reporting KPIs immediately. KPIs can be an early warning indicator of operational problems.
Make sure that all levels of management know and understand the goals they are responsible for. Front line managers are your first line of defense. If only top executives know the goals, you won’t realize there is a problem until it mushrooms into a crisis.
If you decide an alternative approach is required, make sure you keep an open mind. Don’t immediately assume your business processes and legacy systems are a better solution than your merger partner’s approach. It may be the other way around. Or, there may be a third alternative that neither company has considered.
Be mindful of the “not-invented-here” syndrome. Choose alternatives based on facts as much as possible. Watch out for cultural biases, and the “that’s the way we have always done it” justification.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE SUBJECTIVE ELEMENTS
People, organizations and business cultures can make a merger a success or not. Leverage strengths in theses as much as possible, and build up or counteract areas of weakness. Assess the performance of key players early. Make sure the organization, formal and informal, is working the way you expected.
TWEAK IF NECESSARY
Most mergers do not fully meet the goals used to justify them. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your game plan if necessary. It will not be a surprise if some assumptions made prior to closing are not correct.
For example, you may find that counter to your original assumptions, it may be better to keep each company operating on their respective legacy systems and simply overlay a consolidating software application to pull data for consolidation and reporting, and increase the level of automation of some applications to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
In this case you should partner with an experienced software provider that can sync information from virtually any business application, and has experience automating accounts receivable applications.
Lockstep Collect is a leader in cloud-based and premise-based software solutions for consolidating data from disparate business systems and automating accounts receivable processes.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from consolidating software and accounts receivable automation, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.lockstep.io.