Over the past weeks, I have written nine short pieces on select PMI-related subjects. Each of the articles featured a rule (or a recommendation) which should be generally followed in standard PMI programs. There are no guarantees, but heeding them will increase the probability of a successful, value-adding and satisfying PMI process.
These are my suggestions helping you shape up your acquisition and post-merger integration program (each linked to the respective article):
Rule #3: Keep it simple.
Rule #7: Procrastination does not add value
Much of the above sounds like common sense, and in most cases, it is. However, many failed integration attempts illustrate that a post-merger integration process is not as simple as it sounds. In fact, PMI is a very complex endeavor, involving people, behaviors, (competing) targets, different processes and systems. I have certainly not discussed all and every aspect of an integration project a PMI manager should consider. PMI takes planning, preparation and targeted execution. It binds resources and distracts from the day-to-day business. Yet, growth by acquisition is a proven means to outperforming competition and industry peers. A failed integration though is costly and can bring down an entire company, alongside its management. Therefore, I recommend not only your acquisition process be guided by knowledgeable external advisors, but in doubt the integration process, too.
Christopher Kummer, president of the Institute of Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances, a research organization in Zurich, Switzerland, said once “Nothing compares to what comes after you acquire the business.” I think he is right.
Management & Consulting Services
Based out of Germany, Diethard Engel is an independent consultant and interim manager, focused on Business Transformation, Post-merger Integration / Carve-out and Executive Finance. He has run multiple post-merger integration/carve-out projects for international businesses.