ThinkstockPhotos-dv818029.jpgIntegrating merging companies requires a daunting degree of effort and coordination from across the newly combined organization. 

Recently, Iron Mountain made an excellent, yet simplistic, point in a blog article titled Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures: Managing Information And Risk. The excellent point: Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestures (MA&D) happen for many reasons – to create scale and growth, position a company in the marketplace or to gain an advantage and, more critically during an MA&D event, become one company as fast as possible.

When it comes to MA&D, what are 3 things to keep in mind when charging out of the gate?

Get Your Change On

A comprehensive and properly implemented change management strategy can make an organization more successful and profitable, but unfortunately, many businesses fail to implement changes and transitions this way. While it’s important to focus on building efficient and effective technology infrastructure, improving and optimizing business processes and developing and marketing the right products, the focus can’t end there. A strategic change management approach takes the people within an organization into account when any significant changes are being made to the company’s structure.

Do Your RIM Diligence

Records & Information Management (RIM) programs will need to be integrated following a merger. Fact: This is often difficult as an enterprise must wait until the merger is approved, with RIM usually brought in later. Pre-merger discussions between records managers on topics such as technologies used or number of employees, as well as following the advisement of enterprise legal teams is critical in the out of the gate phase of MA&D. Knowing what technologies and vendors all companies are utilizing will enable any MA&D to move forward with an informed integration strategy, allowing for consolidation of RIM software. 

An acquired company may not have a formal RIM program. Records analysis and classification/retention mapping will be more difficult as you’ll have to go in without a guide and work directly with records creators and staff. This can be even more challenging when employees from the acquired company leave or are let go as it creates a knowledge vacuum. Keep in mind, as Iron Mountain emphasized in its blog post, each MA&D is unique, and to gain compliance and manage the records and information appropriately, an enterprise needs to rely on expertise and experience beyond the internal capacities. Your Focus

Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures all require a sharp and diligent focus in order to rapidly enable and stabilize all of the combined organizational entities in a predictable and controlled manner, with emphasis on optimizing people, processes, technology, and information while methodically building out a new organizational environment and culture. Changes in an organization will affect business partners, clients and vendors. With an effective approach to managing people and groups through every part of the change, an enterprise can turn MA&D into an extremely positive reality, as long as the enterprise-wide focus is clear and all eyes are on the prize.