Leading M&A with Integration
Integration team should start very early
The Corporate Development team should bring the Integration team during the targeting stage. The Integration team should be able to understand and include integration criteria and components into the targeting and profiling of a particular client that you want to acquire. As you bring those integration criteria, it allows for a better valuation down the line. It also prevents more risks and pitfalls.
An integration lead should be someone who has a lot of the background into the business and understands how things work. I can’t just be a project manager. It has to be a COO or a GM type of person. It has to be someone who has the right credibility, and they should be able to influence some of the thinking around how you bring two companies together.
You have to start the Go-to-market planning at the very beginning. You have to start with the customer and the products and the rest of your organization capabilities should align to that.
The whole reason for acquiring a company is for growth. And if you don’t start by identifying your customers, then you won’t be able to know the systems required, the skill sets and processes that’s necessary. You will lose a lot of customers and subsequently value.
Integration can last for months or even years. And it goes back to the original KPIs that you were settling at the beginning. Integration is over when you've hit your integration milestones, and you have transitioned into that “business as usual” stage.