Using Talmix to Deliver Post Merger Integration

Use Talmix Talent Marketplace to find on-demand Talent to deliver on Post-Merger Integration
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What’s the demand?

The expectation on merging two companies is to increase value and maximise performance, or to reverse inefficiencies towards a strong outcome, and to do so within an aggressive time frame. Yet many post merger integrations can be fraught and the challenges immense to deliver practical outcomes and expected returns.

Challenges are extensive and comprehensive, with the need to execute on everything from the integration of processes, systems, technologies, to the organisational structures, and the development of the combined culture and objectives.

Although most mergers, especially when PE-backed, will have a clear plan and expected deliverables in place before the deal closes, the challenges still exist and there will be different bumps along the way that may divert from the initial route.

There is a realisation that that the post merger integration (PMI) has to be considered as a committed and separate workstream, and requires additional and dedicated resources. This lead process will set the priority and focus areas, and then identify and manage  the resulting projects, dependencies, and the order of implementation. This allows all the components required to complete the merger to be run smoothly and to reach the required completion point on time and on budget.

What’s involved?

Managing the integration focuses on developing and delivering the clear plan that is communicated from the beginning of the process (traditionally described as Day One) and must be a dedicated resource. Mergers are not successful if there is an attempt to incorporate the required activities into BAU functions, and have people in the teams attempting to add in some specific merger activities and tasks.

Establishing a PMO (often called an IMO in this scenario) to make sure that everything moves ahead, at pace, is therefore a pre-requisite to early success. Most of the talent requirements in the process will stem from the appointment of someone who can run this office and identify the levels of project management required. Speed is a critical component in delivering success, and a slower integration delays time-to-value and impacts on the culture of the new organisation. Acting fast drives the new identity, and removes the risk of leaving teams in limbo. Typical activities that will need to be fully resourced include:

  1. Identifying key projects for maximum value capture
  2. Development of the integration plan including budget, goals, risks, timelines etc
  3. Communicating the scope/approach to key stakeholders to ensure alignment
  4. Build and lead the Integration Management Office with internal and external talent depending on the right mix of availability and skills, ensuring that BAU is not de-focused.
  5. Define target organisational structure with leadership team and PE owners
  6. Act as a single point of IMO leadership to drive programme governance, reporting, tracking and acceleration

What skills are needed?

Typically the skillsets are developed through involvements in multiple M&A instances, often within one of the large consulting firms, or through leadership in project management in transformation programmes. Finance backgrounds, including in-house leadership at CFO level will also add skills that will be needed through the process.

These skills reflect the knowledge needed to manage the process of integration and transition to its planned completion; there will be additional operational skills that may be brought in through the process as organisational functional requirements and structures are developed.

  • Organisational and leadership skills required to establish cross-cutting processes and initiatives
  • Programme Management and Transformation skills demonstrated in large, multi-project initiatives
  • Influencing and negotiation skills with confidence to influence at all levels of the company
  • High level of empathy and cultural understanding
  • People management and leadership, with particular emphasis on being able to deliver results from teams across the organisations being merged which may require a practical and pragmatic mindset to handle cultural differences
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills including financial analysis to monitor performance against plan
  • Presentation and reporting skills
  • Organisational design and structuring

Why turn to Talmix?

External talent augments existing skills and provides additional resources making up a company’s extended workforce.

M&A deals and the post merger planning and integration have traditionally been the domain of the top tier consulting firms and specialist consultancies. Although their role in the process continues, there is increasing recognition that many of the post-merger integration tasks can better be handled by independent business and consulting talent.

This talent is more focused on bringing extensive experience across multiple scenarios, and with the ability to focus on specific industries from their background, the agility of this approach brings benefits in terms of driving the projects forward, and accelerating the pace, delivering that all-important speed in the integration process. Using independent talent mitigates risk as they tend to work more closely with the business leaders than a full consulting team and so there is less tendency to divert responsibility, and decision-making is open and shared.

Although the cost of resources support is relatively small in the scheme of the merger costs, having a more flexible budget model that on-demand talent provides means that there is an easier track to measure return on investment, with a leaner approach to talent deployment, and the time to effectiveness of experienced talent, rather than junior team members is recognised as being shorter, and therefore again, with greater returns.

This is why PE Funds have started using the Talmix marketplace, knowing that they will be able to fulfil multiple strands in a PMI process with proven and experienced talent. Most firms have operationalised their merger processes, and so need strong execution talent rather than a firm to devise the process. The flexibility of filling out the gaps with on demand talent means that they can add in bandwidth to deliver on specific project tracks, and the leadership and implementation focus to provide them with the reviews and insight they need to be sure that they are tracking to plan, and also confidence that the communication lines are effective within the merged organisations.

Most parties involved in the merger will have decided on the teams needed to manage the integration process, outside of any of the operational team requirements within the business, at the Day One point. Another reason why companies look to Talmix is when there is a need for additional resources post that initial start point, perhaps because the progress is not as expected, and bandwidth to implement becomes key, or because there are specific challenges which need a short burst of specialist expertise.

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Getting Started with Talmix

If you are about to complete on a merger, then the first step will be to identify the leadership of the PMO and any additional project managers. You can post these requirements straight away on the Talmix marketplace. It’s a very intuitive, streamlined process, and if you do want a little more advice on scoping then you can post the basic requirements and our customer success team can help you draw out specific screening questions, talent types and budgets.  We have extensive experience in supporting PE funds operations teams to identify the best mix of talent and so can provide valuable insights and examples of talent from our global network.

If you already have leadership in place and are now looking to kickstart the functions and processes within then the way to use Talmix is the same – simply post your project requirements. Get started now and you could address these new roles and skills gaps faster than you’d anticipated and have talent deployed and taking the action you need to create value and manage top and bottom line post merger.

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