Huge Opportunity with Myriad Challenges
This was going to be one of the most challenging integrations they had ever undertaken.
The company, a premier provider of specialized claims and risk management solutions, had made dozens of acquisitions over several years. Many were of moderate size, a few were fairly large; one nearly doubled the size of the company in both revenues and employees. They learned a lot and developed an effective “integration machine.”
This new deal, however, was challenging on a variety of fronts. The CEO of the acquired company did not want the deal done in the first place – he would have preferred if the private equity owners let him buy the company himself. And the cultures of the organizations were vastly different. The acquirer was a mature organization that had, over time, implemented systems and processes required to run a growing company. The target organization was “lean and mean” with far fewer people, structures, and processes. Lastly, the combined set of services offered by the two companies was in some cases complementary, in others redundant, and still in others in conflict.
Still, leadership believed “the juice was worth the squeeze.” The combined company would be a major player in the fast-growing managed care space.
During the early stages of the deal it became clear that there would be two key streams of work:
- Integrating corporate functions and certain elements of the lines of business to drive cost and revenue synergies
- Developing a new go-to-market strategy that leveraged the combined services and scale of the new company
The CEO of the acquiring company called Schaffer Consulting to help them carry out the work. He was looking for process support and expertise on both work streams, as well as counseling and hands-on assistance in managing the tricky interpersonal and inter-organizational dynamics.