Mergers and Acquisitions Best Practices: Part 2
| Mary McKenzie | Oct 5 2022
This article is part two of a three part series.
Mergers and acquisitions prove to have implications for both operations and data. It is vital to have good communication on both sides for the entire process from beginning to end. The stages of the Offer to Purchase Agreement are always stressful. These stages are fully dependent on Due Diligence and open communication by both sides. Assume everything will be like taking a new job where you learn the culture, workflows, and politics by listening and keeping an open mind.
Both sides can influence the onboarding of new employees by providing an understanding of the culture, reporting structures, and people. HR and execs should meet to welcome new staff as the acquisition closes to describe the new culture and values. New employees at all levels should ask questions and engage with this group. Make sure both sides have managers and support staff onsite the first few weeks to take advantage of the training and meet and greets scheduled. New staff should be welcomed after purchase to ease them into the new relationship.
For the side of the acquired agency, communicate what tools you need throughout the transition to keep the lights on, such as quoiting tools, agency system, phone copier machines, and more. Ask for an understanding of what this process is and how long it may take and what your role might be.
Ask for an open and safe forum for your staff to review issues including culture issues or concerns due to the changes occurring. Remind your staff that change is hard and to try to go with the flow. Also, remember the new structure and how managers are trying to help get you settled into the new but existing culture.
Integrating your staff into the new culture and moving the client and policy data into the new agency is essential and often the most likely place for breakdowns. The key is to develop a strategy to integrate the new group into the current organization. Consider size the number of staff to onboard and prepare technology accordingly. This includes everything from laptops, user sign ins on phones, among others. In addition to explaining short and long term goals, ensure that all employees have the tools they need to carry out their daily tasks. It's also important to consider the time required to move new users to your agency systems and processes.
Additionally, it is helpful to have interim processing methods in place for all while operations get sorted. This includes:
2. Quoting tools
3. Servicing of brand new and current business
4. Takeover of Agent codes and downloads
5. Accounting interim close and support.
Consider the agency system currently in use and the workflows in use, and devise a plan to cleanup data before and after based on knowledge of the agency data. Never stop communicating with them until everything is in place. Keep them updated on the transition and include them in transitional discussions. Consider the following:
1. Review Companies, Brokers against new production system
2. Review activities, status codes.
3. Review current downloads.
4. Manage the transition for old rating systems to new.
5. Manage the email transition
6. Website transition.
Stay tuned for the final part of this series.
Tags: Commentary , Mergers and Acquisitions