Case Study: Build and Implement a Merger Integration Management Tool

Client: Global Financial & Digital Printing Firm

Function: HR Department

Project: Build and Implement a Merger Integration Management Tool

The Merger Integration Challenge

A large financial printing organization recently acquired a digital printing company to complement its portfolio of services. In order to meet aggressive merger targets for cost savings and sales growth a team of Big 4 consultants were retained to manage all merger related activities.

Managing all of the merger activities proved difficult. The individual activity statuses for each business function were tracked in separate excel spreadsheets and roll-ups for weekly reporting were manually created. Simply managing all of this information was a full-time job for a half a dozen consultants without adding any additional value to the merger integration process.

For cost reasons the retained consultants were scheduled to roll off the merger integration project prior to completion, however the client wanted to maintain the same tracking of management activities and reporting utilizing internal resources but without the overhead.

The Solution

The consultants were simply providing administrative support before they could provide any additional value in the merger related activities. A tool was needed to consolidate and distribute the tracking and reporting of the merger related activities. This would allow the individual owners and contributors of the merger related activities to report completion and delay of assigned merger tasks without having to utilize the consultants to track and input their activities into the various integration management documents.

Tool Creation

Developing a customized application to support the Integration Management Office, Intellilink provided a quickly deployed cost effective solution to our client’s Merger Integration Automation challenge. The application allowed the individual functional team members to track and report their merger related activities. In addition, Finance could track and report all expenses and savings related to the merger. The application, being web-based, supported multiple users from all across the organization and provided a single database of merger related activities and finances. This prevented multiple versions of budgets and project plans from existing and being confused with one another. Integration Management Office team could actively report the progress of each business function in meeting its’ merger goals. In addition, the tool allowed for proactive management of issues and tasks by automatically notifying functional owners and escalating issues and tasks as needed through the management chain for resolution.

Change Management

Automating a process does little to enhance performance unless a solid Change Management program is created to ensure buy-in with users. Recognizing this Intellilink created scenario-based training materials and led live and web-based training sessions with all the functional leads within the organization. Utilizing the live data from the Integration Management tracking documents, the training allowed the users to walk through every aspect of the integration management process and to understand the benefits the automation provides to the users and the Integration Management Office. Reinforcing actual benefits to the users during training helped “sell” the new tool and provided a strong message of support. Based on feedback from the training workshops numerous enhancements were made to the application to improve the support of the integration management tool.