Making Complexity Due Diligence (and M&A) a Repeatable Process in Software

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Making Complexity Due Diligence (and M&A) a Repeatable Process
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Data suggest that whether you view the acquisition process as a one-off activity or a repeatable process (like purchasing or billing) plays a role in your success Private equity firms and LBO shops are renowned both for creating value with deals and for their focus on continuous improvement of their deal methodology Every deal is a learning opportunity This contrasts with many corporate experiences In an article in Harvard Business Review discussing GE s methodology, the authors wrote: Most acquisitions and mergers are one-time events that companies manage with heroic effort; few companies go through the process often enough to develop a pattern Thus it tends to be seen not as a process as something replicable but only as something to get finished, so everyone can get back to business 10 The takeaway here is not that companies should increase the number of acquisitions Rather, we should apply the principles and lessons of M&A
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16: Applying Complexity Principles to Mergers and Acquisitions
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far more frequently than we will actually do big acquisitions For example, Complexity Due Diligence is a methodology that can be equally applied in the case of a single process incorporation as in a multibilliondollar merger Remember our example upfront: two simple processes are to be merged We want to put more business through our benchmarked process, but in the past, such moves have lengthened our customer lead times We need and want to know the following: What is the impact on our delivery speed What is the impact on our unit cost What are the areas we need to manage most carefully How can we optimize this combined process
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Mergers and acquisitions can be of enormous strategic importance in extending a company s product and customer strength, and in creating shareholder value If there is no interaction between companies, and the companies operate entirely separately all the way from suppliers through the supply chain to customers, then complexity issues do not arise (although duplications, and non-value-add cost, are likely retained) However, if cost benefits are expected to accrue by combining volumes through common processes, the impact of complexity will be critical to the attainment of cost synergies Most strategic acquisitions have a significant complexity component that spells either the creation or destruction of shareholder value Creating value is strictly dependent on management s willingness and ability to embrace continuous improvement and complexity analysis The lack of focus in this area in due diligence and subsequent executive action is largely responsible for the failure of the majority of strategic acquisitions in meeting cost objectives By performing Complexity Due Diligence, a company will be better able to measure the challenges or opportunities that people and processes represent, and more likely to make an informed offer that results in value creation
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1 ATKearney, Global PMI Survey 1998-1999 2 All Together Now, by Cathy Lazere, CFO Magazine, Feb 1998, citing a benchmarking study by The Hackett Group, a consultancy 3 Donald DePamphilis, Mergers, Acquisitions and Other Restructuring Activities: An Integrated Approach to Process, Tools, Cases and Solutions (San Diego: Academic Press, 2003), 279 4 Andersen Consulting study, cited in DePamphilis, Mergers, Acquisitions and other Restructuring Activities 5 Kearney, (see n 1) 6 DePamphilis, Mergers, Acquisitions, p 292 7 James Down, The M&A game is often won or lost after the deal, Management Review Executive Forum, Nov 1995, p 10, cited in Mergers, Acquisitions and other Restructuring Activities, DePamphilis 8 Excerpted from DePamphilis, Mergers, Acquisitions, p 292 9 McKinsey and Company, Inc, Copeland, Valuation (see chap 4, n 8) 10 Ronald N Ashkenas, Lawrence J DeMonaco, Suzanne C Francis, Making the Deal Real: How GE Capital Integrates Acquisitions, Harvard Business Review, January 1, 1998
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