How to Properly Harness Process Management in M&A

Most active acquirers have a process to source and vet acquisition opportunities, perform M&A due diligence and make the deal. Integration is then a somewhat templatized project. This is the way it should be, and the high-level post-merger integration checklist should always be somewhat customized to each deal.

What almost all companies fail to do is standardize the key value creation processes under high-level deal management. You can really only say you are applying proper process management to M&A if you have standardized the key value creation processes.

Examples of value creation processes include (identifying, prioritizing and executing):

  • Cross-selling opportunities
  • Locations to be rebranded/closed/sold
  • Consolidation opportunities
  • Key employees' onboarding
  • Legal compliance filings
  • etc.

A proper M&A process is multi-layered like this:

M&A deal pipeline flowchart and list

Each process has its own phasing, deliverables for each phase, KPIs, users, etc.

Below is an example of an acquisition process:

M&A deal acquisition pipeline flow

There are then detailed instructions and templates for each deliverable:

M&A HR due diligence

Here’s an example of a process to renegotiate and consolidate procuration agreements:

M&A due diligence task process

Below is an example dashboard for a procurement consolidation pipeline:

M&A procurement cosolidation pipeline

Having well defined processes for value-creating activities beyond the high-level case management takes the process standardization benefits to a new level. You can assign work easily, ensure consistent quality, accelerate outcomes and have full transparency to progress.

You also ensure that each client, employee and customer receives the same high-quality treatment during the post-merger integration process. You’ll gain synergies faster, have happier employees and will be in better control while empowering others.

Get this right and you can really say that you have a world-class M&A process.

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