The easy part of an acquisition is writing the check, but the more important and difficult part is the integration. It’s important that each of the companies we acquire adopt our business processes and become part of our overall culture.
It is important to identify areas that will ensure the integration is as smooth as possible.
Leadership: Integration begins with the leadership teams. It’s essential to have the right people in the right positions heading in the right direction. With our recent acquisition, the leadership team that started and grew the business will be retained. It is critical that GFI management helps them understand the complexity of a larger operation. As a whole, we should focus our efforts on understanding their business and how they go to market. Developing synergies through collaboration and mutual respect for the successes in each business segment is paramount in achieving a desired outcome.
Service: In years past, our growth was organic with respect to our sales staff’s ability to sell more products to our existing customers. Recently, GFI has become more diversified by developing specialty teams and services and we believe our clients are seeing value in this approach. If we do our jobs right, current and prospective clients not only have the confidence in our ability to sell and install products, but will also commit to a long term service relationship with GFI after the integration.
Identifying market needs: Integration doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to offer every solution in every market- each market is different with varying opportunities and challenges. We need to determine which markets will deliver the best return on investment.
The return on investment should be realized within three years of acquisition. Through efficient identification and implementation of the three areas above, the goal of a three year ROI can be accomplished. We will encounter many obstacles during the integration process. However, with “consistency” and “intensity” among everyone on the team we can achieve our goals. Applying lessons learned during each integration makes the company more efficient with future acquisitions. Management believes that successful integrations are critical to the companies’ future growth and success.