Studies have shown that between 70% and 90% of all mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fail. There are a myriad of different reasons as to why these transactions are ultimately unsuccessful, including cultural issues, lack of strategic planning or unforeseen costs. These risks, however, do not deter organizations from embarking on this kind of transformational endeavor. Last year was, according to Bloomberg, the best year on record for M&A activity, with companies doling out over $3.8 trillion on these transactions. In today’s ever-evolving competitive landscape, executives look towards mergers and acquisitions as a means to grow their organizations, break into new markets or verticals, and expand their overall reach.
As a means to execute on this strategy, it is vital for senior management to develop a well-thought out and comprehensive integration strategy. This enables the organization to hit the ground running on Day 1 and immediately take advantage of synergies. Development of a strong integration plan is critical to ensuring a successful M&A transaction, and should begin long before the deal closes. The plan should define the organizations strategy for the first 100 Days, those which are vital to ensuring the transaction is a success.
Within the first 100 days of an M&A transaction, the organization is able to realize immediate and significant benefits. Some major objectives of this period are to:
- Create, communicate and instill guiding principles for the combined organization
- Set the organization on track for future success
- Execute quick-hit transitional projects to swiftly realize synergies and benefits
- Evaluate current projects to ensure strategic alignment with the combined organization
- Identify key cultural issues and develop mitigation plans
- Distribute formal and informal communications with employees to ensure alignment with shared organizational vision