Mergers and Acquisitions – the latest BravoSolution Real World Sourcing briefing

Last week Guy Allen led the latest in the BravoSolution Real World Sourcing series, looking at ”Procurement through Mergers and Acquisitions”.

Procurement related savings are now in most cases the largest single financial benefit quoted through mergers and acquisitions. In many cases, half the total merger benefits can come from such savings. Yet too often, procurement is not involved early in the process, and only after it has all happened is the function called on to deliver those benefits.

Guy has been through quite a few mergers and acquisitions in his procurement life with firms such as Abbey National / Santander, Fujitsu and GlaxoSmithKline.  So his advice was practical and experience based.  But what made it a really good session was when he moved beyond the “technical “ issues (having a good grasp of spend, identifying priorities and so on) into the personal.

He spoke about how it feels to be part of these transactions, and how people issues can get in the way of good business performance. Who is going to get the top jobs? Will there be redundancies? Whose systems or suppliers will “come out on top”?

To illustrate this, he had us doing a role play on our tables. I was the experienced Head of IT Procurement in a firm, desperate to keep my job through a merger of equals, but frankly not currently doing a very good one! How would the two imaginary firms, with very different procurement operating models, come together and agree a way forward? As a bit of a failed (amateur) actor, I love a good role play and this was both fun and a good way of exploring some of the tensions in these situations.

You can download all the slides here; and don’t forget to do the “test” and get your name in the frame for the £2,500 BravoSolution scholarship, and the end of year dinner, for the best test scores across the year..!

 And finally I’ll leave you with  Guy’s final thoughts and advice to us;

  1. Know your numbers
  2. Communicate
  3. Develop an Opportunity Assessment for the New Organisation
  4. Be a Leader Not a Follower
  5. Exploit the Spirit of Change


(The last of this year’s Real World Sourcing events is on November  27th when I will be talking about “Procurement Transformation – Myth or Reality”?   A big topic... and there are a few places left so book here for a nominal fee ).

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