What Is Post-merger Integration?
Post-merger Integration (PMI) is the process of combining the operations, processes, systems, and cultures of 2 or more organizations that have recently merged or been acquired. PMI typically involves several key activities, such as identifying and rationalizing overlapping or redundant functions, integrating systems and processes, and aligning cultures and values.
The goal of Post-merger Integration is to create a single, integrated organization that can leverage the strengths and capabilities of the individual organizations—and that can operate more efficiently and effectively than the separate organizations did previously, thus resulting in significant Cost Reduction and/or Revenue Growth.
As one can imagine, the Post-merger Integration process is complex and challenging. It requires careful planning, coordination, and execution. That is why the majority of mergers and acquisitions fail to realize the projected Synergies and Value Creation objectives.
Numerous challenges exist in PMI, which include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Aligning Cultures and Values: One of the biggest challenges of PMI is aligning the Corporate Cultures and Values of the individual organizations. Each organization may have its own unique Culture and set of Values. These may not always be compatible with those of the other organization. This can lead to conflicts, misunderstandings, and other challenges; and can make it difficult to create a single, integrated culture.
- Rationalizing Overlapping or Redundant Functions: Another notable challenge of PMI is rationalizing overlapping or redundant functions. Often, when 2 organizations merge or are acquired, they will have similar or identical functions, such as Marketing, Corporate Finance, HR, IT, etc. These functions must be evaluated and consolidated in order to avoid duplication and inefficiency, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. This also lends itself to political wargames, as different leaders are now fighting to power, headcount, and survival.
- Integrating Systems and Processes: Often, the organizations will have different systems and processes in place. These disparate entities must be integrated in order to create a single, coherent operation. This can be a complex and technical process. It can require significant time, resources, and political acumen to accomplish.
- Managing Change and Resistance: All great changes are always meant with even greater resistance. This is why following best practices in Change Management is crucial. The process of integrating 2 organizations is expected to be disruptive and unsettling for employees—and will undoubtedly lead to resistance and pushback. This can make it difficult to implement the necessary changes and improvements; and can hinder the overall success of the PMI process. To aid in this process, oftentimes organizations will hire experienced management consultants who have led PMI efforts in similar settings.