An Efficient Merger Through Communal Delegation
Founder and President at OTODO
"After quite a lot of financial investment, a group of investors organized the acquisition of some cable operators in France. In order to reorganize, I was appointed as the COO for the five cable operator companies. When I stepped into this position, I discovered that during the lengthy acquisition process, many employees left the companies. For most operations, it became impossible to run the company because not enough people remained. Since these companies were not competing against one another, but rather running the same business over different geographical areas, a 'simple' merge would be the solution to having enough people to run a single business. So I had to figure out how to organize this merging process, which is one of the toughest challenges I have had to face in my professional life."
"My first action was to create a compact management team around me that could control the operation. I convinced some people that I already knew to join the team and added some others from within the existing companies. I gave them part of the hierarchal responsibility for the different sectors that would be involved across all five companies, immediately putting them in an operational situation of management to maintain control over the business. We decided very quickly to merge the information systems as a way for the team to organize all of the companies together. We put in a project to migrate the information systems, and at the same time, externalize some activities such as customer care. I gave the responsibility of part of the project to the same ones who were already in charge of organizing the people within the five companies."
- "After 6 months, the results were quite good. We managed to select the most powerful information system amongst five companies and migrate the other four to that. We were able to build an operational way to maintain the business of five companies into one single system. It was really the key to then run the operation with a limited number of people and common subcontractors."
- "This communal way of approaching this, giving to a reduced team both people and project management, is a great strategy to be efficient, even for large organizations."
- "Due to my intense focus on the merger, and moving it along as quickly as possible with the aim of reaching the target, I realize that I didn't give enough attention to the quality of customer care during this period. The lesson I took from this is that even if you have such a big change in your hands, you must carefully monitor the customer quality, relationship, and reaction. We lost too many customers during this time, just because the only thing I cared about was going fast, confident that the quality would improve once we had made the merger. But customers don't wait for you!"
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