At IST Discover-E, we have years of experience helping our clients with their eDiscovery needs along with full scale legal support management systems.  We are expert in creating and customizing eDiscovery processes that best fit our client’s needs and expectations.  Our model is uniquely transparent, easy to understand and effective in aiding our clients get the decision they want for their clients.

Pitfall: Communication

Communication challenges are the top factor that causes company synergies in a merger to fail. Communicating with employees, empowering them and creating a culture for them to thrive are all fundamental parts to any organization’s success. When mergers and acquisitions occur, employees and management are generally left in the dark. Fear and lack of answers deter top management from providing the information that employees need to redirect their actions in the merged company.

 

Further, many M&A deals have retention issues, which result from negative attitudes felt by employees.This can include uncertainty about the future of the organization's direction, job security, perceptions of lack of leadership credibility and feelings of confusion due to lack of communication. In essence, employees often lose trust in their organization and feel betrayed by their leadership.

 

Lack of communication creates distrust and uncertainty in the workplace, leading to lower employee engagement levels and decreased performance for customers.

Pitfall: Culture

M&A’s usually occur because financial and business rationale add up, but fail to realize the cultural implications that may occur. It's easy to assume M&A’s can be a purely mechanical and scientific process. However, the people aspect of any deal is always critical as they bring shifts in management practices and strategies, which can have negative effects on the people at the organization. A sudden shift in these practices, brings disruption and palpable unease to a company.

 

Culture is the long-standing implicitly shared values, beliefs and assumptions that influence the behavior, attitudes and mission in an organization.

Pitfall: Resource Availability

The M&A sales pitch always includes making sure an organization is driving towards operational excellence in the most critical, highest value-creating areas, while leading sales to deliver quick wins in order to generate and sustain positive momentum and gain engaged followers. But where do existing Customers fit in?

 

An M&A deal is a process, not a one-time event and in almost any situation there is a small set of actions that will have the greatest impact on the customers. Ensuring that the same or better resources are allocated to existing Customers is an uphill battle. The pomp of being bigger and better can often drown out the needs of faithful customers. Equally, managers of companies undergoing M&As may find it impossible to allocate the right resources to the right places in the right way amidst all the bluster.

 IST Discover-E White Paper:

The Balancing Act: 5 Pitfalls of Doing Business with Organizations Undergoing Mergers & Acquisitions

Globalization and a fast changing technology landscape have all influenced decisions to merge by major players in the competitive eDiscovery field. With dreams of being “bigger and better,” the business behind mergers and acquisitions (M&As) is exceedingly complex and the question must be asked: who really wins? When a company is acquired or when companies merge, the decision is typically based on a product or market fit, but existing customers and employees providing services to them are often ignored.

It's no secret that mergers tend to fail. Historically, roughly two thirds lose value on the stock market. The motivation that drives M&A’s can be flawed and, in many cases, the problems associated with trying to make merged companies work are all too concrete. If you are a current customer of an organization undergoing M&A’s with the promise of bigger and better things, please take the following five customer service pitfalls in M&A’s to heart:

Pitfall: Customer Focus

M&A deals large and small cause interruptions and alter an organization’s focus, mission and goals. Customer’s of an organization undergoing M&A’s must do added diligence to make sure they know what matters to them in the deal and why. If the M&A is going to allow an organization to serve some customers better than the entities could do separately, walk away. Especially if the M&A explicitly directs an organization’s core competencies away from the services currently under contract.

 

Pitfall: Service Levels

Both leaders and customers of companies undergoing M&A’s assume service levels will continue to evolve as they have done. They won’t. A merger brings major organizational changes, which can lead to stress, anxiety, role conflict or to the feeling of not being treated fairly for people at all levels. These feelings often impact the performance of the employees and affect future service levels at the organization.

 

  • There is a 23% increase in “actively disengaged employees” after a change event – even if no one’s job is affected.
  • It takes about three years to return to pre-merger engagement levels.

Ultimately, no matter how much bigger an organization is, or great the technology suite may be, if employees aren’t provided an environment where they can provide great service, the customers are the ones that typically end up regretting it. IST Discover-E is one of several legal support solutions offered by IST Management Services, the largest independently owned Business Process Outsourcing company in the US. Since being founded in in Atlanta, GA we have zero ties to venture capital and have no plans to be involved in any M&A deals. Our core business has always been providing integrated software and professional support services with specialization on corporate and legal clients. Further, IST provides National support of our eDiscovery services with experts in eDiscovery recruited from AM Law Top 100 firms. Our Project Managers are excellent not just for their expertise in managing eDiscovery projects but also for their attention to our client’s needs throughout a project lifecycle.

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