Mergers & Acquisitions – the perfect environment for automation
We’re firm believers that automation can improve most data-heavy and laborious processes. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) may not be the first process you think of when considering a digital transformation for your organization but due to the vast quantities of data involved, automation and M&As are a very natural fit.
According to Investopedia, M&As can take anywhere between six months if all goes smoothly and several years if complications arise.
M&As often mean departments get combined post-merger and the impact of a merger will affect every division in one way or another; arguably the IT team are among the hardest hit. Best practice to ensure a smooth transition is to keep key IT personnel the same throughout, while this is a solid advice it is not always possible in practice. If there are unexpected changes in the team or increased workload leading to overwhelmed staff this can cause delays and mistakes. Automation can ensure consistency without relying on the human team.
For many organizations, M&As are part of everyday business and there could be a team who are well versed in and unphased by the experience; for others it is a new, daunting and intimidating time with many unknowns. Whatever the situation may be, the entire process can be made easier, faster and more enjoyable by using automation in a couple of areas, which we will outline and discuss here.
Protect and improve data handling with bots
This is a big one. The merging of two companies involves handling a lot of important and sensitive information without losing data or exposing it unnecessarily. The below tasks have large volumes, are highly repetitive and monotonous. In short, they are dull jobs for your human workforce but perfect for bots and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
See also: Could automation protect company culture and productivity?
In an effort to pinpoint the areas of complexity in M&As, Deloitte found the following data tasks which would lend themselves well to automation:
- Data extraction and mapping – getting data safely and securely from multiple systems is a huge undertaking, moving this data to new systems can also be very time consuming
- Handling sensitive information – when this is managed manually there is the possibility of human error which puts private records at risk and could pose an issue for adhering to certain regulations
- Manual data entry – this is also time consuming, repetitive and leaves room for human error
The common themes for the above tasks are how long they can take and how the records need to remain secure and accurate. RPA will eliminate the possibility of human error, keeping records 100% accurate and significantly increasing the speed of which data is moved from original systems to new environments.
Streamlining processes with Business Process Automation (BPA)
Information Week state that ‘RPA focuses on automating tasks, BPA focuses on automating the process that task is part of.’
Bringing together two companies can be challenging. It is likely there will be two methods of running separate processes, perhaps using different software which may not be compatible with one another. The ultimate need is to consolidate the two ways of doing things into one. This will give the new merged entity the best support for running the business efficiently. Easier said than done? Not necessarily.
In an effort to streamline, using a solution like BPA can do the analysis and planning heavy lifting, allowing staff the time to focus on leading new teams, learning new systems and building relationships with colleagues and customers. BPA could help provide an overview of the current situation, identify common themes between systems and suggest areas of improvement for end to end processes.
Hopefully, this has provided food for thought on the potential of automation in the context of Mergers and Acquisitions. Our aim was to show how, when used effectively, automation will make the experience manageable; from removing human errors to speeding up the life cycle of the overall process and therefore saving money.
See also: Cognitive Solutions in Business Efficiency and Performance
We’d love to hear about your experience with automation, continue the conversation with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org