“ Whether it ’ s an acquisition or merger , ask yourself why you are doing it .
Is it just to extend services ? Does it fully or vertically integrate you with your customers ? Or make doing business with you more sticky ? What value are you hoping to add to your customers by doing on it ?”
Our team members are really starting to embrace this . We are excited about the possibilities .”
Lessons from the OnTrac Consolidation
Dinneen shares four lessons from the OnTrac / LaserShip rebrand that he believes can be useful :
1 ) Know why you ’ re doing the deal – “ Whether it ’ s an acquisition or merger , ask yourself why you are doing it . Is it just to extend services ? Does it fully or vertically integrate you with your customers ? Or make doing business with you more sticky ? What value are you hoping to add to your customers by doing on it ?” he says .
2 ) Create a plan and stick to it – “ It ’ s your job to set the vision for where the company is going , establish clear expectations , and hold people accountable ,” says Dinneen . “ Communication is a major part of this . You need to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands what you are working towards . Then , they need to regularly come together to ensure everyone is executing on the tasks they own and staying on schedule .”
3 ) Make the tough people-related decisions sooner rather than later – “ Having done a couple of these , I ’ m very much aware of how tough these decisions can be ,” says Dinneen . “ But that experience has made me more rigorous about making these decisions before the consolidation takes place because I ’ ve seen how these issues can cause delay . If you ’ ve been running a business for 10-plus years , you probably have some folks who were with you from the beginning . They are very loyal , and you tend to want to keep them on because of that loyalty . That may or may not be a good idea . I ’ m not saying they can ’ t be part of the new entity , but you must acknowledge that some people can ’ t make the shift . Some people will , inevitably , not be the right fit for moving forward , and you need to acknowledge that and move on it before too long .”
4 ) Get the right consultants and be clear about what they will and won ’ t do – “ You need to use outside consultants to make this process work because you don ’ t want it to disrupt your business ,” Dinneen advises . “ You still need to keep operating , and having help from those who ’ ve done this before can help do that and make the transition less disruptive . But you must make their roles clear . Who is going to do what ? What ’ s the timeline ? What do you need to provide them to get it done ?”
In the end , Dinneen summarizes his advice for those considering an acquisition or merger this way : “ A successful acquisition / merger / consolidation comes down to communication , accountability , and leadership . Ask tough questions , think carefully through the process , and make sure you have the right teams in place to help you stay on track . Set your vision , communicate it to your team , and lead through collaboration .” CLDA
20 customized logistics & delivery Magazine I summer 2023