Legal Awards 2015
LEGAL awards Company: Midaxo Name: Kalle Kilpi Email: kalle.kilpi(@)midaxo.com Telephone: +1 (617) 500-7096
Acquisitions have become a key method for companies to grow and transform. Therefore, it is no wonder that there is a huge pressure on M&A to take a quantum leap into becoming a mature, continuously improving process, producing consistent results. Shortcomings in M&A process management practices While there often is a small, dedicated M&A team, most people are only temporarily assigned to M&A projects. Therefore, they are able to evaluate acquisition targets on a quite superficial level. After their assignment is over, they take all the knowledge they have accumulated and it needs to be created again for the next project. Deal leads then have to spend an enormous effort just to guide the newly assembled team through the process, rather than focusing on deal-specific objectives or continuously improving and accumulating their knowledge. The same mistakes are made repeatedly, and expensive external advisors are used to foster an adequate skill level in the team rather than using their time on giving truly value-added advice. In M&A process management practices there can be shortcomings such as no systematic and constantly improving approach, no centralized source of reference, information sharing relies on phone conversations, emails, hallway conversations, and insecurely shared files, and the best practice playbooks and checklists do not translate into reality. Digital M&A enables a new way of working M&A is being reinvented as the internet and software enable new ways of working, and one of the key players leading this field is Midaxo, trailblazing a whole new niche of players that are now focused on cloud-based software for M&A and corporate development. These new software suites provide end-to-end solutions for M&A. They can be used to accumulate process best practices, centralize all M&A information, guide projects from start to finish, generate reports, and facilitate collaboration. Digital M&A is an umbrella term for this new way of working, combining people and processes with a modern technology platform. Jay Plueger, VP of Strategic Initiatives at AvidXchange, shares his experience on using the Midaxo platform. â€œNot having multiple spreadsheets throughout the company has let us become more efficient in tracking M&A activity and strategic partnerships, and allows us to share that information across multiple departments. One of the key things is that it allows us to create a reusable playbook for each new acquisition target and each new integration.â€? As information becomes centralized, management becomes easier. These platforms can capture experience from the changing M&A teams and deal advisors, which can be used to systematize the process, help make better judgments on acquisitions, and avoid reinventing the wheel. Companies have tried to use due diligence (DD) checklists and M&A playbooks to provide a standard for the acquisition process, but usually these are understood only by the in-house M&A expert or the consultants who wrote them. A modern M&A platform can transform static playbooks into interactive project plans, which can be easily customized to meet the needs of individual projects. Compared to Excel sheets with hundreds of checks, these provide a visual presentation of the phases, key deliverables, functional streams, and individual tasks. Rather than overloading team members with information, these platforms allow a more detailed guidance. Best practices, document templates, and any deal documents are easily on hand when needed. Precise instructions make teams more productive and reduce hassle So, how does this look to a team member working on an acquisition? For them, the acquisition process is clearly presented along with task assignments, guidance, and access to the relevant documents. Team members receive sophisticated instructions regarding what they should pay attention to and why. This allows them to understand the big picture and what is expected from them. More time can be spent on reviewing material and producing analysis. Team members can also record any findings and observations in the system rather than writing long reports. For the project manager, the system can provide real-time reports of what has been done, learnings, and what analysis has been produced. The system can also automate some basic project management tasks like sending task reminders and follow-ups. Quantum leap in M&A productivity An M&A platform significantly improves efficiency by making new team members productive much faster with less training and more focus. They enjoy greater freedom to work more independently, and they still provide a consistently high standard of work. Directors can scale teams with confidence, use new resources in the team, engage in deals that are more complex, and automate much of the basic project management work. They can use consultants for more strategic and higher value-added advice. Furthermore, having a process that is being continuously improved ensures that the company accumulates organizational M&A capabilities even if the individuals change. This is key because M&A teams start learning from past cases and avoid the same mistakes. Over time, this organizational knowledge will translate into a real competitive advantage. Who is Kalle Kilpi? Kalle leads product design at Midaxo and is interested in ways of making M&A more efficient and successful. He studied management and information systems and has had the opportunity to work with top-tier clients. At Midaxo, he works hard to link cutting-edge M&A processes with the latest enabling technologies.