Coming out of the first year of the merger, what new opportunities should the new “Defining Entity” pursue in order to grow business? EDS Market Strengths ? Heath care ? Insurance ? Communications ? Electronics ? Aerospace ? Defense industries A. T. Kearney Market Strengths ? Manufacturing ? Consumer products ? Transportation ? Chemical pharmaceuticals Combined Strengths ? Automotive ? Financial services ? Energy ? Retail
When companies combine/merge the whole objective is to gain new opportunities, gain market share, grow the business, to become more innovative and to improve product offerings, utilizing/sharing the existing resources and data. From the case study the company has already been successful in proving that their merger was a win, win. Already they have leveraged off each other by gaining the Rolls-Royce account which would fall under a combined strength category, they were able to provide together more services to Rolls-Royce that individually they previously could not offer.
Why these opportunities, and why did I decide this, because each company already possesses and provides services and strengths in individual fields, and has a history of established relationships within given market segments. It is obvious that by combining the two companies, both companies have deepened and widened their new customer opportunity base. They can now unite and build off these pre existing strengths and relationships with more to offer and become the one stop shopping entity that they strives to be. They now also have the opportunity to engage and play in each others sandboxes to say.
Not only can they leverage off each other’s existing customers they now have the opportunity to gain new and, competitor’s customers, based on the fact that they now have more to offer then their competition in both arenas. If I was Brian Harrison, I would immediately put in place a team consisting of members from each company that would utilize and compile existing data to come up with a list of who are our customers are today, who are our top customers, why are they our customers, what services do they obtain from us today, what services can we provide for them tomorrow now that we are one company.
What customers generate the most revenue, why are they loyal to us, does it have to do with price, commitment, quality of service or maybe our technology. Who is our competition what services do they provide that we don’t and how do they market them. This information would provide the company with a strategic target market. How would you sell into each new opportunity you identified? What sales approach or customer interface strategy would you use? Based on the above data collection the sales force could identify which customers to go after first.
Our sales approach would be “one stop shopping”, not only can we consult you on better practices, we have a team to implement them. Just think of the time and money your company would save, purchasing would only have to cut one PO, your staff would only have to deal with one company. We could provide services for your company that would allow you to cut your overhead, bottom line savings would be enormous across the board. I would have international sales meetings, combining all sales personal from each company.
I would split them up in cross functional workshops to strategize and gain an insight of what works in their marketplace with their customers and how, why, where and when. Cross the board training would have to be a must, each sales personal would have to learn as much as they could about the others business. Sales people would have to engage in workshops that promote trust between each other, “Only when salespeople trust and respect each other can they successfully work together towards a common goal. ” (pg 330).
Then based on that information the Marketing team would have to come up with ideal marketing strategies to sell our combined services. Tools would be provided such as websites and manuals to answer each industries questions and start building relationships and merging into one company. I would then break them into territories two by two, manager to manager, bringing the other to customer meetings not only selling their original piece but the whole concept of our combined solutions. Utilizing the expertise of the other to gain the customers loyalty and commitment that we are the best company that can offer you more bang for you buck.
EDS acquired “one of the world’s largest and most respected global management consulting firms” (pg 524). This is on A. T. Kearney’s website “ A. T. Kearney is a global team of forward-thinking, collaborative partners that delivers immediate, meaningful results and a long-term transformational advantage to our clients and colleagues. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors on CEO-agenda issues to the world’s leading organizations across all major industries and sectors. ” http://www. atkearney. com. It would be an epic failure for both companies if EDS and A. T. Kearney could not make this merger work.
What sales management implications would the new “Defining Entity” face in getting the sales job done? As with every new merger, comes the combining of what the case referrers to as ego’s or individual company cultures. EDS has more international business then A. T. Kearney trying to merge on an international level would defiantly create several roadblocks. What maybe acceptable in one company, of course may not be acceptable in another. For example what happens if one of those companies goes by a strict code of ethics, while the other does not always follow those rules, this will quickly cause a conflict, especially in the sales world.
Would one company want their customers approached in an un-ethical way, what kind of reputation is this new company supposes to reflect to their customers? What happens if one company is all commission based while the other company believes in a base salary with a company car, commissions and bonuses? How would management work together to overcome such obstacles, what are the education levels of one company over another, in this case your bringing a bunch of IT systems personal and mixing them with those selling solutions to management personal.
After extensive training the sales people from the other company still can not fully connect on how to sell your services or concepts. Once culture has their customer service and organization set up on one set of systems and your company is on another, how do you make them talk as one, work as one? Sometimes more manual labor is incurred in trying to integrate these companies. For instance at Carestream Health I have to manually give one of our Distributors – Quantum invoice information so they can bill their customer, our systems do not work together and because of cost they probably will not for a long time.
What is the cost of training everyone and how. Management styles could be completely different; one company uses hands off approach, while the other is a complete hand on organization. How can they combine two sales forces and make them one, to have the same goals to accept the same compensation plan, that could be lower or higher then they are used to. Management would have to face so many internal and external obstacles while trying to reflect a smooth transitional merger to the customer. A consistent set of reports and data collection would have to be done to make sure the merger is benefiting the companies.
Regular monitoring of how a business is performing is also important to determine if goals and objectives are being met. In conclusion if the merger produces the revenue, growth and success that the two companies were striving for, then it was well worth the many avenues it took to get there. References A. T. Kearney’s Retrieved On November 11, 2012 http://www. atkearney. com http://www. albanyhardware. com Spiro, R. L. , Rich, G. A. , & Stanton, W. J. (2012). Management of a sales force. (12th ed. ). McGraw-Hill