Streamlining Merger/Acquisition Strategies & Sales Operations at a Rapidly Growing Diagnostic Lab Services Provider

Growing a company so fast that it needs to catch up to itself may be the best problem a business can have – but a problem nonetheless. See how a rapidly growing diagnostic lab services provider streamlined its M & A, sales, and business processes to support its own expansion – and saved $3 million in the first six months after working with the Optia Group.

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Customer Profile & Background

A leading diagnostic lab services provider had been experiencing rapid growth over a four-year period. The company was growing its headcount, services, and resources quickly both through organic success and through acquisition of smaller laboratory networks.

While significant growth in a short time period is a goal of any company, the diagnostic lab services provider also discovered that rapid expansion and change presents challenges as well.

Challenges

Despite the management and senior leadership teams’ tremendous savvy, their bandwidth had been completely exhausted as a result of the company’s fast growth. With many facets of the business being stretched to the limits, they realized they needed significant operational guidance and tactical support to streamline frequent mergers/acquisitions that were causing company-wide operational challenges.

Specifically, the organization needed expertise related to:

  • Standardizing business processes and systems, including the elimination of legacy manual reporting systems that were a source of lost productivity, time, and money.
  • Building a foundation to support continued growth by implementing a more standardized, systematic, and well-documented process for streamlining mergers/acquisitions.
  • Optimizing sales processes, as the lack of consistency across sales teams were a cause for confusion and frustration, and also inhibited revenue forecasting.

Solution

The diagnostic lab services provider partnered with the Optia Group to evaluate their business and establish tactical and strategic recommendations to address lacking areas.

Assessment Phase
The Optia Group began by performing an assessment during which the team analyzed the current people, processes, and systems. The assessment process also evaluated the process for bringing a recently acquired organization into the larger parent company.

The assessment phase lasted four weeks and involved members of the corporate and field leadership teams, as well as multiple third-party firms supporting the client in the areas of systems, recruiting, billing, and sales.

The result was a roadmap that included tactical and strategic recommendations. Tactical recommendations were actions intended to begin within 90 days, while strategic recommendations were to start after 90 days. Below is an outline of some of the Optia Group’s recommendations.

Internal & External Communication Recommendations

  • Tactical: Increase communication with field teams, who seemingly felt disenfranchised, and with customers, who were confused during the phase of merger/acquisition.
  • Strategic: Develop an on-going change management and communications role within a program team to support frequent communication about the growth of the company and merger/acquisition related details.

Sales Optimization Recommendations

  • Tactical: Develop a strategy using standardized tools to ensure positive customer experiences during merger/acquisition phases, including eliminating service disruption, multiple bills, and confusion related to which location to use for service once an acquisition took place.
  • Strategic: Provide standard product information and sales talking points to sales team, and move the entire team to a single CRM platform.

Systems Recommendations

  • Tactical: Consolidate help desk for systems issues into one number to reduce confusion.
    • Develop quick reference cards to bridge the timeline until systems were consolidated.
  • Strategic: Build enterprise process to evaluate current systems and then manage process to consolidate.
    • Leverage a program office to evaluate change requests and prioritize work lists and spend against business priorities.

People & Processes Recommendations

  • Tactical: Develop a “Go To” team responsible for site visits to work with newly acquired or problem locations.
    • The team’s goal was to capture issues, provide face to face contact with the teams, and jointly develop a strategy and communication channel with local management for dealing with the issues, problems, and concerns.
  • Strategic: Develop enterprise processes and integrated tool sets to support operations.
    • Create an operations team overseeing regional shared service team that report to the corporate operations group to help support consistency and streamlined operations.

The client engaged the Optia Group for three additional implementation phases to address many of these strategic and tactical recommendations.

Results

Within six months of the start of the initiative, $3 million in cost savings was realized through consolidated processes and reduction in duplicated efforts.

Within 18 months of the strategic initiative being launched, customer service incidents and calls (both internal and external) were reduced by 30%.

The time needed to integrate a newly acquired organization was reduced from 12-14 months to 6-8 months.

Conclusion

Mergers and acquisitions can be confusing for all levels of an organization, from senior leadership to new employees and customers. Streamlining this process begins with an objective, aggressive look into an organization’s operations.

The Optia Group’s business process optimization expertise helps companies of all sizes diagnose their problems and provide solutions to improve business functions.

The Optia Group was proud to offer business process, merger/acquisition, and sales optimization expertise to this rapidly growing diagnostic lab services provider, and expect to work with them again in the future.