Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Jan-Feb 2016 Contents knapp.com
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successful. There is a greater need, therefore,
to position human resources as a strategic due
The involvement of HR as a strategic and due
diligence partner can be of enormous advantage
in facilitating this process, but only if they
possess specific understanding and tools that
are unique to the M&A environment.
Members of the HR team should possess
the following behaviours and capabilities:
collaborative team player; proactive; analytical
and detail-oriented; ability to work in an
ambiguous environment; ability to work under
pressure of time constraints, conflicting
priorities and agendas; broad knowledge of HR;
strong communication skills.
They need to have prior experience that will
prepare them for an M&A activity. Examples
of how this can be evidenced in their
employment experience at the selection stage
is as follows:
• Leadership of a functional area that is
impacted by M&A activity.
• Project management for an enterprise-wide
• Ownership of profit and loss or budget.
• Membership of an international and cross
functional project team.
• Alternatively, being an employee of an
acquired or spun-off organisation.
A strategic HR approach can take the lead in
activities that will ensure a smooth integration.
By channelling the skills of enthusiastic
employees, merging the intellectual capital of
both organisations and streamlining the way the
new business operates, it can rapidly overcome
hurdles and maximise synergies.
Examples of a top-down of approach that
a HR leadership can activate in times of a
1. Mobilising integration planning around value
2. Identifying and prioritising ‘Day One’
business-critical events that relate to value.
3. Review the transaction strategy and identify
4. Conduct ‘truth-testing’ vertical workshops that
focus on maximising value events.
5. Analyse people, processes and technology
critical to each value event.
Another aspect that can create problems
in a merger involves branding. The factors
influencing brand decisions in a merger or
acquisition transaction can range from ego,
political to tactical. Employee branding for the
new entity will need to be carefully considered
as an integral part of the talent retention and
In conclusion, success or failure all
starts at the beginning, on day one. To
survive the challenges of post-merger
integration, it is imperative that due thought
and considerations are given to the critical
junctions of the new business that are at the
heart of its activity: its people.
A strong human resources strategy with
consideration to the key principles of leadership,
organisational design, talent retention strategies,
communication and cultural alignment need
to be formulated. This process needs to
start right from the beginning of the M&A
process and be well formulated by its legal
conclusion, so that it is ready for roll-out
cohesively from day one. As straightforward
and logical as these considerations may sound,
in the frenzy of activity that usually follows a
merger announcement, even simple things
can be difficult to remember and execute.
Clearly, however, history has shown us that
the companies that focus on these issues are
the ones that have the most success. A timely
reminder in this period of industry consolidation!
Darryl Judd is the chief operating officer of
the Logistics Executive Group.
SUPPLY CHAIN 41
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