Key Questions Clients Ask
Growing an IT Services business – be it organic growth or strategic acquisition – is not easy. IT Services firms who consider Growth by Acquisition ask serious questions and need serious answers. Cogent Growth Partners has the M&A and Operational expertise to address these concerns.
How do we prepare for rapid growth?
Our philosophy is that best way to build a sizeable organization that is efficient and highly profitable is to begin with a smaller organization that is efficient and highly profitable from the outset. This ensures a smooth integration of acquired businesses and lays a foundation for long-term success and profitability.
Cogent Growth Partners’ Operational Experts have developed a library of Best Practices over their years of experience working in and with IT Services businesses. These include benchmarks of best-in-class performance as well as tools, models, templates and methodologies for addressing a wide range of operational and management functions.
We begin every client relationship with a Business Assessment to identify opportunities for optimization, with particular focus on identifying where we can have the fastest direct impact. We then work with each client to develop a long-term action plan to address identified opportunities. Our Operational Experts work with clients on an ongoing basis to execute these initiatives, providing coaching, best practice sharing and hands-on, project-oriented consulting. All of this is focused on our shared ultimate goal: to enable our client to maximize efficiency, cash flow and business value.
How do we assess how well a perspective acquisition candidate’s operations will mesh with ours?
Every target has a story of what they do and how they do it. But finding out what’s really going on behind the scenes is a crucial part of evaluating each acquisition. Cogent Growth Partners’ Operational Experts have tremendous depth and breadth with all aspects of IT Services businesses. Our past and ongoing experience allows us to quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of any target you consider. We perform expert Operational Due Diligence on potential targets quickly and accurately.
There are multiple valid and effective ways to approach specific functions within IT Services businesses. So when looking at an acquisition, it isn’t enough to assess whether your target is effective at what they do. We also need to consider how their operations are similar or dissimilar from the way your firm does things, including both operational and cultural considerations. Over time, it is essential that your firm rationalize acquired operations into your existing operations. In some cases, you may adopt Best Practices from the firm you acquire, in other cases, you’ll migrate from their approach to yours. Either way, our Operational Experts know how to identify those decision points and help you understand what will be involved in migrating your new customers into your existing business.
How will we integrate acquired operations?
So we’ve acquired a business. Now what?
Our Operational Experts have extensive experience in building, scaling and streamlining IT Services businesses, including integration of acquired operations. We begin our work during the acquisition cycle, performing Operational Due Diligence to make sure we understand what’s really going on within the target operation.
We also work with our clients on operational integration planning, asking the right questions to make sure every facet of the integration is considered before the deal closes. We help you understand potential risks and develop contingency plans, with special focus on making integration transparent to your existing customers and elegant for the customers that come over in the acquisition. We help build a sound integration plan – including risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies – for each acquisition. Once the deal is closed, we remain hands on in helping to manage and – in some cases – execute the integration plan we helped establish.
This approach lets our clients leverage our expertise and experience before, during and after every acquisition. The result is maintenance or improvement of service levels to customers, a faster and smoother integration, faster time to maximum cash flow, and reduced risk to the business overall.
How do we scale operations as the company grows?
Every company understands the concept of “growing pains”. Cogent Growth Partners’ Operational Experts are experienced in building and scaling IT Services operations. We can identify potential bottlenecks and pain points before they emerge, and help clients build plans for scaling operations before growing pains manifest themselves.
We have expertise in building scalable processes, platforms, and staffing models. We leverage the principals of Business Process Management to improve process definition and service consistency. We develop and deliver training to communicate changes to processes and procedures internally, and to help staff refine critical soft skills. Our expertise in Human Factors/Change Management helps enroll client staff to accept and accommodate changes to their company and their jobs, all while maintaining or improving levels of service to end customers.