M&A Integration Day 1

M&A Integration Day 1

Day 1 Overview

Day 1 is a key stepping stone to ensuring that an integration delivers maximum value and minimum disruption.  It requires a clear focus on critical items, communication with all stakeholders and interim processes that ensure it is “business as usual”.

Given the inherent stresses that will occur across all stakeholders, it can be a challenging time for your teams if they do not have successful integrations experience (and sometimes even if they do), a clear detailed Day 1 plan is essential.

You should understand and deliver clear, relevant Communications, with all stakeholders. These stakeholders will be concerned about the impact on their own businesses (suppliers and customers), and their jobs. Good communication will ensure they support your business during integration and beyond.

Functions such as Finance, HR, IT, Procurement, Facilities have to ensure that systems run, items flow in, processes and controls are in place and the lights will stay on Day 1 and beyond.

Sales and Marketing, are responsible for ensuring a seamless Day 1 for the sales force and customers alike. Taking immediate action on risks and ensuring growth can start.

Day 1 tools and checklists should be used to ensure good, reliable, stress tested detailed Day 1 plans are in place, ensuring all objectives are met.

M&A Integration Day 1 Planning

Day 1 Planning

Day 1 is a key stepping stone to ensuring that an integration delivers maximum value and minimum disruption, but, it requires a clear focus on essential deliverables, communication with all stakeholders and interim processes that ensure that externally it is seen as “business as usual” whilst internally everyone is clear on how to deliver this. Given the inherent stresses that will occur with all stakeholders, external and internal, Day 1 is a challenging task for your teams if they do not have the experience of integrations (and sometimes even if they do), a clear detailed plan is essential.

Communications, with all stakeholders, ensuring uninterrupted supplier and customer interfaces. These stakeholders will be concerned about the impact on their own businesses, good communication will ensure they support your business during integration and beyond.

Your people, communication internally has to ensure that they are fully engaged, have clear direction on the RACI Management structure (who makes decisions). Your people, from senior management throughout the organisation, will be delivering Day 1 they must be fully informed and work safely (maintain focus).
Functions such as Finance, HR, IT have to ensure that systems run, adequate controls are in place (purchases, sales and costs are accurately recorded and reported, limits of authority are clear and workable).

Procurement and Sales/marketing, process changes (i.e. invoicing details, new entity information) and responsibilities have to be fully functional and ensuring business is seamless.



Getting the people part of the deal right is critical, and the first day we own the company is the first time we get to see them and they see us.

The first thing is to ensure leadership is in place, is aligned and heading off in the same direction. Who will we loose on purpose and who by accident. What reporting changes will there be on Day 1 and what is the organisation structure.

Integration workstreams need to be ramped up and resourced from both organisations, as well as ensuring Business as usual continues along side any people changes that may occur.

Ensuring the business continues running, are the basics in place. Payroll, IT systems, data issues, transition orientation, employee contracts, talent assessments, retention, new hire plans and onboarding.

People – leadership clarification

Ensuring leadership is in place at all point of the organisation, organisation structures are clear together with budgets and authority levels. Where changes are to take place, these may need to be planned in detail.

People – Executive Alignment Workshop

Now that everyone is in place, we will need workshops to ensure all the executives to be pointing in the same direction from both companies. Everyone needs to have a common understanding of the deal, current and future objectives, rules and regulations around the integration process.

People – incentivisation

We need to ensure that we understand what we want each person or group of people to be doing, where we want them to be pointing, KPI’s or targets and incentivise them correctly for this. Across the range of different outcomes each person or group may face through the different phases of the integration.


People – Employee look and feel and welcome

There is a whole bucket of planning work to decide what we want Day 1 to look like for the employee and then how to deliver that.



Finance is another important part of Day 1. as we purchase a company we become financially liable for it. All the money, people, assets, IP, products, services, dept, liabilities, law suits are ours.

Financial Control & Reporting

We need to take control of the company financially and understand what is going on over there. Could someone write a cheque on Day 1 and take our money? who can sign off on sales contracts, new branding, new sales documents. Who can sign off budget spend for the integration items?

We also need to know what is going on in the business day to day and month by month. Understanding Management reporting and translating it into our language.


Sales & Marketing

Growth starts on Day 1 as does the uncertainty of what will happen to the Sales and Marketing people, products or services and customers. Day 1 is when competitors start to create more problems than usually, when we should be communicating with customers and ensuring we minimise losses and disruption.

Creating one sales force that works together rather than competing, thought understanding the overlap and creating clear rules of engagement and Day 1 internal and external communications plans. Organisation charts, customer accountability for the interim state and when an end state will be reached.

Our aim is sales force clarity and customer clarity.

What team am I on now?
Who is my manager?
Which of my accounts are shared with Equinix
When will we have clarity on long-term account assignments?
What prospect are assigned to me?
Do I have the same compensation plan and for how long?
How do I sell in joint accounts and where can I go to help me with this?


Day 1 Transition team workshop

The integration team, needs a meeting or workshop to get them going, as of Day 1 all parts of the organisation can start working together and this needs to be co-ordinated correctly.

Key process owners and functional leaders should define the most relevant actions to focus on, who will do this work and by when. Discuss control of the acquired company and that appropriate controls are in place. Learn of any immediate critical business issues that need to be addressed, and check high level risks and resolve. Review risk of loosing key customers, employees, productivity, operations effectiveness

Day 1 Plan Creation

You need to create a plan for Day 1 (we have a check list which proves useful), also ensure critical actions, issues and dependencies are flagged, planed, approved, assigned accountability, resourced and actions.

Set up worksteams

Workstreams are set up, or ramped up, across all the organisations, with consistent and clear methodologies, aims, and deliverables. Integration capacity is reviewed for all the area’s e.g. Finance, IT, HR, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Supply Chain, Procurement, Property


Develop TSA & SLA

Where a TSA is needed, ensure it is in place in a timely manner and that the items in it cover what the business needs, remembering that the business must deliver to the terms agreed in the TSA during the integration or be penalised. Appropriate SLA to be set up in the integration between service providers in the TSA or between departments.

Risk Management

A number of risks have been identified, given the amount of work needed during deals, some or many of these are not catalogues, remembered, planed and resolved or mitigated correctly. It is often the case that issues that have been spotted or at least questioned, come back to bit us eventually. There is a large chunk of integration work associated with risk and their management

Leadership clarification & Roll Clarification & Interim organisation

The 5 challenges that face the new senior executive team:

  • Create a new effective management
  • Develop and communicate a credible and inspiring corporate “story”
  • Shape a strong delivery culture
  • Ensure key external stakeholders interests are celiveried
  • Balance speed with time