Mergers and acquisitions present records managers with a unique set of challenges.
The work begins well before the deal closes, during the discovery and due diligence processes. Once the deal is done, the massive job begins of onboarding and integrating record collections from the acquired organization. The upheaval of a merger or acquisition can also disrupt productivity for an extended period if not carefully monitored and managed by the RM team.
In a two-part blog post, we will explore some of the key questions to ask before a merger or acquisition. The questions will help you understand what to expect so that you can prepare for a successful transition.
Key considerations for mergers and acquisitions
- Are you ready to facilitate discovery and due diligence?
As the deal starts to take shape, the acquiring party will usually request access to the records of the target organization. However, because the deal is only in the discussion stages at that point, the target company can’t simply open the doors and give the buyer unrestricted access to its records. It is in the interests of each party to restrict access to only those documents pertinent to the discussions and the deal.Making that happen requires careful planning and the right tools. Many organizations are now turning to electronic records management software to enable the discovery and due diligence process. All documents pertinent to the deal are scanned and entered into the RM software. This creates a secure virtual file room to share records with the acquiring party.
- Do you know what you are getting?
Before any records change hands, it is essential to have a clear idea of the state and structure of the incoming collection. A thorough file audit provides that.During the audit, you should capture information about:
- record classification schemes
- retention schedules
- the completeness and accuracy of the collection
- past record destruction and associated documentation
- electronic records management systems
- physical filing and labeling systems
- security measures used
- the state and capacity of physical record storage spaces
Once you have a clear picture of the incoming collection and records environment you will be able to develop an appropriate plan to onboard the new files.