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Key RIM considerations for a merger or acquisition – Part 2

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In last week’s blog post, we began our look at the important questions to ask before a corporate merger or acquisition.

We pointed out that the work starts right at the beginning, during the due diligence process. As the records manager, you will be responsible for facilitating the examination of records while ensuring the security of the collection.

We also discussed the importance of knowing what you are getting. A thorough audit of the collection – looking at things like the completeness and accuracy of records – ensures that you have the right game plan when the actual onboarding begins.

In this week’s blog post we cover three additional considerations for M&A.

More key considerations for mergers and acquisitions

  • What are your obligations with the incoming collection?
    Acquisitions often bring new types of records that you haven’t encountered before. The acquired records may also be tied to a legal jurisdiction other than the one in which you normally operate.In both cases, it is vitally important to understand what new requirements you’ll have in terms of privacy, legislative compliance and industry standards. In order to understand these requirements, you’ll have to do a thorough check of applicable legislation and industry guidelines.
  • Are the technologies compatible?
    Technology is playing a bigger and bigger part in the way that records are created and managed. This has added a complex new variable to merger and acquisition scenarios.To prepare for the transition you’ll need to check the compatibility of:
  • electronic file types – can you track and access these using your existing records management software tool?
  • line of business software – will new systems integrate with existing records management software and other business applications?
  • equipment – will equipment such as scanners and barcode readers work with your existing records management equipment and software?
  • record databases – if needed, can they be merged together in their native format or will they need to be migrated to a compatible format first?

There are always solutions to these challenges, but it helps to discover any issues as soon as possible in the process.

  • How will you manage the change with staff?
    Change management is a key element of every successful merger and acquisition. As with everything else, the sooner you think about this the better. Education and training will make up a big part of the change management process.The education and training program should include the following:
  • an overview of the state of the incoming collection
  • a detailed discussion of any new requirements relating to privacy, compliance and security
  • a review of the classification scheme (if carried over) and all retention requirements
  • a briefing on the physical and electronic filing systems used.

If you are new to corporate mergers and acquisitions, these questions may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, the challenges can be overcome with a systematic approach and the application of basic records management best practices. Bringing in the support of an experienced provider such as TAB can also dramatically increase your chances of success.

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