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Mergers and acquisitions: How to evaluate the target company’s RIM program

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In any merger or acquisition, you must have an accurate picture of what you are getting as part of the deal.

For records and information management teams, this means having a clear understanding of the target company’s RIM program and records collections.

In a two-part blog post we share a set of assessment questions that will help you evaluate the RIM program and records collections of the target company.

Assessing the RIM program

The following questions will help you document the current state, the big gaps, and any potential risks associated with the existing records management program. The more you know ahead of time, the easier it is to solve issues and ensure that the transaction unfolds smoothly.

  • Is a records management or information governance program currently in place?
  • How long has it been in place and what is it based on?
  • Is the program fully documented and available for review?
  • Does a records database exist? How is it updated, and how current is it?
  • Does the records management program include some sort of corporate records classification scheme?
  • Does the scheme apply to all corporate records or just some of them?
  • Does the records management program include a records retention schedule or other tool that specifies how long records should be retained?
  • Are records tracked or managed with software tools? Which one(s)?
  • Are the software tools compatible with those already used by the acquiring organization?
  • Are any records currently being processed or stored with a third-party provider? What is the working arrangement and what service standards are in place for security and customer service?
  • Does the current records management program provide for employee training? How often is the training program conducted and updated?

As you compile the answers to these questions, you will start to understand how to approach the integration of the two companies and the two RIM systems. To fully prepare for the integration, you will also need to conduct an inventory of the individual records collections in the target company. In next week’s blog post we share a list of questions to guide you with that step.

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