Center for Simplified Strategic Planning

Acquisition Survey Results

Denise Harrison
Executive Vice President & COO, CSSP, Inc.

Denise Harrison The following article reports on the results from our Acquisition Survey. We wanted to learn more about acquisitions from our Course and Direction readers so that we could see what role acquisitions play in developingand executing your strategy. The results show why you were pursuing an acquisition, what you considered when evaluating an acquisition and how you evaluated your success. We end the article with your comments concerning what worked and what were the lessons learned. If you would like to add your experience, click through and add your comments to our blog.

Some of you provided additional information concerning what worked and what did not work - here are your comments:

What did not work, or what should be improved in your analysis and why?
  1. One of the first things which comes to mind is looking at the target's market share of work and their primary competitors in the area.
  2. Better due diligence and evaluation of owners and individuals particularly those envisioned as remaining with the organization. (Another response was: Refine evaluation of management.).
  3. Take more time to research the company, the product and the competition.
  4. More emphasis placed on integration discussions and planning before the deal was struck.
  5. Refine evaluation of management plan, execute, review & evaluate acquisition integration more frequently.
  6. More preparation.
  7. Business is too dependent on a few key employees.
  8. Less consideration to and concessions for non-performing senior managers.
  9. Integrate more quickly.
What did work?
  1. Individual owner competency in chosen field.
  2. The acquisition was certainly a good fit culturally, and it has provided us with an additional service line in that geographic area. However, that service line has not exhibited the growth which we anticipated.
  3. Multi-disciplinary team performing exhaustive due diligence on-site and remote.
  4. Assessment of the business; valuation.
  5. Strategic thinking.
  6. Strategic and cultural fit was good.
  7. Feeling of successful acquisition increased as time passed before finalization.

If you have additional thoughts please comment on our blog: Strategic Planning: Acquisitions.

Denise A. Harrison is Vice President of Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. She can be reached by email at

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