89. Evolving Your Corporate Development Function
Hello america france. This podcast is brought to you by deal. Nays coming back to void whistle. Hunting devours manager axel traffic and building our reports. Do you want to make a process. More efficient fly-half used view dooms name management self. Say he time headaches and improves fabrications valley best learn more at beulah dot net your deal qissan patel. And you're listening to emanate science. We talk with deal professionals and learned valuable lessons from their experience. This podcast focuses on stories. Strategies were actually happened. During emanate deals. Science live but he together companies is complicated and taking them bar zeev a more complicated we take lessons from real practitioners and enable them through deal room our platform in this podcast series. We focus on interviews with leading practitioners to learn lessons from their experience. Learning proven techniques is keyed. Optimizing your practice if you're interested in learning more of connect with us at our networking events and access our educational resources at a science dot com. We have a newsletter where we put our events and podcasts. We do make sure you can subscribe to that as well again. That's m a science dot com. I'm your host keystone patel. Ceo and founder of deal room. Today i'm here with mike. Palumbo director of corporate development at halo brandon solutions. Mike is a corporate development and emanate professional with more than nine years of exposure to finance operations executive leadership departments of middle market companies today. Our discussion is about evolving. Your corporate development function mike to kick things off and he told me about a low and your role there halo brandon solutions are based out of a couple of hours outside of chicago. He's got offices all over. The united states promotional products distributor. So think about anything with a brand on it a mug a hat. A shirt tends chomsky items all sorts of stuff that you collect and gather stress all anything with a brand were the second largest player in the market but a twenty four billion dollar industry highly fragmented. I can't quote the numbers off the top of my head but something like a huge percentage of all the businesses and the space do less than a million in sales the Twenty four billion dollar industry. You've got a lot of small players. Mom and pop shops that distribute these types of products. So it's being number two in market share perfect situation for a roll up strategy being a platform in growing through acquisitions. That's a little bit about halo. I work in corporate development which is basically focused on mergers acquisitions strategic partnerships. Things like joint ventures. Although we don't do a lot of the ladder we'd do a lot of ama work at all falls within my purview. And it's a new role for us. The company is very old. It was that very old i mean. It was founded in the mid twentieth century and grew pretty well up until two thousand when they restructured the last twenty years of just really grown by leaps and bounds. Too great company. It's been great role you happy to delve in a little bit further into that keystone. You're the first higher on this team. Yeah that's right so maybe helpful. The mentioned that private equity owned fifth private equity ownership fund. Right now t p g growth that sorta led to my involvement with halos. Well they were a client. At william blair which i worked prior to being at halo. I was in the services and industrials group at eight year in investment banking. Worked my way up to william blair landed on the industrials and services group and sure enough. I remember my colleagues talking about halo. Deal was working on her staff down for those that are in banking or weren't banking. You know how very close knit everyone. Here's the deals that are going on around him. So i'm very familiar with the name. And they started recruiting. And i heard they're looking for corporate up position immediately rang a bell. Private equity owned historically been pretty self sufficient with positions. The current management team is very capable very strong in front of our ceo. Mark simon by trade. Cpa background tons of deal experience. So comes very natural for him to do deals. But i think they had gotten to a stage where you start to really grow as a business and you develop that needed for a dedicated person to come in on corporate development level and provide that support. The ceo can continue to ceo. Now contribute but you carve out that also you know. I know you've done a lot of work on a lot of interviewing one person teams. I know it's a pretty common can be common situation. Porco of a private equity group get to a certain stage and they need to hire corporate development person just by my interactions with your platform. I know that's not uncommon. So it's it's interesting. I wish to read name this podcast to surviving as the i corp they have higher. I tell ya there's some interesting substance there because we i've worked with a number of companies that don't have a corporate function at all and they obviously have an approach of getting deals done through various functional members getting it done by splitting the responsibilities up and then over time. They realized they need to build a more formal business lined to to handle them in a activity. So i i want to hear more about that. What was the evolution. Like since starting halo. Can you walk me through that. Yeah and that's exactly the situation that that we were in. That was how the company did thing you think about a business going from fifty million a hundred million in sales to eclipsing half a billion three quarters of a billion. There's a lot of stages there there earlier years. And when you're fifty million in sales or one hundred million sales that's how deals get done by the executives. They have the business intuition. They know the targets especially if they're doing stuff their own space and they usually have maybe some outside counsel and accounting person and someone from operations or something that can get a deal done and it's a very efficient way to deal. They do it themselves. That's how halo operated and they did very well. We prior to me joining. I think we've done twenty five plus deals last decade for me coming into a role. They're not doing much wrong. It's an interesting dynamic. So then what's so what's the inflection. Point right hey we're going to hire somebody in corporate development or we're going to dedicate a role to this. I don't know how that goes in other scenarios of the mind. I think you were interested in chatting about this is what is my situation specific. Look like and yet happy to walk you through that. You're the hotshot banker. I right away when like you. I would be like i think he is. He's coming in with excel models and he's supposed to build our ma function. That's why i'm interested to know how you evolve through that to actually get settled in corporate development role because obviously been there for a while. And you're still there. Yeah and we really interesting culture in the sense that you're really accountable for your own. Success or failure. Our management style is very entrepreneurial. And i don't think anybody any my colleagues at the c. Level director level sea level or the ceo report. I don't think anybody really had experience much. Experience dealing with a corporate development person. There's not much directive to give remember coming in and no one really telling you what to do. There was no directive. Who's just hey get comfortable. Learn the business. And then i'll be interested in what you mr palumbo have to recommend for our process and ways to make us better so it was really we talking about a blank canvas. It really was a blank canvas. I read a book. Which if anyone out there is switching roles or maybe getting promoted going new department. Switching companies called the first ninety days. I remember one of my first as coo. He's like you gotta read the first ninety days the ninety they plan. I think it's called. i wanted to. It's like harvard business review. Everyone's read it. Seemed like everybody to read it and it was immensely helpful for me. One understand the business meet the people number one number. Two and number three was understand the process that are currently going through being a banker coming from banking. You have that just innate. Desire to really understand the core business and i can't stress enough how important that is. What products are you selling. What services are you selling. What's the value proposition. We'll make your company better than its competitors. How does back office work in the supply chain. How does the sales team sell. What was their go to market when it sales guys out there sales guy gals out there selling. Why how i wanna meet these sales people wanna meet our department leaders want meet everybody in the business and just talk to them about the business understand. How works the model. How we make money what. Our competitive advantages are all sorts of stuff. That was really. I think number one. I'd spent thirty days probably interviewing department heads meeting people. Flying to this location drive is as pre covid driving to you. Know that location in meeting folks introducing myself and really just learning about the business. I learned a lot. But i still wish i would have pushed a little bit harder and that stage because this is vital information you talk about trying to go and buy a business. Are you. buy a business. Plug it into your business. If you don't even understand what what you're doing so vital the first stage is really understanding the operation of the business model so that makes said understand the business and really know the pieces that go along with it. What about the folks that were currently engaged with eminem activity. What was your interactions with them. Most people had interaction with them. A you're talking to department heads. T sweep they all had some sort of exposure. I didn't know what's going. In every time. I talk to people. They had questioned that integration. Which is an interesting point here. Always oh well help with integration on this and we do this really well in this we need a little help in or sometimes i'm confused on this or can you explain this to me but i know that i was going to get that when i talked to these people. I was thinking they're going to ask me about diligence and modeling data rooms. Not it's it's of the on boarding part because the integration and convergence. That's the part that they're dealing with. These are the business leaders have to implement all of the things that we promised during diligence and business planning strategic planning. We've set it up. Executives have set it up and then it comes time to execute me by by business execute. They've gotta deal with the actual implementation execution of that. That was number one. You hear a lot about immigration. And i was meeting people face to face i remember really being able to read a person or understand what kind of conversation i was going to have that net meeting with the department heads based on their body language. Some people would. I wanna to jump out the window when i said yeah. I'm court of element of i do mergers and acquisitions. They would want to hide under their desks or something. Other people berry excited to meet me. You can tell immediately based on the reaction their body language how their experience they've had with them in a what questions are you asking them to learn about. They're doing and what the challenges are experiencing. I was trying to ask all the same questions first of all. What's your department do so billing. How does billing work goes back to the point. I was making earlier and understand. The business. Part of it was a learning experience for me. What do you do hear much nicer way right. That's what's your involvement in and it was always some sort of integration or on boarding capacity which in itself is indicative of maybe. they should expand the role in diligence. Could they help out a little bit earlier to alleviate that pain a little bit later on. Could this person seems really siphon on billing or on order entry or maybe a back office tasks for sales are wondering. If we're leveraging that expertise during the diligence process so yeah it's it's pretty basic to understand what they do and their involvement in the process. Let me ask so you go. Through this process of formalizing corporate development function you plan your emanate processes armed with a good knowledge of business is number one foundation from there. It's your nudity organization. The first thing to do is recognize that. They're doing a lot right with that in mind. What are they doing right. You gotta be very careful not to jettison things that they're doing ryan try to replace them just because you feel like you need to change or not attempting to understand what they're currently doing right so that in a nutshell is understanding the process. The process that they go through to acquire companies. It's listening it's sitting down and it's whoever the resident experts were before you got there ever was working on deals before you got there. It's if you have that luxury is really work with them. Sit down an understand what they do and how they do it. There's this thing that you get the itch to want to jump in the action imperative you want to get in there and you want to wait a second. Why are you in asia like you. Just gotta really sit there kind of close your mouth and listen and really listen to what they're doing a walk through one two three processes whatever takes watch how they're doing things because you really need to identify first of all what they're doing right and how to preserve that and then where can you add to that now replace it got save. Those things are doing right and add better ways or enhancements to what they're already doing so it's understand our business and it's getting in there and understand the process you get their understand their processes any other like specific mechanical things or just. You're looking at the folks report up to the c. Suite the board members that look like what what are the actually done tangible to help evolve that function outside of learning the process and it started being introduced new things but what it looked like. Really formalized that then it becomes. Where do you start adding value until the stage. And i think i deliberately wanted. Explain it this way. You can any value until you've really understood what they do in the basics the basics the business and the basics how they do things then you can start offering insight and value. It may be a while until you can do that for me. it was. I had a really slow myself down. Not try to act quickly. You can run into a lot of issues. They're making bad decisions. And then losing friends and then losing credibility and then you continue to make more bad decisions versus the opposite right which is understand as much as you can. So the value that you're bringing is useful. And you're gaining credibility you're gaining allies political allies within the business and that's a virtuous cycle move. Its way up. So how'd you add value that once you've understood where they're at for us it was awesome myself and one of my close colleagues my fina. Who's our integration. We sat down. And we say we're going to create books. I'm going to focus on the corporate development playbook and he's going to focus on the integration playbook. He'd been there for several years. Prior to me joining. Tim and his brother owned a business that was purchased by halo and mike transition into more of an integration role. So he had a little bit of a runway but it was putting together a playbook from there. It's okay outlining the steps that they currently go through understanding the pains. The things are doing the right things. They're doing wrong then. Retooling that you're streamlining and you're trying to alleviate those pains in the back and i think what we did is we focused on it and actually i can pull up playbook you're not going to share it on the screen but please don't get me in trouble somehow or council comes after calling me. You mean letter into now like to hear a little bit about. What do you think of frame book because they feel like playbook salutes definition. I tend to criticize a little bit when they become extensive checklist they discouraged out of the box thinking. That's really needed anime. And that the quick on the feet responsiveness. So i'd like to hear about what's in your playbook and then maybe talk about sort of alignment of the people through the deal process. And i'd say book corp dev side. It was more of an educational tool for the executives the executive team and how we want the process to look recall of basic information that an investment banker might think is basically information but to them. It's it can be very impactful so it was starting with. What are the pain points. What are the things we're doing right. And then we carved out. Four key initiatives. Like four things that we wanted to do. How do we do that. The first thing that i turn to. And i don't know how right so i saw where we were with our process. I knew there was ways to make it better and to add to it ball. Preserving what they're doing right. The first thing that i think of is my network do i know from investment banking. My fiancee also was an investment banking and one over to corporate development so i was very lucky to be able to pick her brain network with her and how they do things. The first thing i think of is wait. A second people have figured this out. People have implemented this. They know what they're doing. Who do i know in my network. It can be a resource this time. He didn't really have this platform desanto. There wasn't that option. You're looking online. You're doing research. You're talking to people. And then i found your book actually. The agile emanate which had some very key points in it was that integration has to participate and diligence. Diligence one cohesive processor. Can't be that wall because that's where you get the break in communication. The people that are doing the diligence aren't communicating with the people that are doing the integration. So bring those two things together. That was one and then really work on your tactics. When it comes to implementing diligence it was establishing an internal cadence of meetings with our team and then externally with the seller scheme so we're managing were putting informal process to manage the diligence time line together and collaboratively makes us no barriers in communication. We also had a little bit of a focus on who's making decisions who's got the ball during a position where you've had a lot of people doing diligence who's consolidating and making a decision. How central versus decentral do you want your decision. Making process during diligence to be right. Think about the diligence process. You're going through understand business. Trying to raise any flags findings and bubble up the key findings and determine. Is this something that we can accept. Solve push off like how we handle these going into closing takes sort of the boots on the ground consolidate information but then when you bubble it up. Do you have the right team to look at that too that these findings and say okay this one were okay with this one. We're not okay with its final resolution. How much is this gonna cost so on. And so forth getting that internal structure in place of having a centralized decision making unit and a decentralized is team the gone diligence and really dig into their niche areas of the business that was one of our other key initiative so you focus on those things three four things and from there. You can take that building intact like tactics right flights or procedures. This is how we're gonna start things that we're gonna diligence. This is how we're going to communicate. This is how team is going to be structured. This when people are going to start getting involved the group was going to expand over time from those initials unfolded a number of good steps and stages that we implemented. So let me get this straight reading my book. Agile as solve all your problems. Yeah that's right. I basically just gave it all the team in. And i was laying guys again. I'm gonna go play the pipes now. We will play the back. I should make a prerequisite for these interviews. I'm flattered you mentioned it. I did like what you did. Where you just mentioned was how you spend the time to actually identify the pinpoints. A lot of what you described is essentially developing the operating model and and higher teams are connecting and working together. And how you mentioned that you from the book was having one unified process between diligence and integration defining And then other key piece was around decision. Making you understood the value of having a good process for making decisions. I like the we talked about the design of having centralized but then decentralized in the approach invoke actually executing. Those are really good areas and good tips anything else. I may have missed now. Those are two of the main points now. I i will stay. It's not everything. It's not exhaustive and these are concepts and these are abstract ideas. You just because you thought of it. Great 'cause identified a couple of areas where you can make. Improvements are like the focused. It doesn't mean a thing it fixed or to be implemented. People are going to adopt. It'd be aware of that right like you start with the low hanging fruit. It's going to be a process it's not going to be one fell swoop redesign all process. It's gonna take time to especially for me. Our diligence team is really. I'd say ten twelve people you know. Everyone wants to look into a couple of things to make sure that they're not inheriting a bomb when we buy business. You've got a lot of team members you think about new concepts and introducing these very sensitive to people reception of that some people here in really internalize others those year it and go back to their ways maybe not like it so there's one thing to talk about it come with ideas there's another thing to execute that's why i think that's where you come from. We talked about as the playbook just like a bunch of bullets and it is in that sense. It is in that sense. And that's the gap right is is great gonna book cool. Thanks student shelf and collect dust you got to execute it. You got to implement it and you've got to try to adopt for adoption and that has brought us. Well let's talk through that. Because you're approaching two years in this role billy corp the function from scratch. What were your key challenges. Along the way one of the main ones it was conviction. It's hard to explain. But it's kevin conviction and your process and why you should do things a certain way. 'cause what you're going to get confronted with whenever you trying to change something whenever you try to improve process that's what we're doing here. Is it a process of a company. There's a little bit of that. Structural like who's the team. And how they organize organizing. How do they communicate a little bit structure. But it's mostly the process the steps that you go through and went and when you're trying to implement something like that change something the question you're always gonna get is the will. Why not just do it the way we always did it it works. You will always get that for me. It's become just a have. But anytime i want to suggest a change or improvement or an addition extra work you even. If you're trying to add value you might be creating extra work for somebody. It's why not just do it the old way in my first six months. I couldn't answer the question. I didn't have the conviction to have the real life experience. I was coming in from an investment bank new corporate development role. I don't have corporate experience. i couldn't say well. Hey that's what they did over here a google and it works great. I couldn't say well. I'll read in a book if you are going to make a recommendation and trying to push for change area. You've got to really answer that question. Why not just do it. The old way internally struggle that is just a ton. And i don't think they answer. It has to be complex but you gotta deliver with confidence and conviction and without having any experienced in corporate development which is much different than investment banking in my view a number of ways. There's a lot of similarities. Obviously but the team component the process is much different banking at now. I'm going to say that was conviction. That was probably one of the biggest struggles. I like that. I think it's a lesson that took me while to learn and wish. I learned earlier but essentially giving people the reason. Why if you're looking for somebody to do something or make a change. You gotta give them a reason. Why a lot of times we forget that step. I've learned this even as a parent with children. Like you gotta give them a reason. Why even they're smart enough not to take response or action on on just those directives but if you could give them a reason why two lines well i know. There's a lot of scientific studies around this and human behavior on how you influence others by driving. In with the reason why bad sort of bills onto that theme around having convection in your class and i still struggle with that. I struggled that all that the reason you want to get you wanna steal it well. That's the way it's supposed to be done. And that's what i read. That's i come on man a better than hold up. It's kinda try telling that to the ceo of illness a billion dollar or it's not a good reason to give people and it's not so you've got to think really think about how is just gonna not just to you know. These are great ideas. We believe in the process because we come from property development folks. Most of them come from banking or from some sort of process driven role. And it's ingrained in you and you see happening. We've got look into the numbers this way. We've gotta use this sort of this sort of data room tool the. Do you have these things that just worked in the past so seems like work. It feels like it should work now. It looks like it'll work now but you've always double check always make sure you've got the real reason you really thought about hold on is. Is there a different way to do. This is there a better way to do it. Or is this an area where we have to institute. Change has leave it alone. You know man. Sometimes i'll really think somebody's a great idea with the process. And i think the way we do it is fine. It's for what we need to accomplish her goal in mind for what we really need to accomplish. D really need to do that. We'll talk more about driving change. I think that's an important topic. What was your biggest challenge. Like what was really. He could be honest with me and the potentially thousands of people are going to be listening to this later. But what was the real thing that you struggled with in building out the corporate function as a single person that one of them. I think just not knowing what to do that was never in. Corporate development is an investment banking. And you understand things like how to model something of project. Financial statements have run a data room how to manage data room. How to complete diligence in a timely manner how to organize get people organized had ask questions talk people how to pick up the phone and get stuff done. How be efficient how to work hard. That's all very helpful and corporate development. That's not the end that's not. It's not all similar right. There's a lot of things in corporate development working within a corporate structure and trying to get sign off and decision making done get on people's calendars that are extremely busy doing their day job. It's all new. Here's a great example. You're the buyer instead of the seller in many cases so most bankers come from southside. Emini going to hear about the difference between your deal process that blair verses where you're doing a halo. Yeah great question. That's one of the main differences you're used to selling versus buying huge change. I had the situation today. Somebody semioli just say. Here's what we're going to. Dylan's well what do you do next. What's the next and then coming from investment banking. We knew what to do with an ally when we received one from a buyer. But when you're the buyer and you've got get. The team stood up orchestrate. The team who should get involved in when and why who's going to be doing accounting to diligence. Are you gonna reach out to the salary. What are you gonna stay. Who from the internal team is going to do what. It's all really under your purview. And it's a much different setting that up the haven't done that before. It's a whole new set of steps that if you're not coming from corporate development how do you know that. How do you know what to do and wine. And what's the best you can guess. We're all smart. You can make really good decisions and try to do. You think it's appropriate. But i always think somebody's figure this out. There's a lot of ways to do this. There's only one bath way you always wanted to achieve that that you can't let basket in the way of just doing well so it's a good way to do this. How do i do. That's all new stuff and challenge when you come into a role like this without much experience. So i'm wondering if you're working on the sell side and you're helping companies best you're interacting with buyers. Don't you have some insights in terms of the difference in sophisticated buyer unsophisticated buyer and some of the nuances. Where this guy should have really done this on the buy side or done this diligence. I feel like you would have some interesting insights work in the south side and on top of that wanna criticize a little bit because they feel like a corp deb needs a diversity and sometimes howdy folks from the business. Unit bald with cooperative obviously has some values. I'm curious no like where's the strength and weaknesses. Come in because i think for you. You mentioned of the challenges was learning the business and getting involved where that as opposed to people that are already bought the business. No it wondering if there's some of these nuances that you do bring the table outside of skills on modeling deals but i feel like being on the other side of the table. There are some points that you do understand about a buyer. What kind of buyer will be my first question at. William blair is a lot of financial sponsors. There'd be digging much different way than a strategic would add talk. Probably number one. You got a lot of followers. I'm sure they work in an array of different types of non-banks types of industries. If you're used to dealing with financial sponsors you know the questions that they're gonna ask and they're the associated and put a list together and send it over to you for the investment with the goal of creating a dachsie. Investment committee was heavily based economics with a strategic. You just a broad variety. Different interactions when you're in investment banking. I remember back when i was at city capital. We had a strategic. Look at a deal and there was a mess. It was like fifteen people and they wanted us to come out. They wanted to come out and visit our client the seller. They wanted to come out and visit for two weeks and just sit in the conference room and pour over files and talk about things and it was everything. Bought the financials. That's one interaction and other strategic depend on how frequently they're they're doing deals and who's at the helm kind of a similar approach as the private equity group but more often than not. It's a different. They're buying it for a different reason. Sort of questions are going to be different. Me coming at halo. From william blair. I was out very used to the question that you get from financial sponsors kat it so you got some insight in terms of. Hey here's some different levels that that buyers operates and do their diligence now get into was when you go into your role your role. What is the first thing that you're doing to establish credibility. It's not make mistakes that cuts down a little bit. It's truly to not make mistakes. It's don't let that action imperative win. Don't feel the need to jump in too early. there's a balance here. 'cause you you've just been hired. Your goal is to get up that learning curve and start adding value to the business where you're the value that you add is greater than the cost to the enterprise. Your costs that enterprise. So there's this need. I gotta get the learning curve adding value. I got this question on chat that sort of relates around the decision making earlier. I see razz. Here's asking if you had decision making frameworks processes that you've used a recommend already come up with some of your criteria with decisions need to go up there. That's a tough one. I feel like the ones that people. When i talked to people that do decision making frameworks. You tend to go on a rabbit hole on those things. And i feel like end up with more people and more complex criteria than you actually need. I don't really have a frame. I have a framework and how to prioritize work. My what. I wanna make decisions on next when a decision needs to be made and what needs to be escalated very delicate balance. Right part of the value that you add is autonomy and taking things and just making decisions. But you can't make the wrong decisions. I think i got a pretty away to answer this. You're not going to be able to make a lot of decisions in the beginning. You're going to have to sit back. And listen related to defer to other people and s quite a lot of the time. And that's okay. That's okay as long as you're learning and you're trending in the right direction. I remember the first six nine months. I was calling a lot of people out for other people to sit in on things and deferring just a lot. Because and that's okay as long as you're trending because what you don't wanna do. The alternative is that you try to make an uninformed decision or a bad decision it turns into a vicious cycle. You wanna get small wins early. Avoid any sort of negativity early. On so i if you have to learn about the business to the point where you can start making more and more and more decisions over time if you're afraid to make that decision because you don't know you know the answer you don't make the wrong decision at least earlier on forego making a decision and escalated into for interesting view. I feel like decision making. I'm writing notes on this. Because i think this is the topic of its own. It actually be a fun one to do around table just to get inputs in different organizations and how they approach it because they think it's very much rooted with the company's culture now that's why it just uniquely evolves organization organization. You do learn that. I don't know the answers to everything. Some of it is also trying to know the answer to something that you probably. Maybe it's not your call trying to overreach trying to make a decision around that really. There's experts that deal with that part of that. Learning process in the furring process is to learn who the experts are and what areas if you're confronted with a decision and you know there's two outs puts out there that worked on that. Your team leverage their knowledge and bring them in and adds support. How can i help you make this decision. If a team that seems to be unorganized or a lack just general communication process. What what can you do the leader to help alleviate those problems that's tough because you're gonna run into people that everyone has a different communication style. You gotta understand their communications down to meet them where they live number one. Especially if the boss or somebody that's perio- we've got a comedy them. I often feel like. I'm bothering somebody. But what's really helpful is talking to people making sure that you're communicating often enough and having meetings and you've got to do a quick call in the morning or if you've got a loop somebody into the meeting even if you don't know that they should be there or not. I go through do it anyways just to get more communication rather than last. It's a little uncomfortable. Sometimes people don't want to be looped down. They don't communicate that way err on the side of the more inclusive than exclusive and turning developing a rhythm or cadence with with that people come around eventually. There's a number different ways attack. There's different tools you can use. There's precedent you can set up. Maybe that person has the wrong person to be working on something. It'd be example. What have you done really creates value. These are i the general gist of it. I'm just curious. What are specific things. I want to get the little nuggets for the other person in your shoes. That's the first day of the birthday function. How can make some dramatic changes so identifying the right structure that you need the right people. You need to get involved. That's number one getting to know those people very well. You're gonna be working with them getting the right process in place. Just wishing some sort of framework in alignment on bad process. It can be very simple stuff. I think i was just talking to a colleague today. We were talking through. Give it a live example. We were talking through a small like an akwa higher. That's just get together on this guys. I've got the right team in the room. Just try to due diligence here in three phases. We're going to focus on accounting. That's the long poem as we round that corner start doing. More on boarding. And operational sort of confirmatory diligence and then we can start preparing for clothes and drafting announcements announcement. So something as simple as that sort of a process setting three four five milestones giving everybody alignment same page. That in itself does wonders for adding value and putting order an organization into a process. That can be very complicated high anxiety. Lots of moving pieces easier said than done. What are some tools and tips to the trade. that help you get there on the process. Run a war on a tangible to hear that allied just getting people lying down the same process when you have especially folks that are all salad off in different parts of the organization. They have different ways of working within their teams and you're trying to rein them in to work cohesively as a team when they may even have their own cultures within their own team that are unique and they just don't work with each other regular basis. That's a really good question. The first thing is to define a. Hey listen. I was involved in diligence or asian. What's important what are the top two or three. Thank you understand what everyone wants to look for lists go then you gotta check what's going like things that people wanna accomplish and make sure that everyone sees it for man. It was absolutely vital. Start using deal room. It was one of the tools that we brought into. This is not plugged by the way i want. Think bad just lost that. But i just mentioned. There is a level of bias. Because i've been involved with the creation of that product. I would like the good bad. Because i think there's benefits of it but i always believe there's no we're never close to perfect. There is a lot of room to grow. And strive for perfection. So i would be curious to understand what tools you're using. Obviously we have a product that you use mithras other products outside of that and then just hear the good bad of those yet really. Any sort of project management tool kind of goes back to difference between corporate development banking banking. We're used to using a data room to load files in and usually requests returned back on an excel spreadsheet or something. Yeah it can become a mass. We have twelve different buyers and they're all asking similar questions. And how does it all line up. And we've used multiple bedrooms over the years but any project management tool where you can create a list of do's and have people check that off work through it as highly valuable tool for us in diligence and as we started using it during diligence the integration team sauce using it and said wow i have a huge integration checklist they're using smart sheet for integration. I believe and now i. I'm pretty sure they've full. Switched over to our our current platform which is dealing but what that brings any sort of platform you use. What's bringing visibility okay. Where is everybody at on what they're doing. Who's working on. What because it's not just assigning a task. This was a new concept. It's not just the signing a task to somebody do this. 'cause every task is cross functional so it might involve hr but finance also has a very big decision to be made with that compensation plan it could involve supply chain if they change it up. Then how is it. Gonna change of our ops are customer service process. So when you're looking at a business. There's a lot of cross functional issues if you don't have organized in a way where everybody can see what everybody is working on. Whether it's an excel spreadsheet or a project manager platformer dealing them or whatever. Then you get people working in silos. People are just talking past each other. They're not on the same page with things. They they might have two different answers. If i ask. Hey what's the plan. For the three employees one person might say something different than the other person to horrible for trap get caught in is not having that intercommunication. I'm here in real time. Views on progress and then intercommunication or maybe referred to as operation. I want to hear a little bit about that. Because i i've seen a lot of teams were their functional lead tend to work in silos which ends up. Here's a template list of items that i used from the previous deal. I'm essentially doing a check. Box activity looking for the media. Tuesday tomorrow type of rhys and the reality is they need to be able to connect with their other peers and different functional leads to be able to connect the dots and identify the underlying risks and opportunities in the deal. I'm curious if that anything that you've worked with or seen changes in. Yeah absolutely there needs to be a quarterback there needs to be somebody to bring everything together a conductor a big orchestra guy. But i know that the the conductor plays a large role. Big football fan. Go pack so i. I know that the quarterback has really important role. The only way around this is to commute is communication. It's the only way that this at the silo. Issue get solved. It's making sure that you're communicating communicating communicating. And what i found is that calls and emails don't get answered all the time meetings. I was when i was coming into the role. I try to set up a meeting and be like in my next availability is in two weeks. What you can't just am eight to five and you wanna talk to the sap. It's gotta be two weeks from now doesn't work. You can't get everything done with phone calls meetings and emails. You've gotta have some sort of consolidated consolidated to people can logging at their leisure and track stuff. They're getting reminders they're getting. It's just another form of communication to make sure that everybody is understanding what everybody else is doing. That's the only way to get around it. Project management tool realtime progress views improve collaboration slash communication. Any tools. chattels anything else for us now. now really. I mean we have teams but we don't use it very often. We were big opti billion. People work on teams. You'll remain the teams. If he doesn't know that. I think i might have heard that. We don't use teams very often. We got a handful of people that will use it but resumes enough for us during the pandemic and so it was like before and after because you said they weren't using anything before when he stepped on the scene introduced handful since you came in and a lot of this was lying around process and being able to put those process flows in the tool to to help get people in the same age. Walk me through the difference. Why i'm curious before he got it there almost two years ago and today what would you say are the main differences. Your company actually approaches. I wouldn't even look broadly. The approach emanate that's different before they had a corporate function. Anyone what it's doing today. I think the difference today is the organization and the up front preparation just alone the planning knowing what to expect even if somebody's doing the same amount of work today as they were before i was around even samina work just being prepared and organized it takes things and stress level from like nine down to it too because they know what to expect the understand. What's going to happen. They're not scrambling just thought of like. I don't know i don't know handling this. And what's the next step. Like i can know my immediate task. But where's this going to go afterwards and then you start thinking about all the things that are to be do down the line. It's in your head you're thinking there's no plan attack money of this. It raises that anxiety and stress level to a whole 'nother level even though it doesn't do any good sound like you get any extra work. It's the same amount of work is knowing that it's organized and taking care of thought about and planned out it's helpful highlight to think that as we progress and as we get better with our process to halo. I'm hoping it's just gonna be. People are excited about in joy and we wanted to do more of its creating issues or additional stressor anxiety. I like that reduce improving confidence getting your team. Members and seeing these functions don't evolve so simple and easy they take a long time. We did the interview. You can disco even after two hundred plus deals. They're still innovating in rethinking. Their emanate approach. Which brings me to you. Mentioned an integration and there is a lot of emphasis on integration. That folks you talk to your surprise where their top of mine was around the integration activity which i feel like the theme the last two years of interviews round of emphasis of integration. That's the maker. Break it point of the transaction. What's your approach to working with immigration. I'm most respect for integration folks to hold other realms somebody did the work and a cool company by then he thought over the fence and and you guys gotta go make this work and actually deal with these employees and send messages communicate with them and change their benefits and it's an awesome position in a ton of respect for our integration team. That's where a lot of the pain could come from. You don't diligence dealer certain way or you overpay a little bit usually not the end of the world but with integration. If it's done poorly it can be a nightmare for. Everybody can taint the deal. It can people quit. You're gonna leave a permanent sour taste in somebody's mouth on the other. Maybe this the sellers team. It's gotta be done well for us. It was starting with integration. And what can we do earlier on even before billions before the allies signed. Even when we're forming our pipeline. What can be done at those earlier stages to make better for the immigration people and our number one solution. Get them involved early. Bring them in. They're going to have to deal with the on the back anyways. Whoever if their department is leading that charge him as an integration leader and get them involved. One call is all it takes diligence. Well a couple of questions whatever it may be just get them involved. No the timing. We'll see the updates. There have to be in every meeting or be deeply involved in the diligence process but they can see common common. They're you know they're much more comfortable instead of. Oh hey by the way. We bought a business today. That's not you wanna approach that. But that's how we like to handle integration ona's payload headquartered in a pretty rural part of illinois impact all of this. I'm just curious. Did that give you a nature of the current environment of working ramon or were there other nuances and challenges with it just curious if there's something around that nature which i think's a bit unique. Yeah it is not having a face to face presence and this is pre code. I think we're all experiencing this now. It's probably the same shot that everyone here's had to switch from going to means of being remote. I think i would go. Maybe once or twice a month visit folks not got a bunch of meetings and come back home and work remotely. It didn't really get much in the way of the day to day. We're talking with so many people not only in sterling but we have offices all over. We have fifty forty fifty offices all over. The united states are chief of integrations in new york. We've got our one of our main. Sales leaders is a ohio. So we're pretty much remote anyways and actually the pandemic has helped in that sense because now instead of calling we actually see each other's faces on doom very interesting somewhat similar challenges that that very very similar. It's nice to see like the operations and to be able to be in person for that. Sort of stuff we've got a fulfillment center see how people interact and actually meet people very big but you can. You can do that by a couple of visits here and there us question. What's the craziest thing you've seen in other than the william blair Quoting dinners heard. I gotta tell ya people. I could probably name drop That i've heard stories about epic clogging. Yeah but that's not really an event that's more of an extracurricular right and that's not that we we have some awesome with saloum on one. We when golf scottsdale for a couple of days do some ski trip and deer valley to napa wine like a three day napa wine twenty. They had some really incredible closing events. Hard work put in and they really wanted to appreciate everyone's hard work so those were pretty awesome. But i think real. I'm a crazy story. Yeah the city capital. We sold jayco an rv business to four a publicly traded. Are the consolidator. Jayco was a family business. Just third jenner. I think second or third generation started in a chicken coop in indiana and grew to be a huge copy very successful business. We sold the company to thor. Being privately held in generational business had a big family. The owners was two brothers. Their mother was still a little bit involved who had started the business with her husband and all their sisters and kids and grandkids. And i remember we close. The deal sold the company for. I think it was five hundred. A public announcement is five hundred. Seventy six million or somewhere around there. We drove to indiana to meet the whole family and a conference room. We brought checks. Somebody brought checks. I think it was one of the brothers to tell people. What here's your chair of the business. Or here's what you're gonna you're gonna receive from the sale of our company we sold to always going to be a great steward of the business and by the way. Here's how much we sold it for years. Your check and it was incredible. People were crying and hugging us. And just the nicest people on their. Don't get to see that when you're in a deal causes a Guy goes by the boat or whatever but this was a family generational family from four generations in the room are five generations in the room. This was the culmination of generations of work. And they're seeing it and they're feeling it and there. It's changed their life. And i felt. Like i was on oprah or something you know. You're like ed mcmahon dollar you get a million dollars you can billion dollars even better that would be credible who's cool. Wow that was like the most positive story. I think. I've heard this podcast was wild man. There's a lot of not so positive ones but that's one of six my mind. Am i thank you for sharing that great story and sharing your lessons and experience with us today. Thank you happy to join. Been wonderful conversation. Thanks for the opportunity. The got nice plug for mike fina to get on the podcasts and share his view from the integration side. So i think we're not follow up with him and interview scheduled. I told him. I said you gotta come on in and share everything that i said. I'm done actually delivering side. I want him to other sided. Ambala reported perspective. We're publicly putting him on obligations interview. Thanks again my thank you. Here's the deal. Thank you for taking the time to explore the world of manet with our podcast. Please subscribe for more content conversations with industry leaders. He like our podcast. Please support us by leaving a five star review and sharing it. I enjoy hearing feedback in connecting with our listeners. You can reach me by email. It's qissan deal room. Dot net science is sponsored by deal room it project management solution for mergers and acquisitions additional educational content is available on deal. Rooms blog at deal. Room dot net forward slash block. Thank you again for listening to science. See you next time Using opinions expressed on emanate science reflect only those individuals and do not reflect the views of any company or entity mentioned or affiliated with any individual. This podcast is purely educational and is not intended to serve as a basis for any investment or financial decisions.