When a company decides to pursue a growth strategy that involves a merger or acquisition, the “why” is often much more thought out than the “how.” That’s a mistake. IT has come to play a crucial role in our organizations today and should be considered just as carefully as financials during the due diligence process. Otherwise, your smart acquisition can quickly become an employee relations nightmare.  After all, nothing says “this isn’t going to work” or “we don’t value you” to new employees like mistakes with time tracking or payroll.

So how can you avoid that nightmare? Below is a 4-step plan to consider when undergoing a merger or acquisition.

Step 1: Reevaluate Your Current Technology

First, it’s worth considering if your current technology is conducive to your new growth strategy.

Can it scale as you grow? What will the process of adding an influx of new employees look like? Are there ways you can streamline your processes before a potential M&A target has even been identified? Kronos is fairly flexible and scales well for most companies, but it’s worth thinking about your current processes for inputting new employees.

How automated is your current process? Kronos can be integrated with your other HR tools to largely automate this process. If you don’t have that setup, it can offer significant time savings to configure this before acquiring or merging with another organization.

Step 2: Talk Technology Early

Once you’ve determined that the new, larger organization will remain on Kronos, the next step comes once a target for a potential merger or acquisition has been identified.

Are they already on Kronos? If not, will you keep the systems separate initially, or simply add their employees to your existing system? What new customizations—work rules, genies, etc.—will need to be added to that system? This is especially important if the new acquisition is in another state. If they do use Kronos, you’ll want to do a thorough review of their system during the due diligence process and identify the version, modules, and customizations they are using.

Step 3: Create a Kronos Integration Plan

Once you’ve finished evaluating the separate systems, it’s time to create a plan for merging the two systems. In most M&A scenarios, companies find it’s useful to maintain the status quo at first—keeping both systems operational while other aspects of the plan are implemented. But this isn’t a long-term solution. Keeping two systems live costs additional, otherwise unnecessary time and effort for both the IT team and the rest of the organization.

That means the first step of your plan is likely going to be determining the ideal timeline for merging systems at your company. Your plan should include, at a minimum:

  • Adding any additional Kronos customizations that are needed
  • Implementation of any additional Kronos modules
  • Integrating Kronos with any other new IT solutions that will be in use
  • Migrating data
  • Testing for all systems
  • End-user training
  • A master timeline for all of the above
  • Evaluation of available resources
  • Determining if a Kronos consultant will be needed
  • Go-Live

Step 4: Implementing Your Kronos Merger & Acquisition Plans

Diligently planning, researching current and future solutions, and keeping an open line of communication throughout the process will allow the implementation to happen as smoothly as possible. According to some reports, between 50 and 70 percent of mergers & acquisitions either fail outright or fall short of their goals. And often, one of the causes of that failure is a lack of planning when it comes to business and IT integration.

Following the steps above should help prevent you and your organization from becoming just another statistic.