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TitleMerger Integration Challenges in the Professional Services Industry; - a study of a business mergerand the issues affecting Markets, Customers, Products and Services and Operations.BackgroundJefferson Wells is a professional services firm offering consulting services and experienced, skilled resources, in the areas of Risk, Tax, and Finance and Accounting. The company was founded in 1995in the Mid-West USA and has since expanded throughout the United States, and Internationally. It now has over 50 offices in the USA, EMEA and Asia. Its EMEA offices are in London, UK; Amsterdam,The Netherlands; Frankfurt, Germany, and Johannesburg, South Africa. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manpower Inc. (Jefferson Wells: Overview, 2010)Manpower Professional is a sister company of Jefferson Wells i.e. another wholly owned subsidiary of Manpower Inc, and it has been decided to merge the operations of Manpower Professional (MPP)with Jefferson Wells to create a larger business focusing on the project and resourcing solution needs of the Finance, Tax and Risk communities. The proposed merger also combines other Manpower companies in IT services, Engineering and Healthcare. This project will focus however on the specific issues in the merger of the finance and accounting companies, being Jefferson Wells andManpower Professional.The merging of two companies causes a wide range of issues to be faced and worked on to create the best, most effective solution. This project is looking into some of the main issues brought fromthis merger in terms of the marketing aspects including the value proposition, target markets, key customers and customer segments, resourcing, recruitment and the re-branding of the merged company.A Merger is a “mutually agreed decision for joint ownership between organisations” (Johnson et al,2009, p.233). Generally with mergers, one organisation is typically more powerful and exploits thisinfluence over the other organisation(s). There are many reasons as to why companies decide to merge with each other including; market domination, which also assists with their competitive advantage, consolidation opportunities such as utilising other company’s strengths to balance out one company’s weakness (Johnson et al, 2009).Research Question and ObjectivesThe research objective is to assess how the merger of the two companies will impact the market positioning and go-to-market message for the new merged company. The project will seek to answerthe following key questions:-“What is the new go-to-market Value Proposition” for the merged company? “How does this differ from the Jefferson Wells proposition” “What main market opportunities does the merger create?”
“What key operational implications does this raise, specifically focused on Service delivery”The project will look at the enhanced Value Proposition of the new organisation, the re-branding ofthe company, and ways in which to market the new brand, to retain existing clients of both organisations, and also to exploit the new company’s value proposition to attract new clients.The objectives of this consultancy project are therefore to:Determine the issues that the merger will cause in terms of marketing and the company’svalue proposition, and the customer base issues that come with this. To develop a strategy which will combat these issues and in theory will produce a positiveoutcome from the merger as measured by higher profits, a strong retained and enhancedclient base and high employee retention. Identify what features the customers value the most from Jefferson Wells and creating aplan that keeps these factors consistent in value throughout the merging process Research MethodThe start of the research will begin with some “descriptive research” which will provide further information and a better understanding of the particular issues and challenges that the Jefferson Wells’ Management Team are facing as a result of the pending merger. This will give the basis of my research to follow which will be “exploratory research” to focus on collecting data around the key issues. (Brassington & Pettitt, 2003)Once the preliminary research has been conducted and a good understanding of the issues has beenformed, the next step will be to focus the research on the specific companies and how it will affect them. The research shall be split into two: Qualitative and Quantitative. Qualitative research“involves the collection of data that are open to interpretation” (Brassington & Pettitt, 2003, p. 218).Quantitative research “involves the collection of data that is quantifiable and is not open to the same level of interpretation” (Brassington & Pettit, 2003, p. 218). This data will also be considered interms of primary and secondary data, to make it easier to organise into the research in which has been personally conducted versus the data collected from other researchers.The methods that will be used to research the problem in order to form a successful strategy will include: interviews with the directors, managers and general staff of Jefferson Wells. This will help give a clear view of how all staff members see the situation and give insight into the issues that will affect each level of employees; once this has been completed a questionnaire shall be constructed to bring to light the key issues raised from the interviews in order to identify what Jefferson Wells and Manpower staff see as the greater challenges of the merger. The questionnaire will enable us toput the data into numerical statistics, which gives us along with the interviews both the statistical data as well as the reasoning behind it.Secondary data will be collected and analysed. The data collected will be from companies who have alsomerged with a sister, parent or competitive company to identify the problems they have faced in doingso, and the ways in which they approached the problems to solve them. This will givePage 3
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