Travel Business CPR

Integration Of Travel Agency Acquisitions Process

Congratulations are in order for your recent acquisition of the travel agency you targeted, what is next?

One of the most important phases of an acquisition is the integration phase, where you work to smoothly transition the acquired agency into your world, with as little interruption and strife as possible. From modifying window signs and stationary to introducing new procedures or policy to providing training, you will help facilitate this change. Your commitment to shareholders, customers and employees will be communicated through all your actions and plans. You become an ambassador of your firm to these new employees and customers.

This article has been written as a resource highlight to guide you through the integration process. As integration manager, you are responsible for specific itemized tasks as well as the most important role of ensuring all steps are completed.

The following areas should be the Acquisition Managers primary focus:

• Technologies
• Human Resources
• Finance
• Legal
• Compliance
• Accounting
• Operations

II. The following areas should be the Acquisitions Managers second focus:

• Real Estate
• Facilities
• Supplier Relations
• Marketing
• Standard Business Products/ Services
• Outside Sales Representatives (if applicable)

III. Staying Connected

Communication is the key to a successful integration. I recommend the following four-phase approach to staying connected on a high level with the employees and the various support team members. The discussions should involve all parties from the announcement of the acquisition through post-implementation.

PHASE 1: General Manager Meet with Acquisition Manager and/or Business Unit Leader.

Duration: Weekly or until goals have been completed.
Goal: Communicate the overall vision and strategy for the integration and transition.
Reporting: Email to Acquisition Manager and/or Business Leader to recap the decisions.

PHASE 2: Support Group Conference Call.

Duration: Weekly or until goals have been completed.
Goal: Announce the purchase to the support groups and review due diligence, identify resources, set preliminary time frames.

PHASE 3: Weekly Support Group Conference calls.

Duration: Throughout the course of the implementation.
Goal: Conduct status updates to review all actions completed, surface new issues, create new action items, and identify risks.
Reporting: Document completed deliverables, new deliverables, and escalation issues. The Acquisition Manager will provide monthly Acquisition Commentary to business Unit Leader.

PHASE 4: Post-Implementation Support Group Conference Calls.

Duration: Until all implementation goals are completed.
Goal: Review the Detailed Responsibilities list to ensure completion of all deliverables.
Reporting: Document closure and email to the Acquisition Manager and Manager of Operations.

Tharwat Abouraya, CTIE
Travel Business CPR - Bring Strategy to Life!

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