Leading through a Merger or Acquisition

DSC leverages strategic partnerships and customer alignment to make a complex integration project a success.
When one longtime DSC customer acquired another, strong customer relationships and DSC’s involvement from initial planning to execution result in a successful integration. DSC’s industry knowledge, expertise in integrations and established processes supported the integration plan and resulted in the flawless execution of the transition in one weekend.
Situation

DSC’s customer, a Fortune 500 CPG company, completed a complex acquisition with a Fortune 1000 CPG company, also a DSC customer. As our Fortune 500 customer’s Lead Logistics Partner (LLP), DSC was heavily involved in planning, integrating and executing the transaction. The required approval by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created uncertainty about when the deal would officially close, making this project unique, so we did not have a defined start-up date and had to develop multiple go-live plans.

Solution

Together with our customers, we established a strategy supporting the many elements of the acquisition. We collaborated on plans for transportation, warehousing, customer fulfillment, inventory realignment and warehouse modifications. We ensured customer orders were not interrupted, migrated inbound and outbound finished goods, and created new relationships with additional network partners and transportation providers.

Before the acquisition, DSC managed all finished goods transportation from the Central Distribution Center (CDC) for our Fortune 500 customer but not for the Fortune 1000 customer. We had to assess the incremental increase in volume and the new geographic areas resulting from the acquisition and prepare our partner 3PLs (whom we manage as a 4PL) across the country for the volume increases.

We made modifications to our existing network to adapt to the new, larger network we would be managing. Modifications included transitioning a smaller operation into a CDC, adding five Regional Distribution Center (RDC) locations, and converting four existing crossdocks to also serve as RDCs. In all, 19 locations were involved in the transition.

Because of the uncertainty about timing, the team’s go-live plans addressed multiple scenarios. The actual conversion took place over one weekend, and a full physical inventory was conducted at all 19 locations. We were shipping from original locations up to the Thursday before the conversion weekend and shipping from new locations starting the Monday after, with the first delivery to wholesale customers occurring three days later.

Result

Collaborating with our customers to meet objectives on a very tight timeline, DSC leveraged industry knowledge, expertise in integrations and established processes to support the integration plan. Both customers were protected during the acquisition time frame by DSC’s detailed analyses and careful planning – including multiple scenarios and contingency plans, comprehensive coordination with carriers and other 3PL operators, and ability to flex up and down to manage volumes. The weekend transition, requiring a significant amount of change management, was executed flawlessly for our customers. Volume transfers increased by 30% in the existing CDC and 200% in the newly created CDC. The strength of DSC’s relationship with each customer played a key role in making this integration successful – demonstrating the power of strategic partnership and customer alignment.