Your client, a leading manufacturer of chocolates, cookies, and hard candies, has acquired a company which manufactures all sorts of soft candies, such as gummy bears, candy corn, circus peanuts, etc. Initially, this was thought to be an ideal acquisition, as the products of both companies were sold in the same channels, and the merger/acquisition was expected to lead to economies of scale in the storage and distribution of the combined product line, as well as opening additional markets for the soft candies, which were not currently available in all the stores which sold the products of the larger, acquiring manufacturer.
Initially, you were called in to perform an analysis of the IT systems of the acquired company, to determine how to migrate them most efficiently into the IT systems of the acquiring company. You had planned to review such things as data record layouts (to see how to convert product numbers and employee numbers, consolidate customer numbers and addresses, etc.) and analyze functionality. However, in recent days, some issues have cropped up which challenge the initial assumptions regarding how good of a fit the soft candy product line would be and whether the anticipated operational efficiencies could be achieved.
Now, you have been asked to conduct a six-week consulting engagement to recommend how to proceed with the merger/acquisition. You have decided that you will need meet with teams of IT, Manufacturing, Distribution, and Marketing people from both companies, to get their input and to determine the recommended next steps.