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As the case study shows, one year after the acquisition the combined division is making significant contributions including serving as a catalyst for $1.4B in new projects for EDS. This specifically shows how the aligning of organizational structures and cultures is critical to the success of a merger, especially in an area as time- and resource-driven as enterprise and strategies sales.
In assessing and approaching new accounts that were working on transformational initiatives, MCS/A.T. Kearney needs to first focus on the industries they have the greatest expertise in. For A.T. Kearney these include manufacturing, consumer products, transportation, chemicals and pharmacy. For MCS, communications and electronics industries are the strongest industries. Targeting new opportunities in each of these segments by finding corporations who are seeking transformational initiatives to regain their value chain, supply chain, manufacturing or financial performance, and the combined team of MCS / A.T. Kearney has the depth of expertise to be trusted advisors (Buchen, 2001) to the senior management teams of these organizations. As a result of the depth of expertise and insight by each of these industries, the sales teams of MCS / A.T. Kearney could quickly earn credibility and also provide immediate value even during the sales process by offering suggestions from their analysis prior to meeting with senior executives. As transformational initiatives are outsourced only to those firms which have innate knowledge and appreciate the nuances of one company in an industry to another, bringing this industry expertise to the forefront is critical. For each individual prospect, the teams from MCS / A.T. Kearney would do a thorough analysis of their current condition, including the areas where it is clear transformational initiatives are needed. From this initial analysis the teams would meet with senior management and discuss how their longer-range plans and objectives can be met through the use of the MCS / A.T. Kearney insights and industry expertise. Throughout this sales process the objective of tailoring all deliverables to prospects and clients to provide solid evidence of the company's ability to deliver exceptional value based on industry expertise is critical. For MCS / A.T. Kearney to be successful with this strategy they must emerged as the trusted advisor to prospects and customers alike (Buchen, 2001).
In defining the organizational structure, it would be best to join industry experts and create industry practices, giving senior consultancy members partnerships and making them responsible for the profit and loss of their practice areas. The organizational structure would also need to be highly cross-functional to ensure that the maximum amount of expertise was being applied to each specific prospects' and customers' needs (Le Meunier-FitzHugh, Piercy, 2008). Recruitment would concentrate on MBAs and graduate students in operations research, strategy, finance and related fields from the top business schools in the nation. The career path would be from associate to engagement manager to partner, which is very comparable to how A.T. Kearney managed career paths in the past. Finally on compensation, the positions would have a base salary of 75% of total compensation with 25% being from bonuses. All bonuses would be indexed to customer satisfaction with implementations to ensure a high degree of collaboration took place internally. Customer satisfaction surveys would be used to define an aggregate score for each implementation. If the score was 4 or greater on a scale of 5 the team completing the initiate would receive their bonus. Finally on the issue of control, the practice director would have final authority for costs, schedules, commitments made to the client, and all sales management activity. As the MCS/A.T. Kearney corporate structure has shown, disengaging this division from the broader EDS organizational structure has helped to retain its independence. This is critically important for both the MCS and A.T. Kearney employees to have mastery and control over their own work as well. Most important, this distancing from EDS further solidifies their position of being impartial trusted advisors to their clients (Buchen, 2001).
Irving H. Buchen. (2001). The trusted advisor revealed. Consulting to Management, 12(2), 35-37.
Le Meunier-FitzHugh, K., & Piercy, N.. (2008). The importance of organisational structure for collaboration between sales and marketing. Journal of General Management, 34(1), 19.
Kaj Storbacka, Lynette Ryals, Iain A. Davies, & Suvi Nenonen. (2009). The changing role of sales: viewing sales as a strategic, cross-functional process. European Journal of Marketing, 43(7/8), 890-906.[continue]
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