NSCA cautions systems integrators facing M&A process

Jan. 14, 2020
A new white paper leads systems integrators through a successful growth process based on the positive – and not-so-positive – experiences of NSCA members.

The NSCA (National Systems Contractors Association - Cedar Rapids, IA), the leading not-for-profit association representing the commercial low-voltage electronic systems industry, has just released a new white paper entitled, Mergers & Acquisitions—Don’t Grow Your Business into the Ground.

The paper's premise is thus: Over the past few years, the systems integration industry has seen an active climate of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Approximately 30 NSCA integrator members have been acquired in the last year alone. And while NSCA notes that a successful acquisition or merger can lead to benefits including increased market share, purchasing leverage, better relationships with key accounts, and increased diversification in technologies and markets -- some integrators have important stories to tell about things that can go wrong.

“In the ‘not successful’ instances we’ve seen, lack of success is caused by a failure to blend from a cultural perspective,” comments NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson. “Over the past few years, NSCA has been watching and observing, learning lessons, and speaking with buyers and sellers. We’ve uncovered many things that need to be shared with members so they can make more informed decisions.”

The new white paper leads integrators through a successful growth process based on the positive – and not-so-positive – experiences of NSCA members. The paper also includes thoughts from several NSCA trusted advisors, "many of whom have walked away from far more deals than they’ve completed," as noted by the association.

In addition, the document includes helpful checklists addressing topics such as: what to look for during the merger or acquisition process; indicators of a "no-go" deal; and how to deal with gut feelings during the process.

The information in the white paper will also be used to guide an upcoming breakout session at the 22nd annual Business & Leadership Conference in Irving, TX. At the conference, CapitalValue Advisors managing director Chris Younger will lead a session entitled, Avoid Growing Your Business into the Ground on Feb. 27, 2020.

Facilitated by NSCA board of directors president Josh Shanahan and PSA president Bill Bozeman, the workshop will discuss the influence of private equity in the integration industry and growing M&A activity. This industry shift will be explored as attendees gain insight into the types of changes that occur as company ownership is altered.

The NSCA cites itself as a powerful advocate for all who work within the low-voltage industry, including systems contractors/integrators, product manufacturers, consultants, sales representatives, architects, specifying engineers, and other allied professionals. NSCA members can download the new white paper at no cost by visiting www.nsca.org/research.

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