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Extending method to re-evaluate new solution for acquisitions

Posted 8/1/2010

Manufacturer of car care products

Background to organisation

The subsidiary of a US parent, with hands-off management and an autonomous UK Board. The UK operation was responsible for marketing, formulating and manufacturing car care products.


The US parent negotiated at short notice three European acquisitions, to become subsidiaries of the UK. The assignment was to establish if the off-the-shelf software selected earlier and recently installed was suitable for running all the new subsidiaries.

Project approach

We used the evaluation method that the UK directors were already familiar with, reducing their project management overhead.

The detailed requirements document from the original selection went to the new subsidiaries to seed discussions. This meant subsequent requirements definition interviews could concentrate on identifying the differences in business needs.

After documenting and agreeing the new requirements, the incumbent supplier was invited back for another round of evaluating their solution against the new requirements. This used the process they had experienced during the original evaluation.


The evaluation proved the incumbent suitable for pan-European use, including all four national operations and a switch to integrated materials buying across Europe.

Because they made the product more global, the supplier offered 'free enhancements' (development of the standard product as R&D cost) to further match European legislation, including sophisticated French consumer discount structures. If charged to the client, these enhancements would have cost over £120k.

Client comment - Project Sponsor, UK Financial Director

"As a bonus, the features within the chosen solution also meant that it could potentially be exploited later to support a pan-European acquisition that increased our presence in France and Benelux. A few years later, we ran a mini-project that built on original project deliverables and followed the now-familiar method against a candidate list of one - the newly installed UK system. Starting with the old requirements, the capture of differences in requirements and the consequent fit-gap analysis gave us clarity. We gained the confidence to extend the exploitation of our UK system to the rest of Europe."

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