The Preliminary Survey normally requires between three and six weeks to complete and provides a rapid, practical and comprehensive review of performance, highlighting areas and opportunities for improvement. This phase is often described as operational due diligence.
The opportunities are quantified in financial terms and the Survey then outlines the actions required in the form of a blueprint specifying how the necessary changes could be implemented and over what time-scale.
The exact nature of each Preliminary Survey is determined by both the industry and the client's requirements and is agreed before starting. The Survey is carried out using sophisticated sampling techniques that enable us to gain a detailed understanding of the organisation in a concentrated period of time. We will focus on working with people in their place of work, which enables us to see issues first hand, as well as minimising the time required from line management.
Although designed to lead into the Operations Phase, the Preliminary Survey has its own inherent value as it gives all interested parties an objective review of the organisation and the scale of improvements available. The results of the Survey provide all concerned with the opportunity to define and agree the precise scope of the subsequent Operations Phase.
In relation to mergers and acquisitions the Preliminary Survey can either be used as a mechanism for identifying cost savings and profit improvement opportunities within the acquired business beyond the straightforward elimination of duplicated activity; or it can be carried out across both businesses in order to maximise the total profit improvement potential rather than simply analysing the opportunity within the acquired business.