Strategic Integration Procedures at Menzies plc

We’ve been following the past experience of Adrian Stratta, our Senior Consultant at AiQ Consulting. Adrian has had a fascinating career and we’re very fortunate to be able to gain insights and further understanding from his comprehensive knowledge. In this blog we review his integration role at Menzies USA and notably, the adoption of a People Plan within the delivery. 

Menzies, the leading global time-critical logistics company, brought Adrian in to assist CEO Americas, following Adrian’s interim role turning around a wildcat strike at Heathrow. His primary remit was to integrate the new acquisition Aeroground (AG) into the US Menzies structure. This acquisition doubled the US footprint and was the precursor to three smaller deals.

Common with most Handling operations Adrian found that the US structure was not scaled to manage such major acquisitions. It was under-resourced to manage the current operations, where the focus was upon the local manager to deliver all aspects of their operation.  No effective centralised support or recognised processes and systems were available to support the managers; what centralized support existed, it was swamped by a myriad of requests and unable to effectively prioritise their response.

Further to the integration requirements and associated projects, Adrian was required to:

  • Develop and execute the further pipeline of acquisitions.
  • Develop the US Corporate HQ structure and procedures.
  • Address the high staff turnover.

Size and effective delivery demanded a restructure of the business, based on capacity and skills reviews.  Now there was overlapping operations across 15 US and Canadian cities.  To support and enable the line managers, it was key to get the right people in the right place, with the right skills.  To achieve this, Adrian promoted a ‘People Plan’ to create regional support and service centres to drive centrally directed and monitored administrative processes, to relieve local pressures and drive centralized ‘pro-active’ training to help foster competency and enable and develop future operational leaders.

By integrating the People Plan and establishing company procedures, retention improved, leaders became more competent and efficient; staff felt engaged with their roles and the company as a whole.  Planned synergies were delivered more effectively (through the engagement), whilst reducing operating costs and profits were derived.

For all businesses, an acquisition is both an opportunity and comprises risk, especially in the integration – this must be planned and effectively resourced.  For any change, clear direction across a business, led from the Top is essential.  In the US alignment and familiarization were required, but the most significant factor was engagement of the entire workforce.  Managers and workers need to understand the softer issues, the prevailing culture, values and symbols to be adopted, as well as recognition of past achievements and the plan to move forward and grow.  Engagement of any workforce is key, for they are at the front line and represent the company to the public and other organisations – they are your ambassadors.

Under the Menzies structure today, the business has successfully grown.  Through training, engagements and system advances, the obvious advantages in customer satisfaction, efficiency and staff retention have each affected the positive bottom line.

Adrian now uses his skills to lead restructuring, finding efficiencies and driving change for clients at AiQ. He is able to confidently plan for any leadership and capacity problem within the airport industry; and leverage the smart tools available within AiQ to simulate and test potential solutions; to great effect and benefit.

If you would like to talk to Adrian and AiQ to see what we could achieve for your company, contact us today.