Now comes the fun part. As many of you know, with the acquisition of Synthes, Johnson & Johnson will be challenged with the daunting task of integrating Synthes into their organization. Analysis paralysis is already setting in. Having an integral role in acquisitions and mergers has taught many a valuable lesson. The first lesson is that just because you have money to buy something, doesn't necessarily mean you are going to be any good at merging a company. Unfortunately, wealth should never be equated with intelligence or competance. It just means you are wealthy. Neither does it mean that hiring a consultant is going to make your life any easier.
The biggest challenge for J&J will be the integration of trauma and spine, where there is tremendous overlap. Contrary to what some analysts are saying, the worst that can happen would be allowing the trauma and spine business units to continue independently while corporate attempts to figure out how to assimilate the busiess units. Identify the plan and move swiftly, if not, you will create confusion in the marketplace. Honesty and transparency are important even if you have to hurt some people's feelings. Communicate with your customers. Regardless whether you believe it or not, a business as usual attitude will come back to haunt you. Deciding on whether you will continue to sell via distributors or direct sales people will alleviate the trepidation and anxiety that alredy exists in your respective business models. Today, your sales people are confused and distracted as to what awaits their futures. By identifying the plan and implementing it, you will establish continuity while transitioning.
The cultural differences will be exasperating. J&J has always exhibited a stiff collar mentality, while Synthes has been more of a gunslinger. The posse will learn quickly that there is a new sheriff in town and that some of the old mores and values will not be tolerated. It is interesting to read outsiders opinions of how different these two organizations are. Contrary to what is said, selling is selling regardless whether you work for one or the other organization. Synthes salespeople have one of the best educational sales training platforms in the industry. Unfortunately, there will be collateral damage in the rank and file, as well as in middle management. Like TSB said, this will be a golden opportunity to get rid of the dead wood in management across the board. Don't make the mistake that companies like Biomet and Stryker made by allowing total joint reps have access to trauma products and trauma selling recon. This will diminish your salespeoples focus. In addition, trauma salespeople are more Type A personalities in comparision to recon salesmen. It's evitable that there will be people that are on the chopping block, if you haven't begun looking for a new job, now may be the time to polish one's resume. The bad news is that the market sucks and unless you can flip immediate revenue, good luck in finding a new job in this economy.
So in the spirit of debate, TSB wants to know, will this be easy or is Johnson & Johnson heading into the perfect storm?