Staffing Stream: DISYS Outlines Its Acquisition Strategy & Its Execution – Part 2


Editor’s Note: JJ Foster, one of the architects behind DISYS’ acquisition strategy, writes a two-part series for Staffing Stream on it and how the strategy has been successfully implemented. The first part of the series can be found here. The second installment is below.

Powering Up: Executing on an Acquisition Strategy

The economic and regulatory climate is excellent for companies thinking to expand via acquisition. As I discussed in my last post, companies considering such an endeavor should consider their options carefully, and I shared some of DISYS’ planning process. Once your company has its plan in place, it is time to execute. Here, I share DISYS’ experience as we executed on a couple of acquisitions.

The First Win

The first company DISYS acquired was a small tuck — it featured a few great clients in the energy industry.  We acquired and integrated it in less than three months. We used this acquisition to refine our processes, build out our “acquisition muscle” and develop a set of lessons-learned we could apply to future acquisitions. It confirmed our processes, tools and approach were repeatable and set the stage for future successes.

Flexibility Is Key to Replication

The first acquisition was a moderate lift for our organization and revealed a few flaws we had in our process. The fact we had built a repeatable process is one thing … but the fact we built a repeatable process that is adaptable to change is really what makes what we are doing so special.

Our second acquisition, Xtreme Consulting Group, was announced in April of 2018 and presented challenges beyond what we had seen in our first effort. As a larger company with multiple business touchpoints, Xtreme Consulting brought multiple office locations to the table, an international presence and other unique challenges we had to work through.

But Xtreme provided marquee clients in the manufacturing and high-tech industries, with no overlap between their top-20 clients and DISYS’ top 20. Xtreme was extremely strong and well-known in the Pacific Northwest and this substantially bolstered DISYS’ presence in that key geography — hitting on one of the main tenets of our strategy.

Finally, they provided complementary service offerings in cloud, distance-based learning (through XtremeLabs which is now its own organization) and agile development.

This acquisition closed out and we welcomed Xtreme Consulting into our fold and are still working through some of the intricate details of acquisition inclusion but once again, we learned from our process and adapted it accordingly.

The third acquisition, Princeton Information, was announced early this year. Like Xtreme, the acquisition was highly complementary to DISYS offerings.  With Princeton, there was no overlap between their Top-40 and the DISYS legacy client list. These 40 marquee clients are primarily in the financial services industry and will add a robust new market for DISYS to cross-sell its services.

Princeton is well-known in the New York City market and added to DISYS strengths in that critical, growing market. Princeton will also augment DISYS’ already outstanding delivery capability in India with a new delivery center in Noida.  This deal closed Feb. 12.

The last two acquisitions are currently in flight – one targets the rapidly-growing healthcare market and would add marquee clients to the DISYS portfolio in an underserved industry. The second is a full-service IT staffing firm that would bring a recruiting process outsourcing (RPO) capability to the DISYS portfolio of services.  If these deals are successful, they would close in 2019 and allow DISYS to expand its footprint of clients and offerings into new adjacencies.

DISYS has proven, through these acquisitions and accompanying processes, that our systematic, deliberate and repeatable strategy works.

  • We have built a robust platform for growth.
  • We built a set of criteria to look for strategically complementary clients.
  • We built a list of targets to match our strategy.
  • We developed and executed sophisticated processes that have allowed us to acquire 3 companies in the last year — adding substantially to our geographic coverage, offering portfolio, and client base.
  • We have successfully integrated our new DISYS companies in record time, with each integration taking less than three months because of our platform and the expertise of our leadership team.

We hope to close the last two deals this year, then look forward to even more activity next year and beyond!