Leverage our product portfolio into new geographical regions through in-country presence
Expand our geographical footprint and enhance our product portfolio through acquisition
Laboratorios Vencofarma do Brasil Ltda, Brazil
Bringing an acquisition into the Dechra organisation
Largest World Animal Health Market
Successful integration of an acquired business is a key skill that Dechra has developed over numerous transactions. When we buy a business we have an in depth understanding of its products, its markets and where it will fit strategically within the Dechra Group. We believe it is important that we implement a strategic plan from day one of ownership and outline to our new employees a very clear vision of what our objectives are. People do not like uncertainty, therefore an honest, straightforward and up front approach is always well received and also helps us to retain the key people who are one of the key strengths of any business.
With our most recent acquisition of Laboratorios Vencofarma do Brasil Ltda (Venco), we implemented swift change that has had a positive impact on the new team. By investing up front in our integration plan, we relieved some of the pressures on the management to allow them to focus on the employees, customers and driving sales. Over our first six months since acquiring Venco we have made 'excellence in communication' a key goal to obtain engagement and collaboration.
On day one a presentation was given to all staff, the majority of whom were on site, with others watching via a video stream. The purpose of this presentation was to highlight who Dechra are, where we have come from, and what the benefits would be for Venco being part of the Dechra Group. We also outlined the values we aspire to both as a Company and as individuals. Over the subsequent days we held mini group meetings with every department to provide an opportunity for questions and to clarify points that directly affected them.
This was only the start of the communication process which was followed up with a major conference where every single person in the Venco business attended. The presentations included a celebration of the past performance, expectations for the future, the importance of brand and an outline of the integration plan that was to be rolled out over the next 18 months. This conference was a high tempo and professionally organised event that generated a great atmosphere and a desire to embrace change. It was explained that visually the business will look different but, more importantly, culturally it will behave differently. Fundamentally, we were asking people to take responsibility for their own actions, decisions and ambitions. For some this change was a frightening experience, for others a chance to express themselves and put forward their own ideas on how to change, improve and grow. The majority of the team responded extremely positively and have embraced the transition to Dechra.
We have worked hard to strengthen the team with the appointment of key management positions; a new Finance Director started within four weeks, a HR Manager within eight weeks and a Regulatory Manager within 12 weeks.
In the early days, the excitement and anticipation provided good momentum within the team, which has continued with the delivery of our promises and implementation of the integration plan. We have maintained regular communication to drive an informed, open and honest culture.
We have taken a number of key engagement actions, which includes:
- implementing a programme of English lessons which has had an uptake of over 70 people. This was seen as an opportunity for everyone in the business to grow their skills and enable them to engage better with the parent company and new colleagues;
- starting the "Great Place to Work" survey where we can listen to people's views and ideas;
- planning the site investments and the initiation of some early essential projects. It is important to start these as this is seen as a tangible expression of our commitment to developing the business; and
- introducing the change of corporate brand with new uniforms, site signage and website changes.
Ultimately, we want our employees to live and breathe our Values because it is important they share the same beliefs and culture.
In Brazil we have just started on this exciting journey; while there is a great deal to do, we know the team will enjoy delivering Dechra's goal of becoming a major animal health player in the South American market.