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Analyze your acquisitions: A look at Canon Communications' buying strategy

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ROGER BURG, VP-operations, Canon Communications As of last fall, Canon Communications had made five acquisitions in less than two years. But with the dramatic changes in the credit markets and operational costs, the pace of deal-making has dropped off, said Roger Burg, VP-operations, who joined Canon 18 years ago as a production artist doing paste-up. MB: Are you still in acquisition mode? Burg: Across the industry, I think there are a lot of things stuck in the pipeline, waiting to see what the economy will do. At some point, they'll just start selling. For me, I study these potential deals to see what kinds of efficiencies we could have. My goal isn't to reduce my current head count but to up efficiencies between the two companies. The more efficient we become, the more titles we can handle. Generally it means looking at their contracts with printers and paper suppliers and that sort of thing to see how they intersect with our contracts. If their payments are outsized and inefficient, maybe we don't want to get into that. MB: What else are you doing to be more efficient? Burg: We're actually hiring on the digital side while other companies lay off. We're putting more of a push there. We're going to an all-digital work flow so the fact that we have some offices around the country due to the acquisitions isn't a problem at all and saves time and money. We actually print one of our magazines in Europe, where it is sold. We pay more for printing, but we pay less in distribution and the readers get it faster. So it's a win-win. M
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