Inside Look: Tuck-In Acquisition Strategy
Introduction adapted from this article on Volaris’ Acquired Knowledge Magazine.
When Volaris Group acquires a company, we strive to keep the current business model in place, allowing leadership to continue running the business autonomously. There are, however, situations where organizations that join Volaris are best suited to be merged with an existing portfolio business typically for very specific strategic reasons. This type of integration is referred to as a “tuck-in” where the newly acquired organization is integrated into an existing business within the same vertical market. Tuck-in acquisitions provide the advantage of increasing income-generation and growth potential for both parties, who may have previously competed in the same market.
By joining forces, competitors can benefit from sharing information and business processes with each other, ultimately adding value for customers. This type of deal can be low risk for both parties, since the two companies are often already aware of each other’s capabilities. Both can expand reach and increase their credibility in the markets they serve.
Volaris has successfully completed dozens of tuck-in acquisitions over the past several years. Our extensive experience arranging purchases and integrating employees has resulted in a number of tuck-in acquisitions. The process includes careful analysis of the vertical market and the strengths of both the existing Volaris business unit and the acquiring organization.
One successful example in the Education portfolio is the integration of Oasys and Idaho State Billing Services (ISB) into Go Solutions. Each business operated separately prior to the integration; however, all three businesses are now working together to achieve their goal of becoming a nationally known organization that generates Medicaid dollars for students.
Since 1994, Go Solutions has worked with K-12 school districts across the United States to streamline special education student data and expand their Medicaid billing efforts. Their national expertise has provided customers with customized solutions for special education service tracking, software integration, Medicaid consultation, and reimbursement services. Go Solutions found their fit at Volaris Group in November 2020.
Based in Wisconsin, Oasys has provided special education software and Medicaid billing solutions for local K-12 school districts since 1999. With Oasys, school administrators and teachers can maintain the information needed for current, referred, and historical special education students. Administrators can seamlessly enter and maintain IEPs, Progress Reports, Special Ed forms, and all other necessary data for special education students. Oasys joined Volaris Group’s Education portfolio in January 2021.
Idaho State Billing Services (ISB)
In May 2021, Volaris Group acquired ISB, which provides consulting, administrative services, and web-based software solutions to Idaho schools in the areas of Medicaid billing and integrated IEP software for special education. For over a decade, ISB has worked with school districts to obtain their allowable Medicaid reimbursements. The reimbursements go back to the school’s budget, helping schools provide quality services for their students by funding positions and special program services.
Benefits of Integration Strategy
While all three companies have similar product offerings and share a common customer base, they each focus on a different geographical region. By operating under the Go Solutions brand, Oasys and ISB will be able to increase product functionality and offerings, grow their market share, and increase customer satisfaction. We sat down with Shaun Callahan, VP of Business Development at Volaris Group, who oversees the integration process, to learn more about the benefits of the tuck-in acquisition strategy.
Increased Product Functionality
The ultimate objective of the tuck-in integration is for Oasys and ISB to offer their products under the well-established Go Solutions brand. By leveraging the technologies of three companies, the business will be able to provide more sophisticated offerings to all clients. For example, ISB customers have been migrated to the Go Solutions platform, which provides increased functionality and a better user experience. In addition, the complimentary IEP management solution from Oasys has been added to the Go Solutions product set. Shaun Callahan explains, “There was a plan to rebuild a brand new product that did everything, but upon further investigation, the team realized that they had many pieces in place to build a tighter integration between the two products.” Go Solutions will continue to work with Oasys and ISB to deliver a customizable suite of software products to school districts.
The integration team at Volaris Group has helped identify the strengths of certain products and incorporate those capabilities into the final product suite through a gap analysis. This has helped the business strengthen their focus on improving product functionality for customers. In addition, the teams are working on enhancing their processes for professional and managed services to increase productivity.
Growth of Market Share
As part of Volaris Group, Go Solutions, Oasys, and ISB have reduced the competition between each other in the pursuit of gaining market share. Because the original teams from all businesses remained intact, there is an opportunity for employees to collaborate and share knowledge on the industry to better serve the market. By sharing insights on the competitors and geographies that each are familiar with, they will be better positioned to grow their presence in the industry. The integration has already helped Oasys and ISB gain clients in new states. Shaun Callahan shares, “In planning for future growth, the team is forming a system with primary and secondary sales territories to determine which team should support an RFP from a new territory.” Having these boundaries in place will allow the Go Solutions brand to grow rapidly, while eliminating internal competition. Volaris Group will support Go Solutions’ goals of market expansion by sharing proven best practices and strategies in sales and marketing.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
In addition to sharing knowledge of the market, the team members at Go Solutions are also able to strategize about their ideal customers and prospects. Upon acquisition, Volaris Group helped the team conduct surveys to get a better understanding of customer needs and expectations. “You have to know your customers and understand what is important to them in order to determine what product or solutions should be developed further,” says Shuan Callahan. As part of the integration, the customer support and customer success teams now work together as one team. This has been very beneficial to employees in establishing a culture of collaboration and learning among the three businesses. Volaris Group understands that by focusing on company culture, not just business performance, we can better serve our customers and increase their overall satisfaction. In following Volaris best practices, customer satisfaction will be continually monitored through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Volaris Group looks forward to future growth with the integration of Go Solutions, Oasys, and ISB. By working together, the team will continue to develop new products and solutions for the special education market to make a difference in the lives of students and schools.