Here they come, the victors sweeping in like an occupying army and no one is sure if it will be business as usual, new leadership bringing massive change or if the new owners will simply loot and pillage. Time stands still.
An era has ended and another is about to begin. Employees wonder if the new owners really understand what they bought, when production will resume and will they have a future with the new owners. Modular home builders begin wondering if they should have jumped ship or if they made the right decision in staying on board.
For the factory’s employees it’s time to ask if you’re a redundancy and a cost, nameless and expendable and you’re left asking yourself, “Do I still have a place here?” When the initial dust settles you’ll be asking a different question: “Is today my last day?” Soon everyone it thinking the same thing: “Why don’t they just let us know?”
The employees may want it to be over, but it won’t be that fast, clean, or simple. The new owners are going through a transition too. Despite their due diligence, it’ll take months to roll out their plan. The new owners didn’t just purchase builder lists, brand names, products, and infrastructure. They also bought talent, networks, and institutional knowledge. And that takes time to sort through. Despite the eerie calm, there is plenty happening behind the scenes. And big changes are ahead.
For the modular home builders that have been buying homes from the factory, the big questions are: “When will production restart? Do the new owners really want my business? Will I get a new sales rep and will I have to learn an entirely new system? Where do the custom modular homes I sell fit into their established production? Do the new owners even want what we build?”
Factory employees will now have a new team guiding the factory. You imagine the worst: Cleaning out your office and watching them move on like you were never there. You know the reality: They didn’t hire you. They don’t know you. They’re not invested in your success. But the new team will take it slow. They’re taking a deeper dive into the books. Their consultants are slicing-and-dicing the same data in every way imaginable (and wondering how you survived this long). And they’re scrutinizing every last detail to see what should be cut…and what isn’t being maximized.
Eventually, the new owners will want to leave their fingerprints. And their intentions will become clear over time. If only you had a skill like one of the production people! They now have the most secure jobs with the new team.
You’re probably harboring some resentment. You’ve suffered through so much change – and you don’t know if you have the stomach for more. Your new bosses may be younger or far less experienced than you imagined. Worse, they may come from a competitor that outflanked you. Regardless, you’re starting from scratch – and all that goodwill and influence you’ve nurtured means little now. The new regime doesn’t care about job titles and achievements; the bigger they are, the worse it is for you. And they could care less about any promises made to you.
Many builders think they have clout but nothing could be further from the truth. The new owners, especially if they were competitors to the old factory, probably have their own network of builders just waiting to place orders. The new team will bring in new Sales Managers and middle management and in a lot of cases consolidate overlapping services with what they already have in place.
The good news for the builders. They will need sales right from the beginning and will absolutely complete all houses already placed with the factory. They will use the same production people to build these houses which will give them a little breathing space while they assess what brought about the downfall of the old factory and been evaluating if they want to continue serving the same builders the old factory had, rid themselves of competing builders to their own builders, decide if they want to build homes like the old factory into the future and lastly if they want to recreate in the newly purchased factory what works for them quite well and profitable in their other factories.
You may have liked how things were. Your routine provided comfort and consistency. But this is their company now. And they don’t have to adapt to you. There’s no sense protecting your turf. Those battles have already been fought. You just don’t know it yet.
Right now, the new owners are digging into every area of the operation, examining their newly acquired business from vantage points that you’d never considered. What’s more, they’re questioning everything.
So get ready to adjust: The style, rules, and tenor are about change. There will be new priorities, policies, personnel, processes, politics, and restrictions. And they’ll flatten the hierarchy, tweak the business model, and tighten the exceptions to increase speed and reduce costs.