Suzanne Francis

Suzanne Francis
Partner Emeritus

Suzanne built the firm's practice in business integration and is accomplished at helping organizations manage the difficult transition that often follows an acquisition or merger.
  • Consultant
  • Partner Emeritus

Suzanne Francis has more than 25 years of experience working with organizations on business challenges across a wide range of industries and sectors.

She has worked with clients and partners to successfully and effectively merge two businesses. While typically mergers cause significant upheaval in the life of each company, Suzanne's work illustrates that many of the inherent pitfalls can be avoided with early strategic planning, adequate allocation of resources, and the relentless pursuit of measurable results through cross-business collaborative projects. Under Suzanne’s strong leadership, Schaffer Consulting's approach to acquisition integration ensures that the goals which inspired the merger in the first place are achieved.

Here is one example. When a small, multi-national specialty packaging company was acquired by a much larger company, the hope was to reap benefits by creating a division that would reflect more of the customer focus and creativity exhibited by the acquired company. However, as the integration progressed, combined sales numbers were falling short of expectations. Suzanne began to work with the integration manager and company executives to plan a meeting that would bring the integration team and a larger cross-business sales team together. The CEO began with a no-nonsense message about achieving the sales goals and the dire consequences of falling short. He pledged executive support to help them reach key customers from both businesses to make incremental sales. This meeting led to an intensive – and successful – sales campaign focused on reaching first quarter sales goals. This major accomplishment provided tangible evidence of the tremendous potential for the combined business and injected new momentum to achieve other integration results.

Suzanne has led major change efforts with a number of key clients, including Bausch + Lomb, Cleveland Cliffs, ConAgra Foods, Devonshire Investments, Lincoln Financial Group, MITRE, Pfizer, PepsiCo, Oshkosh Truck Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration, Veolia Transportation NA, and XL Group.

She has conducted seminars in post-merger integration at the executive education program at The Kellogg School at Northwestern.

Work in public, not-for-profit, and private sector businesses were all part of Suzanne’s pre-Schaffer career. The opportunity to continue working in various businesses and industries in the pursuit of better results and capability building for leaders and employees attracted her to Schaffer Consulting. The focus of the firm was a powerful extension of her earlier work with Xerox Corporation and in several businesses and non-profit enterprises.

Suzanne earned a BA in Sociology from Chatham College, and a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management with a concentration in general management.



Suzanne Francis'S RECENT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

ARTICLE

Takeovers Don't Have to be Hostile: Reducing the Risk of Culture Clash in M&As

Mergers and acquisitions are high-stakes business. While cultural compatibility is not a deal driver, failure to consider the cultural compatibility of integrating companies can become a hazard after …

ARTICLE

Lessons of Scale: Large Deals by Large Companies

This article analyzes and illustrates the key lessons to be learned from major M&A activity in large companies. The article takes an organization development perspective and examines the role lead…

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