Time plays a major role in M&A transactions. Even the smallest improvement that saves time needed to prepare and perform Due Diligence successfully is worth its weight in gold (to find out more about the importance of VDR in Due Diligence, please go to another article: VDR in Due Diligence process. Why to use it?).
This is why the development of services provided by FORDATA is not limited to the VDR platform itself. We also strive to constantly expand and refine the role of our support. All this to relieve our clients from the strenuous preparation and management of confidential documentation, which is the heart of every Due Diligence process. This includes not only ensuring good quality of the shared files and their proper structurization and naming in the system, but also preparation of documentation in a way that allows investors work as effective as possible at every step. Our Team can do all of this (and more).
From the beginning of the cooperation, a dedicated Project Manager and a specialized Technical Support Team are at the client’s disposal. They assists the client at every stage of the project, offering both substantive and operational support 24/7. After going through the preparation period and the proper organization of documentation, we still accompany the client and continue to carry out any requests they might have, while proactively assisting them in taking up everyday challenges. Nothing is impossible in FORDATA!
Access to the FORDATA Virtual Data Room platform gives a great opportunity to manage documents online consciously. By this we also mean having our ways to support the client in optimizing the Due Diligence process before the first file is even uploaded to our server. This makes working on confidential documents far more comfortable later on. You can treat it as a live tool that is available to the client right away. The essential thing – but still challenging for many companies preparing for the M&A process – is to collect and organize the documentation required by the advisor, which is often scattered across different departments located in different cities. More often than not, scanning the documents also turns out to be a challenge.
The key is then to properly prepare the files for scanning, divide them into thematic areas, give them target names so that the name indicates the content of the document and, finally, load them to the system. It may seem trivial but it is very important in Due Diligence as it may affect the effectiveness of investors’ future work (how to find specific documents in a collection of several thousand files?) and may decide on whether the potential investor views the company as a reliable and well-organized business partner. Therefore, FORDATA supports its clients at this stage very strongly. Whether it is in the customer’s premises or in detached branches, FORDATA can carry out the entire scanning process. In a situation where the client decides to organize the scanning on their own, we have a compendium of good practices at hand in the form of written instructions on how to divide or label the documents before scanning. These guidelines can help save a lot of time and complete this stage more effectively.
Depending on our client’s business needs and the phase of project preparation, there are sample document indexes available which are adjusted to the type of project, transaction or market. They are both in the form of a ready-made structures of folders and sub-folders, as well as a list of documents in an Excel file. Indexes can constitute the backbone on which the client will base their own structure. If the client has already developed the whole structure or its part, FORDATA may additionally create and/or organize documents on a drive, name or give numbering to files and folders appropriately and – after completing the final version – transfer it to the VDR.
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Control over documents and ensuring their confidentiality is key in mergers and acquisitions process. This is why one of the services offered by our team is file conversion into PDF format, which guarantees the highest possible level of security. In order to ensure the top quality of final documents, they are verified in terms of legibility, text orientation and scan quality. Additionally, selected elements of text that should be kept confidential (e.g. contract value, name of the counterparty, etc.) are hidden. In cases where the files delivered by the customer are secured with an additional password, there is a possibility to search for unnecessary security measures and remove them in order to load the documentation into the VDR.
Finally, we need to remember that Virtual Data Rooms are not typically used to transfer files in M&A transactions (the way FTP or Dropbox would) but they are supposed to guarantee controlled document analysis within the system. What makes a very important issue here is the size of the loaded documents. In short, the smaller the file, the better. Smaller documents open faster without any loss of image quality or legibility. Uploading a 500-page document weighting several hundred megabytes is not the best idea. Hence, FORDATA always optimizes files’ size before placing them in the system without compromising their original quality. Should such a solution fail, the files are divided into parts. In result, investors can conduct Due Diligence as efficiently as possible.
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