July 07, 2022 | Blog
By Emily Ehlers, Product Marketing Manager
It sounds like a great party game. You make a big list of some things you want. You pass copies of this list to a bunch of other people, who have to provide the items – within a strict time limit – crossing off each request on their own lists as they go. At the end, if anything’s missing, or duplicated, you all pay a forfeit.
But this isn’t a party game. Incredibly, it’s how many M&A deals are run. Where the lists involved can span huge Excel files, while the forfeits are – potentially – millions of dollars. It was time someone thought up a better way. So we did.
First, a closer look at why setting up a data room for M&A is such a headache. Before due diligence can happen, the deal team at the bank must ask the seller to supply all the documents that the buyer needs to see. These files may relate to revenue, HR, litigation, and more besides. Generally this request list takes the form of an Excel spreadsheet, sent by email. When the seller uploads files from the list, the bank manually updates the checklist. Any back-and-forth about the requests is also done by email.
There’s no need to point out how laborious this process is. Nor how much potential there is for errors to creep in – especially when multiple versions of the same checklist begin to circulate. Then the checklist must be checked again, against the actual content of the data room, to see if everything is really there. Then, as the many files are scrutinized by the buyer, additional files may be needed, and the checklist returns.
So – we mentioned a better way.
Trackers is one of the must-have features of Datasite. It provides a single, central checklist, used by all involved. When one user makes a change, everyone sees it who needs to see it. When one person uploads a file, everyone knows it (again, assuming they have the right permissions).
There’s no more confusion. There’s no more back-and-forth. No more multiple versions of the list, no more emails, no more Excel. And because everything happens on the Datasite platform, there’s no more switching between any other software at all.
You can use trackers whenever you set up a data room – either in Diligence (the data room where due diligence takes place) or Prepare (our application for setting up in advance). Users simply click on the Trackers tab to get started.
There are several ways to create a tracker. You can upload one from Excel, copy from an existing project, or make one from scratch. You can then make any edits required, grant/restrict permissions, adjust views, set column options and so forth. And here’s the really neat part: in a few clicks, you can generate a complete folder structure directly from the tracker – so that the two match up by default.
Now everyone is literally on the same page. Both the seller and the bank know exactly what’s in the data room, what’s still needed, what’s been checked and what hasn’t. Correcting any omissions takes moments instead of hours or days. And security isn’t compromised by email exchanges.
It’s easy to see how setting up a deal is so much easier and quicker when the teams use trackers. There’s one source of truth, and one place to collaborate. It means your data room will be ready to roll long before the music stops.
See it in action – request a demo today.