The secret to keeping Generation Z happy?
In part two of our interview, Heikki Kauppinen, our CEO and co-founder, explains the moral imperative of automating due diligence processes, why there’s always room for further modernization in the digital age, and how employers can keep Generation Z happy.
Does every business require due diligence?
Yes. We speak about due diligence mostly in terms of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as well as investments into companies. But you still need to carry out due diligence even if you’re not seeking investment or undergoing M&A . For example when your audits are done, then you need to have your documentation in place. When new board members join a company, they should require carrying out due diligence so that they know what they’re getting into in terms of personal risk.
What are the stages of a due diligence examination?
Again it depends on the context. For corporate investments and M&A, you have preliminary negotiations which lead to a term sheet. That’s similar to a letter of intent, with high level terms regarding the investment. Then the due diligence examination begins.
Has the due diligence process evolved over the last few decades?
Yes and no. The basics of the process are still much the same. The big change has been digitalization. For the last decade we’ve had virtual data rooms (VDRs). Those used to be actual rooms full of paper, where you’d enter with a notepad and pen and go through folders one by one. Now all documents are scanned, uploaded to a VDR, and a team can examine them from anywhere.
But there’s still a need for further modernization. VDRs have been built from the point of view of being a data dump through which we siphon. From a data protection point of view it doesn’t work. We need effective tools to ensure that teams going through big amounts of data are all aware of what each team member is doing, what is approved and by who and when. That’s the examiner’s perspective.
From the perspective of a company seeking investment, it’s important to know who has looked at what documents and where, and have an insight into how long and what the viewer focussed on. This all helps with negotiations.
So can automation help employees involved in due diligence examinations?
In my own experience of due diligence, I’ve discovered that a lot of one’s time is spent on simple and quite frankly boring tasks. Humans are far too intelligent to be carrying out mundane repetitive tasks. And having customers pay highly trained individuals to do these mundane tasks is really not where we should be in 2018.
Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges facing employers hiring millennials and Generation Z, because they’re so educated and so demanding. They’re not willing to carry out the grunt work that perhaps employees were willing to do in the past. They want to use the best possible tools to give them the best possible work experience. If we have highly trained individuals comparing columns and numbers, they’re not going to hang around for very long.
Thank you, Heikki!
Big question: Is automation a necessity or a luxury?