Case Study / Client: SMT

Ambitious divestiture and IT transformation programme delivered within a critical migration timeframe.


SMT is a leading, international full-service distribution company specialising in machinery and equipment for the construction, material handling, recycling and transport industries. Active in large parts of Africa and Europe, they hold a longstanding track record of working exclusively with global leading brands including Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), Sennebogen and Holms. In 2017, the UK entity of Volvo CE was sold to SMT to create SMT GB, which in turn needed to divest its complex operations from Volvo Group.

With the transaction complete and an ambitious timeline set to divest the entity, immediate expert resource was needed to define requirements and lead the project. Furthermore, SMT GB had little experience of managing such a large, complex project and could boast no existing IT infrastructure, leadership or team to help deliver the de-merger, so Speculo experts were required to manage the complete project end-to-end.

The Challenge

The key challenge was clear from the outset. The fact that SMT GB had no existing IT resources or infrastructure, meant that the business had little capability and knowledge of building and running an IT function. Whilst this understandably allows for a new function to be built from the ground up to best suit the specific requirements of the new entity, it meant in this instance that there was a lack of understanding about the complexities of building the function in the first place, compounded by the fact that no key IT suppliers were in place to support this.

In addition, dealing with such a large organisation as Volvo was inherently challenging, as they were consistently unable to provide detailed information on the size and performance of systems in conjunction with being incredibly slow in responding to the simplest of requests.

Key Deliverables

> Mergers, acquisitions and divestiture expertise

> End-to-end project management

> RFP and supplier selection management

> IT build and migration proficiency

SMT Volvo machinery

The Solution

Integrating into the business and working closely with the key stakeholders to fully understand its overall operating requirements going forward, Speculo built a target operating model from scratch. Speculo’s project professionals defined the precise technology requirements of the services SMT GB needed in order to operate successfully post divestiture, before packaging up into two key RFP’s that were taken to market in order to find and select the best suppliers to deliver their requirements.

Furthermore, Speculo designed the overarching programme of works to deliver the changes required for a successful transition before managing the delivery inline with the agreed deadline.

The Outcome

In an incredible 8 month period Speculo successfully transitioned SMT GB out of Volvo’s centralised IT function, migrated all data and services to the UK alongside managing the deployment of all required IT infrastructure and services to allow SMT GB to operate under its own control.

The speed with which this was achieved allowed SMT GB to avoid an extension of the £1m a year transition costs that Volvo had allocated to their services. The new operation also greatly reduced ongoing operating costs whilst there was zero downtime experienced or service impacting issues during the transition – an incredible feat for such a complex de-merger.

Through a combination of extensive experience in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, tried and tested knowledge, expert led procurement processes, leading transformation and change professionals and precisely the right level of support for SMT GB’s internal capability and requirements, all time objectives in the delivery were hit and the business was extremely satisfied with the outcome. Critically, however, SMT GB gained control of their own IT function for the first time, so were now free to drive the business forward going on a journey of transformation across the business.

> Rapid IT build and data migration

> Avoided of expensive extension to IT transition resources

> Ongoing IT operating costs reduced

> Zero downtime or service impacting issues during transition

> Complete control of IT function for first time

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