Symbiosis is interaction between two organisms to the advantage of both. There are many examples of this in the natural and business worlds and battery & comms systems specialist Ultralife Corporation’s purchase of UK battery original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Accutronics, at the start of 2016, is a perfect example.
John Kotter’s eight steps for leading change has become mandatory reading for any business shaking things up. Ultralife’s acquisition of Accutronics is definitely a change, and together both companies have impressive goals that we hope will change the way design engineers view the incorporation of smart batteries into their projects. So, several months after the relationship between Ultralife and Accutronics became formal, I found it interesting to look back on the process and compare it to Kotter's ideal model. Kotter's eight step process is:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Build a guiding coalition
- Form strategic vision and initiatives
- Enlist a volunteer army
- Enable by removing barriers
- Generate short term wins
- Sustain acceleration
- Institute change
The birth of Accutronics
Accutronics, in its current form, took shape in 2009. This meant that the company had to find its feet against a backdrop of economic recession. We beat the odds by bringing manufacturing back to the UK from China and have been able to grow the business into a reputable, strong brand that exports leading battery technology to over 30 countries. The last seven years have been such a success that New York based Ultralife Corporation approached us with a view to joining forces, a partnership that allows us to sustain acceleration – step number seven in Kotter’s process.
Ultralife’s £7.575m purchase of Accutronics has ushered in a new chapter for both companies that will allow us to serve our customers better across the globe. Accutronics will continue providing its familiar high-quality battery and charger solutions to its core sectors, including medical technology (MedTech), throughout Europe and beyond. The global footprint that our new parent company brings to the table complements and expands this offering.
The MedTech sector
In demanding sectors such as MedTech, considerations like global reach, cost competitiveness, flexibility, high performance and reliable standards are critical requirements when considering suppliers. Accutronics can now take advantage of the increased resources at our disposal as a result of joining the Ultralife family, to enable action by removing barriers, which Kotter lists as step five. This makes Accutronics the ideal choice as a long-term supply partner for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
This new partnership dramatically boosts our existing activities, which means that our customers can continue to benefit from our strategy, management team, design engineering expertise and service level while enjoying new advantages. Integrating with Ultralife enhances our well-established offering and gives us an improved global reach to support our customers’ manufacturing and commercial operations globally.
Ultralife has a strong reputation for providing battery technology to commercial and military sectors and saw the collaboration with us as the ideal opportunity to improve its presence in other industries, particularly the MedTech market in Europe. The NYSE listed company will also be able to build on its existing foothold in the UK because of this new relationship.
Our international customers can already see how Ultralife’s purchase of Accutronics and our shared strategic vision, Kotter's step three, is going to support them and we know that we are in a strong position to build an ecosystem that helps our existing and new customers flourish.