How Farmers Business Network Utilizes DealRoom for Corporate M&A

In this customer success story Will Olson, Head of Corporate Development at Farmers Business Network, discusses how FBN used DealRoom to build a more comprehensive M&A strategy.

About the Company:

  • Farmers Business Network (FBN) was founded in 2014 and was developed by farmers to be an unbiased information source. FBN is an independent agricultural tech and commerce platform that also helps farmers network directly in a community setting.
  • FBN aims to help farmers maximize their profits, reduce production costs, make confident decisions, and work towards a sustainable future.
  • FBN is an advocate for family farmers and ranchers, helping over 48,000+ farmers. They provide cutting-edge marketing and risk management services to help maximize the value of crops, and farm-tested insights and analytics.

Challenges:

FBN needed to formalize their corporate development function and build a more comprehensive M&A strategy in order to give them leverage. FBN had a very non-centralized process. They would send back-and-forth emails, manage deals with Excel trackers, and use multiple platforms for communication/project management. Process leaders had a hard time knowing what was going on throughout a deal’s lifecycle. The leaders didn’t know what was next, what they were behind on, or what their true goals were. The process felt very old school, the M&A process was dragging, and deal fatigue would set in during every transaction. They considered hiring consultants to help but decided to look at several lifecycle management platforms first.

  • Inconveniences using traditional spreadsheets
  • Different companies using different software
  • Lack of document organization, tracking what was where
  • Delay in information and version control issues
  • Deal fatigue, frustration, efficiency, and speed issues
  • Very basic and standard tools

Solutions:

After looking at several different lifecycle management platforms, FBN felt as though DealRoom was the best fit by a long shot. They wanted a platform that was comprehensive and more than just a data room, but not too complex where it would be difficult to learn. They found DealRoom modern, secure, and easy-to-use. FBN’s main focus was finding a centralized platform that had all the necessary features and where they could keep track of everything in one cohesive space. DealRoom was just that, which caused the platform to really stand out.

  • DealRoom is a tool that they could continuously use to keep all M&A information (from different deals) organized in one cohesive space
  • DealRoom’s capability to have all of their documents in one place for each step of the process allowed for FBN to increase efficiency, timeliness, quality of work, confidence, and accuracy
  • DealRoom’s pipeline management, CRM tracking, and integration capabilities  allowed FBN to immediately see improvements
  • They could securely collaborate with several lenders at the same time with the pipeline management tool, keeping all current and prospective investor tracking in one place

Outcome:

FBN decided they did not need to hire outside help in order to have a more professional and formalized M&A process. With the help of DealRoom, they now start planning integrations much earlier, the beginning-to-end process goes much quicker, and they saved a lot of time and money. The management team is more active than ever, and their communication and organizational skills have greatly improved. They typically have 12-15 active opportunities in the pipeline and feel very capable of tackling every single one with the security, speed, and quality that DealRoom offers.

  • Improved accuracy, quality, visibility, and momentum going into the M&A process
  • Streamlined communication and more time spent on value-added activities due to no longer needing to chase people down for information, information is presented to the right people at all times
  • Replaced multiple tools with just one, resulting in a cleaner interface and less confusion/redundancies amongst all parties using the platform
  • Increased capacity to handle more projects
  • Accomplishing deals faster, leading to compressing timelines

For us, it was a no-brainer. Everyone on my team will tell you I’m the biggest DealRoom advocate.
Will Olson
Corporate Development

Customer

Farmers Business Network

Industry

Farming

COMPANY SIZE

501-1,000 employees

Location

United States, San Carlos

PRODUCT SOLUTIONS

agronomic precision, information, networking, farming technology, entrepreneurship services, agricultural services, management

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