Wind River Environmental (WRE) is the largest non-hazardous waste management company in the United States. Founded in 1999, WRE provides inspection, service, installation, repair, and maintenance services to a wide range of commercial, residential, and municipal customers across the Eastern U.S. With more than 25 locations, WRE serves a diversified blue-chip customer base including national food and retail establishments such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Whole Foods.
WRE is the largest company in the non-hazardous liquid waste business with $100 million in revenue and intentions of becoming a billion dollar business in the near future. The Company’s primary growth strategy is acquisitions. WRE’s phenomenal growth and acquisition model led to several challenges:
- WRE Deal Team is spread out across five different locations with insufficient collaboration technology, making the coordination of even simple items highly challenging.
- Key information provided to the deal team from the potential acquisition targets is wildly inconsistent from one deal to the next. Additionally the formatting of key info is different due to the differentiation in accounting software and lack of protocols insofar as how information is entered into the accounting programs.
- Acquisition targets must be kept confidential or else risk killing the sale
- Confidentiality even among WRE employees is critical as often WRE's sales team may be bidding on the same business as the target.
- There are numerous deals in the pipeline at different stages in the acquisition process (potential target, active negotiations, due diligence, et al)
- Data collection from the acquisition target is often slow and inconsistent with the “hurry up and wait” scenario becoming commonplace.
- Each deal presented has unique challenges with risks and concerns that must be addressed early on in the process.
- Information dissemination was problematic with the majority of the company having zero knowledge of the acquisition due to:
- Confidential information
- Volume of information
- Integration issues arose from the lack of information about the acquisition and departments scrambled to organize and integrate new customers, employees, equipment and technologies
Beginning of a Solution
StageXchange is itself a case study in the “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” adage. The Company was born from the immense frustration encountered by our founder, Keith Hopkins, while working as an Acquisitions Analyst for Wind River Environmental. Hopkins was tasked with conducting due diligence on dozens of small and medium sized companies located across New England simultaneously. Hopkins struggled to collect the right information in a usable format for analysis. The quality of the data varied wildly from one acquisition target to the next. In many cases, he had to rebuild financials from scratch based on bank statements and tax returns which were the only reliable documentation available. Once completed, findings along with supporting documentation were assembled into enormous three-ring binders and transported to Investment Committee meetings at Company headquarters in Boston. After numerous times packing and unpacking these binders into his carry-on suitcases, he realized there had to better way. 10 years later, Wind River became StageXchange’s first enterprise client which has cut the time and money spent in due diligence in half.
StageXchange aims to make the world of private equity investment easier by vastly improving the due diligence process through information management and its presentation tool called the Deal Book.
Our web-based platform is secure, highly customizable, and can be used universally across any industry to create standardization and reduce risk.
- Speed Matters - M&A teams must function at an incredibly high level to close multiple deals each calendar year. This is particularly noteworthy when your acquisition targets vary across multiple industries with locations scattered across the globe. The platform drastically reduces the time required to upload key data regardless of its source and format. Integrated due diligence checklists and messaging features save valuable time for the M&A team. Standardized formatting and mobile friendly interfaces make it easier for Investment Committee to evaluate opportunities and drive deals to Close. Seamless integration of M&A lead management with “living” Deal Books allow authorized stakeholders to quickly evaluate the status of the pipeline, as well as, the portfolio companies thus solving WRE’s difficulties with collaboration and information gathering.
- Eliminate IT Resources - With open APIs and simple admin features, the platform makes it possible for business users to control how they present and manage deal information without requiring any IT resources or interactions. Head-to-head deal comparisons, elegant visualizations, and 3rd-party data make life easier for your team to quickly evaluate opportunities. StageXchange puts control back in the hands of business users. Rather than receiving information in Excel spreadsheets and other disparate formats generated by the various software being used by WRE players, the company now had access to a single, unified system where data could be obtained easily and in a usable format.
- Information Management – The sheer amount of data generated around any PE transaction can be overwhelming. Deal Books are scalable, customizable, and easily searchable. There is no limit to the amount of data that can be stored on the platform. For a company building its growth model around acquisitions, this is incredibly important not only for the due diligence but also comparisons of past deals.
- Scalability - Deal Books hosted on StageXchange can be easily customized to meet the needs of a wide variety of investment opportunities. Flexible architecture allows the platform to meet the needs of the business throughout the entire life cycle of a deal. With investment horizons on acquisitions that can exceed 40 years, flexibility is critical. There is no limit to the content contained or number of sections in a Deal Book. Simply add or delete sections as needed with the click of button.
- Risk Reduction - Standardization of key metrics and financial models reduces risk. WRE can easily implement company-wide standards as required.
"StageXchange is a great platform if you work in an office where information needs to be relayed to 10 people from different teams as it helps bring everyone on the same page. Ever since we started using StageXchage at Wind River Environmental we were able to curb miscommunication and streamline information for decision makers. This customizable user friendly platform is a great tool to have if you’re in M&A"
- Tarun Taneja | Diligence Analyst | Wind River Environmental
Wind River Environmental River became StageXchange’s first enterprise client. They have reported incredible returns and noted that the time and money spent in due diligence was cut in half simply by using the tool as designed.
StageXchange is the only Deal Software on the market today that not only gathers the entirety of due diligence information required for an investment. It is a platform that provides supporting documents and data with 3rd party verification so that investors and acquisitions teams can identify business development opportunities, compare markets, and isolate opportunities so that deals can proceed with confidence. Not only does the platform allow clients like Wind River to quickly find and de-risk acquisition possibilities, but it provides business development teams with tools they need to manage, share, and develop those opportunities in the same application.