Last week, Procurant (located in California) completed the acquisition of SureCheck (located in Florida) from PAR Technology. For a variety of reasons the acquisition had taken a long time, so those of us closely involved had spent several months getting used to the idea that we would at some point have a team of very talented staff located on the other side of the country.

I was asked to take over the team when the acquisition closed. When it was time for the closing visit to the new office I was surprised at my surprise! This was to be no overnight, throw a few things in a carry-on, sort of a trip. I needed stuff for a long stay. So I dragged out the larger suitcases and started folding shirts (clearly the most tedious task when traveling).

My colleagues who were flying out from California to Florida showed up at the airport with minimal luggage. I looked like I was relocating my worldly goods – which in a sense I was. If you have ever been part of an acquisition, large or small, you’ll know that two things are critical at the start. First, move as fast as possible in making acquisition related decisions, and second, do everything possible to make the new staff feel like part of the company. This is a very exciting acquisition for Procurant and we all look forward to getting started.

The management team completed the on-boarding of the new team fairily quickly and we set about getting to know more about the people, customers and products we had acquired. Two days later with all the preliminaries completed, my fellow travelers returned to California and I remained in Florida.

Hotels are fine for short trips, but I needed something that was going to feel a bit more like home. After searching Airbnb I found a suitable place, moved my things and started the important task of finding a local supermarket. Being in the industry, I enjoy looking around supermarkets while traveling. It’s a great way to remind yourself about the supply chains we work with, and I was curious to see how produce — available in abundance in California — travels to Florida.

I checked ahead of time and knew I would find Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Walmart, but I wanted to see which other retailers were present. It didn’t take long to discover that there’s a Publix about every two miles in every direction! I hadn’t seen Publix in California, so this was a new experience for me. Inside, I was happy to see fresh California-grown produce from growers I know in the Salinas Valley and coastal regions next to Florida growers with whom I am less familiar.

Another thing I noticed was that the prices were higher than I was used to. Part of me was irritated until I thought through all the additional costs associated with getting my lettuce, blueberries and broccoli across the country: all the extra handling, food safety precautions, transportation, cooling and so on. Now I’m thinking it’s a wonder produce isn’t more expensive!

So now the hard work begins. There is a lot to do with new people, processes, software and of course new customers to get to know. SureCheck has successfully grown its business with great customers and I can’t wait to meet them. With a broader combined set of offerings, as well as greater mixture of experience in the newly enlarged company, exciting times are ahead.