Leading a Company Through an Acquisition with Fiix Software CEO James Novak

James Novak is the CEO of Fiix Software, a company that provides an industry-leading cloud-based CMMS that helps manufacturers plan, track, and optimize maintenance. It’s also worth noting that just over one year ago, they were acquired by Rockwell Automation, which brings us back to the premise of today’s show…leading through an acquisition!

Managing a company acquisition is a tough job, and keeping your team happy through it can be even more challenging. In this episode, James explains the steps leading up to Rockwell Automation’s acquisition and what he did to make the transition as smooth as possible.

He explains what the role of a CEO should be in this scenario and some tips for keeping employees reassured and happy with the process. James also gives some insights into how Fiix Software helps manufacturers better plan, track, and optimize maintenance programs.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. If you want your company to grow, resting on your laurels isn’t enough. You need to be constantly innovating and pushing forward.
  2. Part of a CEO’s job is to create options for the future, have conversations with the right people, and keep those doors open to future possibilities.
  3. Leading a team through an acquisition means you need to reassure and be clear with your employees because they will be on high alert to any changes made.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “We believe that proper maintenance leads to sustainable outcomes in the world.”
  • “So as long as everyone’s focused on the customer, regardless of if you have differences of opinions, nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. There are different paths to get there, and I felt like Rockwell was going to get the right thing done.”
  • “If I’m a manufacturing company, and I’m going through an acquisition, or I’m thinking about acquiring, you have to be very, very deliberate about every single move that happens.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn.

Obvious Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs who are reimagining every sector of the global economy, helping transform legacy industries like pharmaceuticals, protein therapy, industrial materials, and manufacturing. Make sure to check out their new podcast Machine Visions, hosted by Managing Director Nan Li, or listen to our interview with Nan on Episode 71.

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media.

What We Discuss with James

  • What led James to become the CEO of Fiix Software
  • Important lessons learned from his previous experiences at Blackberry
  • Why you should always be innovating if you want to grow a company
  • The kind of company James wanted to build
  • How the Rockwell Automation acquisition happened
  • How to lead a team through an acquisition
  • Why a CEO should try to keep as many options open as possible
  • Advice for other manufacturing leaders looking to be acquired
  • The top surprises James faced when Fiix Software was being acquired

Recommended Resources

  • Fiix Software, a cloud-based CMMS software that helps manufacturers plan, track, and optimize maintenance with powerful integrations, reports, and embedded AI tools
  • 2Cats Cocktail Lounge, a relaxed, cozy nightclub with a makeshift dance floor serving up music alongside cocktails & wine in Toronto, Canada

Connect with James and Fiix Software

LinkedIn | Twitter | James Novak