The natural inclination of business leaders during an economic downturn is to cut people, programs and reorganize. Examples of this are in the newspapers and web sites daily: banks, technology companies, construction firms, retailers and even so-called growth industries like healthcare and sustainability plus countless medium and small business which never hit the media. There are alternatives to cutting and pulling back during this on-going recession.StrategyReview your business’s strategy. Does it make sense? Can it be executed? Is it too “pie in the sky”. And how does it address your markets and your businesses core strengths? A clear strategic plan is the basis for success in good times – and bad.ExecutionThe best strategic and business plans are worthless without execution. Do you have measurements or metrics in place to measure performance against financial AND operational targets (objectives)? Which are hitting the mark and which are not? Why? Who is accountable? And what is being done to address weak areas of performance?CustomersIt seems that during a downturn in the economy businesses of all sizes are quick to put customers – those who pay the bills – last. No! This is the time to re-evaluate what your business is doing to delight your customers. No matter the business, product or service – your customers have choices. Take the steps necessary to make you business their FIRST choice. To do this, ask THEM how you are doing and what can be done to improve it.Cost and ExpenseBusinesses are quick to cuts expenses and people when there is softness in the economy. This is so easy, that a kid with a lemonade stand can do it. But it is often NOT the right answer. First look at where resources are deployed. Most resources should be involved in driving revenue and delighting your customers. Keep you overheads to a minimum. If that means redeploy and retrain, it should be done. Secondly, before there are lay-offs cut the contractors and consultants first and do the work in-house. Also, cut salaries and bonuses at the top of the organization first. The biggest cuts should be among the biggest bosses – not the customer-facing clerks and sales reps. Finally, ask for input, the people on the floor and in the back office usually know where the biggest opportunities for REAL efficiencies exist. Ask them, act on their recommendations and recognize them for their ideas.SpeedIt is amazing to me to read what the USA did to mobilize resources in a very short time during World War II on the home front. Factories went from making cars and refrigerators to making tanks and aircraft in huge quantities in amazingly short time frames. This was before computers as we know them today. So why does everything (except perhaps the internet) take so long today? The time frames required to develop new products and services are often years rather than months. Look at whatever time is required in your business today and cut it by 25% to 50% while maintaining the same level of quality if not better. It can be done. And it is a competitive advantage.InnovationIt is the natural tendency of businesses of all sizes to take fewer risks when times are lean. This includes new and innovative ideas for products, services, marketing and doing business. The BEST time for risk taking and innovation is when the economy is challenging. While most businesses retrench, those that take risks and push innovation stand out among their competition. And innovation is not limited to research and development or marketing, it should encompass all functions and aspects of any business.Downturn, recession, soft economy. All of these terms drive chills through most business people at any level. In fact, even money is tighter and market opportunities shrink, there are winners and losers in both good and not so good economies. By addressing the areas of: strategy, execution, customers, cost and expense, speed and innovation, any company – regardless of size, market or industry – can be a winner during this recession.
US President Obama has just recently passed the divisive shifts to the nation’s healthcare policies. The bill allows for the health insurance coverage of around thirty million citizens not benefiting from the deficiency in proper medical care. Historically, Obama is the first American president to have comprehensively renewed the country’s healthcare system. The clinical and pharmacy businesses, in turn, will have to do big adjustments in line with the nation’s healthcare policies, which are following the model of European nations like the UK. Over 16 million citizens will be included in Medicaid’s policies. This covers low- to middle-income-earning citizens. Private insurance companies are banned from refusing medical care for pre-existing conditions such as heart or bone problems.The reform has been anticipated to have an overall uplifting change on the pharmacy businesses. The bill grants complete insurance plans to an added number of US citizens. In terms of pharmacy industry matters, the bill gives pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services. It also has a loan forgiveness agenda. On the downside, the Medicare reimbursement to pharmacies is still unclear. It will take several years for businesses to smoothen out these details.Since the US is using Europe’s healthcare model, American pharmacies will have to change their buying systems as well. The demand to change their market will majorly influence the companies involved in driving the national medical economy. With the greater insurance plan, pharmacies will benefit from more customers hitting their stores to buy medicines. They’re no longer restricted by the unemployment or the severity of their condition. The challenge for pharmacies will arise from the deficiency in major choice makers, according to Chris Weight, co-author of the book “Drivers of Change to Pharmaceutical Commercial Models.” They’ll have to advertise their medicines to a larger organizations: Medicaid and Medicare. Pharmacy ratings will ultimately depend on these government payers. In the United Kingdom, pharmaceutical executives market their items to public healthcare payers instead of an individual and specific market. Instead of marketing the medicines at a profitable value, the drugs are sold at the lowest possible price. This will be a major shift for many community drug stores, which supply both generic and branded medications. it’s important for local American pharmacies to consult with European companies about their buying and marketing methods.Pharmacy benefit managers will be boosted from the extended drug coverage given by Medicare, due to this policy. Expect additional medicine benefits part of your company’s medical insurance coverage. Your plan, though, can only be directed by where you work. Anticipate some limitations and added advantages together.Online pharmacies will have fewer adjustments as compared to local drug stores. They presently sell at low and practical costs to customers under a tight and tiny budget. Most online pharmacies supply generics as an alternative to the more expensive brand name medicines. These businesses need to be careful as the bill provides a 75 percent discount to generic and brand name. Nevertheless, because these online pharmacies supply a private market, they’ll have to redirect marketing to public health payers and suppliers. It is obviously a total change for an Internet business. Nonetheless, pharmaceutical websites can continue to profit from persons who favor to obtain their drugs from private suppliers. Online pharmacies continue to be a convenience for individuals who stay in far off areas or require large amounts of drugs. Individuals who’ll be enjoying the prolonged clinical plan should talk about their options with their local or online pharmacy. Buyers loyal to online pharmacies can save more cash by using the insurance plan.