The Future of In Home Care – November Article
The 2020 reforms to the aged care industry will require providers in the sector to understand the fundamental shift in the way that their business will operate. These reforms that have been introduced will force aged care providers to be more consumer driven, market based and to create a nationally consistent system. With funding now being provided directly to the individuals instead of to the provider, this will impact not only the cash flows for businesses, but also challenge the business model itself.
To help providers in this business model review, we refer to the following diagram with various attributes:
Each attribute is integral to the business and understanding how each will play or will be affected is key in preparing the business for these reforms that will occur. Many of these elements have in fact also been addressed in previous articles however this will help providers in visualising how their business will operate to clearly identify the changes that will need to be made.
This is the most important starting point. As a provider, what is the value that you can provide to your customers? As was raised in the October Issue, value is maximised when consumer expectations and experiences are aligned. What problems are you solving for your customers and are you offering products or services that they need?
To be able to align the expectations with the services that you are providing, an understanding of your customer base is required. The June article has already explored that not only will this base be rapidly growing, but it will also yield a diverse group. Hence start identifying what is your target market. The clearer you are on your target market, the better you can not only align your value to them, but will also help with the next attribute.
Marketing and Delivery Channel
Having a clear target and value, will help you define a clear communication message to delivery on what your service offering is and the value that it creates with the target market.
As was stated in the October article, 85% of aged care consumers are willing to pay 25% extra for excellent customer services. Knowing this, how will you differentiate yourself besides on price? Is it possible to explore different models, like subscriptions, time based, value based?
To help deliver on your value and service to your target market, your staff will most likely be your biggest cost. With expectations of the staffing requirements to more than double in the future, as raised in the July article strategies are explored to address the shortfall in staff so that these cost pressures do not impact your business.
For you to constantly deliver on your value, what are key skills that you must focus on? This could your staff skills and hence staff retention and training, or the processes that are constantly refined to ensure that your quality of services to the customer is consistently at or above their expectations.
To ensure that you are focused on your core capabilities and delivering on your value, identify what functions or processes that perhaps you could either partner or outsource. Are there external providers that you trust and have a capability that can ensure that you are able to focus on your service?
To help you continue to deliver on the value, as was outlined in the August article, it might be great to learn from start-ups on how they address system complexity to support older people and their families better. These innovations combined with the use of technology should not allow you to lose focus, as they are simply tools to assist with connecting directly with clients, family and even you as the carers as well.
Mission & Vision Strategy
Ultimately, all the above attributes need to align to your Mission and Vision. Having a clear mission and vision, will ensure that your target market, is communicated to them, the value proposition that you are providing, making them willing to pay the premium based on your pricing model.
Staff, being your major costs, who understand and know your mission and vision are the drivers behind your service. They are the ones that will deliver on your core capabilities whilst you identify your alliance partners to outsource non-core functions. The innovations and technology direction are also driven by your mission and vision.
The ability to perform on these outcomes, as outlined in September’s article, is brought together when quality governance and a high performing Board are coupled with effective strategic planning, so that it will produce clear direction for how the organisation will achieve its purpose.
The 2020 reforms to the aged care industry might seem frightening at first, however this is an opportunity for providers to review and reflect on their own business model. With the population over the age of 70 projected to increase by 90% in the next 20 years, there is a lot of potential for providers to show their value and continue to grow.
The next article will be our final article in this series. We will outline the possible scenarios for home and community care beyond 2020 and discuss what each scenario will mean for providers. To receive a copy of this article, sign up to our e-bulletin, or you can view past articles in the series here.