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Nov
19

What’s different now?

Nine months into the pandemic and well into the third wave, it’s time to see what’s changed – and for how long.

  1.  Remote is here to stay.
    Whether you are a claims professional, case manager, executive or manager,, clinician or administrative worker, its likely most if not all of your work is now being done outside the “office”.
    I don’t see that changing – many employers are going to maintain an at-home workforce. While IT and cyber issues and costs are significant, savings in real estate and associated costs are real. And quality of life is higher and cost of life is less; no hours spent commuting, more time with family, and no need for that extra car, parking spot, train pass, and business lunch.
  2. Selling and servicing is changing
    Service companies looking to sell their services or service accounts are working hard to figure out how to ply their trade remotely. Zoom calls, DoorDash lunches, virtual wine tastings and sports watching are just a few of the things we do today that would have been incomprehensible just 10 months ago
    I don’t see that changing anytime soon. With budgets slashed and travel risks high, business travel is over. As the economy tries to claw its way out of a very deep hole and companies look for any and every way to save dollars, expect financial folks to keep travel budgets near $0.00. One exception…
  3. Conferences will likely return
    The proliferation of conferences was getting overwhelming, with way more conferences than people to attend or sponsors to fund.  Hopefully the less valuable ones will disappear, and the key ones will continue – after revamping their business models.
    Pay to play has to go; it’s gotten to the point that at many events, conference sponsors get speaking slots regardless of the quality of the speaker or salience of the topic.
    Exhibitors are paying gazillions to stare at each other across empty aisles.
  4. Insurers are cutting back
    With premiums dropping precipitously, insurers are laying off staff, cutting IT projects, putting off investments and consolidating operations. If anything that’s going to accelerate as the winter looks long and dark, and the most optimistic projections indicating fall as the time things start to get back to what we once thought of as normal.
  5. Consolidation will accelerate
    As companies of all sizes and types face declining revenues, those that are stronger financially will win. There will be horizontal and vertical mergers (companies buying others in their business, and buying companies in different businesses).
    There are billions of dollars burning holes in investors’ bank accounts, desperately seeking acquisition targets. While investors will be cautious, expect them to seek out attractive targets.

What does this mean for you?

Adapt and succeed. A minute complaining about reality is a minute not used well.


2 thoughts on “What’s different now?”

  1. Agree on most points but the reality is that many companies are beholden to multi year leases and those savings on real estate won’t be realized for some time.

    1. Hey Mason – agree, although some entities are attempting to renegotiate current rates/terms. Will be a difficult time for all.

      be well – Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.

 

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