Table of Contents
The business organization is a healthcare facility that offers its services in a county within one of the states in the United States. The main objectives of the organization are to provide quality, affordable, and accessible care to its targeted community. The entity has succeeded in the realization of its objectives, and the awards and recognition that it has won, together with its high ranking at the state and national levels illustrate the success. A proposal is made for the expansion of the organization’s services to telecare services and patient transport and logistics.
The company offers a variety of products and services for the realization of its goals for quality, affordable, and accessible care. Telecare services and patient transport and logistics, however, are not part of the offered services and an expansion to these is likely to improve the company’s competitiveness and market significance.
Methods for Determining Needs and Market
Interview is one of the methods used to determine the need for the provision of the services and the availability of the market for the services. It collects data on people’s opinion about a subject and offers in-depth information on subjects (Folsom & Boulware, 2014). Qualitative interviews were conducted with employees, patients, and associates of patients (relatives or friends) of the organization. The aim of the interview was to identify a service that could be added to improve delivery of care and the competitiveness of the organization. A random sample of individuals from the three groups was used to collect information on their perception of the company’s services and additional services for improving service delivery.
Direct Observation of Competitors
Observations were also used to identify the need for new products and the availability of a market for the products. Observations capture data in their natural forms (Folsom & Boulware, 2014) and were used to verify dependability of the developed information from the interviews. Major competitors were observed on the application of the identified services from the interviews, with focus on demand for the services. Frequencies at which the services were used and the percentages of patients that used the services were noted for evaluating the significance of the market for the services.
The internet, a secondary source of information for market research (The Queensland Government, 2017), was used establish more information on the identified services. The organization’s website was reviewed for an understanding of the entity’s orientations towards the identified services. The organization’s goals, based on its mission statement and culture, were reviewed to identify its ability and incorporate the services in its operations. The internet was also used to review the use of the identified products in other health organizations for developing confidence in the feasibility of venturing in the products at the organization.
The three methods identified a greater need for the two services, for the realization of the goals of accessible and quality care, and the availability of the market for the services, based on the trend in other organization and clients’ needs.
Potential Competitive Advantage
A potential competitive advantage of the services is the increased market control in the organization’s targeted market. Proximity is one of the factors to accessibility of care and its benefits such as convenience establishes its significance. Telecare has been associated with improved health outcomes, such as reduced hospital admission rates, reduced mortality rates, and reduced length of stay in intensive care units (Goundrey-Smith, 2012). The provision of telecare, therefore, is likely to improve quality of health of clients, into a greater level of satisfaction. Client retention and referrals are then likely to increase the organization’s customer base. In addition, telecare reduces the geographical distance between clients and facilities. It will aid the organization’s accessibility goal and address the distance challenge that could limit some clients to care organizations within the clients’ localities. The provision of patient transport and logistics is also expected to bridge the challenge of geographical barriers that can compel patients to seek services from the nearest care facilities. Telecare addresses the geographical challenge by eliminating the need to travel to care facilities and patient transport and logistics addresses the challenges that could emerge from patients’ conditions. The specialized transport and logistics services, because of its guarantee of patients’ safety during the journey to a facility, ensure the ability to travel to a preferred facility regardless of the involved distance. The two services, therefore, will help the organization to increase its market share, through expansion of a wider geographical area and accessibility for all patients within the target market.
Risks Associated with Launching the New Products
One of the risks associated with launching the new products is the delayed access to care services for the transferred patients. The proposed patient transportation and logistics services involve the transfer of patients from their location to the organization’s facility instead of the patients’ nearest facilities. The risk of longer periods of transportation to the hospital is imminent and is associated with increased mortality rate (Crandall, Sharp, Unger, Straus, Brassel, Hsia, & Esposito, 2013). The risk and its possible consequence is significance to the organization’s goal of quality and accessible care and can have adverse effects on it’s the organization’s corporate image and competitiveness. Incorporating paramedic services is recommended for addressing care needs as patients are transported to hospitals. The recommendation does not reduce the time for traveling but mitigates the possible adverse consequence of the travel.
A change in the clinical environment, arising from the proposed use of technology as a basis for delivering care, is another risk of the proposal. The interaction between caregiver and patients in telecare environment differs from that under the traditional care approach. Reduced level of effectiveness of communication is a characteristic of telecare, and this undermines clinical relationships, clinical assessments, and treatment decisions (Guise, Anderson, & Wiig, 2014). The risk of a changed clinical environment, therefore, is likely to undermine the quality of offered services and client satisfaction to threaten the competitiveness of the organization. Improving communication in telecare, through the application of technology such as the use of mobile applications for the transmission of visual or audio-visual information, can address the challenge. The use of technology reduces the gap between the traditional and the telecare environments and the availability of technology for use through mobile smartphones and laptops makes the solution feasible.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software for Tracking Inquiry and Sales of the Services
Zoho is the proposed ‘customer relationship management’ software for tracking inquiry and sales of the products. The software has features for tracking sales, ensuring effective follow-up, managing leads, and forecasting sales. Other features of the software that inform its selection for tracking inquiries and sales are social customer relationship management, mobile customer relationship management, and the use of Google apps in customer relationship management. The software allows for the tracking of sales opportunities and the management of the opportunities for sales actualization. It also allows for the tracking of information that is significant to a business for supporting decisions that can aid actualization of sales. The ability to the software to organize collected data on customers also informs on needs that aid identification of sales opportunities and the actualization of sales. Creation of sales quotas, delegation of quotas, and evaluation of the quotas are other functionalities of the software that inform its selection for tracking inquiries and sales. The software also allows for accurate forecasting, which can inform goal setting and evaluation of the goals. Its ability to integrate information from social media supports its effectiveness as a data source for tracking and managing inquiries and sales (Zoho, 2017). Consequently, the software will aid the collection of data on customers, potential customers, and sales representatives for tracking and decision-making for attraction and retention of customers.
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Use of the Generated Information to Drive CRM Practices and Track Sales in the Global Market
One of the proposed applications of the generated information is to establish the reliability of available data on customers for the effectiveness of CRM practices and the relevance of tracked data on sales. The software allows for the collection of data from different sources, including different social media platforms, and a comparison of generated data from different sources will establish data reliability for the identification and use of appropriate CRM practices. The generated information will also be used to identify and track customers’ positions in the purchase, for the personalization of CRM initiatives that can drive sales. The data will also be used to identify changing needs and characteristics of targeted customers for the development of competence among CRM personnel into effective management and sales. The generated information will also be used to track sales using periodic descriptive statistics, such as monthly mean and total sales, per sales representative, department, customer, and groups of customers. Inferential statistics, such as analysis of variance and regression will also be used to investigate and track significance of factors to sales, such as age, gender, and time of the month or year.
Distribution Channel for the Products
Description of the Channel
Telecare and patient transport and logistics are the proposed products to the global market. The distribution channel of telecare is simple and consists of only the organization and its clients. The availability of mobile technologies with computerized applications that aid communication between caregivers and clients allows for the direct channel of distribution for telecare. The distribution channel for the patient transport and logistics, however, will involve transport and logistics companies as the single intermediary. Agreements will be made between the care organization and the transport and logistics companies, as independent contractors, and a mobile app will be developed for clients to select readily available contractor when the transport and logistics services are needed. The contracted transport and logistics companies will ensure that their crew consists of a qualified paramedic of which the care organization shall approve.
Key Considerations for Entering a Global Market
Existing free trade agreements between the United States and at least 20 other nations is one of the underlying considerations for entering the global markets through the two products. The agreements eliminate legal barriers, and associated costs, to expansion into the 20 nations that include Canada, Australia, Columbia, Chile, and Israel (The Office of the United States Trade Representatives, N.d.). The United States is also negotiating for trade agreements with the European Union and the Asia-Pacific regions, and these will expand opportunities for expanding to the regions with limited financial and legal barriers. The effects of globalization on effectiveness and efficiency of communication and transport systems are other considerations that identify the feasibility of the proposed ventures.
Possible Effects of the Global Supply Chain on the Product
The global supply chain, which effective and efficient transport and communication systems aid, will promote the delivery of the products in the global market. Communication features such as visually supported telecommunication are likely to ensure the effectiveness of telecare by ensuring effective communication while the use of specialized contractors for transportation is likely to ensure the preservation of patients’ quality of health during transportation. The organization, therefore, is likely to achieve the level of quality of its current services in the proposed products.
The Pricing Strategy
The penetration-based pricing strategy is the most suitable for the products. The strategy is suitable for new entrants in a market (Pride, Ferrell, Lukas, Schembri, & Niininen, 2012) and this is the case of the organization on the two products. The strategy involves the setting of prices below the prices of competitors for the attraction of customers to the product. It aims at establishing or increasing a product’s market share through discouraging new entrants and being more price-competitive than are existing competitors.
Cost Associated with Developing and Launching the New Products
The organization’s strategic team will develop the frameworks for the delivery of the services at no extra cost. The organization’s legal affairs department will also develop the legal framework for compliance with the legal environment for the delivery of the services, including the contractual agreements with identified transport and logistics firms. The launch of the product will involve a demonstration of the organization’s delivery of the services and the provision of the services a few individuals under the media coverage. The cost of the services to clients, the cost of media coverage, and allowances for invited personalities for the launch will be the incident cost to the launch.
Consumer Acceptance of the Set Price for the New Products
No charge will be made on non-response calls while response calls and transport and logistics will be charged at 75 per cent of the current lowest cost of competitor services in a locality. The lower prices will be acceptable to consumers who are expected to make rational decisions on prices and value of commodities. Consumers, therefore, will accept the lower prices because of the established quality of the organization’s services.
Competitors’ Prices for Similar Products
Competitors’ prices for the two prices differ across market segments and are driven by the market forces of demand and supply. The market forces suggest fairness in the prices and an increased demand due to a reduction on prices. The services will be offered in different market segments with different prices. A provision has been made for no charges on non-response telecare calls and 75 per cent charge, based on the price of the lowest competitor in a market segment for response call telecare services the patient transport services. The company’s prices for the two services, therefore, will be the lowest in each of the explored global market segments and this will grant a competitive advantage for market penetration.
Advertising will be used for promoting the products. The strategy involves paid communications that identify sponsors and their products with the aim of promoting the two among consumers (Rosenbloom, 2012). The strategy achieves such objectives as the creation of awareness on the existence the products, their quality, and their low cost for which it will be used. The strategy is also suitable for the entry stage of the products in the global market.
Mass Media and Social Media Channels
Television and newspaper will be used to promote the products. The two mass media channels will be used because of their massive audience that they attract. The two channels can also be accessed over the internet, and this makes them suitable for reaching the analog and digital population segments across the globe.
Facebook and Twitter are the proposed social media channels for promoting the products and their popularity and interactive features justify the selection. The channels, therefore, will ensure promotion among a wide population and the development of relationships between the audience and the organization.
Sales Promotion Activities
Product giveaways and ‘customer referral incentive programs’ are the recommended sales promotion activities. Free services, based on cost considerations and financial needs of clients, will be offered to clients, to establish the organization’s interest in clients as the primary objective. The activity will also aim at developing a positive corporate image. Monetary offers will also be made to customers who refer other to the two services, based on a threshold frequency of referrals in a month.
- Crandall, M., Sharp, D., Unger, E., Straus, D., Brassel, K., Hsia, R., & Esposito, T. (2013). Trauma deserts: distance from a trauma center, transport times, and mortality from gunshot wounds in Chicago. The American Journal of Public Health, 103(6), 1103-1106.
- Folsom, D. & Boulware, R. (2014). Encyclopedia of American business. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing.
- Goundrey-Smith, S. (2012). Principles of electronic prescribing, 2nd Ed. Gloucestershire, UK: Springer Science & Business Media.
- Guise, V., Anderson, J., & Wiig, S. (2014). Patient safety risks associated with telecare: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the literature. The BMC Health Services Research, 14(1), 588-614.
- Pride, W., Ferrell, O., Lukas, B., Schembri, S., & Niininen, O. (2012). Marketing principles. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
- Rosenbloom, B. (2012). Marketing channels. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
- The Office of the United States Trade Representatives. (N.d.). Free trade agreements. The Office of the United States Trade Representatives.
- The Queensland Government. (2017). Market research methods. The Queensland Government. Zoho. (2017). Compare Zoho CRM editions. Zoho.