MBA 560 Milestone Two: Strategic Planning

MBA 560 Milestone Two

Introduction

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Strategic planning involves the identification of an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses in order to leverage the strengths to counter the weaknesses identified. It also involves the identification of the existing opportunities for an organization, which can be utilized or taken advantage of to realize organizational growth and better market performance, and the identification of existing threats in order to effectively eliminate them. It is important to identify the strengths and weaknesses to ensure that any business decisions made capitalize on the strengths while avoiding any decisions or activities that could result in the existing weaknesses compromising the success of the organization. In strategic planning, an organization’s core competencies are identified, which are capabilities that provide a strategic advantage to an organization because the competitors are not able to duplicate or copy them easily. They serve as a competitive advantage over the competitors. Core competencies and strengths are important to any organization as they provide the organization with a foundation for sustained growth and success.

In this paper, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of Drchrono, an American-based healthcare IT company (We Power The Practice Of The Future, n.d.), is conducted to identify the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, existing opportunities in the market, and the threats that exist in the external environment. The core competencies and ethical implications of the company’s operations will also be discussed. The company provides information technology solutions in the healthcare industry, offering various IT services, systems, and products to ensure the smooth provision of healthcare-related services (Drchrono, n.d.). Drchrono serves many institutions and companies in the healthcare industry, including manufacturers of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, pharmacies, hospitals, and insurers in the healthcare sector.

SWOT ANALYSIS AND EMERGING TRENDS

Strengths

1.      A wide range of products.

2.      A large customer base.

3.      Large company size.

4.      Well-established distribution network.

Opportunities

1.      Increasing customer base through increased diversification of the solutions portfolio for products and services.

2.      Introducing medical purchasing software to assist pharmacies and other healthcare organizations in maximizing cost savings.

3.      Achieving better efficiency by reevaluating the inventory management system.

4.      Leveraging partnerships to ensure that the exploitation of new markets is easy.

5.      Introducing automation, purchasing, advertising, and contracting solutions.

Weaknesses

1.      Overreliance on a limited business segment.

2.      Legal complications.

3.      High-risk industry.

4.      Failure to maintain proper healthcare information processes and services.

Threats

1.      Increased competition from other information technology companies in the healthcare industry.

2.      Changes in the legal perspective of the healthcare industry as a result of changes in law and increased complexity of the industry.

3.      The threat of new entrants into the industry.

4.      The threat of technology advances, such as the introduction of automated systems in healthcare facilities.

 

Strengths

The company’s most significant strength lies in the products and services that it provides to its clients and customers – a wide range of products. Drchrono provides its customers with a diverse solution portfolio for its products and services. The company has greatly diversified its services and products, offering a wide range of technologies, solutions, and programs that maximize the profits and revenues of clients (Siwicki, 2016). Drchrono provides both information technologies and medical supplies to various customers, including medical supplies manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacies, and hospitals. This is another strength that the company has – a large customer base. Having a large customer base ensures that the company realizes huge volumes of revenue every year. Large company size – Drchrono is a large company with many stores situated in the cities of the United States. This ensures that the company benefits from economies of scale and low production costs.

The company also benefits from having many employees, with over 30,000 employees. Well-established distribution network – being a large company, Drchrono has numerous retail franchises and store across the United States (We Power The Practice Of The Future, n.d.). The company benefits from a distribution network that is well-established, ensuring that customers are promptly served and provided with the solutions and products that they require in time. This results in the provision of excellent customer service, which in turns builds customer loyalty and trust.

Weaknesses

Overreliance on a limited business segment – Being a company in the healthcare industry, Drchrono largely depends on the healthcare industry for clients. The company’s customers only come from the healthcare sector, limiting the market for its products. Even though the healthcare business segment may appear to be limited, Drchrono may enlarge its market share through the introduction of information technology products that may be sold to customers outside the healthcare industry. Legal complications – any organization that operates in the healthcare industry is faced with numerous legal requirements and limitations. The products and services that the company produces and markets must be licensed and approved by the relevant legal bodies before distribution to the market. These requirements often result in product release delays and huge costs.

High-risk industry – the healthcare industry is a high-risk industry. Products and services provided must meet numerous quality standards and ensure that the users are not put at any health risks. As such, the company must be very careful when developing its products and services to ensure that they match the required quality and healthcare standards. Failure to maintain proper healthcare information processes and services – the healthcare industry, including the information technology segment, is a very sensitive industry. The operations of the company involve the maintenance of numerous records and databases, which is a challenge for the company. The company finds it difficult to maintain all the information on processes and services. A huge investment is required to set up adequate databases and systems for information storage and management.

Opportunities

The company should seek to increase its customer base through increased diversification of the solutions portfolio for products and services (Hixon, 2014). By offering a more diverse range of products and services, the company will capture a wider market; more customers would be reported. An opportunity exists in the pharmaceutical services industry, an industry where Drchrono is yet to exploit. The company may venture into establishing a prescription refilling service capable of enabling pharmacies to accurately and quickly refill customers’ prescriptions. This will also result in better customer service and inventory management. Drchrono may also expand its services and products portfolio by introducing a medical purchasing software to assist pharmacies and other healthcare organizations in maximizing cost savings. Drchrono may also come up with a pharmacy management system capable of enabling pharmacies, retail chains, and hospital chains to meet their prescription demands while maximizing profits and optimizing other operations.

The company may achieve better efficiency by reevaluating its inventory management system. This may be done by introducing integrated solutions comprising of automated forecasting technologies linked to inventory quantities. The company should aim at providing supply chain intelligence solutions to its customers in the healthcare industry. Supply chain management solutions developed by the company should enable customers to provide improved patient care and customer service while enjoying improved operational efficiency and financial performance. The company should also expand its service and product portfolio by introducing automation, purchasing, advertising, and contracting solutions. The company should focus on minimizing its working capital and increasing its inventory turns for customers by capitalizing on the existing supplier relationships and large customer base. The company may leverage partnerships to ensure that the exploitation of new markets is easy. This will also improve the customer base since more customers will be reached using partnerships and strategic alliances with other companies.

The company has, in the past, used partnerships to expand its market reach. In March 2018, Drchrono entered a partnership with Ambra Health to enable physicians and radiologists to acquire direct access to medical imaging within the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system (DrChrono / Ambra Health Partnership Digitizes DICOM | DrChrono Blog, 2018). Through this partnership, Drchrono was able to diversify its products and services.

 

Threats

A few threats exist in the external environment of the company. These include the threat of increased competition from other information technology companies in the healthcare industry, changes in the legal perspective of the healthcare industry as a result of changes in law and increased complexity of the industry, the threat of new entrants into the industry, and the threat of technology advances, such as introduction of automated systems in healthcare facilities.

Emerging Trends

In the United States, the demand for medical services and products is high and continues to increase. This demand arises from an increased rate of illnesses and increased hospital or checkup visits as people are getting more concerned about their health. The demand for medical supplies is also high, including the increased demand for products such as blood pressure monitors and glucometers (Hixon, 2014). Drchrono should take advantage of this increased demand by increasing the production of medical supplies, increasing marketing operations, and diversifying its products and services. The company should also set up a chain of stores and hospitals that market medical supplies and provide medical services to the public. The company, having a strong brand image and goodwill, will attract many customers and companies to conduct business with it, resulting in increased revenues and profits. The global demand for better medical facilities, products, and services is also on the rise. People all over the world are becoming more cautious about their health.

The developing countries provide a great opportunity for Drchrono, as these countries continue to set up healthcare facilities and acquire healthcare infrastructure. Globalization has provided organizations with an opportunity to expand the market and access new markets. Having already established good business links and distribution network in the United States, the company should take advantage of globalization to increase its market. By expanding internationally, the company will achieve a wider market and increased revenues. The company should leverage its existing strengths and business expertise to expand operations to the global scale. The company should utilize its profits to establish new product and service lines that will produce and provide services and products that are on demand in the global market. The present of the healthcare industry is good, with the future expected to be even better as new and well-established organizations march ahead to create services and products for future generations.

Research conducted by healthcare organizations has shown that more and more people continue to do away with traditional care, especially in the developing countries, with the introduction of improved modern healthcare, medical supplies, and medical products. Medical research has shown that many people today prefer retail options or ‘at home’ options, where an individual purchases medical supplies to use at home, as compared to visiting hospitals for treatment. The increase in medical supplies and services that are being experienced globally has resulted from factors such as the increasing world population, which has resulted in an increase in the market size for medical products and services; improving living standards in developing countries; increasing awareness of the importance of seeking medical attention when ill; an increase in the stringency of government healthcare regulations and standards, which has resulted in the growth of opportunities for healthcare facilities providers (Hixon, 2014); and increased development in the existing medical colleges and other academic institutions, resulting in an increasing number of doctors and other healthcare specialists involved in medical research activities.

In addition, the setting up of more medical schools and colleges across the world, an increase in the number of hospitals in developing countries, and an increase in the amount of capital invested by medical institutions and organizations in medical research activities have also contributed to an increase in the demand for medical services, products, and healthcare IT solutions. The increased demand in healthcare products and services will go well with the introduction of the new product – a healthcare application providing hospitals with a convenient way of patients’ records management, maintaining hospital records, and providing consultations services. The product will have a ready market when introduced, and the company will not conduct a lot of marketing operations after product introduction. The strengths of the company will enable it to acquire a market for the new product, especially with an already existing well-established product distribution network and a large customer base.

CORE COMPETENCIES

Core competencies may be defined as the defining capabilities that provide strategic advantages to an organization because the organization’s competitors are not able to easily duplicate them. Core competencies provide an organization with an edge over competing companies. The following are the core competencies of Drchrono:

Product and Service Diversification: Organizations continue to acknowledge the importance of innovation and diversification in the modern business world. It is necessary to diversify business operations in order to overcome risks related to a single business operation. Drchrono has excelled at product and service diversification. Even though the company produces systems, solutions, and products that are exclusive to the healthcare industry, the products of the company meet a wide range of customer needs, including a patient portal, revenue cycle management, medical billing, practice management (Drchrono, n.d.), and electronic health records (EHR). The competitors of the company only offer systems that focus on a single solution, mostly because of the heavy capital requirement for systems upgrades and installation. The new product will be the latest addition to the company’s product and service portfolio.

Strategic Partnerships: strategic alliances and partnerships between companies are important as they expand the market of an organization and make it easy to enter new markets. Drchrono utilizes strategic partnerships to realize these goals. The company is in partnership with four other medical application programming companies: Wink Health, Medisafe, Inuvio, and Health Gorilla. These partnerships are important since they have greatly eased the company’s operations (DrChrono / Ambra Health Partnership Digitizes DICOM | DrChrono Blog, 2018). The competitors of Drchrono find it difficult to achieve the level of efficiency enjoyed by Drchrono especially in the marketing of products. These partnerships will make the marketing of the new product easier and convenient.

Strong and Reputable Brand: the company enjoys goodwill and a well-known brand image. It takes several years and a huge investment to build a good brand. The new product will not encounter any resistance from customers since they trust the Drchrono brand.

References

Drchrono. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.drchrono.com/

DrChrono / Ambra Health Partnership Digitizes DICOM | DrChrono Blog. (2018, October 11). Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://blog.drchrono.com/drchrono-partners-ambra-health-giving-physicians-radiologists-instant-access-patient-medical-images-within-ehr/

Hixon, T. (2014, July 25). Opportunities For Entrepreneurs In Health Care. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2014/07/25/opportunities-for-entrepreneurs-in-health-care/#69dcc2a05b54

Siwicki, B. (2016, April 04). Drchrono adds lab, imaging, medication adherence to EHR via APIs and partnerships. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/drchrono-adds-lab-imaging-medication-adherence-ehr-apis-and-partnerships

We Power The Practice Of The Future. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.drchrono.com/about/

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