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Oliver Wight Blog

Looking ahead at the healthcare industry in Asia Pacific for 2020

17 December 2019

In Asia Pacific in 2020 and ahead, the healthcare and medical industry will be impacted by key growth factors. Two very significant factors are the continous innovations in technology, including the rise in the usage of medical devices, and the increase in the elderly population. The medical device market for instance is anticipated to grow at a 9.7% rate annually in AP and in China there is a projected growth of 12.5% each year. In Australia, in 2019 there were 3.8 million Australians aged 65 and over with a recent report revealing that by 2057 this will increase to 8.8 million. So, what does this mean for the healthcare industry?

Effective planning, product innovation and strategy will be key to ensure the healthcare industry delivers what its customers need. In this blog we investigate this further, and look at how a planning process such as Integrated Business Planning (IBP) can help organisations to succeed. 


Strategy alignment
Many healthcare companies have had a form of planning processes, such as IBP in place for some time.  However, comparatively few have matured their processes to the point that they are using them to deploy and monitor execution of their strategies. Leading companies are better at aligning strategy across their organisations and recognise that their process provides a robust mechanism for achieving this. 2020 will see more companies evolving their processes to create a stronger connection to strategy and its effective execution. 

Planning to survive
When tweets from presidents can dry up trade and drive uncertainty in Asia almost overnight, organisations who have manufacturing partners or supply chains spanning the region, have a greater need for a planning process such as IBP to help ask and answer the what-if questions, not only about the next couple of years, but also about tomorrow. Instant simulation capability has  been a nice-to-have to date, but now it will become essential functionality for companies to successfully navigate uncertain geo-economic conditions.  

Addressing the regions needs
Companies need to ensure that their portfolio of products and services will drive their growth ambitions by tightly aligning the needs of the customers and demographics in their region. For instance, with the rising numbers of elderly people, there will be a growing need for innovative ideas to deliver medical products and digital technologies that provide specific solutions for this group. A clearly defined product and portfolio strategy will be essential to identify what is required. The more successful companies will use their monthly IBP Product Manamagent Reviews to check in on the progress of initiatives and projects and their delivery against the porfolio strategic objectives. 

Speed of delivery
To maintain relevance, speed to market of product development is also essential. While most companies say they need to do it, the record for many in effectively accelerating new products to market and hitting launch dates is poor. Worse still is their ability to get out of the market quickly, typically driven by a lack of product life cycle thinking, resulting in products too often contributing to the 'tail of non-performance' in the product portfolio, that drains energy and profit from the organisation. In 2020 IBP will help companies put a greater emphasis on effectively getting to market quickly and getting out with minimum damage. As business author Tom Peters is quoted saying, “Companies who do the most stuff, win.”

Don’t run before you can walk
Machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and more are coming at us rapidly, but many companies haven’t worked out yet what questions they want their data to answer, let alone, letting technology do it for them. While technology is important, businesses shouldn’t try to run before they walk. Medical-device companies with very long supply chains spanning the globe will benefit from using the IBP process to “torture test” the right questions in order to optimise planning and cost-effectively drive agility. If you don't know the key questions to ask and answer about your business, then all of the cool stuff that data analytics promises is a waste of time and money. 

Contributors: Rod Hozack & Mike Reed