Friday, August 24, 2012

The Fire Sale

 If you have been listening in the last 2 weeks you know the nurse call industry is in a flutter….to say the least. A price war has ensued with what appeared to be slashing like I haven’t experienced prior. My phone has been ringing a lot…..a lot is kind of an understatement. I would think that it’s a competitive thing but in actuality it may be a fire sale which has caused a ripple effect throughout the industry.
A few months ago I wrote about GE being acquired by Ascom. Call me crazy but when a manufacture of telecom handsets purchases a nurse call system then cuts the price significantly does it signal more than just we want to take market share? To call their pricing strategy “creative” would also be an understatement.  I am not suggesting "trouble" by any means - I am suggesting a strategic change in approach to market AND possibility that a new nurse call - one which lines up closer to their UNITE product may be in the works.  Possibly there is a need to make some sales to secure the client and move them to a new platform when it's released.   
To remain competitive it appears that the other others are indeed re-evaluating their strategies – essentially relying on the value in their hardware to secure their place.   In my opinion (humble as it may be) Nurse Call has spent the last 3 years trying to prove their overreaching “workflow” value in the market place only to play the games of a contractor today.   I am not trying to pick on GE by any means - they are just making the biggest change.
So what does this mean? Is it a signal in the market place of the devaluation of nurse call? Remids me of the blog I wrote a few years ago about Electronic Life, Technology Life and Workflow Ability. (I wrote a little algorithm to help hospitals understand this by answering a few questions and scoring the results per unit – helps phase installs – if you are planning an upgrade - give us a call.)
I don't think it's a devaluation - I believe the shift has started in redefining Nurse Call to a more patient centric cloud based product.
Stay Tuned - I will post some tips for hospitals making the decision on new nurse call.

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Kourtney Govro