126. Joe Matarese Defines a Whole New Level of Customer Value to Build a High Growth Service Firm
Firms that can unlock the deep secrets of subjective value can unleash powerful, long-lasting value streams. When these flow in a confluence with well-identified market drivers, revenue and profit growth can be greatly accelerated.
Joe Matarese tells Economics For Business how he conjoined these two forces for his medical staffing service firm, creating a dynamic market leader from a three-person startup.
Key Takeaways and Actionable Insights
Market Drivers are strong, lasting forces capable of projection.
Austrians are skeptical about prediction, but it is reasonable to project some forces into the future. Demographics is one — the progression of age cohorts through the demography of a country can be mapped quite accurately. Increasing longevity is another, based on ongoing increased investment in health care and advances in the associated technologies. When Joe Matarese identified a shortage of doctors, he was able to confidently assume the shortage would continue.
When customer problems result from these forces, a market segment opens for solutions.
One customer problem fed by these forces is staffing for critical roles in hospitals — doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, etc. Staffing complements need to be assembled, absences caused by holidays, maternity leave, etc. need to be covered, and the natural churn of individuals taking new jobs, retiring, or moving requires flexible response. Not only staffing but scheduling is required — the right medical team for the specific operation at the appointed time.
The problem-to-solve is functional. The deep value is subjective and intense.
Joe’s core insight was about the intense emotional need, not just the functional need. He observed his client — an operations executive in a busy hospital system — stressing out about the problem. Operating room staffing is life-and-death. Unfilled team roles would often arise at the last minute, threatening the healthcare mission of the hospital.
Temporary staffing service providers would sometimes fail to deliver the scheduled stand-in. Stress for the executive intensified.
The solution for a deep-seated and intensely felt emotional need is to transfer the burden to the service provider.
Think of the intense burden the administrative executive bears when she’s not confident that her staffing plans are secure, and her routines and methods are not foolproof. What if there is a failure at the time of a scheduled operation and it can’t go forward? Or patients can’t get nursing care because of under-staffing? How much value is there in a service that can relieve the stress?
Joe Matarese conceived of the emotional solution: take the responsibility off the shoulders of the executive and take it on as a service of his firm. How is that achieved? Bulletproof processes and routines. Comprehensive databases of people and their skills and attributes, and of client facilities and their needs. The latest technology for profile matching and precision scheduling. Impeccable implementation. And, most importantly, intense listening to continuously monitor customer feelings, combined with the responsiveness to act on those feelings.
Growth follows when these market drivers, functional drivers and emotional drivers are aligned.
Medicus Healthcare Solutions quickly gained market share in its initial geography. Growth comes from adding new customers, expanding territory and the underlying forces of an aging population consuming more healthcare.
But growth is a management challenge. One area of great challenge is managing people. Those who signed on for the early stages of growth and development may not have the skills — or the interest — for the later stage tasks of management like strengthening processes and systems. Making sure the team is perfectly tuned to the demands of the current stage is difficult but critical.
Further acceleration of growth is driven by innovation.
Medicus Healthcare Solutions has always grown faster than the market. How? Through an intense search for new knowledge and its application in the form of unrelenting innovation — never resting in the search for better ways to provide client service. For example, in addition to continuous improvement in precision tailored scheduling, Medicus added a consulting service. Scheduling solves the client’s immediate short term problem, and does so again and again. Consulting can examine the client’s systems and solve the problem in the long term by designing and installing internal systems as good as Medicus’.
Joe has a long experience with innovation and how to manage it, and promised to come back to the Economics For Business podcast in the future to share his knowledge.
“Driving Growth With Core Customer Value Insights” (PDF): Download PDF
“Medical Staffing and the Revolutionary Innovations We Need,” presented by Joe Matarese at the Mises Institute’s Medical Freedom Summit: Watch the Video
Medicus Healthcare Solutions: Visit the Website