Tag Archives: price

Huge Opportunity in Today’s Uncertainty

A landmark study into the profits of businesses found that only 55% stemmed from factors they could control. A full 45% of a business’s earnings was determined by external factors – the growth rate of the economy, political changes, movement in oil prices, etc. That study was done 20 years ago, so the part of earnings now determined by uncontrollable factors may well be higher, given that technology, politics and other factors have added so much uncertainty to today’s business environment.

Executives don’t like things they can’t control, so many focus 100% of their effort on that 55% (or less) of earnings that is in their hands. But focusing on only roughly half the sources of profitability leaves an enormous opportunity for those who are willing to embrace uncertainty and find better ways to sense and react to those external, uncontrollable factors.

Because of regulation and capital requirements, financial services have been largely protected from the digital disruption that has rewritten the rules for retailing, music and so many other parts of the economy. But uncertainty is picking up because financial services firms are now having to confront new kinds of information, at much higher speed, and must learn how to quantify new types of risk.

For instance, some fintech startups are granting loans based on analyses of social media — one theory being that, if your friends are solid citizens, you’re likely to be a better risk than your credit score suggests. The jury is still out on how effective these startups will be, but they show the need to be able to analyze “unstructured” data such as that coming from social media and from the cameras and sensors that increasingly blanket the world.

See also: Change Management Is Not About Change!  

Meanwhile, although technology is typically described as addressing humanity’s problems, it also creates whole new types of risk. How do you figure out how to insure a driverless car? There’s never been one before. When the Internet of Things essentially connects every device to every other device in the world, what risks come along with the benefits? They won’t just relate to cybersecurity issues such as how to protect personal information either; people will also hack into systems to sabotage equipment, to make cars crash into each other and who knows what else.

History shows that many companies will wait and watch to see how the business environment evolves and only then start to react, but research for our new book, “Accelerating Performance,” found that the best firms have a fast, yet low-risk way of responding to change. We can summarize that approach as: “mobilize, execute and transform with agility.” Our study of these factors is based on decades of work and years of research, included a survey of 20,000 global leaders, investigation into the performance of 3,000 teams and deep research into the FT 500, including interviews with senior executives at 23 top performers we call “superaccelerators.”

Here’s what they do – and do well.

Mobilize

Embracing uncertainty. Some 60% of the respondents in a major survey of ours said high-impact events had repeatedly blindsided their organization, and 97% said their organization lacked an adequate early-warning system. To avoid ugly surprises, companies need to embrace uncertainty. That means building a deep understanding of the highest-impact forces that are shaping the future of an industry and preparing for a range of alternatives, rather than just addressing operational pressures.

Pressure-tested decision making. Often, context needs to be broadened so that new options can surface. What seems to be a harsh, either/or choice can become a much easier decision. Continually reframing business challenges must become a best practice. It is human nature to have mental filters – they help us to efficiently manage information overload and to make many routine decisions without hesitation — but these shortcuts often lead people to see what they expect to see rather than what is actually there.

Overconfidence can also cloud judgment. We need to constantly recognize and work to overcome our biases, while still making swift decisions.

Shared vision. Uncertainty can lead to divisiveness, as everyone has his or her own opinion of how the business will develop. But extensive research shows that companies that have a shared vision of where they are going, and why, do remarkably better than those that do not. Most visions are incremental and stifling, limiting change to minor investments in new capabilities that support the core, existing business. But a bold vision is often a bridge too far, creating a state of paralysis by presenting the prospect of radical changes  to the business model. Most successful strategies find the elusive sweet spot between incremental and bold, balancing the familiar with a distinct “North Star” for the future.

Execute

Core competencies. Today’s winning capabilities may become tomorrow’s table stakes. Organizations must identify what capabilities world-class competitors will possess in the future and begin to invest in them now.

Execution feasibility. Many attractive strategies exist. However, not all are possible for every organization. Investing in strategies with low feasibility is a sucker’s game. Leadership needs to recognize that how they will win may be different than the path for their competitors. Before making any moves, organizations should inventory the principal strategic decisions for the near term and long term, and then evaluate their readiness to execute.

Adaptive playbook. Relentless testing of alternative strategies is imperative. Organizations need more than one strategy at the ready, as market conditions often change and new threats and opportunities emerge, and must be acted on quickly. Most firms plan as if the world were predictable, developing point forecasts, budgets and initiatives that will succeed as long as the external environment cooperates. Organizations must become intimately familiar with their competitors’ inner workings, regularly employing role-playing exercises to simulate the competition’s strategic intents.

Transform 

Balanced portfolio. A well-constructed portfolio balances investments with knowable return on investment (ROI) in the short term along with investments that have long-term potential and can’t be evaluated with such traditional financial metrics. Portfolios need to incorporate varying levels of risk and multiple time horizons.

Failing fast. Every organization has limited resources, so it must objectively assess which strategies are working and which are not, pull the plug on those that are failing, double down on those that are working and invest in new ideas. A firm burdened with too many stagnant strategic initiatives quickly faces a drag on overall performance.

Rapid response. Rapid response requires the ability to sense threats and opportunities in the market, while relentlessly pursuing improvement in how to respond when signals emerge. Responding to a threat or opportunity more quickly than competitors, based on less-than-perfect information, can make all the difference. Most organizations struggle to act swiftly and commit resources because the near-term risks of being wrong outweigh the long-term reward of being right.

See also: Group Benefits: the Winds of Change  

Agility

Foresight. Most companies are skilled at sensitivity analyses of one issue in isolation, but few can conduct deeper-level examinations of how issues interact in a complex system. The current volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment demands that firms re-evaluate their strategies and strengths and improve the ability to anticipate.

Learning. You must continuously test assumptions about yourself, your market, your customers and your competitors. It’s important to understand which assumptions might be vulnerable and to “unlearn” associated behaviors. Operational excellence is increasingly becoming commonplace in many industries, with true differentiation stemming from a learning culture that is externally focused, experimental and innovative, collaborative and comfortable with risk.

Adaptability. Existing strategies and processes, even if successful in the past, might need to be changed dramatically to ensure continued performance in the future. Organizations must adjust to changing circumstances by applying existing resources to new purposes and modifying actions and behaviors accordingly.

Resilience. Many companies have too narrow a view of the plausible range of outcomes, and often a disruptive event turns into something that is crippling rather than a small setback or even an opportunity. Organizations must surface and examine mental models. By considering which assumptions might be vulnerable and looking at a broader range of outcomes, leaders can combat overconfidence and prepare for challenging operating environments.

Even addressing all 13 of these factors won’t guarantee that you’ll win. The business world will remain a harsh place full of formidable competitors. But becoming expert on these issues will give you a much better chance of mastering uncertainty, while your competitors continue to focus just on the factors they can control.

4 Steps When Clients Only Care About Price

So you’ve developed a great rapport with a potential customer. She’s happy with the risk management solutions you’ve proposed. A sale seems imminent. Then you get to the price. Suddenly, your relationship-building efforts dissolve into a negotiation that might seem more about dollars than sense.

Don’t get discouraged. Cost is a sticking point for almost all customers and a common reason why deals of all kinds fail. But before you let price jeopardize your next sale, arm yourself with strategies to help customers understand that the bottom line shouldn’t always be the last word when they’re considering your proposals. Consider these four simple approaches:

1. Listen

Listening to the specifics of the potential customer’s objections is the first step in figuring out a strategy to overcome them. Two areas to which you should pay the closest attention are specifics about why the prospective customer is resisting your price and how he determined the competition’s prices. This will help you empathize with potential clients. It also allows you to introduce considerations besides price, such as the value of the peace of mind that comes from a stress-free claims process, the risk management resources your agency can offer, etc.

2. Do the Math for Customers

Prospective customers may not realize how producers and underwriters arrive at the price for a specific policy. That’s why it’s vital for you to explain it fully with concrete examples and — even more importantly — offer ways to potentially reduce costs down the road. Assure the potential customer you’ve personally checked for all potential discounts, keeping the fight for the sale alive while providing additional value and insight.

See also: Answer to a Better Customer Experience?  

3. Justify the Price

Lots of sales pros will tell you to never apologize for price. It’s sound advice. Your message should be that the price matches the value of what you’re offering and that you assume the potential buyer will agree.

For example, you can tout the benefits of your claims department and how the producer and adjusting teams will support the customer at every step of the process; give a specific example of a time when a current or past client benefited from your agency’s superior value and service; or emphasize that an insurance policy is a key part of protecting and preserving life’s most important purchases.

4. Stand Your Ground (or Walk Away)

Everyone’s idea of negotiation is a little different. In some cases, the right approach to a potential client balking at a price you’ve quoted is to stand your ground once you’ve demonstrated you believe in the value of your coverage and service. It just might be the tactic that gets the customer ready to buy.

See also: Payoff From Great Customer Experience?

Other times, a potential buyer will force you to really stand behind the value of your products… by giving up the sale. Some buyers have a maximum they’re willing or able to spend, while others will go with the cheapest option no matter how many different ways you spell out why that might be a bad idea. One of the key elements of being a successful seller is knowing when to give up on a prospect and move on to more lucrative opportunities.

Have you had success with potential customers who are only focused on price? Share your solutions in the comments section below.

Keep Your Eye on the Fourth P

If you ever took a marketing class, you probably remember the four “P’s” – product, price, promotion and place. While attention to all of these is vital to business success (including one or two new ones added over the years), the fourth P, place (which really is about distribution) has been getting a lot of attention lately in the insurance industry. From traditional channels with agents and brokers to new channels like Google, Compare.com, Gobear.com, Walmart and others, the place where prospects and clients meet insurers is worth a fresh look and an open discussion.

Celent recently reported that many insurers are investing in their distribution capabilities to spur growth and retention by adding or expanding channels and markets and optimizing existing channels. Celent predicted a steady market for investment in distribution management systems from 2014-2016 (“Deal Trends and Projections in the Distribution Management Systems Market,” September 2015). Gartner has indicated distribution management is one of its hot inquiry topics for 2016.

As I wrote in my last blog, distribution might also be the most tangible touchpoint to customers for product inquiries and purchases, outside of paying bills or making the occasional policy change. Interactions with our distribution channels are key opportunities to create positive customer experiences that lead to loyalty and additional sales down the road. Because only a fraction of our customers will have a claim in any given year, few will have the opportunity to experience the true value of insurance. That places the “burden of value proof” upon insurers, to continually reinforce protective messages, supplement with preventive knowledge and reiterate the comfort customers can have in knowing they are insured.

Distribution has always been the prime communicator of these messages and an extremely important part of the insurance value chain. Channels we use have evolved over the centuries, as insurance itself has evolved. (See the recent report from III, “Buying Insurance: Evolving Distribution Channels,” for a good history lesson). But numerous forces inside and outside of our industry have been rapidly transforming this important element of the insurance business model. As an industry, we can’t afford to think about distribution in the “usual” old ways.

Traditional channels are still vitally important, but having a broad array of distribution options is even more important in today’s marketplace. With consumers’ shopping/buying preferences and behaviors changing based on more progressive industries and companies, options and alternatives are critically important to capture and retain customers. While the digital revolution and fast-emerging technologies are intensifying this change, they have not replaced traditional agent channels, despite the predicted demise of the agent channel a few years ago.

Instead, consumers are using multiple channels (traditional and non-traditional) for shopping, buying and policyholding processes. In many cases, it comes down to whichever channel is easiest or whichever channel seems to fit the moment when the individual is ready to transact. This echoes a trend within all industries. For example, research by Deloitte reported by Business Insider found that consumers shop for groceries on average across five different types of stores, no longer needing a traditional grocery store when one is not convenient. Consumers are now buying groceries at warehouse clubs and super-stores like Costco and Walmart, where one-stop-shopping can save time (CBS Moneywatch). For retail suppliers, this means courting any and all potential distribution outlets.

Likewise, insurance needs to expand distribution channels beyond the traditional channel silos of direct mail, captive agent and independent agents to a new model, an omni-channel ecosystem that seamlessly interacts with and meets customers’ ever-expanding expectations. This doesn’t mean that insurers should rush out and go on a channel shopping spree. It does mean insurers must build a strategic action plan for their unique channel ecosystem using relevant channels, partners and capabilities that work cohesively together to optimize the customer relationship. The irony of this is that while insurers are doing this to make things easier for their customers, it can make things a lot more complex for insurers. Enter the growing need for effective distribution management, and systems that improve carriers’ capabilities to manage multiple channels and multiple factors. These factors include:

Compliance: Automation of key producer lifecycle processes, data capture and reporting saves time and ensures accuracy and timeliness.

Compensation: Moving from reliance on core systems and manual tracking and calculations in spreadsheets doesn’t just save time and increase accuracy, it also enables more targeted and creative programs to drive performance of your channels.

Performance: In addition to influencing producer behaviors, the right distribution management system makes available the volume and granularity of data you need to enable flexible reporting, as well as more advanced analytics like segmentation and predictive modeling. Majesco’s recent research report, “A Path to Insurance Distribution Leadership: New Channels and New Data for Innovative Outcomes,” provides some useful insights into how companies are using data to improve the performance of their distribution channels.

Self-Service: Portals for your producers and channel partners give them the transparency that’s vital for trusted, mutually beneficial relationships. Developing e-service capabilities for customers and agents was a high priority among insurers Majesco surveyed for the recent research report, “Digital Readiness in Insurance.”

You can have the best insurance products, pricing and advertising to build your market presence, but if you don’t have a distribution ecosystem underpinned by a robust distribution management system to optimize and maximize these channels, your customer growth and retention potential will remain limited. If it is difficult to effectively optimize compliance, compensation and performance of your channels, you could end up losing to competitors that can. Distribution management systems are no longer considered back-office systems; they are front-office enablers in today’s radically changing marketplace. That brings us back to the concept of place. Just like long-established retailers will remodel every couple of years, the place you meet your customers can’t remain untouched without your organization and its products losing their feeling of value.

Are you developing a distribution ecosystem? Do you have the right distribution management solution to optimize your established and newly developed channels to help you grow? Celent and Gartner are telling the industry that your competitors are considering and implementing modern distribution management systems. If you haven’t been considering distribution management modernization, now is the time to begin the conversation.

Einstein’s Theory on Work Comp Outcomes

Over the last decade, I have been fortunate to grow a physical therapy company that has provided hundreds of thousands of workers’ compensation visits. I have learned a great deal about the good, the bad and the ugly in our industry during this time.

One lesson is most significant: The term “outcome” is among the most misused and misapplied phrases in workers’ compensation. Very few consultants, intermediaries and “experts” actually assess the value of their provider networks because they lack the ability to truly define an outcome.

A Lesson From Einstein

In 1905, Albert Einstein articulated the theory of relativity, including what must be the most recognizable formula in history: E = MC-squared. This theory has stood the test of time as an accurate reflection of the relationship between energy and mass. Similarly, in workers’ compensation, we have utilized a formula to allegedly explain the “theory of outcomes” as the relationship between cost and clinical performance. The problem is that our equation for outcomes is incomplete and inaccurate.

Ask your intermediary how they rank healthcare providers. Inevitably, most will articulate some iteration of:

Outcomes = Price x Utilization

Or, O = PU (ironic when you say it out loud). But this is a false promise. This formula uses data derived only from claims and has no capacity to reflect the quality of the clinical performance. An effective definition of outcome incorporates price and incorporates utilization but must balance that analysis with an understanding of functional improvement. Without incorporating functional improvement into the equation, you have a useless collection of letters and numbers masquerading as a mechanism for transparency and clarity. O = PU is to the “theory of outcomes” what E = C-squared would be to the theory of relativity – partially expressed and therefore completely wrong.

The Manipulation of O = PU

Price can be manipulated. Utilization can be manipulated. Both are manipulated every day in our industry and will continue to be. However, providers can’t manipulate the functional improvement (or lack thereof) of their patients. Functional improvement either happens, or it doesn’t… and is directly related to the ability of the provider and his attention to and effort with the patient. There are occasional anomalies in patient outcomes, but I can tell you with absolute confidence that the past decade has taught me that, when balanced for patient type and clinical environment, the best clinicians consistently achieve the greatest functional improvement with their patients.

I can also tell you that far too few “experts” seem to either understand or care about functional improvement. We live in an era now where many intermediaries ask providers to play “name that tune” when it comes to price and utilization. They guide providers to increase prices to offset discounts and manage utilization around a number (not the patient).

It is a game, and this game does not end well. Higher prices, bigger discounts, worse care, mismanaged utilization (unrelated to patient improvement), higher indemnity, animosity, deceit, ill will, poor communication and frustration. Sound familiar?

The True Formula for Outcomes – The True Recipe for Value

It really is this simple:

Outcomes =   Price X Utilization / Functional Improvement

If you truly want to evaluate outcomes, demand accountability and data regarding how patients improve functionally. Identify and benchmark what your injured patients could do before their injury and what they can do after their treatment. That analysis (and only that analysis) will lead you to truly identifying outcomes — and truly understanding value.

Everything else is a side show. Price and discount matter – if you know functional improvement. Utilization matters – if you know functional improvement. NONE OF IT matters without knowledge of functional improvement. Far too many “experts” have advised employers to “commoditize” the provision of healthcare through cost containment strategies that define outcomes through price and utilization only – and along the way have lost the battle for value.

The Real Question

Why do we so commonly resign ourselves to O = PU, when we know it is inaccurate?

Workers’ compensation affords us the greatest opportunity for transparency in all of healthcare. Our “experts” should lead with new practices and analysis – not cut and paste outdated processes sourced from commercial health. We have the HIPAA waiver. We have greater referral control. We often have access to the essential functions of the job (benchmarks for return to work) and the injured employee’s pre-existing conditions (benchmarks for maximum medical improvement) when effectively identified through job-site assessments and post-offer testing. Last, we have a truly invested payer with comprehensive exposure to both medical and indemnity cost. An actual, accurate formula for outcomes isn’t just important, it is essential… and it is achievable.

Almost as famous as Einstein’s equation is his quote that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

I believe, if Einstein were alive today, he would say, “If you are happy with the outcomes you are seeing in workers’ compensation, keep doing the same thing. However, after years of increased medical costs, rising negativity between employers and their injured employees, a tidal wave of provider frustration with payer rules and bureaucracy and a national increase in indemnity – my advice is to stop repeating the same ‘cost containment’ techniques that have never worked before. If you want more from your providers and intermediaries, O = PU is the definition of insanity.”

How to Avoid Commoditization

How can a company liberate itself from the death spiral of product commoditization?

Competing on price is generally a losing proposition—and an exhausting way to run a business. But when a market matures and customers start focusing on price, what’s a business to do?

The answer, as counterintuitive as it may seem, is to deliver a better customer experience.

It’s a proposition some executives reject outright. After all, a better customer experience costs more to deliver, right? How on earth could that be a beneficial strategy for a company that’s facing commoditization pressures?

Go From Commodity to Necessity

There are two ways that a great customer experience can improve price competitiveness, and the first involves simply removing yourself from the price comparison arena.

Consider those companies that have flourished selling products or services that were previously thought to be commodities: Starbucks and coffee, Nike and sneakers, Apple and laptops. They all broke free from the commodity quicksand by creating an experience their target market was willing to pay more for.

They achieved that, in part, by grounding their customer experience in a purpose-driven brand that resonated with their target market.

Nike, for example, didn’t purport to just sell sneakers; it aimed to bring “inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Starbucks didn’t focus on selling coffee; it sought to create a comfortable “third place” (between work and home) where people could relax and decompress. Apple’s fixation was never on the technology but rather on the design of a simple, effortless user experience.

But these companies also walk the talk by engineering customer experiences that credibly reinforce their brand promise (for example, the carefully curated sights, sounds and aromas in a Starbucks coffee shop or the seamless integration across Apple devices).

The result is that these companies create something of considerable value to their customers. Something that ceases to be a commodity and instead becomes a necessity. Something that people are simply willing to pay more for.

That makes their offerings more price competitive—but not because they’re matching lower-priced competitors. Rather, despite the higher price point, people view these firms as delivering good value, in light of the rational and emotional satisfaction they derive from the companies’ products.

The lesson: Hook customers with both the mind and the heart, and price commoditization quickly can become a thing of the past.

Gain Greater Pricing Latitude

Creating a highly appealing brand experience certainly can help remove a company from the morass of price-based competition. But the reality is that price does matter. While people may pay more for a great customer experience, there are limits to how much more.

And so, even for those companies that succeed in differentiating their customer experience, it remains important to create a competitive cost structure that affords some flexibility in pricing without crimping margins.

At first blush, these might seem like contradictory goals: a better customer experience and a more competitive cost structure. But the surprising truth is that these two business objectives are actually quite compatible.

A great customer experience can actually cost less to deliver, thanks to a fundamental principle that many businesses fail to appreciate: Broken or even just unfulfilling customer experiences inevitably create more work and expense for an organization.

That’s because subpar customer interactions often trigger additional customer contacts that are simply unnecessary. Some examples:

  • An individual receives an explanation of benefits (EOB) from his health insurer for a recent medical procedure. The EOB is difficult to read, let alone interpret. What does the insured do? He calls the insurance company for clarification.
  • A cable TV subscriber purchases an add-on service, but the sales representative fails to fully explain the associated charges. When the subscriber’s next cable bill arrives, she’s unpleasantly surprised and believes an error has been made. She calls the cable company to complain.
  • A mutual fund investor requests a change to his account. The service representative helping him fails to set expectations for a return call. Two days later, having not heard from anyone, what does the investor do? He calls the mutual fund company to follow up on the request.
  • A student researching a computer laptop purchase on the manufacturer’s website can’t understand the difference between two closely related models. To be sure that he orders the right one for his needs, what does he do? He calls the manufacturer.
  • An insurance policyholder receives a contractual amendment to her policy that fails to clearly explain, in plain English, the rationale for the change and its impact on her coverage. What does the insured do? She calls her insurance agent for assistance.

In all of these examples, less-than-ideal customer experiences generate additional calls to centralized service centers or field sales representatives. But the tragedy is that a better experience upstream would eliminate the need for many of these customer contacts.

Every incoming call, email, tweet or letter drives real expense—in service, training and other support resources. Plus, because many of these contacts come from frustrated customers, they often involve escalated case handling and complex problem resolution, which, by embroiling senior staff, managers and executives in the mess, drive the associated expense up considerably.

Studies suggest that at most companies, as many as a third of all customer contacts are unnecessary—generated only because the customer had a failed or unfulfilling prior interaction (with a sales rep, a call center, an account statement, etc.).

In organizations with large customer bases, this easily can translate into hundreds of thousands of expense-inducing (but totally avoidable) transactions.

By inflating a company’s operating expenses, these unnecessary customer contacts make it more difficult to price aggressively without compromising margins.

If, however, you deliver a customer experience that preempts such contacts, you help control (if not reduce) operating expenses, thereby providing greater latitude to achieve competitive pricing.

Putting the Strategy to Work

If your product category is devolving into a commodity (a prospect that doesn’t require much imagination on the part of insurance executives), break from the pack and increase your pricing leverage with these two tactics:

  • Pinpoint what’s really valuable to your customers.

Starbucks tapped into consumers’ desire for a “third place” between home and work—a place for conversation and a sense of community. By shaping the customer experience accordingly (and recognizing that the business was much more than just a purveyor of coffee), Starbucks set itself apart in a crowded, commoditized market.

Insurers should similarly think carefully about what really matters to their clientele and then engineer a product and service experience that capitalizes on those insights. Commercial policyholders, for example, care a lot more about growing their business than insuring it. Help them on both counts, and they’ll be a lot less likely to treat you as a commodity supplier.

  • Figure out why customers contact you.

Apple has long had a skill for understanding how new technologies can frustrate rather than delight customers. The company used that insight to create elegantly designed devices that are intuitive and effortless to use. (Or, to invoke the oft-repeated mantra of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, “It just works.”)

Make your customer experience just as effortless by drilling into the top 10 reasons customers contact you in the first place. Whether your company handles a thousand customer interactions a year or millions, don’t assume they’re all “sensible” interactions. You’ll likely find some subset that are triggered by customer confusion, ambiguity or annoyance—and could be preempted with upstream experience improvements, such as simpler coverage options, plain language policy documents or proactive claim status notifications.

By eliminating just a portion of these unnecessary, avoidable interactions, you’ll not only make customers happier, you’ll make your whole operation more efficient. That, in turn, means a more competitive cost structure that can support more competitive pricing.

Whether it’s coffee, sneakers, laptops or insurance, every product category eventually matures, and the ugly march toward commoditization begins. In these situations, the smartest companies recognize that the key is not to compete on price but on value.

They focus on continuously refining their brand experience—revealing and addressing unmet customer needs, identifying and preempting unnecessary customer contacts.

As a result, they enjoy reduced price sensitivity among their customers, coupled with a more competitive cost structure. And that’s the perfect recipe for success in a crowded, commoditized market.

This article first appeared on carriermanagement.com.