|What will the medical device market be like in 2015?
About one year ago an interesting article appeared entitled "A Look Into the Future of the U.S. Medical Device Market". It was authored by three scenario planners from Decision Strategies International and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Now, scenario planning is a staple process of management consultants and it can be kind of fun to play with. Although the process has some obvious limitations (like the bothersome difficulty of predicting the future!), it can be quite useful in laying out and detailing a number of possible futures. Then you can examine what effects each of those futures might have on your business. And, then you can devise proactive strategies to deal with each of those potential effects.
The article lays out four possible scenarios for the industry in 2015:
And, the authors reveal how several critical uncertainties differ across these four scenarios:
You will have to read the article to understand the authors' definitions of each scenario and the highlighted characteristics of each one. (For the record, I think the most likely scenario of these four is either A or D.) They also go on to gauge the effects of each of these scenarios on three particular device segments: cardiovascular, orthopedics and neurological.
One can successfully argue that other scenarios, perhaps many others, are possible. One can also successfully argue that other uncertainties lurk to trip up the unaware. But that's not what matters. We're not looking for a perfect analytical prediction - that's impossible. All we can expect from scenario planning is:
· A definition of some drivers that are likely to matter going forward
· Speculation on what scenarios might emerge as a result of these market drivers
· Assessment of how each of these scenarios would affect your particular business
· Stimulation of strategy-setting in response to each potential effect
In essence, scenario planning gets you to think about the future of your business as part of a revised, future market environment.
Now, about this quarter's revenues!