Thursday, March 22, 2018

"The Team Approach Makes An Effective AIP Delivery System"

Regardless of what our major calling or area of expertise happens to be, we all have various talents and abilities that we can use to work with our aging in place clients. Nevertheless, we don't need to do everything alone or by ourselves. We can have help.

We have the ability to seek out, attract, and enlist the help of other capable individuals and providers. This supplements our skills and gives the client a range of expertise they might not have otherwise. It certainly separates us from other providers in the marketplace who might not approach an assignment this way or may not have the contacts to form an effective delivery team.

Sometimes we might be able to do a home assessment or a simple repair or installation (depending on the nature of our business and what we typically offer) without assistance, but often there are going to be areas that we want or need to be involved in where we simply are not qualified or licensed to do the work the client requires, desires, or needs. Therefore, we must ask for and get help from other qualified professionals in the form of some type of collaboration and strategic partnership.

On our own, we might be able to meet the client, sell the job, and get the process started with them, but more than likely, we are going to need help finishing it from some of our professional colleagues and strategic partners. Creating a strategic alliance with remodelers and other trade contractors, occupational or physical therapists, designers, durable medical equipment consultants, equipment specialists, and others advisors - anything that we are not trained or licensed to provide - is an effective way to maximize market reach, extend our ability to provide and delivery solutions to our clients, and create effectiveness. In fact, it's how we should look at selling, designing, and implementing our aging in place services and solutions.

To be clear, strategic partnerships or alliances are temporary bonds that we form with other professionals and the trades for a particular project or type of service that we want to offer. We create them between ourselves and two or more other independent providers or companies. This way each one complements the services and expertise of the others, and the client is the beneficiary. With aging in place services, these bonds can be more long-term and continuous as long as all of the participants are happy and satisfied with each other's work ethic and the quality of everyone's performance and abilities.

We can add and combine as many collaborators and strategic partners as necessary for a project (subject to the job being large enough to support everyone who is participating), and the number of individual participants can adjust up or down by the specific project - depending on where it is, what it entails, and what needs to be provided by various team members to make it a successful venture. Generally, having more than one provider in any given role is a good idea to accommodate people being busy or distances that are too far away for convenient travel.

The important part of creating and providing a team delivery system is to always be looking for individuals or companies that we can partner with - just once for something special or on an on-going basis for what we typically look for as part of our business model - to broaden what we offer the marketplace and make our services more valuable and complete for the aging in pace clients we serve.

The strategic partnerships or alliances exist on a project-by-project basis and do not bind or align the individual professionals or companies to each other except through the terms of the working agreement they create for specific projects. Otherwise, everyone is free to pursue business on their own or with other strategic partners. Nevertheless, this creates a very effective delivery system that serves all of the participants and especially the client base.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.