The aged care service sector has undergone a great deal of changes over the past few years. There are now more organisations providing services than ever before. The government has recently provided extra funding to areas where there were existing services (meeting existing needs), creating some confusion/angst amongst existing providers (in the CHSP sector). There is a mix of not for profits and for profits in the market place. The changes have led to some of the following:
Coopetition is a practical solution and enables organisations to compete with each other on some levels, but to cooperate on other levels. Coopetition is a planned or strategical action which could provide a better option for everyone. Services need to continue to work together, if not on all levels, on some levels and to have a shared understanding of those levels of competition and cooperation for the benefit of their organisations but primarily for the benefit of the consumers. Coopetition can be regarded as an effective way of handling both cooperation and competition between competitors.
Business/organisations that engage simultaneously in both competition and cooperation are ‘in co-opetition’. Co-opetition involves the collaboration between business competitors (in specific areas), in the hope of mutually beneficial results. It is a form of strategic alliance.
An example of co-opetition might be where an industry makes “widgets”. Making the widgets involves step 1, 2, 3 and 4 and then there is selling of the widget (step 5). Two ‘widget makers’ might join in a coopetitive relationship for steps 1-2 by sharing resources, staffing and financial costs. In step 3 and 4 the organisations remain independent and competitive. In step 5 (the selling and marketing of the widgets) the organisations are fiercely competitive. These two organisations have agreed to compete in steps 3, 4 and 5 (on a professional level). In steps 1 and 2 the organisations cooperate together, sharing information and resources.
Why use co-opetition?
Co-opetition is strategically a good move and provides opportunities for growth, expansion and efficiencies in many areas (including financially). Some of the benefits include:
Where can you cooperate? This should involve actions/services further away from the consumer (such as pay roll, policy development, lobbying to government departments, EAP for staff or possibly human resources).
Where can you compete? Generally organisations compete in areas close to the consumer (such as direct service provision, staffing, advertising/promotion), however this isn’t always the case.
Consider the following;