Fundamentally there are just a couple ways to strengthen your bottom line: 1) you cut costs or 2) you grow your business.

By Susan Saldibar

Fundamentally there are just a couple ways to strengthen your bottom line: 1) you cut costs or 2) you grow your business.

Strategic Partnering

There is an emerging new model that can do both — strategic partnering.

Sodexo (a Senior Housing Forum partner) is out to change the way senior living looks at partnering, moving from simply a way to cut costs to a way to add value to your community. After watching Steve Moran’s recent “Bottom Line” Conversations video with Lindsay Casillas, the new VP of Sales and Business Development for Sodexo (a Senior Housing Forum Partner), it makes sense.

Getting to Know Lindsay

Lindsay began her career in senior living as the sales manager at Heritage Place, a Sagora Senior Living community in Burleson, Texas. One of the reasons she recalls experiences at Heritage Place so vividly is because she represented both the staff and family member perspective, as she kept watch over her grandmother, who was a resident there. Not a bad way of keeping tabs on a loved one in an assisted living community; just work there!

“Sodexo and their mission, Quality of Life, resonated with me in a very personal way. Through my work, and as a caregiver, I impacted the lives of people around me and my family on a daily basis. But I wanted to do more. I wanted to improve the Quality of Life for residents and their loved ones around the globe, every day.” Eventually, Lindsay was recruited by Sodexo to head up their North American business development efforts.

Don’t you get a partner just to cut costs? Or can they do more?

Okay, getting back to strengthening the bottom line. During the conversation, Steve asked Lindsay how she counters the perception that partners offering premium quality services, such as Sodexo, are expensive. After all, aren’t partnerships formed, primarily, to cut costs?

Lindsay was glad for the opportunity to explain how Sodexo has changed the conversation from just “cost savings” to “value”. She shared Sodexo’s framework, designed to reflect clear business objectives:

  • Resident satisfaction

  • Retention

  • Competitive advantage

  • Strengthening brand

So, key performance indicators are targeted on productivity, not just profitability.

Sodexo basically breaks up the old model. “You’re not just looking at one department saving money, you’re looking at the whole business,” says Lindsay.

And, the bottom line is “Quality of Life”. “It’s a phrase you’ll hear me say over and over again,” says Lindsay. Why? “Because Sodexo has found ways to measure and pull levers through quality of life dimensions that we have put in place,” she explains. “By doing so you can produce outcomes that you might not have been able to achieve just looking at departments and trying to find cost savings. But there is cost savings that occurs when you’re looking at value versus just one area.”

“So you’re really looking at being able to come in and improve the bottom line,” says Steve. “Right,” Lindsay agreed.

Busting apart the old notion of partnering only to save costs, and replacing it with a strategic partnership can strengthen the bottom line. It leaves me to wondering how long it will take the industry to catch on to this model. You can watch Steve’s entire interview with Lindsay below.

Find out more about how strategic partnering can make a difference to your bottom line by downloading the Sodexo white paper “Moving Beyond the Status Quo”

For more information about Sodexo, please visit their website.

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