Revolutionizing Healthcare: Roles of AI, Machine Learning

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in healthcare is poised to revolutionize the industry by enhancing efficiency, transforming medical education and augmenting the role of healthcare professionals.

The latest Private Equity Insights Report from BluWave shows strong interest in AI data analytics as well as robust activity in the healthcare industry.

LISTEN: The Window of Opportunity: Healthcare and PE Insights

Scott Becker, founder of Becker’s Healthcare and Partner at McGuireWoods, discussed these topics with BluWave CEO and Founder Sean Mooney on the Karma School of Business podcast.

Neurology, doctor and planning surgery with tablet in office with x ray, results and patient data on tech for expert consultation. Cancer, research and black woman to study the brain or neuroscience.

Efficiency in Healthcare Processes

Becker’s insights into the role of AI in healthcare reveal a significant shift toward efficiency, particularly in areas like revenue cycle management.

He spoke to the remarkable reduction in workforce requirements.

“You’ve got places that have 1,500 employees. They can get down to 1,000 employees with using AI,” he said.

READ MORE: Healthcare Compliance: Due Diligence Checklist

This reduction is not about diminishing the human element but rather reallocating it. By automating routine and repetitive tasks, AI allows healthcare professionals to focus their expertise on more complex and nuanced cases.

This shift is not just a matter of numbers; it represents a fundamental change in how healthcare operations are managed. Becker elaborated on the challenges faced in staffing these roles.

“A lot of those jobs are relatively lower-wage jobs where the turnover was tremendous,” he added.

This also speaks to the importance of AI in creating a more stable and focused workforce.

READ MORE: How To Extract Data from ERP Systems

Transformation of Medical Education

Becker also said that the medical education system is in dire need of an update.

“Medical school is still designed pre-internet,” he said. “A specialist isn’t out of school until they’re in their early thirties.”

This not only prolongs the training period but also imposes significant financial and mental burdens on aspiring medical professionals.

READ MORE: Professional Healthcare Recruiters: Specialized Human Capital Resources

“You’ve got this horribly inefficient medical school program and residency training program,” he added.

By leveraging artificial intelligence for educational purposes, the learning process can be significantly streamlined, reducing both time and cost for students.

Augmentation of Medical Professional Roles

There are many use cases for existing medical professionals as well. Mooney offered one example.

“They’re going to have these amazing copilots that will help do all those kind of brain sequences,” he said.

READ MORE: AI Data Analytics: Business Intelligence Tools

Mooney views AI as a tool to assist, rather than replace, human expertise. AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data and identify patterns can significantly enhance the diagnostic process, allowing medical professionals to focus on critical decision-making and patient care.

“I don’t think you could ever turn them over to the robots, at least in our visible future,” Mooney added.

The integration of AI promises to elevate the quality of healthcare, making it more precise, personalized and effective.

While the potential of AI in healthcare is immense, challenges such as resistance to change and vested interests could impede its adoption. Its future prospects, however, are promising.

The integration of AI and machine learning in healthcare represents a significant shift toward more efficient, effective and personalized care.

The invite-only Business Builders’ Network is full of AI experts who work with healthcare businesses on a regular basis.

Connect with our research and operations team, and they’ll provide a short list of tailor-made resources within 24 hours.

Listen to all the episodes from the KSOB podcast.

Revolutionizing Sales Strategies for a Robust Roofing Roll-Up

Industry: Construction and Engineering

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: Upper-Middle Market PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Non-Executive Recruiting Firm for VP of Sales

The Need
Unleashing Sales Potential in a Diverse Roofing Business

A progressive roofing roll-up, specializing in both residential and commercial sectors, sought to enhance its sales strategies and expand its footprint. The company aimed to recruit a VP of Sales, a unique role envisioned as a dynamic force to lead a national sales team, streamline sales strategies, and drive significant business growth of at least 4X. The ideal candidate would be a road warrior, leading from the front, adept at managing diverse sales strategies ranging from door-to-door sales to sophisticated network building with insurance agents.

The Challenge
Finding the Unicorn: A Versatile and Visionary VP of Sales

The role demanded a candidate with a rare blend of attributes – a natural-born salesperson, a strategic leader and a dynamic team builder. The VP of Sales would not only lead and mentor a vast team of more than 150 direct sellers and 15 managers but also be instrumental in sculpting multiple go-to-market strategies, enhancing formal training processes and spearheading expansion through acquisitions and geographical diversifications.

How BluWave Helped
Crafting a Tailored Search for a Multifaceted Role

BluWave connected the PE firm with a specialized recruiter group focused on identifying candidates with a profound understanding of direct-field services and a distributed workforce model. The approach was tailored to ensure that the candidates not only resonated with the unique sales strategies of the roofing roll-up but also brought a vision to revolutionize the sales paradigms, driving unprecedented growth.

The Result
A Strategic Visionary Poised to Propel Sales and Growth

The private equity firm chose from a short list of candidates a VP of Sales who embodied the visionary leadership and dynamic sales acumen for which the roofing roll-up aspired. The new VP of Sales is poised to be a transformative force, ready to unleash innovative sales strategies, mentor and lead a vast team and drive the company toward remarkable growth and success in the roofing industry.

Versatile Controller for an Innovative Legal Tech SaaS Business

Industry: Technology – Software – Legal

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: PE Firm

Service Provider Type: Non-Executive Recruiting Firm

The Need
Building Robust Financial Infrastructure for Growth

A burgeoning U.S.-based legal tech SaaS business, backed by a PE firm, was on a mission to revolutionize legal processes through automation and analytical insights. With a promising trajectory, the company sought to bolster its financial infrastructure to support and sustain its rapid growth. The search was on for a versatile controller, someone who could not only manage the day-to-day financial operations but also strategize and steer the company toward financial optimization.

The Challenge
Industry, Role Nuances

The ideal candidate would be someone adept at wearing multiple hats, capable of handling everything from accounts payable and receivable to strategic financial planning. Given the company’s innovative focus on legal tech, the controller would also need to navigate conversations with various stakeholders, including founders who might not be deeply versed in financial reporting, and investors and board members requiring sophisticated financial insights. The geographical location and the specific industry experience of the candidates were also crucial factors.

How BluWave Helped
Tailored Approach to Hiring the Right Fit

BluWave connected the private equity firm with a specialized non-executive recruiting firm with a robust background in controller roles, a deep understanding of early-stage business dynamics and a geographical alignment with the West Coast. The approach was tailored to ensure that the candidates the search firm presented not only met the technical requirements but also resonated with the unique culture and vision of the portfolio company.

The Result
Strategic Addition to Foster Financial Excellence

BluWave’s strategic approach and network enabled the legal tech SaaS company to identify a controller who perfectly aligned with their needs and vision. The new hire brought a blend of operational expertise and strategic acumen, ready to build a robust financial infrastructure that would support the company’s innovative trajectory and growth aspirations.

“My feedback is very positive.”

-Managing director of PE firm

Interim Executive Best Practices: Trends in Short-Term Leadership Roles

Why should a business use an interim executive?

It can be a great way to bridge the gap between full-time hires, give a potential long-term hire a “tryout,” train up less experienced candidates, guide a company through a crisis or even prepare a business for sale.

Whatever the case, interim CFOs, CMOs, CHROs, COOs and the like can be money well invested.

To get the most out of these temporary executives, though, businesses need to have a plan.

BluWave’s Richmond Donnelly discussed the best practices of using interim C-suite talent on a webinar with Mark Steenhoek, Managing Director, Operations, of The Stephens Group and Bryan West, Managing Director, Talent at Resurgens Technology Partners.

Here are some of the actionable insights you can apply to your business’s interim executive strategy.

A diverse group of business leaders dressed in suits looking at papers around a table in a conference room. The room is also well-lit.

When, How To Work with Interim Executives

While there are many situations in which an interim executive might be a good fit, the panelists outlined the most common ones their firms face.

“There’s good reasons and bad reasons that we would hire. I’d say that we find ourselves more in the camp with the bad reasons, and I’d describe those as two,” Steenhoek said. “It’s a crisis situation. Somebody leaves…or it’s a situation where we started looking in this a little bit more post-COVID in that we would have an open CFO role and then it takes nine to 12 months to fill it just because the market was so tight and difficult to find that perfect fit.”

West added that he is a big fan of the “try before you buy” approach. He said he’s encouraged by the number of his peers who are like-minded.

“That was actually reassuring,” he said. “That’s a great way to build a relationship and we’re always open to that.”

Top Interim CXO Use Cases

Whatever the use case, interim leadership is consistently one of the most-used services in the Business Builders’ Network, according to BluWave’s quarterly insights.

Based on the proprietary data collected from working with hundreds of private equity firms and thousands of leading businesses, the two most-used interim executives are CFOs and CHROs.

Read more about how each of these crucial roles is used:

Based on a live poll of webinar attendees, most PE firms fill multiple interim executive roles per year, taking 3-6 months to do so.

At BluWave, however, we connect you with a short list of exact-fit candidates within a single business day of your initial scoping call.

Why Hire an Interim Executive?

Beyond broader use cases, PE firms and their businesses usually have a specific set of tasks they need this temporary hire to complete.

“We’re able to go in and very specifically orient to on a project basis like, ‘Hey, does this person have experience or the skills to knock out kind of a more tactical list of things?’” West said.

He said that while the overall goal may be the same as when you bring in a full-time C-suite hire, the selection criteria is “quite different” based on what needs to get done.

Echoing BluWave data, Steenhoek said interim CFOs are their most common interim executive hires. The tasks each one is expected to accomplish tend to be the same, with variations depending on the company’s industry.

Interim Executive Criteria, Selection

Moving beyond the to-do list of items to accomplish, what is it that the world’s top PE firms and businesses look for in interim executives themselves?

West said that having done so many hirings in the past makes it easier to pick up on red flags in candidates. Beyond that, he relies on experience to choose the right person.

“We need somebody that’s been there, done that,” he said. “We don’t want to burn six months of time or three to six months of time on building a function.”

Steenhoek agreed, saying that is his top priority, too.

“I think the second would be, especially if it’s a leadership thing…radical transparency,” he said. “You’re just going to be able to really work together hand-in-hand, which equates to low-ego. They know what they’re there for.”

Setting Interim Executives Up for Success

Once someone is in the seat, the team that hired the individual plays a significant role in their success. How do these leaders set their interim hires up to get the job done?

“There is the team integration and the business integration [and] the CEO is the primary quarterback there, assuming it’s a direct report to the CEO,” he said. “But as far as project-managing the task list…that more often than not happens at our level.”

Steenhoek added two things that he believes are essential in these situations.

“I think really clear communication around what you need and alignment that they’re oriented and really focused on what you tasked them to do,” Steenhoek said. “The second is just being really clear on alignment related to, Are they interim? Are they permanent?”

BluWave is here to connect you with best-in-class, niche-specific interim executives to help with crisis management, leadership transitions, “try before you buy” and other relevant scenarios.

“Reach out to us at any point if we can ever be supportive with anything you all need,” Donnelly said. “We’re here to help you win.”

Contact our research and operations team to scope your needs and get quickly connected with the service provider you need in less than one business day.

How To Raise Prices Strategically with Sales Team Buy-In

When input costs increase, businesses must adjust their pricing strategy accordingly. But it’s not as simple as passing along those costs to the consumer.

First, the sales team must buy in to the new strategy. (This can be particularly challenging for private equity firms and their portfolio companies.) Secondly, you must do so in a way that doesn’t scare off the customer.

But as BluWave CEO and founder Sean Mooney discussed with ParkerGale’s Cici Zheng on the Karma School of Business podcast, those fears are often unfounded when you dig a little deeper.

Let’s learn more from these two about how to strategically raise prices, whatever business and industry you’re in.

Business, Technology, Internet and network concept. Young businessman shows the word on the virtual display of the future: Pricing strategy

Challenges of Raising Prices

Sales Team Buy-In

“I think our portfolio companies might be hesitant to think about price increases or think about value-based pricing,” Zheng said.

Mooney agreed, calling it the “number one area that’s underutilized” by private equity firms that BluWave supports.

“In part because it gets the most resistance from the portfolio companies, particularly from sales leadership,” he added. “Because it’s really scary if you’re a head of sales and you say you got to raise price.”

Zheng said this is best overcome by generating belief in the company’s products or services.

READ MORE: Sales Pipeline Funnel: Methodology for Businesses

“If you think about the amount of investment that we’re putting in, in an ideal world, your best-fit customers are also valuing what that is and you’re able to get a value-based price for it,” Zheng said. “At the end of the day, it comes back to, if we really feel [that] the types of companies we invest in have great products, great NPS scores, great retention scores.”

Retaining Customers

Related to resistance from the sales team is often a fear that customers will be scared off by a higher price point. And the thought of being the one to share that increase can be daunting.

But once again, belief in the product is a great weapon in this situation.

“What are our product managers and heads of engineering and engineering talent doing? They’re continuing to invest in that product,” Zheng said. “Hopefully we’re able to convey this to the sales team who have to be at the front line to convey it to the customer of like these are not price increases for the sake of price increases.”

Value-Based Pricing

The beauty of value-based pricing is that businesses attract customers who are willing to pay for a superior product. Portfolio companies owned by ParkerGale and like-minded private equity firms aren’t courting bargain hunters anyway.

Zheng said that this high-quality approach “justifies what we think this product actually provides to you. And if you were really looking for the cheapest price, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation because that’s usually not the positioning that we have.”

After all, if the business is working so hard to create a quality product or service, why wouldn’t they expect customers to be willing to pay more?

“We’re going and improving the products and updating the modules and features and all these things,” Zheng said. “Are we on the flip side also making sure we’re getting that value-based pricing from our customers?”

Knowing that pricing isn’t the top priority for their target customers gives portfolio companies more flexibility, dousing the fear of scaring them off.

Data-Driven Pricing Strategies

No matter how much a business believes in its products and services, it can’t blindly adjust its prices and hope for the best. They must make data-based decisions.

One way to do this is by paying close attention to macroeconomic factors.

“We’re thinking a lot more intentionally about pricing and making sure that we’re not just staying flat, we’re looking at what’s going on in the market,” Zheng said.

There are other metrics that can influence a pricing strategy, though. According to Zheng, NPS scores and retention data are strong indicators of whether a business has a “very solid product.”

READ MORE: How To Analyze Sales Data: Tools, Examples, KPIs

For private equity firms, much of this crucial research can be done before a company is ever acquired.

Zheng said that during the commercial due diligence phase, ParkerGale often deploys voice of customer studies to learn what are customers’ top three key purchase criteria. Pricing seldom makes the list.

“Especially when we’re selling enterprise software, these are mission-critical tools and products,” Zheng said. “The customer is not looking for the cheapest one.”

READ MORE: What is Commercial Due Diligence?

In-depth analysis can also help companies learn when they have taken their increases too far, allowing them to adjust back down.

“I would argue if you’re never losing on price, then you’re priced too low. You should be losing a certain percentage of your deals on price,” Zheng said. “But if you can collect the data on the other side, if you’re doing win-loss analysis and calls like that, then you should be able to say, ‘OK, we are hearing now that we have enough actual data, not anecdata, to say we are actually losing on price too much, and so therefore we need to adjust.’”

READ MORE: Voice of Customer Metrics, KPIs, Analytics

Benefits of Pricing Consultants

As meticulous as private equity firms and other top business leaders are about their companies, a world-class pricing strategy often requires world-class help.

Mooney mentioned how underutilized pricing resources are, but that’s not because they’re in short supply.

The Business Builders’ Network is full of pricing experts who work on an industry-specific basis. They know the questions to ask, the data to analyze and the levers to pull to make sure you’re setting prices with confidence.

“We’re in contact with the service providers in our network nearly every day,” Co-Head of Research and Operations Keenan Kolinsky said. “Before clients even reach out, we already know which providers will likely be best suited for their pricing project. That way, we can hit the ground running as soon as we scope a client’s need.”

These third-party resources are experts in segmenting customers, identifying value drivers, developing measurement tools and pricing structures, conducting sensitivity analyses and more.

They’re on standby to help you determine your target customer base’s key decision factors, willingness to pay, preferences and perceptions.

Lastly, they’ll present this information – with speed and accuracy – in a way that’s actionable for your business.

Contact our research and operations team today, and tap into the same invite-only network that the world’s best PE firms – from ParkerGale and beyond – use to set their pricing strategies.

Within a single business day, you’ll be connected to a shortlist of options that will be chosen for your exact situation and vertical.

Manufacturing Momentum: Challenges, Opportunities in the Modern Landscape

Manufacturing businesses are faced with evolving challenges, especially amid an uncertain economy, constantly pressured from different angles by policy decisions and global events. BluWave sees this every day in the projects it supports for hundreds of private equity firms and thousands of businesses.

Whether in human capital, operations, growth strategy or technology, today’s business leaders have their hands full.

In a recent webinar, Co-Head of Research and Operations Keenan Kolinsky discussed with Product Manager Ryan Perkins the challenges and opportunities in this industry.

An man in a hardhat stands facing yellow industrial equipment, like backhoes, in a warehouse.

The Rising Importance of Human Capital in Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector was once driven primarily by machinery and raw materials. But now it’s recognizing the importance of its most valuable asset: people.

In fact, 74 percent of manufacturers say that “attracting and retaining a quality workforce” is a top challenge, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAoM).

Interim executives have emerged as a pivotal solution in this landscape. These temporary business leaders bridge critical leadership gaps, ensuring that companies don’t lose momentum during transitions.

“Interim executives can help businesses keep their foot on the value creation pedal,” Kolinsky says.

Their role is especially crucial in a volatile economic environment where leadership vacancies can’t be left open for extended periods.

But it’s not just about filling gaps. The recruitment process itself is undergoing a transformation. The emphasis is shifting from generalist recruitment approaches to specialized, industry-specific strategies. Manufacturers are realizing that to drive growth and innovation, they need the right people in the right roles, making executive searches a top priority, too.

Operational Excellence: The Backbone of Manufacturing Success

Turning toward a more traditional problem, nearly half of manufacturers identified supply chain issues as a top challenge, per the NAoM. Even with the peak of the COVID pandemic disruption behind us, this issue persists.

“With manufacturers…experiencing a variety of economic and even geopolitical pressures, manufacturing operations and supply chains simply have to be tighter than ever to achieve desired margins and outcomes,” Kolinsky said.

In response, many manufacturers are turning to expert third-party resources to optimize their supply chains. From right-sizing inventory to reducing lead times and optimizing supplier networks, the focus is on efficiency, cost savings and performance.

Beyond the supply chain, there’s a broader push toward operational excellence. Lean Six Sigma principles, rooted in the Toyota production system, are being adopted to streamline processes, identify bottlenecks and drive efficiency. The goal? Faster, more efficient production with greater precision.

Strategizing for Growth in a Competitive Landscape

A weaker domestic economy can poses unique challenges. During those times, growth strategy becomes the north star guiding manufacturers. But how do they chart a course for growth amid such turbulence? The answer is data-driven strategies.

“Markets shift often and they shift quickly,” said Kolinsky, who emphasized the importance of real-time insights. “Base your strategy or plan for growth on current market data and dynamics.”

READ MORE: Analytics, Data & AI Resources

By leveraging data analytics and visualization tools, manufacturers can gain actionable insights, track KPIs and make informed business decisions.

With the advent of more accessible artificial intelligence tools, many businesses in the manufacturing industry and beyond have been focusing on essential pre-cursor activities focused on data hygiene. These will lay the groundwork for a more seamless integration once they’re ready to use AI to accelerate growth.

Embracing Technology: The Future of Manufacturing

The digital revolution is reshaping the manufacturing landscape.

According to Alithya, 43 percent of manufacturers came into 2023 planning to increase their year-over-year spending on technology. it’s clear that the industry is gearing up for a tech-driven future.

“The manufacturing industry is really digitizing rapidly and in more ways than one,” Kolinsky said.

From IT strategy to system selection and implementation, manufacturers are recognizing the need to align their technology tools with broader business objectives.

But it’s not just about adopting the latest tech solutions. Effective change management is crucial. As manufacturers transition to modern systems, they must ensure that their teams are well-equipped and trained to leverage these tools to their fullest potential.

BluWave is here to help you connect with best-in-class, niche-specific manufacturing resources to help with human capital, operational excellence, growth strategies, technology and more.

Contact our research and operations team to scope your need and get quickly connected with  the service provider you need in less than one business day.

Interim CFO Elevates Real Estate Search Engine’s Financial Strategy

Industry: Technology – Software

Service Area: Human Capital

Client Type: Portfolio Company – Real Estate Search Engine

Service Provider Type: Interim CFO

The Need
Navigating Financial Transitions

A leading online real estate marketplace specializing in age-restricted communities was at a crossroads. With revenue of $15MM and a team of 50 employees and 20 contractors, they were gearing up to revamp their business model and set their annual budget. The challenges brought on by the pandemic had altered their sales funnel dynamics, and their existing financial model was due for an overhaul. Amid these shifts, the need for an interim CFO to steer them through this period became evident.

The Challenge
LeadGen Expert with Industry Experience

Operating as a unique platform in the real estate sector, the ideal candidate would be familiar with online lead generation. Real estate experience would be a significant advantage, too. Furthermore, understanding the intricacies of the company’s in-house developed front and back-end systems was crucial. With an ongoing annual audit and the recent onboarding of a new FP&A manager, the interim CFO’s role was to ensure a seamless transition without any operational disruptions.

How BluWave Helped
The Right Solution, Fast

BluWave swiftly grasped the distinct needs of the real estate marketplace. Tapping into its extensive network, BluWave introduced the company to a short list of seasoned interim CFOs. After introductions were made, the portco zeroed in on the candidate that brought to the table a rich experience in online lead generation and a profound understanding of financial modeling and budget building. The temporary executive was not only equipped to oversee the annual audit but also possessed the strategic vision required to reshape the business model in alignment with the company’s objectives.

The Result
Strategic Financial Revamp, Strong Foundation for Future

The interim CFO, integrated effortlessly into the team. In the initial phase, they prioritized ensuring the smooth operation of the company’s financial functions. As the engagement evolved, the CFO transitioned from a full-time role to a part-time strategic advisor, offering the company the flexibility it sought. Under the interim CFO’s guidance, the company successfully overhauled its financial model, laying a robust foundation for stability and growth.

The interim executive you selected for us did great work. We would rate her as great overall.

-CEO of Portfolio Company