GN Hear & Now

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW

It seems to have become the tradition that I get the honour of writing the last message for the year in our December newsletter and what a year it’s been! Not just for us but across the entire industry we work in.

Across New Zealand and Australia we’ve seen all manner of government driven issues from the ACCC and Senate enquiry in Australia to the ongoing tight fisted approach to funding by the Ministry of Health in New Zealand. The work continues by agencies in both markets to try and stretch the hearing health budgets further so that more hearing-impaired people are supported with the same limited funding. We’ve seen new entrants into the market and the continued occurrence of cut price internet based operators trying to carve out a niche for themselves. The interesting part for me is not so much who or how these various market pressures occur, but how we respond. If we look at history and compare ourselves to other industries, we are ripe for disruption. Be it a new retail model or technology innovation, the way we service our customers will change. I’m reminded of that popular cartoon picture from years ago of the small pigeon like bird sitting in its nest giving a one fingered salute to an eagle as it swoops in, talons pointed, to kill its prey. The best the pigeon could muster was a defiant look and a one fingered gesticulation. Let’s not be left relying on a final rude insult as we get run over by the inevitable oncoming forces, but innovate now, stay relevant, do what we do well or even better and make it difficult for the disruptors to claim a spot at the table. And by the way, selling off old product at low cut price levels to fend off competitors is just playing them at their own game. You may have heard the saying “don’t wrestle with pigs. You just get dirty and they love it”

Speaking of innovation, we are really pleased with the growing uptake of our latest ReSound LiNX 3D product range including the recently launched ReSound Enzo 3D. Full direct audio streaming to both ears with music and phone calls without the need for an intermediate accessory using 2,4GHz rather than the old power hungry narrow bandwidth Bluetooth technology. Full bimodal applications with Cochlear implants, better speech clarity than ever before and a further step up in what was already regarded as market leading sound quality. And of course remote assist. A proper full solution enabling fine tuning of every aspect of the clients hearing aids in real time without the need for a return visit to your clinic. No other manufacturer offers all this functionality and end user benefit in one device, let alone across their entire premium product range. 2018 will see more market leading innovation from ReSound. I’ve seen the product road map and it’s exciting. Can’t tell you about it yet though! 😉

Of course the hearing aid itself is not the entire business. To ensure you have the capability to deliver the best possible outcome for your client we have to support you in every way possible. During the course of the year we have quietly been tweaking our organisation here and there, responding to market need, all in the cause of being a premium provider and supporter of you and your activities, and I hope you have progressively noticed the benefit as a result.

What remains now is to thank you for your support of ReSound throughout 2017. You’re probably sick of hearing it but we don’t own our retail partners. Our customers have agreed to work with us and at all times have the option of working with another manufacturer and so by virtue of the fact that we have grown again in 2017. Despite market decline in Australia, this means we have enjoyed your continued support. And we promise to continue to work diligently in 2018 to ensure your support is well placed with us.

May I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and new year season. I hope you will get in some well-earned rest and relaxation. My team and I look forward to working with you in 2018, where the market will be no less challenging, but consequently the opportunities for all of us continue.

Allister Daly
Managing Director ANZ, ReSound