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Aug 28, 2023

Census report finds retirement living operators prioritising technology solutions


Retirement Living Executive, Jodie Prosser, discusses retirement living operators’ priority in seeking technology to assist in their operations. 

The 2022PwC / Property Council of AustraliaRetirement Census Report provides important information about where the Retirement sector is currently at and where it is heading.  

In the released Census, operators shared their Top 3 Priorities, up there at Number 2 was: 

Technology to assist retirement living operations 

Tech priority RV

For operators to maintain competitiveness in the marketplace, they not only need to invest in infrastructure, facilities and services but also in the systems that support the delivery of excellence in customer service and operations.  

It is evidenced in the growing breadth of the village offering that the baby boomer generation are not seeking sameness in infrastructure, facility and service offerings, but what is common amongst this group is that they expect service delivery standards to be high.   

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Long-serving industry professional, Paul Thorne, CEO of Lakeside Villages, shared with me that he sees “operational technology as a must to maintain and innovate towards delivering 21st century business practices and excellence in customer service”.  

Many of the residents in his villages are retired business owners, senior managers and more recently a cohort that were responsible for the elevation of Customer Service to Customer Experience during the 1960-1990’s.   

These are the same people who drove the need to improve customer experience solutions i.e. Fast food chains like McDonalds moving from a paper ticket system to cash register to POS technology to now an order & pay before you arrive app, they drove solutions in airlines such as Qantas to move from a triplicate ticket to automated printed boarding passes to check-in & obtain boarding passes on an app before you arrive, and many more solutions all built to improve customer experience.  

Having studied the baby boomer generation for 25 years, the largest generation we have seen in modern history, I have learnt whilst they are part of the same generation, they are a cohort of individuals with many different personas, however they do tend to share some common traits: 

  • They are individualist and will not follow the herd 
  • Flexibility matters to them 
  • They have a desire to understand processes 
  • They are activists and want to be a part of the decision/solution 
  • Their expectations are high 
  • They are confident, independent and self-reliant 
  • They are competitive, hardworking and persistent 
  • They value relationships 
  • They have a pragmatic optimism and value progress and positive change 
  • They value the importance of staying informed and updated  
  • They seek out new technology and seek support to adapt to digital tools  

In 2021, The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that the aged care sector was deeply analogue and was well behind other sectors in the use and application of technology. It went on to say that the sector lacked a clear digital transformation, information and communications technology strategy.   

Simply the reliance on human memories, paper note systems, excel spreadsheets and printed communication methods did not meet the expectations of consumers, their families and regulators.  

30 out of the 120 Royal Commission Recommendations were dependent on ICT and digital enablers and would require a digital ecosystem.  

With significant government support and investment, this industry has since seen rapid digital transformation. Today, technology is a way of doing business and acts as an enabler to deliver outstanding service standards, drive individualised communication methods and importantly empower and retain their diverse teams.  

Retirement living operators across the nation, many who operate in both sectors, have watched closely on the outcomes and have indicated a priority for their retirement living businesses to follow suit. They are now seeking digital solutions as an enabler of: 

  • connected communities
  • extended service offerings
  • accessible and inclusive wellbeing practices
  • exceptional customer service experiences
  • improved operational workflows
  • operational efficiency outcomes
  • critical risk and governance frameworks  
  • empowered teams  
  • and importantly as a way to meet resident and staff expectations.

Find out how Person Centred Software's Retirement Living Software is enabling retirement living operators to drive operational excellence.

August 28, 2023

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