As practitioners of medtech M&A and facilitators of strategic partnerships, we live in a world of deal-making. As you can imagine, Q1 2020 was a wild ride.
In these days of instant media and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s difficult for medtech executives to evaluate real and fake news so quickly disseminated globally.
It used to be easier to discern information before making decisions on how to react to evolving scenarios. Today, situations can rapidly change, and the need to act decisively can happen quickly. During the recent explosion of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it was okay to travel to certain parts of the world one day, but not the next. We were in Korea in February when the incidence rate was low and woke up to news of rapid increases of new patients with COVID-19. Within three days, Korea was on the quarantine list. In and out just in time, whew.
The stock market has reacted to COVID-19 and concerns about which candidate may be elected in the U.S. presidential elections.
So how does one make good business decisions during these times? And, if you’re running a global business with a desire to grow, how do you make deals with travel restrictions in place?
Before initiating any new agreements, take a deep breath and resume your normal decision-making processes. However, you may need to make them quicker than normal. That’s okay. You will make some mistakes but it’s likely that your past decisions weren’t 100% satisfactory either.
Decisions on deals that have long-term strategic impacts should be an easy choice. Even if there may be some negative short-term results, if the deal fits the criteria you established last quarter and makes sense for 2021 (and beyond), you should move forward – even if the 2020 implications are not as exciting as they were in January.
Short-term deal choices with short-term impacts may take more thinking, and decisions should be made quickly. For example, you may have the opportunity to change suppliers if your vendor is underperforming now. It sounds easy at first, but you may need the supplier for future situations. On the other hand, if you can turn it into a dual-source scenario, it may have positive short-term and long-term impacts.
Regardless of your decision-making process, we’re guessing 2020 has contributed to you sharpening your saw on your ability to make important choices in a timely manner.
What’s next? We know the presidential elections will contribute volatility through November. Beyond that, your crystal ball is as good as ours. However, what we do know is that you’ll be more prepared for managing any scenario than when you started 2020!