Disadvantages Expensive and limited
In a very few industries you get one organisation which becomes to all intents and purposes synonymous with the product involved such that the name of that organisation comes to mean the same thing as the product, entrenched in people's minds as the product. Hoover is the most obvious example, being shorthand for the vacuum cleaner.Another example is BUPA, where for many people the word means private medical insurance (PMI) and there is nobody else involved.
Usually, the organisation gets to be that way because of high product quality, exceptional customer service or simply being the best at what they do. Now that certainly isn't the case and BUPA only got to be the best known provider of PMI because for many years it was virtually the only provider and had an absolute monopoly.Let's go through the history...
BUPA was formed in 1947 by the amalgamation of a number of provident not for profit associations, following the creation of the NHS. The name itself describes it and stands for the British United Provident Association. The optimism of those well meaning individuals forming the NHS that the UK's total healthcare needs could be centrally provided proved to be ill founded and the 1970's and 1980's saw the PMI industry grow rapidly in size, with BUPA predominant. In 1980, BUPA had 70% market share.However, a number of factors led to the gradual erosion of this dominance, and by the end of the decade market share had fallen to around 40%. BUPA still held by far the largest share, but could not exercise its previous degree of influence.
The BUPA Group consists of three operating divisions. The original UK PMI provider, BUPA Membership Division, is still the mainstay of the organisation and the largest division. The other two parts are BUPA Hospitals and BUPA International. BUPA Hospitals provides private healthcare facilities in the UK, such as private hospitals, medical centres and nursing homes. BUPA International consists of a series of international operations which offer both insurance and healthcare in such former British colonies as Malta, Hong Kong, and Gibraltar, with a large wholly owned subsidiary in Spain.Both of these other two divisions are a massive drain on central resources. BUPA Hospitals' development entailed heavy expenditure on purchasing and building hospitals and BUPA International required significant initial funding. A greater drain, however, was the degree of managerial attention demanded.
BUPA grew complacent, feeling market dominance was a divine right. The largest competitor, PPP, had a small but growing market share, but was considered insignificant, as were other competitors. The management time required by the other divisions, together with complacency and arrogance, led to the BUPA Group taking its eye off the ball in the 1980's and devoting insufficient attention to PMI.PPP was competing aggressively, directly against BUPA and it proved easy to steal business. At the same time, other smaller competitors were starting to eat into BUPA's market share.
|Competitiveness of APR|
|Comprehensiveness of range of products|
|Efficiency of service|
|Value for money|
|Online - Content/organization of site||Average|
|Online - Reliability/speed of site||Average|
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