2022 Business Benchmarks report: Cost of doing business
Cost of doing business in Minnesota
Kathy Anderson, COO, Resoundant
The cost of doing business encompasses several factors and can vary by industry and location in the state. For Resoundant Inc., a medical technology company in Rochester, costs can often impact their business operations, but never their capacity for innovation.
Resoundant produces MR Elastography, an advanced MRI technique that can be added to MRI scanners. Originally a part of the Mayo Clinic, MR Elastography helps identify liver fibrosis and cirrhosis noninvasively. Aside from diagnosing these conditions noninvasively, Resoundant’s technology also helps advance research into new liver-treating medications. With thousands of locations now offering MR Elastography, Resoundant’s flagship innovation is now the standard of care in hospitals and clinics throughout the world.
At the onset of COVID-19, it was clear to Kathy Anderson, Resoundant’s Chief Operating Officer, they would have to pivot their employee-based practices to continue to operate effectively. She knew they “couldn’t navigate these unprecedented times without locking arms with others.” Like many, Anderson turned to to the Minnesota Chamber, where she could leverage the Chamber’s COVID-19 employer resources. She also joined a policy committee to work with other Chamber member organizations on health care policies.
And despite COVID-19, Resoundant persevered, diversified and grew. Challenges from the pandemic-related economy continued beyond the health and safety of their employees. Three out of four of their clients are outside the United States, and moving products became difficult. “It touched everything from freight management and carriers picking up product on time to trying to deliver on time, based on a standard OEM deadline,” Anderson says.
Early on, elective surgeries slowed to a halt, and Resoundant predicted that they would have plenty of product on-hand. Then when business picked up again, they struggled to keep up with demand. Now they have customers asking for delivery confirmations up to 18 months in advance.
Like most other businesses, Resoundant worries about their workforce. “We don’t talk about the human side of this enough,” says Anderson. “Rather than think you’re going to entice someone to come back with a signing bonus, many companies have found that they need to think differently.” Acknowledging cost of living challenges and offering enhanced benefits, including behavioral and mental health coverage, can often help companies support and retain employees. Additionally, notes Anderson, companies can work with higher ed in their region to help build the talent pipeline for the future.
What’s next for Resoundant? They plan to grow out of the COVID-19 pandemic into a new era of radiology products and clinical trials that help their clients and the health of those who benefit from the medical insight that their products provide.
Cost of doing business in Minnesota: Vacillating performance
The cost of doing business in Minnesota encompasses several economic factors. Year-after-year, the state’s ranking on individual costs change, usually placing Minnesota in the middle of the national pack. Minnesota has seen some erosion in a previous key competitive advantage. The cost of electricity is one of the costs that has crept up incrementally over the last few decades and Minnesota now has the 11th highest costs in the nation for industrial customers. Cost of living remains in the middle of the pack, which will increase in importance to attracting and retaining talent during a historic worker shortage.