his past week, Team Catapult took a trip down to Tampa to participate in the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) 401(k) Summit. Hundred of companies come together to grow, learn, and share about the future of retirement planning. Many of these companies are in constant competition trying to win each other’s business across the country, yet they come together for one weekend in hopes of expanding their knowledge about the dynamic landscape that is retirement planning.
In this article, learn about the importance of competition, cooperation, and the correlating experience that Catapult enjoyed at this year’s conference in Tampa Bay.
1. Competition drives companies forward
Outside the NAPA 401(k) Summit, it is all “blood, sweat, and tears” for companies who spend months developing and preparing new technology and tools that will reshape the retirement industry. Long hours and hard work are put into pleasing and engaging clients that will hopefully lead to signed contracts: the common goal of all firms attending this year’s event. Each of us is trying to find that edge that ultimately leads to more at-bats and more opportunities. This competition is what drives companies and revenues forward, and leads to better products with better prices.
Without competition (and lest we forget – evolving DOL rulings and novel case law), the retirement space would be static. To put things into perspective, Catapult RFx was created in 2017 because there was a void in the RFP process for the retirement space, but there have been a number of entrants into the space since then. By taking a proactive approach in our engagement with clients throughout the industry, Catapult has continued to innovate and evolve to the end-to-end solution that we are today for the retirement industry.
2. Navigate competition with a ‘grain of salt’
There is a difference between wanting the demise of your competition and striving to be better than your competition. Simply put: if you are not admiring what your competition has done or accomplished, then you are not truly respecting them. Catapult has many competitors and we are constantly updated on the accomplishments of these companies – whether it is an equity raise, M&A, or iterations of existing solutions.
At NAPA 401(k) Summit, companies have the opportunity to observe their competitors in an environment where every firm is intent on displaying its best qualities. Keep this aforementioned statement in mind while navigating the conference so as not to become discouraged. Understand that every firm has its hiccups and naturally only wants to present its victories in this environment.
3. Cooperation fuels innovation
Cooperating with your competition can seem like a daunting and backward-thinking task, however, the complexity of the retirement industry begs for cooperation between providers, producers, and aggregators alike. When team Catapult is walking around the exhibit floor, we are excited about the opportunity to talk with other software solution providers (SaaS) who operate in a similar space. Not only does this open the door for potential partnerships, but often this enables us to understand where Catapult must improve.
4. What does cooperation look like?
While working with clients, our team is excited to learn about the different tools they utilize to keep their business running. Catapult is an RFx and Content Management tool, however, it is imperative that we be flexible enough to work within our top clients’ environment(s). This occurs through various API integration across platforms and an agile approach to the development of novel code and software solutions.
One breakout session, in particular, Tech “Nicks”: How to Turbocharge Your Retirement Business Thru Technology, featured a panelist from one of our largest partners: HUB International. In this session, there was a common theme of “buying instead of building tech that can be integrated with other tools to support a scalable ecosystem.” CRM systems, reporting technology, and calendar management tools might not be in direct competition, but we all need to cooperate for the betterment of our clients. Tech can make things easier and ultimately help collect and analyze useful data to support better business decisions. The ultimate goal is to make the retirement space as efficient and seamless as possible – and that starts with cooperation.
To learn more about Catapult’s involvement in the retirement industry and learn more about our industry-specific features (i.e. Investments, Fund-Lineups, Vendor Comparisons, Due Diligence Questionnaires, Custom RFPs), please visit our website or request a demo today to learn more. You can also download our most recent case study and white paper on Catapult and the retirement industry.