The best way to build a competitive edge is still to understand our customers’ needs.

I’m not sure whether any of you have been following this column since 2004, when I first started contributing. At that time, the title was “Competitive edge,” and most of my early columns attempted to answer the question, “How does a person in the benefits business gain a competitive edge?” This month, we’ll go back and discuss how (and whether) gaining a competitive edge in our business has changed over the past 16 years.

The ideas discussed in those early columns turned out to be more timeless than I expected. The very first column I could find (I lost copies of some old columns years ago in a flood) discussed gaining an edge by choosing the right critical illness product. It analyzed why CI products meet an important need for employees and their dependents. That certainly seems contemporary, doesn’t it?

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.