Street Talk: 51 of 51 students would approve

On the road.
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Marketing majors from two Michigan State University advertising capstone classes recently completed a project to recommend market expansion plans for OrthoDots CLEAR, a Michigan-made product advertised to be a better alternative to commodity dental wax commonly dispensed by orthodontists.

The findings from the 51 senior-level students, many of whom had undergone orthodontic treatment in the past, revealed parents should be more aware of the quality, safety and regulatory deficiencies of conventional dental wax.

The two “Integrated Campaigns” classes grouped in nine different teams, led by MSU Professor Louis Schiavone, recently reported its findings to OrVance.

“We enjoyed working with OrVance on this project,” Schiavone said. “Clearly, OrVance has brought to market a meaningful innovation to enhance orthodontic treatment and our students came up with some highly creative approaches that will accelerate acceptance, particularly among moms and children who are undergoing orthodontic treatment.”

The common themes that were addressed throughout the nine breakout groups included:

  • In addition to the superior performance and aesthetic features, OrVance should focus more on educating consumers on the hygienic benefits of OrthoDots CLEAR versus conventional dental wax, which offers patients no hygienic packaging or safety seals. 
  • OrVance should shift its focus to educate moms, the primary stakeholders, who will ultimately demand compliance with current quality and safety standards within the orthodontic industry.
  • In addition to heightening awareness for the need for hygienic packaging, especially in the current climate, moms also will appreciate the OrthoDots CLEAR tamper-resistant packaging, the disclosure of ingredients, and the brand’s full compliance with FDA labeling regulations.
  • In their campaigns, the teams consistently acknowledged OrthoDots CLEAR as a substantial innovation to enhance the comfort and satisfaction of patients in clear aligner trays as well as braces.
  • The teams recommended OrVance highlight that OrthoDots CLEAR is made in the United States and complies with FDA labeling regulations requiring the disclosure of the product’s origin, whereas a very high percentage of the noncompliant dental wax is being imported, most commonly from China.

“Many of these students had personal experience with orthodontic treatment and the deficiencies with dental wax, so we were extremely impressed with the relevant insights and very professional recommendations they offered,” said Ron Schutt, CEO of OrVance. “I’m inspired by the level of professionalism these Spartans brought to this project, especially considering that much of the semester was done remotely during this COVID-19 shutdown.”

Jobs jolt

Over 30 million Americans have now filed for unemployment as the pandemic closes businesses and keeps consumers from spending.

Meanwhile, Challenger Gray & Christmas’s Job Cuts Report tracks job cuts announced by U.S. employers through state Worker Adjustment & Retraining Act Notices (WARNs), company announcements, media reports and SEC filings. 

Through April 25, Challenger tracked 429,383 job cuts announced in April — the highest monthly total on record since Challenger began tracking job cuts in January 1993.

From mid-March to April 25, U.S. employers have announced plans to cut 542,879 job cuts due to COVID-19, the vast majority in the entertainment/leisure sector, which includes restaurants, bars, hotels and amusement parks.

“The next wave of job losses will come from companies that feel the impact of decreased consumer and business spending. As states attempt to reopen businesses at half capacity and people shun going out until they feel safe, many more businesses will find that financially, layoffs are the next step in survival,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger Gray.

COVID cuts through April 25

Industry MarchAprilGrand Total
Entertainment/Leisure83,234248,662331,896
Transportation4,77319,27524,048
Nonprofit5,31414,85720,171
Automotive11,9917,77519,766
Aerospace/Defense2,63417,02619,660
Industrial Goods4,93313,88118,814
Retail2,94915,59018,539
Services8,5808,98617,566
Government2615,54515,571
Health Care/Products1,13211,54612,678
Apparel4496,7587,207
Real Estate4,5921,7756,367
Technology1,7373,9865,723
Media3,0542,0005,054
Energy3,6295804,209
Education3383,3023,640
Consumer Products7722,8263,598
Food1,1491,9093,058
Mining2,1852,185
Warehousing3559541,309
Construction1771,0471,224
Telecommunications301301
Financial150150
Fintech118118
Electronics2626
Legal011
Pharmaceutical00
Grand Total141,844401,035542,879

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. 

Road wage

The Insurance Alliance of Michigan (IAM) applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) last week for releasing an independent report highlighting expected savings from Michigan’s new auto no-fault law, which takes effect July 2.

IAM said the report found approved rate filings exceeded the law’s required rate reductions and prove bipartisan auto no-fault reforms passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor continue to bring savings to drivers across Michigan.

“This report by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services shows that reforming auto no-fault continues to deliver significant relief for consumers who for too long have been paying some of the highest premiums in the nation,” said Erin McDonough, executive director of IAM. “Michigan’s new auto no-fault law, while not perfect, will finally give drivers a choice in the level of medical coverage they include with their auto insurance and give them more control over how much they can save on their premium while cracking down on fraud and reining in price gouging and massive overcharging by medical providers.”

Beginning July 2, drivers will be able to choose between several levels of medical coverage, including:

  • Unlimited lifetime medical benefits, which is required now
  • $500,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $250,000 in PIP coverage
  • $50,000 in PIP coverage for those on Medicaid
  • PIP opt-out for those with Medicare or separate health insurance that covers auto accident-related injuries

According to the DIFS report, as of April 24, the initial six filings approved represent a quarter of Michigan’s auto insurance market. IAM said the aggregated data shows the average statewide PIP medical reductions exceeding the statutory requirements as follows: an unlimited amount of PIP coverage with a mandated reduction of at least 10% is saving policy holders an average of 16.5%; the $500,000 PIP limit with at least a 20% reduction is saving 36.3%; the $250,000 PIP limit with at least a 35% reduction saves 41.9%; and a $50,000 PIP limit with at least a 45% reduction saves 54.3% on the average policy.

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