Does the CPP Go Far Enough? RGGI Seems to Say “No”

Wil Mcnamara_120

The Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first market-based emissions trading program to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, submitted joint comments on November 5, 2014 to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). This position in and of itself is noteworthy, given what has been largely critical or non-supportive public filings by utilities and state regulators, including lawsuits challenging the enforceability of the CPP.…

Teaching Computer Literacy without Computers

AIngram

As part of West Monroe’s Fischer Global Service Fellowship Program, I am spending several months in Ghana teaching IT literacy. This blog shares the unique experiences and insights I’m gaining in my time working in these communities  helping local schools improve their IT infrastructure and education.

The Aboom Methodist School is the leader in IT education in Ghana. But what does it mean to be the leader?

Each day in Cape Coast, Ghana, students from schools around Cape Coast central will travel to the Aboom Methodist School for computer literacy education.…

Resolving Internet Explorer 11, Windows 8.1 and CRM Dynamics Compatibility Issues

mcgovern-75

With the latest release of Internet Explorer 11 (October 2013) several of my clients have experienced compatibility issues while using Windows 8.1 and working with Dynamics CRM 2013 Online.  To help them solve these compatibility issues, a few simple steps were put into place to quickly resolve their issues and get them back on track and working with Dynamics CRM.  My hope is that these steps will help you as well.

Internet Explorer Options 

Before working within CRM, there are a couple of Internet Explorer options that may need to be set, depending on the version of Internet Explorer and Windows OS.…

Receiving Standards Made to Work Part I: It Begins with your Inbound

The Inbound.
Is it the bottleneck of your operation? Throughout the duration of the inbound and outbound operations, any single hiccup from the inbound operations can compromise the successful execution of the operating plan and could very well affect customer service in the end.  Two critical ingredients to preventing these hiccups and executing consistently and efficiently are utilizing a concrete operating plan and thorough management of the inbound workforce. These items are essential to the operational efficiency of the dock and improved production of the entire front end.…

I Still Have A Home Bank Branch?

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Chris Skinner, author of Digital Bank, speak during the Financial Services keynote at this year’s Dreamforce conference. He spoke about the shift of the banking and financial services world as one moving from the distribution or exchange of hard currency in a local market to one of moving value in a global market. While this is a concept that seems readily apparent once you hear it, it struck a chord with me a short time later when I received a letter from my bank informing me that my branch was closing.…

SKU Rationalization: The Need for a Holistic Approach in a Customer-Sensitive Marketplace

Retail merchandising decisions are often tough to make. The evolution of an increasingly competitive marketplace has forced retailers to take a hard look at the products they sell to see if it really makes sense to offer them from a business perspective. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that the sales floor is disproportionally occupied by products that collectively only make up a small percentage of sales.  A good remedy for this is an industry practice called SKU Rationalization, or the evaluation and subsequent elimination of products from a store that don’t sell well or have a low turnover.…

Everyone’s Incentive – Avoid Making Your Incentive Program a Bottom Line Burden

Many in both labor and management would agree that incentive programs for warehouse employees on engineered labor standards (ELS) are beneficial to all parties involved.  They provide financial motivation for employees that demonstrate the ability to perform their job at a consistently high level.  Employees achieving at a consistently high level equates to shorter overall operating spans, and potentially lower payroll costs.  At what point, however, does your incentive program turn into a burden on your bottom line? …

“Heightened Expectations”- A Cliffs Notes Version

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When first introduced to the term “heightened expectations”, my mind immediate went to Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations. This new term from the OCC is anything but romantic and literary, but instead a new era of banking compliance that will affect the landscape of compliance. Think of the new push from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) as an infomercial. Just when you thoughts that there couldn’t be any more governmental oversight in the banking regulatory compliance world- WAIT!…

Universal Resistance May Have the EPA Rethinking the CPP

Wil Mcnamara_120

Facing what has been fairly consistent resistance to the draft Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued statements that could be interpreted as a partial retreat on some of the CPP’s objectives, or at least a willingness to make changes to the draft rule. In late October, the EPA announced that it would welcome additional comments, after an already-lengthy public comment period—from stakeholders on three topics:  (1) the 2020-2029 timetable for compliance, (2) the building blocks that states were originally suggested for states to use, and (3) method to calculate state-specific CO2 goals.…

“Insuring” a Positive Customer Experience in Your Claims Center

Like any other industry, technology is forcing insurance companies to change the way they do business. Specifically, it’s widely accepted that direct sales, via the internet and other mobile avenues, are diminishing the value of the agent distribution model.  A McKinsey report cited that in 2003, local insurance agents wrote 80% of new Private Passenger Autos (PPA), decreasing to 63% in 2010.  Another noted that in 2010, 22% more quote requests were made online than in 2009.  …

Get the Most Out of Your Data: Three Tips for using SSRS Reports in SharePoint

If you’re not sure what SSRS stands for or aren’t sure what it is, this might refresh your memory:

Hopefully that didn’t cause any flashbacks! SSRS, or SQL Server Reporting Services, is one of the major reporting technologies you’ll see in any Microsoft BI solution, and although some newer technologies have made headway, it’s still one of the most common ones out there. This means that it’s especially common to see SSRS reports in SharePoint sites.…

Improving Agent Productivity with Salesforce.com’s Service Console

While many organizations today focus on the ability to automate processes and capture key data related to servicing customers, it doesn’t always consider the medium in which this internal user experience will be delivered. Often times, organizations will take the “just make it work” approach, meaning manual cut and paste, updating information, double-entry, etc. This approach tends to bog down agents and have them spend more time with procedural actions, instead of efficiently engaging with your customers and providing quality customer service.…

5 Best Practices for Your Service Cloud Implementation

Now that Dreamforce ’14 is officially over (and looking forward to Dreamforce ’15), we can begin to digest the copious amounts of new features, roadmaps, and best practices. One of the key themes prevalent throughout the week was the focus on providing a world-class customer experience through an efficient and engaging customer service function. Salesforce.com continues to invest in its Service Cloud platform, officially rebranded as “Service Cloud1”, to help organizations transform the way in which they service their customers.…

6 Ground Rules for Client-Consultant Engagements

Of all the engagements I have either seen, or been a part of,  expectations can mean the difference between success and failure, regardless of the actual outcome or the project.  In this post I will write about what both clients and consults, in partnership, may be able to do to assure expectations are properly set and managed.

Often times, expectations are based upon perceptions, (rooted in reality or not) rather than fact.  It is in the interest of the client and the consultant to clarify the expectations of not only the project, but the engagement overall, and base them as much as possible on fact.…

5 Reasons Why you Should be Psyched about the Salesforce and Microsoft Collaboration

LeeCarswell

Last month at Dreamforce, a five year strategic partnership was announced between Salesforce and Microsoft. From the opening statements on day one by Mark Benioff and Tony Prophet, to the specific point-and-click reveals in the subsequent days, the message was consistent: this is an exciting time in the CRM space!  This partnership constitutes a meeting of the #1 productivity suite and the #1 CRM!

Below is a countdown of the five reasons that this collaboration is worth the hype:

5.…

 

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