Anticipating Lots of DERs Discussions At Next Week’s Regulatory Conference

Wil Mcnamara_120

Next Monday kicks off the annual Center for Public Utilities’ “Current Issues” conference in Santa Fe, N.M. The conference is an opportunity for those energy and utilities professionals who are engaged in regulatory policies to engage through a series of panel discussions and interactions with industry leaders and Commissioners. I will be in attendance once again and particularly interested to see the extent to which distributed energy resources (DERs) become an unofficial focus of the conference.…

Salesforce Version Control: It’s a Challenge

Version control, for most developers, is an absolute must in any professional setting. Many developers would say as much for any development scenario, professional or otherwise. However, in the face of budgets, deadlines, learning curves, and just plain laziness, it’s tempting to forgo the effort for “more productive” efforts like the coding itself. Why spend the effort when chances are you won’t need any version of your code but the one you end up deploying?…

Sarah Thomas’ Promotion Reveals Underlying Prejudice Against Women

April 2015 will be remembered as a milestone for women; the NFL announced Sarah Thomas as the first woman referee. Kudos to Sarah and her accomplishment! In an article by Gary Myers, Sarah stated, “I never set out to become the first female official in the NFL. . . I don’t feel that it’s been harder for me because I’m a female. I think that we are just out here working as officials. . . I think that’s what moves us along, not because of our gender or our race.” Sarah makes a wonderful point here because she’s not trying to prove anything to anyone.…

How Do We Take Care of the Caretakers?

Our previous post in the series addressed system-level learning points for healthcare from the fast food industry’s recent business model changes. In contrast, this entry specifically focuses on what healthcare can learn from the construction industry to help reduce the frequency and severity of nurse staff injuries.

It is well documented that construction-related roles are physically demanding, requiring workers to lift heavy materials for several hours daily. Although it is less frequently acknowledged, nursing is also a strenuous occupation, given the number of hours and physical tasks nurses perform daily.…

Is There Anything Gmail Can’t Do?

I keep my life on Gmail. It is the holder of my important calendar dates, storage of my most important photos, and the chat resource for YouTube cover songs needing immediate attention from my spread out friends.

Gmail is entering into a new space now, too. As a banking consultant, I find myself conflicted about this transition of theirs.

Gmail is entering the bill pay space and it is not doing so quietly. Their new offering, reportedly called Pony Express, is about to be a game changer for online bill pay.…

Social Media: Your Collaborative Toolbox for Change

Many companies leverage their social media for transformation initiatives to engage with their customers and the general public. However, often times companies forget about the power of also leveraging these tools internally.  While social media can invoke the fear of potentially providing a medium for public outcry and negativity, it can be leveraged to communicate with and support employees through company transformation.  Social media tools can also facilitate change by providing an influential platform for employees to voice opinions and ideas, providing management with opportunities to hear real feedback and, when needed, address issues, questions and concerns.…

Consultative Learning: Why CRM Shouldn’t Feel Like Chemistry

As CRM Consultants, we are often tasked with educating our client on the most effective solutions for their business. Often times CRM platforms are viewed by the client as an incredibly effective tool, but one they don’t know how to use, or the true capabilities. It’s up to us to gain an understanding of the business needs and translate to the client exactly what can be built and how CRM can improve their business. Not all businesses or stakeholders are the same, and understanding a CRM and its capabilities can pose a challenge.…

Will the Grass be Greener for the Jolly Green Giant?

The End of an Era

Recently, General Mills made another big splash in the food and beverage market with the leaked announcement of a potential divestiture of the Jolly Green Giant (JGG) label. Representing a large portion of General Mills’ frozen food portfolio, Jolly Green Giant accounts for approximately $700 million of the frozen division’s $1.5 billion in total sales and has become a staple on the dinner table across the country as one of the most recognizable food brands.…

Leveraging the Solar Explosion to Deliver Compelling Customer Service

2014 was a historic year for the deployment of solar in the U.S. Specifically, 22% more solar capacity was installed last year than in 2008. Nationally, cost reductions are expected to drive more than 3x growth in solar deployments between now and 2017. In 2013, the price of solar systems dropped nearly 15% and the number of installations increased by almost 20%. With interest growing and costs trending downward, there is a new solar installation being completed approximately every 3 minutes!…

Millennials and Community Banks Make a Perfect Match

Tammy Wu

Different generations shop, save and invest in very different ways. Millennials are no exception and financial institutions have taken notice, investing large sums in an attempt to understand and accommodate their needs. But who exactly constitutes this generation? Millennials are defined as individuals ranging from 18 to 34 years of age and represent the customer segment not only leading the digital revolution, but will most likely set the tone of the industry moving forward. The infographic below provides some further information as to their overall demographic characteristics:

Currently, millennials make up just a quarter of the U.S.…

Why Change Management is Equally Important when Employees are Excited for Change

Nick Kennedy

Most employees don’t like to change. It is always easier to stick with the status quo than to learn something new (especially if you’ve been performing the status quo for many months or years). However, every so often, employees welcome change. Often times, this is the case when the current process or systems are so “inadequate” that it distracts employees from performing their main function. This is especially important when the employee is compensated solely upon their performance – they feel restricted by the current system or processes and feel that any change has to be an improvement.…

An M&A Lesson from the Easter Bunny: Don’t Take Too Many “Hops”

Spring time is here and Easter is just around the corner.  The sight of an Easter Bunny around town is sure to get children excited about the basket of goodies that he’s bringing, but that same bunny reminded us about a recent project.  As we looked at the bunny’s “hopping,” we thought back to a carve-out and merger project when we were continuously faced with the question, “How many hops should we take?”

Situation:  We were advising our client on a potential acquisition of two companies—we’ll refer to them as Company A and Company B. …

How Healthcare can Learn from Chipotle’s “Cafeteria Plan”

Chipotle has used a novel delivery model and a strong focus on customer value to change much of what is known about customer service and success within the food service industry. This is even more impressive due to the relatively short time and the static industry in which these feats were accomplished. Because of Chipotle’s success, the rise of fast casual dining is now widely acknowledged, studied, and repeated. The journey from a single small location to becoming a definition of an industry change has demonstrated Chipotle’s impact on the food service industry.…

Three Steps to Improve Total Rewards Synergies during a Merger Integration

Buyers, take note of different operating models and organizational structures during the diligence phase. If the target companies produce the same product or service, but are uniquely structured, more upfront work will be needed before operational synergies can be achieved. Particularly in the area of human capital, there are three activities organizations should perform in order to realize total rewards synergies faster and more effectively:

Define a Foundational Career Architecture

A defined career architecture allows employees and leaders to understand horizontal and vertical career progression within an organization.…

How to Make the Most of a Bad Customer Experience

Here at West Monroe, we talk a lot about the “customer experience” – how businesses attract and retain their most valuable customers.  The way in which a company handles a negative customer experience is equally, if not more, powerful than a positive customer experience. Does your company have the processes and supporting technology in place to lead a customer through an issue?  How does your company make sure that customer relationship remains strong at the end of it?…

 

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