REC’s Strategic Plan, Part 4 - Communication
In the last three Newsboys, I have reviewed the Strategic Areas of Focus in the 2022 Strategic Plan. This plan was developed, as the plan states, to focus efforts of the organization on what is important. Reiterating, the four focus areas are Workforce, Reliability, Financial and Communication. The final area, not the least important, is Communication. Certainly, there have been times when my communication with members needed to be much better but communicating has always been important to REC and to me. Three actionable goals were established to focus on maintaining existing efforts and bringing on new ones.
• Improve communication channels, messaging and interactions
• Collaborate with local leaders to build a viable economic development program
• Engage employees in process improvement and improve business acumen
In the past two years, we have opened many new ways to communicate to members and Valley businesses. Focus groups of both residential and commercial members have helped guide initiatives. Customer Service has increased efforts and added avenues of communication when a member is behind on their monthly bill. This helped reduce disconnections and reduce REC’s uncollectable revenues. Another new avenue of communication that is being employed is online surveys. One example is the current survey to gauge members’ thoughts on moving to online voting. REC is considering implementing online voting for director elections and bylaw changes. If you haven’t taken the survey, please go to our website and click on the link to participate.
REC has always been engaged in economic development throughout the Valley. Staff of REC are actively engaged in organizations, such as Upper Rio Grande Economic Development and several local Chambers. And while it might seem a bit indirect, REC’s development of its telecommunications subsidiary, Ciello, has enabled existing and new businesses to compete in this ever-increasing connected world more effectively.
Employees of REC have worked hard at process improvement in many areas. One outcome of this effort is there are 54 employees today versus 51 employees 10 years ago. Having added a whole new business, finding more efficient ways of doing business has resulted in adding only three more employees. Another process improvement effort is the barcoding of warehouse materials which reduces manual enter of materials entering and leaving the warehouse and improves inventory accuracy.
We continue to work on notification procedures through texts and emails for electric outages. While they’re annoying, knowing the status of the outage helps reduce member anxiety by knowing that the outage is being working on and knowing estimates of restoration time.
Communication has always been a key to success, and REC employees and board members continue to improve and add channels of communication with REC members and Ciello customers.