Each of the last 16 years USA has hosted a Supply Chain themed Winter Conference for its Members and Supplier-Partners. The purpose of the Winter Conference is to facilitate and provide networking opportunities for USA and Supplier representatives as a means to develop and grow “win-win” business relationships. The Conference serves as an extremely cost-effective means to bring together eight or more customer organizations and 25 Supplier-Partners for focused, purposeful interaction for the cost of a single trip. Many of our guests tell us it’s the most valuable Conference they attend each year!
The 2019 Winter Conference kicked off Monday afternoon with about 30 attendees and guests enjoying our traditional golf outing in perfect Arizona weather. Tuesday brought meetings of the Supply Chain, Procurement Engineering and Site Rep. teams, as well as technical presentations by our Supplier-Partners designed to provide a road map of value for 2019.
The day concluded with our traditional welcome reception where all attendees and guests could relax, enjoy great food and drink, catch up with old friends and meet new ones all the while having our minds read by an amazing mentalist who was able to conjure up facts from our past that no one else knew! The next two days were packed full of presentations on a wide variety of topics including updates from EPRI, STARS, Southern Nuclear and USA, advice for navigating O&M costs in an unpredictable market, reducing supply chain risk and much more. The Conference also included nearly 200 individual breakout sessions (“speed-dates”) between utilities and suppliers, always a key ingredient and an extremely popular part of the proceedings.
Last, but certainly not least, Lisa Rudlaff, Twila Janeway and Heather Qin accepted the coveted 2018 SuperSaver award on behalf of Team Cook (AEP) based on their savings in excess of $7.5M using USA Supply Chain programs! Overall, members saved more than $31 Million in 2018 through the hard work of our suppliers and utility representatives throughout the member organizations. Our best year ever- Well Done!
We wrapped things up Friday Morning with a fascinating tour of the SAFER Regional Response Center courtesy of our good friends at Southern Nuclear and PIM. Attendees were able to see the extensive array of equipment and preparations in place and available immediately should an emergency arise.
Check out some great pictures from the Conference at USA Winter Conference. 97% of survey respondents rated the Conference as “Excellent” or “Good” and 89% said they plan to attend in 2020. We’ll go back to our all-time most popular venue in Clearwater Beach, Florida and look forward to seeing you there!
Want more information? Contact Jim Kitchens, Director, Economic Strategies.