USA 2.0 introduced to member stations across the country: Refined goals and objectives ignites membership, participation

February 21st, 2018
Author: USA Communication

In the fall of 2017, the Utilities Service Alliance (USA) Board of Directors (BOD) charged USA leadership to take a hard look at its existing business model and make changes that would help to reengage its membership and set a fresh course for the organization.

After much deliberation by the USA leadership team, it was unanimously decided to “return to the basics” and provide activities that offer member stations the most value while reducing costs and administrative burden. The BOD agreed with the recommendations.

As a result, USA 2.0 officially launched in January of 2018 – complete with a new take on our existing logo.

One of the primary and most notable changes to the USA business model is that USA will return to a focus on service, support and facilitation rather than governance and oversight. 

“Following discussions with the BOD and leadership at the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), it was determined that USA was unintentionally replicating services and oversight currently provided by utility corporate staff and INPO,” said USA President and CEO John Christensen. “As a result of this duplicative effort, not only were member stations challenged to respond to INPO and corporate recommendations – member stations also bore the burden of accountability and response to USA recommendations. As a group, we decided to be a different type of organization in place to assist Stations, not add to their administrative load.”

As a result, three primary objectives were identified by USA leadership as the purpose of the new business model:

1. To improve member stations operational performance through facilitation of lessons learned, conduct of assessments, industry benchmarking and the sharing of best-practices
2. To improve economic performance through the vigorous use of our Supply Chain agreements, personnel sharing and cost-savings opportunities, and
3. To facilitate common response to targeted and focused fleet performance gaps or issues as approved by the BOD

USA’s Membership structure has also changed. Rather than multiple membership levels, the only membership level is the ‘Full Member’ level. It covers all “Core Business” activities and services supported by USA, including: Supply Chain Services and Tools; USA Annual Executive Summit and Winter Supply Chain Conference; USA Facilitation of Member Support of stations in INPO Elevate/Escalate/Recovery, USA Nuclear Safety Culture Assessments and more.

Additional projects or gap closure actions a member wishes to receive from USA will be supported a’la carte – that is, paid for individually and apart from the annual membership fees by that member station.  If the cost is too high for an identified project or gap area, the member station may choose not to do it.

Another benefit member stations will appreciate is that USA will no longer invoice for membership dues.  Rather, memberships now will be paid from station rebate dollars – a welcome change for stations’ bottom lines in pursuit of ‘cost effective excellence.’

“It’s important to remember that average savings per member in 2016 was more than $8.2 million for an average return on investment of $33.71 for every dollar spent to participate in USA,” said Christensen. “Additionally, there is tremendous benefit and burden reduction enjoyed by members as they collaborate with one another and share best practices on station issues and concerns. Instead of each station developing their own process or response for a given issue, we can all share a common approach and work together to take advantage of a diverse and broad range of qualified input.”

Finally, the Site Leadership Team – which consisted of site vice-presidents  from each station - will be disbanded. In its place, each member station will have a Site Representative as part of a Site Rep Team to facilitate the implementation of the new model.

The USA Site Rep will be responsible for reporting to their respective BOD member on a routine basis the status, progress and current issues regarding the operation of USA and will facilitate all USA interface activities at their respective sites.

“This change will allow the Site Rep to serve as an ‘entry’ point of contact for USA members regarding needs, questions and issues about their respective Station in relation to USA,” said Christensen. “They’ll also serve as active members of the USA Site Representative Team and will serve to identify site resources for USA projects such as mid-cycle assessments and Nuclear Safety Culture Assessments.”

Jump-up calls and assistance with assessments remain in place, and USA will continue to assist with NEI’s Delivering the Nuclear Promise initiative – specifically as it relates to the Supply Chain project on Material Cost-Reduction. This project specifically supports Efficiency Bulletin (EB) 16-30.

An Advanced Remote Monitoring EB is being developed with heavy USA participation. A new USA agreement has been developed with the Luminant Power Optimization Center that specifically addresses this new EB, and has the potential to positively impact the entire industry while providing special benefits to participating USA members.

The changes made by USA leadership team to strengthen the alliance has taken several forms:
1. USA Leadership has taken actions to aggressively reduce the costs to operate the business as well as the associated costs to the member stations and
2. USA Leadership has developed strong leadership within the USA team.
These two items allow us to offer significant services, value and opportunity to our members while keeping our operating costs very low. The new model is also flexible enough to adapt to member needs and requests while eliminating unnecessary burden from our members.

In addition, the USA Leadership Team has taken the organization from a traditional Governance/ Oversight/ Support/ Perform (GOSP) model to a Service and Support only organization. The support provided is determined by the member stations. This ensures USA is providing only services needed by the member stations.

Additional information

Click here to view USA 2.0 video.

USA 2.0 changes FAQ


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