Each year in January, the USA Supply Chain Management Team hosts a Winter Conference for its Members and Supplier-Partners. We seek a unique and beautiful venue where participants can get away from the day to day grind to focus on strategy, collaboration and plans for the coming year to maximize the mutual benefits available through Fleet participation and partnership. The Conference is unique in that in addition to outstanding informational presentations and networking opportunities, a significant part of the agenda is devoted to face-to-face meetings between utility members and suppliers. The intent of these break-out sessions is to provide focused time to discuss successes and opportunities to grow the relationships and maximize the benefits offered by USA Fleet Agreements with our world-class Supplier-Partners.
Our 14th Annual Winter Conference convened at the gorgeous Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in fabulous Tucson, Arizona. Nearly 150 members, suppliers, and guests enjoyed hiking the desert surroundings, golfing, star-gazing and a myriad of other activities the area has to offer. After the traditional golf outing on Monday, participants got down to business on Tuesday with a series of team meetings, panel discussions and technical presentations designed to provide a road map for 2017. The next two days were packed full of presentations beginning with a great keynote by Ian Golding of Customer Experience Consultancy titled "Can a Focus on Customer Experience Really Make a Difference?". That was followed by a wide variety of topics including an overview of the USA 2017 key focus areas and our new organizational structure, updates from various USA Gap Focus Owners (GFOs), informational presentations by representatives from EPRI and AZZ | NLI and much more. There was even a raffle for a gas powered blender! The Conference also included more than 230 individual breakout sessions ("speed-dates") between utilities and suppliers - always a key ingredient and extremely popular part of the proceedings. Last, but certainly not least, Greg Sponholtz and the Team from Columbia (Energy Northwest) was recognized as our 2016 SuperSaver as they achieved more than $5 Million in savings through the use of USA Supply Chain programs! Overall, members saved more than $28 Million in 2016 through the hard work of our suppliers and utility members throughout the supply chain. Thank You!
The pictures below will give you a small taste of what the attendees enjoyed in Tucson. Planning has already started in preparation for another outstanding Conference in 2018. We look forward to seeing you there!