Cost-Effectiveness of Relationships

After attending a three-day meeting on EE and DR programs, the trend these days was obvious: program cost-effectiveness is a real challenge!

People were scraping up crumbs and peeking under rocks searching for savings.  Others were quietly celebrating a trend they find appealing given flat or declining load growth and load factors.

No one ever raised the question:  If we stop working with our customers through these EE and DR initiatives, is that going to open the door to others to come in and replace our relationships?

Yet, when I talked to these professionals, most agreed said it was going to be extremely hard to reacquire this position of “Trusted Energy Advisor” in the future and that all of the investment in that trust built over years would atrophy.

Well then, shouldn’t the future costs of trying to rebuild this relationship be a factor in the formula?  Why should cost-effectiveness be all about a historical point of view?

Or, if you really don’t care about your customer’s success with EE and DR, are you prepared to lose that relationship to others?  And, are you really all that comfortable letting your customers know you only care when they are valuable to you?

All this reminds me of the slogan on my dentist’s lighted mirror:  Only floss the teeth you want to keep!

Want to learn more about this topic? Join us on Nov. 14th at 1:00 PM Eastern for an AESP Webinar Event: Achieving Cost-Effectiveness Amid Increasing Challenges. 

Yucky Blog

I recently read an article in USA Today that made me cringe.  Evidently, according to the survey, almost half of Americans do not change their underwear every day with some wearing the same pair for a week or more.

Maybe I am oversensitive, but that made me say “yuck!”  Then again, perhaps we live in a country that has become obsessed with cleanliness.

This study brought to my mind an encounter I had with a key energy executive from Canada at a national energy conference.  We were enjoying dinner together when he told me that he believed energy efficiency has to start in the home.  Feeling he had a story behind that I asked what he had done … which I assume is what he wanted to talk about.  Here is what he proudly shared:

“The key is to conserve and reuse hot water in the home.  After dinner, we fill the tub and I take my bath first, then my wife bathes in the same water. Then we bathe the children. Then we add some soap powder to the water and pre-wash the day’s dirty clothes before putting them into the washing machine.”

A member of my staff was listening to the story and asked him how much money he thought he had saved with this energy and water conservation program.  He was quick to respond with, “I carefully analyzed my usage over time before and after we instituted this procedure, and I know for a fact we have $79 a year!”

I noticed my employee taking out his checkbook from his coat pocket, making out a check and handing it to the executive, saying, “Here is $79;  I want you to stop doing that.”

Here is the article:

A survey released by underwear company Tommy John suggests Americans might not be changing their underwear.

Or, at least, quite a few aren’t bothering to put on a fresh pair every day. 

Tommy John surveyed 1,000 Americans and discovered 45 percent wore the same pair of underwear for “two days or longer.” The results of the survey were released this month on Tommy John’s website. 

Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they wore the same underwear for a week or more. Tommy John said men were 2.5 times more likely than women to wear the same underwear for a week or more.

In a separate survey of 1,000 people, 46 percent of those surveyed by Tommy John said they owned the same pair of underwear at least one year. An additional 38 percent said they had no idea how long they owned their oldest pair of underwear. 

“It’s crucial to update your underwear wardrobe every six months to a year to ensure you’re protected from harmful infections and health risks,” Tommy John said. “Women should be especially careful, as they’re more at risk than men to experience health issues due to unclean underwear.”

The company even provided a few tips for keeping underwear clean:

    • Tumble dry your underwear on low heat for 30 minutes after washing.
    • Don’t mix your underwear in the same load with your significant other or children if they’re sick.
    • Avoid washing contaminated underwear with other pairs and clothing.
    • Wash your underwear separately from clothing containing other bodily fluids. If any article of clothing is stained, it’s better to wash it separately from your underwear.

Ghost Kitchens

Boo!  Not really trying to scare you, but given it’s Halloween, it seemed timely to share this latest trend: you may be familiar with ghost employees, but now we have ghost kitchens.

The idea is emerging from people’s desire for prepared food to be delivered to their homes or offices.  Grubhub and Dash are just of the few delivery services, and I am sure you are aware that Uber and Lift have both joined in this service.

Here is an excellent article on it from a recent USA Today.

You will notice that commercial kitchens are becoming multi-brand production facilities.  From an efficiency perspective, this makes a lot of sense.  But, what it says to me is that we are seeing a fracture in traditional accounting and business management models.  Think about how complex the multi-company billing model has to get to accommodate this style of business.  Perhaps Blockchain will finally get a foothold here.  It does seem a natural place for the distributed ledger approach.

We need to study what is happening here.  It is a brave new world of business models.  It will also naturally result in a multi-company model for quality control and customer satisfaction.  Lots of ways to ding customer loyalty on this one.

I guess this is pretty scary now that I think about it.

Training Doctors for Climate Change?

There are times when I wonder where critical thinking has gone.  One of my recent blogs about beach umbrellas proves we can pass laws straining gnats while swallowing camels (a phrase Jesus used).

Now, it seems even the medical community has gone over the cliff.  Please do not think about whether climate change is real or not.  That is not the point.  Scan this article on the front page of the New York Times and think critically about whether medical schools really need to have a curriculum on a gradual change in temperature.

I would argue that the only schools of medicine that possibly need this at this time are those of psychology and psychiatry.

The others have way too much to cover already especially with the reemergence of diseases we thought we cured decades ago now that we have such a large group of immigrants.

To me, this all speaks volumes about where we all are as critical thinkers.


Echo Look?

I guess the male perspective doesn’t apply here.  Most of us men have two or three pairs of shoes we wear and repair until they fall apart, possibly keeping them past that point.  We have a few go-to pairs of pants and then possibly a dozen shirts or so we wear all the time depending upon the season and the daily plans.

So, the idea of a digital assistant to capture, compare and criticize our wardrobe and how it looks on us is just not important.  This male perspective, of course, explains my surprise that the latest manifestation of the Amazon Echo product portfolio (call the “Look”) that seems odd to me at least.

Of course, I am sure Amazon didn’t do this without some careful market research.  And, given today’s obsession with the online social media and online pictures, I guess I see the evolution will now be that individuals will focus on showing all the outfits they own and of course being marketed to for those deemed perfect to improve their looks.

Not that you needed another warning about this, but there are no privacy concerns here either, are there?  Seems like nefarious individuals would just love to hack into this device as voyeurs.  Who am I to raise this as a fear?  I have several Amazon Echo devices listening in already in my home and office locations.

I guess it was only logical to expand the point of view for those who seem to document everything they eat online.  I am actually thankful that they do so often when I want to check out a new restaurant.  But, I do think some have gone a bit too far.  That is why this picture kind of says it all.

I can’t wait to see what Amazon comes up with next … can you?