Credit and Collections Conference for Utilities Canada 2018
March 19-20, 2018
Vancouver, BC

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Overview

Canada’s economy was “firing on all cylinders” the first half of 2017 which accounted for the best growth rate that Canada has seen in many years. The economy was driven by consumers with the help of healthy job market and wage gains. However, the second half of 2017 has seen a pullback in the economy’s growth rate which is expected to continue into 2018 & 2019 near the long-run growth rate trend. As the economy slows down in the next two years, utilities will continue to be at a disadvantage when it comes to collecting overdue consumer debt as compared to other industries.

Utilities and LDCs must continue to discover new methods and practices to maintain payments, stem delinquencies and assist customers. They realize that developing effective new collection strategies continues to be an ongoing and iterative process. These strategies include strong asset and technology management systems, as well as good human capital programs to recruit and retain skilled talent.

Join us at EUCI’s 10th Annual Credit and Collections for Utilities: Canada conference, where utility and industry experts will speak on potential solutions as well as challenges on the horizon in this critical effort of competing with other creditors. Conference attendees will take away knowledge necessary to implement effective solutions within the area of credit and collections for their companies, and have many opportunities for quality networking with industry peers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine the effectiveness of alternative solutions like e-mail, text messaging to replace collection letters
  • Discuss what the debt collection sector looks like for regulators
  • Explain how to improve the customer experience with systems integration technology
  • Discuss successfully managing in-house credit and collection operations
  • Explain analytic tools to fully use the data from smart meters to catch electricity thieves
  • Discuss the legal aspect of collections
  • Evaluate a new RFP process for collection agencies
  • Discuss programs to improve communications with low-income customers

Credits

AP_Logo

EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop.

 

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

This program will include case studies, panel discussions and PowerPoint presentations

Agenda

Monday, March 19, 2018

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Registration

1:00 – 1:10 p.m. :: Opening Remarks


1:10 – 1:30 p.m. :: Welcome Address from BC Hydro

David Raposo will welcome energy colleagues to beautiful Vancouver and provide some perspective on improving performance, communications and the customer experience

David Raposo, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Center Operations, BC Hydro


1:30 – 2:15 p.m. :: Are Collection Letters Becoming Obsolete?

Collection letters have been around a long time, and are a staple of most collection cycles. However, with the increase in postage costs, and the proliferation of alternative communication channels, the effectiveness of collection letters has come into question. This review will look at a pilot that NB Power undertook to review the effectiveness of collection letters while examining the effectiveness of alternative solutions like e-mail, text messaging or removing the letters with no replacements. NB Power will provide insights into the outcomes of the pilot.

Jean-François Jutras, Customer Infrastructure Manager NB Power


2:15 – 3:00 p.m. :: The Consumer Protection BC

  • Who we are? An overview of Consumer Protection BC.
  • What is our authority? (what we do as a regulator& how we oversee the debt sector in BC)
  • What does the debt collection sector look like for us? Snapshot of the debt collection sector in BC (statistics, our approach to inspections & complaint handling)
  • Why does it matter to you? High level overview of BC’s debt collection law

Mike Collyer Manager, Stakeholder Relations, Consumer Protection BC

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. :: Networking Break


3:30 – 4:15 p.m. :: Best Collection Practices at Hydro One

With ever-increasing pressures to attain goals and benchmark objectives, it is important to be progressive as an organization to improve processes and practices to maximize collections. In this session, learn about the collection programs and practices at Hydro One and how they strive to continue to improve customer experience while working within the guidelines of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

Lindsay Fenner, Credit and Collections Analyst, Hydro One


4:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: Improving your Business Intelligence and Customer Experience through Systems Integration Technology

The use of auto-dialer technology for bill collection has been around for a long time. Last year, Hydro Ottawa not only adopted an auto-dialer as a disconnection notice channel; they also integrated the process and the results into their Customer Information System (CIS) to improve their business intelligence. In the same year Hydro Ottawa introduced voice biometrics to allow for customer account authentication. This enhancement expanded the existing offering of customer self-serve options to further improve the customer experience.

Michel Provost, Manager of Billing, Collections and Meter Data Services, Hydro Ottawa

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. :: Networking Reception


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast


8:30 – 9:30 a.m. :: Successfully Managing In-House Credit and Collection Operations

This presentation will cover proven methods to successfully developing world-class credit and collection operations.  Ten important keys to success will be covered: great management, maximizing your most important resource – people, working with business partners, measuring performance, justifying resources, marketing your services, commitment to quality, redundancy/back-up, continuous learning & improvement, and the 3 “Ps” approach to world class operations. Proven and practical techniques from successful in-house operations will be shared. 

Wes Friesen, President – Solomon Training & Development (ret’d Manager, Portland General Electric)


9:30 – 10:15 a.m. :: Implementation of a New Process of Billing & Collection for Electricity Theft

In January 2017, Hydro-Québec decided to invest in analytic tools to fully use the data from smart meters to catch electricity thieves. For this initiative to be successful, the billing and collection tools for the electricity theft situations needed to be efficient and integrated with the processes already in place. One year later, electricity theft billing and collection is integrated. The presentation will provide an overview of the situation before and after implementation as well as a review of the challenges that were encountered during the project.

Marie-Claude Doré, Credit Strategy and Risk Management Analyst, Credit Strategy and Risk Management, Hydro-Québec

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. :: Networking Break


10:45 – 11:30 a.m. :: Culture vs. Strategy? What New Initiatives at TELUS Yielded Record Recovery Rates for 2017 and how Energy & Utility Portfolios Can Benefit

TELUS has been recognized within North America as an industry leader for 3rd Party Collections producing some of the highest recovery rates in wireless and wireline within Telecommunications. In early 2017, TELUS rolled out some new initiatives to help improve their recovery rates. The results have been spectacular and in this session, Peter Manianis will share insights as to how these new initiatives enabled TELUS to claim a top spot, and where the opportunity is for Energy and Utility.

Peter Manianis, Vendor Manager 3rd Party Collection Agencies, TELUS


11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: The Legal Aspect of Collections

In this session, Mr. Wiebe — who brings a life time of experience both as a credit grantor, collection manager/executive and now as a senior lawyer — will provide indispensable advice and practical tips regarding the legal aspects of collections. Topics will include:

  • Effective use and language for legal demand letters
  • Suing residential customers
  • Statute of Limitations
  • What to use counsel for and what can usually be done without professional assistance

Kent Wiebe, Partner, Wiebe Douvelos Wittmann LLP

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon


1:15 – 2:00 p.m. :: We Energies New RFP Process for Collection Agencies

We Energies followed a different RFP process this time by doing a blind assessment with weighted answers, which was new to our supply chain. We created this new process because it was important to be fair (and transparent) for collection agencies. As we’re now a combined company of seven utilities, we knew there would be incumbent agencies that would not be selected to move forward with us. In this session, attendees will hear the results of this unique process that We Energies put together internally.

Sue Bell, Senior Business Analyst, We Energies


2:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Improving Low Income Customer Communications

Energy utilities have known for quite some time that there is great diversity among the households that have difficulty paying utility bills. Not only are there demographic differences—age, income, household size, number of children in the household, education, employment—but there are differences with respect to issues that are not easily quantified. In this session, Bruno Mariejeanne will discuss the various ways to help customers lower their bills through weatherization, investments in energy efficiency, customer education, conservation tips and alternative rate designs.

Bruno Mariejeanne, Director of Operations, Mazume Solutions

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:00 – 4:00 p.m. :: Credit & Collections Panel Discussion

This mixed panel discussion will feature utilities and industry experts discussing what is being done or considered to improve credit & collections. This interactive panel will respond to inquiries from the moderator and audience on how technology, functionality, agency management and more continue to help improve collections.

Moderator:

Peter Sorrentino, President, General Credit Services Inc.

Panelists:

Michel Provost, Manager of Billing, Collections and Meter Data Services, Hydro Ottawa

Marie-Claude Doré, Credit Management and Risk Assessment Analyst, Hydro-Quebec

John Kim, EVP/Principal, SinglePoint Group International

Sue Bell, Senior Business Analyst, We Energies


4:00 – 4:15 p.m. :: Conference Recap

Peter Sorrentino will provide a recap of the key points that were covered during the conference. This closing session will also allow conference attendees to ask a few questions about any credit & collections presentation, issue or problem.

Peter Sorrentino, President, General Credit Services Inc.

4:15 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns

Workshop

Building High Performance Credit & Collection Teams! 

Monday, March 19, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 11:45 a.m. :: Workshop Timing

Overview

Building teams that perform at consistently high levels benefits all key stakeholders—but can be challenging in today’s utility industry.  A team will only achieve its fullest potential when people are engaged and inspired to do their best work.  Research shows highly engaged employees on average are 50% more likely to exceed expectations than the least engaged workers.  Companies with highly engaged people outperform organizations with the most disengaged workers— by 54% in employee retention, 89% in customer satisfaction and by nearly 2 to 1 in financial performance. 

How do we create great workplaces that maximize our team’s engagement and potential – and the potential of the larger organization?  In this workshop, the instructor will be sharing the latest research and practical ideas to help motivate people and build teams that are high performing!  Attendees will walk way inspired and equipped to lead your team to an even higher level of success.

Learning Outcomes

After this workshop, attendees will identify and be able to use:

  • The 3 Characteristics of High Performance Teams
  • 7 Key Needs that Motivate People
  • Top 10 Motivators for Workers
  • The magical 5 to 1 Ratio
  • 15 Imperatives for Building a Great Workplace
  • 20 Ways to Retain Your Best Employees
  • The 12 questions “Measuring Stick”
  • And more practical tools!

Agenda

Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead and Develop High Performing Teams

 Wes Friesen has written a book called “Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead and Develop High Performing Teams”, and will share highlights from the book. In this section of the workshop, we will explore:

  • The latest research
  • Tapping into the wisdom from a variety of experts
  • Gaining a better understanding of how to help motivate people
  • How to build teams that are high performing!

Keys to Building Great Workplaces

 In this section of the workshop, we will explore:

  • How to create great workplaces that maximize employee engagement
  • How to create great workplaces that maximize employee and potential – and the potential of the larger organization
  • Discuss the 15 imperatives to build great work places
  • How to inspire your teams and help them achieve their fullest potential

Presenter:

Wes Friesen, President – Solomon Training & Development; University Instructor; Portland General Electric – Manager: Billing, Payments & Credit (retired), (MBA, CCE, CBF, CBA, CMA, CFM, CTP, CMDSM, MCOM, MDC, EMCM, ICP, CM, APP, PHR)  

Mr. Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high performing teams. He managed at Portland General Electric for 37 years where his teams were noted for high performance and earned multiple awards and national recognitions.  He is also an award-winning University Instructor and Conference Speaker—and is the President of Solomon Training and Development, which provides leadership, management and team building training.

He writes for business trade journals, including a management column for Mailing Systems and Technology. His book, Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead, and Develop High Performing Teams has 42 valuable lessons that will inspire you, and give you practical pointers to help you—and your team—soar to new heights of performance. 

Mr. Friesen earned his B.S. in Business Administration from George Fox University and his MBA from the University of Portland. He also sits on several non-profit boards.

Speakers

Sue Bell, Senior Business Analyst, We Energies

Mike Collyer Manager, Stakeholder Relations, Consumer Protection BC

Marie-Claude Doré, Credit Strategy and Risk Management Analyst, Credit Strategy and Risk Management, Hydro-Québec

Lindsay Fenner, Credit and Collections Analyst, Hydro One

Wes Friesen, President – Solomon Training & Development (ret’d Manager, Portland General Electric)

Jean-François Jutras, Customer Infrastructure Manager NB Power

John Kim, EVP/Principal, SinglePoint Group International

Peter Manianis, Vendor Manager 3rd Party Collection Agencies, TELUS

Bruno Mariejeanne, Director of Operations, Mazume Solutions

Michel Provost, Manager of Billing, Collections and Meter Data Services, Hydro Ottawa

David Raposo, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Center Operations, BC Hydro

Peter Sorrentino, President, General Credit Services Inc.

Kent Wiebe, Partner, Wiebe Douvelos Wittmann LLP

Location

Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver
845 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z2K6

To reserve your room, please call 1-604-682-5511
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate:

The room rate is $CAD 185.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of March 18 – 19, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to February 18, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.

Register

Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

EventEarly Bird Before
Friday, March 02, 2018
Standard RateAttendees
Credit and Collections Conference for Utilities Canada 2018$ CAD 1495.00
(+ 7 % GST tax )
$ CAD 1695.00
(+ 7 % GST tax )

This event has the following workshops:

Building High Performance Credit & Collection Teams!$ CAD 495.00
(+ 7 % GST tax )
$ CAD 595.00
(+ 7 % GST tax )

*Please note: all attendees of the conference will receive a link to downlaod all presentations that are made available by the presenters. If you cannot attend the conference but would still like a copy of these materials, please consider purchasing the proceedings package listed below

I cannot attend but would like a copy of the proceedings

Proceedings package$ CAD 495.00

Take advantage of these discounts!

  • Attend the Conference and workshop and pay $ CAD 1,895.00 per attendee (save $ CAD 95.00 each)

Register 3 Send 4th Free!

Any organization wishing to send multiple attendees to these conferences may send 1 FREE for every 3 delegates registered. Please note that all registrations must be made at the same time to qualify.

Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before February 16, 2018 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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