Your Partner for Organizational Transformation
The Hometown Connections consulting team helps public utilities address today’s business management challenges and provides a flexible yet detailed framework for making decisions that will secure the long-term success of the organization to the benefit of the local community.
Hometown’s consulting services are scalable based on the size and objectives of the joint action agency, state association, or public utility. We offer our services through on-site facilitation or in virtual meeting environment, depending on the requirements of the organization.
With more than 20 years of experience working with hundreds of public utilities, Hometown Connections management consultants know how to focus quickly on the challenges you are facing and provide the information, training, policies, and procedures you need to chart your organization’s course to a long and sustainable future.
Hometown Connections guides community-owned utilities through the change process, focusing on strategic planning, managing risk, excellence in customer service, and leadership development.
Hometown’s consultants help public utilities address today’s business management challenges and advance towards a successful future.
The Hometown Connections proven strategic planning process applies to utilities of all sizes and services.
- Develops a practical, step-by-step blueprint for adapting to specific market conditions, regulatory changes, and the evolving expectations of customers
- May update existing strategic plans
- Benefits from an efficient and time-saving process that places a premium on simplicity, flexibility and logic
- Avoids the complexity and rigidity of other approaches that can grind a strategic planning effort to a halt
Hometown Connections reviews industry changes and public power utilities response to the challenges presented. All levels of leaderships, to include governing boards, gain a strong appreciation for the critical role of effective governance in the face of these changes.
- Legislative and legal
- Customer changes
- Workforce changes
- How public power utilities are responding to these changes
- The role of governing boards
- The need for community engagement
- The importance of Strategic Planning
Hometown Connections reviews metrics and qualitative data to identify and share with stakeholders the value municipal utilities provide to their local community and customers.
- Why is it important to understand the value of your public utility?
- Approach to identifying and tracking metrics
- Qualitative data related to the value of public power
- Challenges and opportunities to collect the data
- Telling your story
Hometown’s consultants help public utilities apply risk management principles to maximize performance and productivity.
Responding to a business disruption or emergency can be stressful for any utility’s organization and its customers. Putting a response plan in place before an event happens can save valuable time and help alleviate stress when team members know exactly what to do quickly. We can help you learn how to:
- Identify potential disruptions for your utility
- Identify function recovery priorities
- Build your recovery plan and procedures
- Determine roles and responsibilities for team members
- Build a communication plan in the event of a business disruption
A business readiness risk assessment can prepare you for what’s ahead and help you assess your current business maturity in all areas of your operation. Whether you are in the aftermath of a business disruption or planning for future technology, you will want to understand the potential risks and gaps in your current business model. We can help you by:
- Performing an organizational risk assessment or function specific risk assessment to identify and help prioritize risks, gaps and opportunities.
- We can also provide the help you need to mitigate risks, streamline processes or redesign business practices in all areas of operations to include finance, customer service, support services, compliance, internal controls, project management, program management, training, safety, prioritization, strategic planning, governance, IT processes, information protection and safety, purchasing, vendor management, leadership, employee development and culture transformation.
Enterprise risk management is integral and foundational to organizational strategy, financial stability, operational efficiency, business continuity, and business transformation. It is not a stand-alone activity and its function is core to the successful execution of business objectives and measurement of outcomes. How to manage risk can sometimes be confusing, but once an effective program is implemented, it can assist in prioritization and making efficient key business decisions. We can help you learn how:
- To understand the purpose of risk management, the benefits, and how to seamlessly integrate it into strategic planning, governance, and prioritization.
- To identify risks and assess their criticality, individually and collectively.
- To categorize, and rank risks within your organization.
- To respond to, monitor and report risks.
- To implement an Enterprise Risk Management Framework.
- To train your organization in the identification and mitigation of risks.
Hometown’s expert helps utilities apply for designation by the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program. The program is based on best practices in four important disciplines:
- Workforce Development
- System Improvement
Hometown Connections evaluates a utility’s RP3 readiness and reviews the application, sharing
lessons learned, tips and insights to conduct a review of your distribution system and how to collect the data to successfully complete the RP3 process and obtain such an important designation for your utility.
Hometown Connections gives governing officials and employees of community-owned utilities vital information on creating a culture of customer service excellence across the enterprise.
Hometown Connections organizes its customer service consulting and education services around these core areas.
- What is good customer service?
- How to segment customers into categories and identify their specific requirements
- Changing demographics of utility workforce and customers
- Utility customer expectations – today and tomorrow
- The seven hallmarks of utility customer service
- Building customer service around your customers
- Operating with the customer’s needs in mind when building policies and operations
- How to create a culture of customer service
- Identifying and finding the right information to provide the most efficient and effective customer service can be a challenge. Understanding how to protect customers privacy while using their information presents additional concerns. In today’s digital world, providing the right information, at the right time, can set the tone for how customers feel about their experience with your organization.Working on the front lines, you are the voice of the customer and have unique insight into what they need and how quickly. Hometown Connections will help you understand the key elements of an information governance program and learn how to:
- Assess your customer information maturity
- Identify and classify customer information for the best customer experience
- Understand the difference between information and data
- Protect customer privacy
- Work with information technology teams to build an Information Governance Program
Leadership & Employee Development
To maximize the performance of utility personnel, Hometown Connections consultants offer leadership training and employee development services.
Leading from where you are is the focus of our development and enhancement programs. Whether you need one-on-one assistance at any level, or tools to bring teams together, we can help with non-positional leadership, emerging leaders, leadership enhancement, and executive leadership.
- Accountability and Personal Responsibility
- Communication Techniques
- Conflict and Negotiation
- Organizational Agility
- Team Building
- Relationship Building
- Making Employees #1
- Problem Solving
Organizational Modernization News
Industry Veteran Marc Gerken Brings Expertise in Public Power Business Operations to Hometown Connections Staff
Vast experience will help Hometown develop next generation of metering and cybersecurity managed services.
Long professional history of leading public power utilities to excellence.
Branndon Kelley Brings Utility Technology Management Expertise To Hometown Connections Board of Directors
Representing Co-owner American Municipal Power, Inc.