Metering Billing CRM/CIS Americas


Tim J. Smith, PhD
Founder and CEO, Wiglaf Pricing

Published March 31, 2004

The Metering Billing CRM/CIS Americas 2004 conference organized by Spintelligent was distinguished by a depth of information provided through speaker sessions, development of professional relations created during refreshment breaks, and identification of opportunities and possibilities through the matching of needs.

Entering with the voice of reason, Compos Mentis clarified the importance of this meeting and others like it. Remaining incognito behind a backlit screen to protect his professional standing, he stressed the importance of executives to take charge of their part of their industry with the mantra that CEOs are paid to make good things happen and prevent bad things from happening.

To draw the correlation between executive decisions and advanced technologies and processes for metering, billing, CRM and CIS in utilities, Compos Mentis used FirstEnergy as anecdotal evidence. FirstEnergy is the Ohio utility whose poor tree-trimming program and transmission grid outage management business processes initiated the darkening power-outage of August 14, 2003 that affected 50 million North Americans. FirstEnergy is also the Ohio utility that has no AMR deployment and has not sent any representative to the Metering Billing CRM/CIS Americas conference or a prior distribution management conference. These two decisions both indicate that the CEO of FirstEnergy is clearly behind the curb with respect to both making good things happen and preventing bad things from happening.

Making good things happen and preventing bad things from happening is the purpose of events like Metering Billing CRM/CIS Americas. The growing importance of this meeting is indicated by the shear number of individuals registered and in attendance, up 20% from last year’s meeting.

As the closing-session speaker on the future of this industry, I had the pleasure of engaging many individuals and detecting shifts. The following articles and discussions are aimed at revealing these shifts. For readers that do not play in this industry, we hope you will be able to draw analogies between this industry and your own. For readers in this industry, we are confident that you will find the following notations highly useful.

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About The Author

Tim J. Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Wiglaf Pricing, an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Economics at DePaul University, and the author of Pricing Done Right (Wiley 2016) and Pricing Strategy (Cengage 2012). At Wiglaf Pricing, Tim leads client engagements. Smith’s popular business book, Pricing Done Right: The Pricing Framework Proven Successful by the World’s Most Profitable Companies, was noted by Dennis Stone, CEO of Overhead Door Corp, as "Essential reading… While many books cover the concepts of pricing, Pricing Done Right goes the additional step of applying the concepts in the real world." Tim’s textbook, Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures, has been described by independent reviewers as “the most comprehensive pricing strategy book” on the market. As well as serving as the Academic Advisor to the Professional Pricing Society’s Certified Pricing Professional program, Tim is a member of the American Marketing Association and American Physical Society. He holds a BS in Physics and Chemistry from Southern Methodist University, a BA in Mathematics from Southern Methodist University, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago, and an MBA with high honors in Strategy and Marketing from the University of Chicago GSB.