Based in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Bridge Solutions Inc. is a specialist in helping major US oil and gas pipeline companies exceed public communication regulation standards and maximise public safety around pipeline projects across America.
With its primary competition coming from direct mail houses, the company's major differentiator is its ability to help pipeline companies exceed regulatory standards for public communication and emergency communication preparedness at a very low cost.
Specialising in maintaining relationships between pipeline operators and their public service stakeholders, the company needed a means streamlining interactions between the company's 600,000 contacts and providing its pipeline operations clients with extremely cost-effective service.
Using Maximizer Enterprise tightly integrated to no less than five other systems, the firm can offer its pipeline clients regulatory compliance solutions at a cost savings of more than 60 per cent over alternative methods. With this tremendous competitive advantage, the company has earned a reputation for high-quality service and taken a significant bite out of its chosen market segment.
The requirement for compliance
In the oil and gas pipeline business, streamlining processes and achieving the lowest total cost of production and delivery are mission-critical imperatives. This usually means securing efficient and cost-effective pipeline solutions and systems.
However, another major consideration and considerable cost for pipeline operators is the requirement to effectively and proactively communicate with the emergency responders and public officials along the "right of way" of new or existing pipelines — the route the pipeline takes along its delivery path.
Recent regulations including The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act 2002 and the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 1162, "Public Awareness Programs for Pipeline Operators" have formalised industry standards for communicating pipeline safety and public awareness across the United States.
Traditionally, pipeline operators have a number of options in terms of complying with regulatory standards such as RP 1162. These include; holding "town hall" meetings and, more commonly, contracting with direct mail houses to launch direct mail campaigns along the right of way of a pipeline.
These tend to be very expensive and of limited effectiveness. (very difficult to measure, an important component in RP1162 — continuing improvements).
Enter Bridge Solutions
Specialising in helping pipeline operators achieve compliance with regulatory requirements, Bridge Solutions has developed and maintained relationships with more than 600, 000 emergency responder agencies and public offices across America — representing the vast majority of the contacts pipeline operators need to communicate with.
Using the firm's E-Compliance suite linked to Maximizer Enterprise, pipelines can conduct highly-segmented e-direct mail and telephone campaigns to their audience and achieve compliance at a dramatically lower cost than traditional methods.
"Our role as pipeline compliance specialists is to build and maintain relationships with the stakeholders of pipeline projects so our clients don't have to," said Tim Edward, president, Bridge Solutions.
"Using Maximizer Enterprise at the heart of our highly-tailored system, we have built out an ecosystem made up of more than six hundred thousand individual emergency responders and public officials. With the system in place, we're at the point where we can literally tell a pipeline exactly who they need to broadcast their communications to, segment out a very accurate list and deliver the message — all at a massive cost savings for the pipeline. It's the flexibility and capacity for tight systems integration of Maximizer Enterprise that makes this possible."
Recognising that traditional regulatory compliance methods were not taking advantage of the latest technological innovations, Bridge Solutions set out to create a system that could harness advanced customer relationship management technologies and deliver better compliance services at a much lower cost.
To make good on this attractive niche, Bridge Solutions needed a flexible and easy-to-use customer relationship management product that could be integrated with the company's proprietary systems and provide Bridge Solutions employees with a single user interface for all corporate systems.
Having experienced considerable success using Maximizer Sales and Contact Manager, the company made the decision to go with Maximizer Enterprise SQL eCRM for enhanced flexibility and improved customisation and integration tools.
With more than 7,500 customers, Maximizer Enterprise is the industry's only proven full-suite customer relationship management product.
The system provides organisations like Bridge Solutions Inc. with complete sales, marketing, customer service and support functionality at a very low total cost of ownership.
With extensive integration to Microsoft Office, including Outlook, users can take advantage of their preferred productivity tools while ensuring that valuable client information is captured and easily accessible for the next interaction.
"To achieve enduring competitive advantage and create customer relationships that lead to long-term business success, it is increasingly important for companies to integrate corporate systems and create a single repository of customer information," said Peter Callaghan, chief sales officer, Maximizer Software.
"Maximizer Enterprise offers robust customisation and configuration capabilities along with tools to speed systems integration. For Bridge Solutions, a tightly-integrated suite of enterprise applications feeding contact information into Maximizer Enterprise has created a very potent competitive differentiator for the firm."
Making sense of the data with systems integration
"Central to our business model is our ability to tie our industry-specific corporate systems together and present the information they are collecting in a way that best benefits our pipeline clients," said Edwards.
"Our ability to instantly pinpoint an emergency responder or public official from the Maximizer Enterprise database on a Google Map, and provide our clients with a five year communication history, goes a very long way towards providing regulatory compliance for the pipeline client.
"Being able to segment to our heart's content in Maximizer — updating contact information with ongoing phone and e-direct surveys ensures that we are always providing our clients with an accurate, highly detailed profi le of the stakeholders surrounding their pipeline."
In order to facilitate the complete compliance cycle of audience collection, segmentation a specific pipeline project, communicating pipeline developments and then reporting on those communications for regulatory compliance Bridge Solutions relies on Maximizer Enterprise with information fed from five other corporate systems.
Before a pipeline client approaches the company for service, Bridge Solutions has already used its proprietary email campaign program along with TAPI phone-integrated phone surveys to build a database of emergency responders and public officials in Maximizer Enterprise.
A campaign bounce manager ensures that the contact details held in the system are up-to-date and accurate. Then, using the company's Manifold GIS system tied to Maximizer Enterprise, the "audience", or group of stakeholders specific to a pipeline project can be quickly displayed on a map — for a graphical representation.
Now, when anyone at Bridge Solutions interacts with an emergency responder or public offi cial, whether via email or telephone, details of the interaction are captured in the Maximizer Enterprise system — ensuring the most accurate audience information for pipeline clients.
"The integration between Maximizer Enterprise and our telephone system allows us to dial contact numbers right out of the system," Edward said.
"In any other business, this would be handy. For us, it's an important element of ensuring regulatory compliance for our clients — because calls and discussions with contacts can be tracked so easily in Maximizer Enterprise."
Return on investment
Because Maximizer Enterprise is at the very heart of the company's industry- leading business processes, the company has achieved tremendous return on its investment in CRM technology.
"When I can take a brand-new employee with no software experience and have them interacting effectively with clients and generating new business in less than five days, I know that the software is paying for itself and then some. We quite literally couldn't our services without Maximizer Enterprise.", said Edwards.
Since deploying Maximizer Enterprise, Bridge Solutions has benefi ted from:
- 35 per cent market share and two of the industry's largest clients
- 60 per cent lower cost services to pipeline clients
- Close integration with more than five other systems
- 100 per cent user adoption
- Precise segmentation of more than two million contracts
- Very short employee training cycles — less than five days
The next phase – client self-service
A key element in Bridge Solutions' market positioning is simplifying compliance for its clients.
Having streamlined the process to a large extent, the next step in the company's innovative use of Maximizer Enterprise will see Bridge Solutions' pipelines clients logging into a secure Maximizer Enterprise Web Customer Portal for self-service.
Using their secure login, companies will be able to access the Maximizer Enterprise system, enter their pipeline's geographic location, plot the contacts they need to communicate with on a map and then deploy communications campaigns — all from within the system.
"With the addition of a secure Customer Portal into Maximizer Enterprise, we'll be able to offer our clients a tremendous amount of autonomy and personalisation in their client experience with us.
Using the system we've already secured 35 per cent of the market available to us. Delivering client self-service through Maximizer Enterprise further builds on our competitiveness and positions us well to extend our market leadership into the future."
"No other CRM package offered us the flexibility to match our company-specific processes and map so seamlessly into our existing systems," Edward said.
"Maximizer Enterprise is also an extremely easy system to learn.
"As a result, every single employee is comfortable using it which allows them to focus on learning the industry — not software."