Tag Archives: TriWest Healthcare Alliance

customer.service

ASU Center becomes a resource to teach service

Customer service was once viewed as the cost of doing business.

“Across almost every industry, leaders are focusing on service as a way to compete in today’s competitive marketplace,” says Mary Jo Bitner, academic director for the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

But times have changed. Companies that are in search of new revenue streams are finding that in addition to providing great customer service, offering value-added services to their product lines are helping their bottom lines. And the help them make the most of the opportunities, many are seeking help from the ASU Center, which focuses on research and executive education in managing and marketing services.

“Customer demand and the competitive challenges posed by the commoditization of many products has pushed many goods-based companies to take another look at services as a source of revenue and profit,” says Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Services Leadership, who has spent the past 20 years tracking the growing importance of services as a product. “Many are following market leaders to become goods-and-services companies.”

For example, Boeing has broadened its offerings by adding the lucrative market of services to its aircraft manufacturing. The Hewlett Packard and Compaq merger created a new company whose major product is services. IBM’s impressive financials over the past decade — in shining contrast to its competitors — were largely the result of its service businesses.

“In 2001, we were launching our first fee-based service business,” says Steve Church, president of Avnet Integrated and chief corporate business development and planning officer. “We wanted to offer more services and solutions. We knew a lot, but there was a lot we didn’t know.”

Church says Avnet’s membership in the center — which concentrates on expanding service innovation by combining the latest scientific insights from the academic world with the best of business strategy in the real world — allowed the company to “build a culture of service excellence that focuses on the customer and gives each a great customer experience.”

The Center, which was created in 1985, remains the only one of its kind in the United States, devoted to research and education in the services field.  Its research findings form the foundation of the Center’s executive education program, attended by managers and executives of leading firms.  Member companies include AT&T, Charles Schwab and Co., Ford Motor Company, IBM, Mayo Clinic and others, who sponsor research, fund scholarships, host MBA student teams and participate in executive education.

Many member companies sponsor research that is published in academic journals, and shared at the Center’s executive education forums. Bitner, for example, has been studying the effects of self-service technologies (SST), working with Ford and a major pharmaceutical benefits management company.

“The Center is really a tremendous resource for any company that has a strategy to to improve customer serve or add services to augment its products,” Church says. “We learned that by getting our employees engaged in customer service, we built customer loyalty, it helped us compete, and it enhanced our financial performance.”

health care leadership awards - AZ Business Magazine 2011

HCLA 2011- Insurance

Honoree: David J. McIntyre Jr., President and CEO, TriWest Healthcare Alliance

David J. McIntyre Jr., President and CEO of Triwest Healthcare AllianceWith more than 27 years of experience in the health care industry, David J. McIntyre Jr. is the founder, CEO and president of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which offers 2.7 million Americans associated with the military access to high-quality health care in the 21-state TRICARE West Region.

McIntyre travels around those states to meet with health care providers, military leaders, government officials and military support organization leaders to determine the current needs of the military health care system. He also keeps in touch with commanders of National Guard units, nearly 70 military treatment facilities and leaders of Veterans Affairs.

TriWest has responded to the expanding need of military health care since 2001 by educating families on military health care plans and increasing the Arizona provider network, especially in rural areas. TriWest also has initiated a case management program to ensure quality care for the military’s wounded, produced a downloadable CD set about combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder, and supports camps for National Guard and military children. McIntyre leads a team of 1,700 employees, including 900 working in Arizona.

[stextbox id=”grey” image=”http://www.triwest.com/”]http://www.triwest.com/ [/stextbox]


Finalist: Benton Davis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of ArizonaBenton Davis, CEO of UnitedHealthCare of Arizona

As CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Arizona’s Western States, Benton Davis oversees a staff of more than 2,700 employees. Davis makes sure to be involved in all aspects of the company, including sales, customer service, physician relations, and employee recruitment and retention. Under his leadership, patient care has improved, patient readmissions have decreased, and health care costs have been tamed.

One of Davis’ projects is PlanBien, a first-of-its-kind insurance plan targeted at Arizona employers with Hispanic work forces. It offers culturally relevant health information and customer service programs in both Spanish and English, at no extra expense to employers or recipients.

[stextbox id=”grey” image=”http://www.uhc.com/”]http://www.uhc.com/ [/stextbox]

Finalist: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Blue Cross Blue Shield of ArizonaBlue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is a not-for-profit company based in Phoenix that employs more than 1,500 workers.

As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, BCBSAZ strives to provide quality health care to its 1.3 million customers, while also giving back to the community.

One way that BCBSAZ provides quality service is through Walk On!, its key community program. Focusing on reducing obesity among children in Arizona, the program asks fifth-graders to walk at least 10,000 steps a day during a given period of time, while tracking their progress with a tool kit provided through the program. Walk On! is recognized across the nation.

[stextbox id=”grey” image=”http://www.azblue.com/”]http://www.azblue.com/ [/stextbox]

The Arizona Chapter of FEI held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter Of FEI Held Its 4th Annual CFO Of the Year Awards

The Arizona Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) held its fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards on Nov. 4. FEI Arizona presents the CFO of the Year Awards to financial professionals for outstanding performance in their roles as corporate financial stewards. The nominations and awards recognize exemplary financial management in all types of businesses: public, private and nonprofit. An impressive set of independent judges from local business and academia selected the winners based on their contributions to their respective organizations and their involvement in the community. The following CFOs were honored at the event:

Nonprofit CFO of the Year

Mary Jane Rynd Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Virginia G. Piper Charitable TrustMary Jane Rynd
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

 

The talent and drive that Mary Jane Rynd put into becoming the first female partner of a national accounting firm in Arizona is now benefiting one of the state’s largest nonprofits.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Rynd she oversees the investment management of the approximately $500 million endowment of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. She also supervises the trust’s investment consultants and staff in the investment committee of the board of trustees.

For more than a decade before Virginia Piper’s death, Rynd served as the philanthropist’s tax adviser. As a result, Rynd has a full understanding of Piper’s approach to her philanthropy — and translates that every day into the work and spirit of the trust.

“I think I’m really lucky, because the people that I work with are highly motivated, extremely good professionals,” Rynd said.

Among her achievements at the trust is the identification, purchase and complete renovation of the nonprofit’s current offices. Over the past four years, she also has managed the diversification of the trust’s investment portfolio.


Private Company CFO of the Year

Tim Einwechter Chief Financial Officer Ascent Healthcare SolutionsTim Einwechter
Chief Financial Officer
Ascent Healthcare Solutions

 

In his 13 years as chief financial officer, Tim Einwechter has guided his company from a small startup to the $160 million corporation it is today.

When Einwechter began his tenure at the company that was then known as Alliance, he had to deal with cash shortages and other various financial struggles. He aggressively pursued investment capital that allowed the medical device company to take advantage of opportunities in its market. He also initiated a merger in 2005 that allowed the organization to continue growing, and played a key role when Stryker Inc. acquired the company, now known as Ascent Healthcare Solutions, in 2009.

“Life as CFO is not one of simply saying no,” he said. “Rather, it is one of bringing sense of reason to the discussions, understanding the business drivers and supporting what is important to drive the success of the business.”

Beyond the financials, Einwechter is committed to maintaining the ethics that make Ascent a success. In fact, the company’s mission statement of “Results, Integrity, and Quality” was coined by him. Einwechter’s understanding of what makes a business successful, along with a strong focus on ethical behavior, has created a shared ownership of the company’s commitment to integrity.