Customer success is at the core of our strategy. We succeed by creating happy customers. We make our customers happy by helping to make them successful.
To provide valuable products and expertise to our customers, we need to be more than just smart, we need to be disciplined about seeking and attaining continuous improvement.
Enlightened awareness comes from cultivating our self-awareness and extending that awareness into the world around us. When we act with enlightened awareness, our good character shows in our decisions, and others find it easy to trust us and are excited to work with us.
Our connectedness reflects the compassion we have for each other. Only when we are passionate about connecting can we build the collaborative practice necessary for our customers to succeed and for us to continuously improve.
How Our Values Are Interrelated
Customer Success is central to our strategy. We are able to achieve that success by living the mutually reinforcing values of Continuous Improvement, Enlightened Awareness, and Connectedness.
The Vision of an Iconic Company
Our vision is to be an iconic company.
Being an iconic company means having an exemplary reputation, the kind of reputation that can only be built in partnership with our customers, the fruit of hard-won successes achieved together. It means being a company that people aspire to work for and with.
It’s a great privilege to support the energy industry because power is an essential commodity. The success of our customers can have a very real and positive impact on humanity. It means more efficient power plants, less dependency on fossil fuels, lower emissions, a more reliable and resilient grid, and lower electricity bills for consumers.
Put simply, PCI reduces emissions and energy bills by helping to optimize the grid.
Progress in the energy industry is never going to stop. Change is continuous, and we need to continuously improve to meet that challenge and ensure the continued success of our customers.
Our Values in Action
After thirty years of holding to these values, we have more examples of them in action than we can count, but a few can stand in for many.
How a PCI Customer Experienced Our Values
John Bonin, former VP of Energy Supply and Market Operations, experienced how PCI actively lives our value of customer success when his company, CPS Energy, was left without a system for operating in the ERCOT market after a strategic partner was bought out.
“We were going to be dead in the water,” John said, “Six months from a cold start is not enough time.”
CPS fast-tracked an RFP that PCI won. From the beginning, John could feel PCI’s value of connectedness in the remarkable amount of attention that CPS received, “The PCI team sat with us in our office and taught us everything we needed to do.” But the transition wasn’t easy, “We sent schedules through to ERCOT, and they weren’t acknowledged because they weren’t right yet.”
“Your balanced energy schedule has to be in at 10 o’clock the day before. So the very first one that we sent in that didn’t get kicked back was at 9:45. It was that close,” explained John. “If we hadn’t gotten it in, it would have been a mess.”
This project was seriously challenging for everyone involved, and PCI proved themselves to be a true partner, laser-focused on their customer’s success. “Partnership is crucial,” John said. “That process with PCI was the best and the quickest procurement process I’ve ever been through.”
The result was a better system for CPS, one that embodies continuous improvement. “I was very impressed with how well PCI responded to the issues and changes in the market,” John said, “We’ve stayed loyal because of the performance we’ve experienced.”
How a Former PCI Intern Experienced Our Values
It’s a rare company that can retain talent for decades, but that’s just what PCI has done.
According to founder Fred Lee, if you’re looking to embody PCI’s cultural values, you need to look no further than a one-time intern and current PCI President Javier Martin.
“There is no better role model for the company’s values,” Fred said, “That’s why he’s the President.”
Javier started as an intern at PCI. He began work on his enlightened awareness as a young man, though perhaps he wouldn’t have expressed it to himself in those words. Nevertheless, those who worked with him were impressed with his drive to make decisions for the greater good and came to trust him.
Embracing connectedness, Javier transferred to work on MISO, where he would get exposure to large market systems working with some of the most experienced talent at PCI, folks like Khai Le. As a Product Manager, he took on ever more responsibility within the company, always championing customer success and doing whatever it took to make sure PCI’s customers succeeded. He took these valuable experiences and used them as grist for the mill of continuous improvement and growth as an industry expert in his own right.
“The way we embody our values for our customers has been a critical factor in PCI’s success,” explained Javier, “and our customers feel that their success is the most important thing to us. Moreover, it’s one of the things that they enjoy the most about working with us.”
How Our Values Inform Decisions Today
A few years ago, PCI decided to make a massive investment in our technology infrastructure. The challenge was how to make that investment without negatively impacting any of our existing customers. Our focus on customer success ensured that no customers could be left behind.
The solution came from a well-thought-through proposal created by the VP of Architecture and Engineering, Antonio Lopez. It charted a clear path for the company that would allow us to keep living the value of continuous improvement by upgrading our infrastructure while contributing to the continued customer success of not just some of our customers, but all of them.
Javier believes we have found a “progressive and practical” approach that would bring all our customers along with us. “It is an excellent example of our values in action,” he continued.
Our goal is for customers to experience PCI’s values just as tangibly through their interactions with our software as they experience them with our team.
This blog post was compiled from notes taken during a culture presentation by company founder Fred Lee.