For Immediate Release
Oct. 23, 2020
Contact: Mike Morton
Bluestem Electric Cooperative to Move Office Staff Under One Roof to Realize Substantial Savings and Gain Efficiencies
Field Staff/Line Crew to continue operating out of Clay Center as usual
Wamego, KS - At its Oct. 19 meeting, Bluestem Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees approved a plan to move the co-op’s Clay Center office staff of three employees to its Wamego office effective Feb. 1, 2021. This office and staff consolidation will create a projected savings for the member-owned electric co-op of around $900,000 over a 10-year period, and will improve office operation efficiencies by having the entire office operations team under one roof.
“Every decision we make at Bluestem is a mission-focused decision and always made to better serve our members,” said Mike Morton, Bluestem general manager. “We want to be able to look our members in the eyes and tell them what we are doing to maintain stable rates and hold costs down, while continuing to provide safe and reliable service.”
Morton emphasized that all current Clay Center office staff will continue to be employed and the cost savings come purely from the elimination of duplicate building expenses and the consolidation of staff duties.
Morton also said moving the office staff under one roof will result in a smoother workflow between departments. “Employees work better as a team in-person and are able to build rapport with their co-workers, plus it improves internal communications and business operations, which ultimately results in improved service levels for our members,” Morton said.
The Bluestem line crew based in Clay Center will continue to work from the current Clay Center warehouse located at 610 Pomeroy. Having a warehouse for the field staff, trucks and equipment in the Clay Center area allows for optimum response times for Bluestem consumer-members located in Districts 1 & 2 of the 11-county area Bluestem serves.
In continuing its commitment to the Clay Center community, the co-op hopes to eventually build or relocate to a larger warehouse within the Clay Center area in the near future. Bluestem will also continue its membership in the Clay Center Chamber of Commerce and Clay County Economic Development Group, continue to offer community safety training events, participate in the business expos and continue to support the local students with scholarships and other academic awards.
“Cooperative principle No. 7 is concern for community, so while Bluestem focuses on its mission of providing safe and reliable electric energy to our consumer-members as efficiently and economically as possible, we’re also interested in the sustainable development of the communities we serve throughout the Bluestem service territory, and this will never change,” Morton said.
Bluestem Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a nonprofit and member-owned electric cooperative. Bluestem Electric provides its members with quality electric service at the lowest reasonable cost consistent with good business practices. Bluestem serves Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee, Jackson, Clay, Washington, Cloud, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary and Marshall counties.