Rural Nebraska Cooperative Jumps Aboard the e-Train

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In the heart of the Panhandle of Nebraska, you will find booming communities experiencing continued growth and prosperous dreams. These communities have become sites for many activities and new businesses. With economic growth, we see new residents and a demand for new services. "As the communities grow, so does the demand for technology," states Aavo Taaler, Manager of Wheat Belt PPD. "With the continued growth in our area, we want to offer services to meet the customer’s needs." What is the new technology? E-commerce services for the customers of Wheat Belt PPD. "It is not enough to offer a web site," states Taaler. "Through research and review, it was determined we needed to offer an Internet service to our customers. Today’s busy customer has to have the ability to do business via the Internet 24 hours a day and seven days a week," Mr. Taaler explains. In March 1999, Kiplinger’s magazine predicted the then - $100 billion Internet market would skyrocket to a staggering $3 trillion in the next four years. Those customers that do not feel they need Internet service today, will most likely feel they can’t live without it tomorrow. Growth in Internet use demonstrates that customers love it. Companies are rethinking how to serve today’s savvy Internet-educated customer. "Technology is changing so fast, that you can’t stand by with a "wait and see" mind set," states Pam Wieser, Business Manager. "We jumped at the opportunity to work with Professional Computer Systems (PCS) on this product." "Wheat Belt PPD will use PCS e-Manager product as our e-Commerce solution. The e-Manager will allow our utility customers access to their account information, provide the ability to pay on-line, view consumption history, and view what programs and services are available to the customer. PCS developed this application with the customer in mind. The simplicity makes it easy for even the beginner to log on and take advantage of the new service." "What made us decide to jump aboard the e-train? The knowledge of PCS staff and their ability to focus on our business direction. We had to have an application that would meet our needs as a utility and also be "user friendly" for our customers. PCS offered the "total solution" by providing products and support to launch this new technology. Wheat Belt’s management wants to be number one in customer care and support. We want our rural customers to have all the amenities that the big city customer enjoys when it becomes available. We began the idea in June of 2000 and plan to have a live on-line e-commerce product to offer our customers in September 2000!" states Taaler. Wheat Belt serves over 4,500 customers and covers approximately 2,500 square miles of the southern portion of the Nebraska panhandle. To view the web site, visit www.wheatbelt.com.
Professional Computer Systems Company

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