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Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 1998

they can put behind it. Is there any kind of quality of service? What does the brand name mean and is there anything to back it up?

"[If] there's no advantages to be gained¼ it's just a name like a gazillion other names in the marketplace."

The energy company executive says it's going to take as many as 15 million consumers "flowing across a retail infrastructure" to get the scale proportions needed to compete on a national level.

The co-ops have reach, but will they be able to organize to their advantage?

"Will they commit to one common infrastructure so they can get the scale benefits?" the executive asks. "Currently they're organizing state-by-state to provide those solutions¼ will they create a broad consensus across the co-ops to commit to a common back room?

"If they can organize sufficiently to gain the benefits of scale, they could be a competitor."

It looks like there could be an answer to my question. But it's up to Touchstone's partners to discover exactly what they have to do to find it.


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