Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why CAA Club Group was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Along with a number of corporate discounts available through CAA membership, CAA Club Group offers a full suite of financial perks and incentives, including signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all, and generous referral bonuses of up to $3,000
- CAA Club Group encourages employees to prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance, a defined contribution pension plan, and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit and 100% premium coverage)
- CAA Club Group recognizes exceptional performance and achievement through a variety of initiatives, including the Applause Program (with redeemable points), long-service awards and the President's Award for employees who consistently exhibit high levels of performance excellence
Diversity sparks innovation at CAA Club Group
Innovation is the driving force behind every program and activity at CAA Club Group, which provides roadside assistance and other services to motorists in South Central Ontario and Manitoba.
"Innovation is about changing with the changing world, growing with our people and our members," says Tony Tsai, CAA's Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications. "Diversity is a key part of innovation - we're in a very diverse market and we need to have the right people."
"Diversity isn't about checking the right boxes, it's about bringing different people together with different perspectives. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is built into the organization. It comes right from the top - we have an exceptionally diverse leadership team and board."
"We nurture diversity of thought and experience and knowledge, so when we look at innovation we have a wide range of people and experiences to draw on."
To illustrate the creative spirit produced by CAA's commitment to diversity and inclusion, Tsai points to two widely different innovations developed in-house and introduced in 2018: the MyPace insurance program and the Gen 2 predictive analytics engine. Both are the first of their kind in Canada.
CAA MyPace provides pay-as-you-go auto insurance, which is particularly beneficial for low-mileage drivers. Using a telematics device connected to a mobile app or web portal, it tracks a vehicle's usage. Customers start with their regular premium and are billed at 1,000-kilometre increments. If the vehicle is driven less than 9,000 kilometres over the course of a year, the annual cost of insurance is reduced. If the mileage is exceeded, the customer pays no more than the regular premium.
Gen 2 is a proprietary system that predicts when and where breakdowns are most likely to occur so CAA can send trucks to those areas before they're needed.
"Our core mission is keeping our members safe," says Tsai. "We handle about 1.2 million roadside calls a year in southern Ontario. Barring extreme weather, Gen 2 has reduced wait times by 15 to 18 per cent." Not only is it the first system of its kind in Canada, he adds, it's also the first for any CAA or AAA club worldwide, and other clubs are looking at implementing it.
"With Gen 2 we apply machine learning algorithms to our data to predict where we'll get the most volume of calls," explains Lena Yam, Product Manager, Roadside Assistance, who has been involved in developing the system almost from the start. "The tool takes into account historical call data as well as current weather and traffic conditions. It has evolved through multiple iterations as patterns emerge, so it's constantly improving."
Yam, a University of Toronto graduate in computer science and mathematics, has been with CAA for six years, starting as a Technical Support Specialist maintaining the road service system and then moving into the IT department, where she's now responsible for overseeing enhancements to the dispatch system.
"I've had the opportunity to work on many different projects," she says, "including the MyPace program, the travel program and roadside programs. I want to emphasize how we're allowed to innovate and use our skills. CAA is such a diverse group of individuals - it has allowed me to grow and learn. When I first started I was anxious about how I'd fit in, but I found it a comfortable environment to be in and grow in."
"It always feels good to be part of an organization that's growing and evolving," agrees Tsai. "We're all about opportunities and growth, looking for the next great thing."