- Participate in informative sessions
- Exchange ideas and solutions with fellow users
- Learn about offerings available from our Partners that can benefit your organization
Click the link above for more information!
Click the link above for more information!
On a monthly basis, we offer webinars that extend the functionality of BillMaster and Geospatial software products.
Here are our upcoming webinars for December and January.
The first thing I do when I sit down at my computer is reach for the mouse. How could I possibly function without my mouse? It has become so easy for me to forget that there are ways to function beyond the mouse.
When I use our water billing software I often forget to switch my brain over to the keyboard. Back in my early word processing days I remember the cheat sheet that fit over the function keys. It saved hours of time as it provided instant guidance on what keystrokes would get me where. Now, on my road to recovery from being a mouse addict, I’ve come to realize that I want my time back. In my world, I want to be efficient, effective, and go home on time.
In the world of data entry keystrokes are king and the fewer the better. Sure there is a time and place to use the mouse, but if you spend time moving the mouse around and clicking you lose valuable seconds. Take for example our one of our customer lookup features. You could reach for the mouse and move it to the top of the screen and click the icon, then click a lookup field, type information and then click search. Sure, it doesn’t take that long but when you’re looking at doing that up to a hundred times a day you might want to try the keyboard. F3 gets the lookup table to open, tab and entering the first letter of the field you’d like to look up autofills that data, then you’d enter your search information, hit tab and enter and voila! Your search is done in a couple of seconds and push enter on account you’d like to pull up.
I encourage you to find instances throughout your billing software that would allow you to use keystrokes rather than the mouse. I’ve overcome my mouse addiction when it comes to entering payments and looking up account numbers that weren’t included with the payments. It hasn’t been an easy road to recovery but I’m proud to say I don’t reach for my mouse anymore.
Unpaid furlough. Although no employee likes to have an unpaid day of work, it has become a reality for many municipalities around the United States. This is why every moment counts.
I find myself guilty of being stuck in my ways every now and again. I do our billing the same way each month. I have my steps that I follow and they never steer me wrong. What I do tend to forget is that technology and software are constantly changing. The changes are for the better and help speed things along. So I in turn, try to encourage myself to step back and think outside the routine steps. What are those time-saving features that have been released that I’m not putting to good use? We already went to outsourcing our statement printing and E-Bill / E-Pay. I learned that my billing reports are a breeze now that one set of prompts on my reports chains them together so they run one right after the next.
So think about it. What takes you the most time in your daily, weekly, and monthly procedures? Are there ways you can speed up some of those processes? Call your utility billing software techs or sales reps and ask them if there is something that you might be able to do differently. They’ll be your greatest resources in becoming more efficient. Over the long-term, you’ll save time and money, and you’ll enjoy your work more.
“All of us thank you all for the help and unbelievably quick response”. Hearing this is like music to our ears. A client of ours had a major system / hardware failure last week. Their bills needed to go out the next day. Fortunately, they had a local consultant who was familiar with their system, and they had us ready to work with their local consultant. When our client called us, they weren’t concerned about the “solution we provide”; they were concerned about the outcome/result of our efforts. They (and we) were successful because they had the necessary resources available to them quickly.
As a manager, you are bombarded with information about all the things you should be doing to prepare for every conceivable threat. It’s easy to put off or gloss over disaster recovery planning. Coming up in my next few posts will be a ‘top ten’ list of things you should be doing even if disaster never strikes. Number one on that list is and always will be: have a reliable backup.
I know what you’re thinking. You purchased a really nice backup solution last year, and you’re in great shape. Great. Is someone in your organization actually monitoring the success or failure of your backup processes? Daily? When was the last time you actually recovered your data from a backup? If you needed to recover from two days ago, could you consistently reproduce your manual efforts since then? Now that you’ve turned on your heating system for the winter, is your server environment temperature controlled? Are multiple copies of your recent backups offsite?
If you can honestly answer all those questions, you are almost alone based on my anecdotal experience over 30+ years. I will swap unbelievable “war stories” with anyone out there. Having a reliable backup and having the resources to use that backup is not optional.
I’d like to think that every time I call for customer service I’m going to have my question answered quickly and on the spot. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this. So, in the spirit of good customer relations I try to do the same when someone calls with a question. Now granted, I know I’m not going to be able to answer everything that comes through, so I know my limits and quickly pass the customer on to someone who can answer the question. Recently I’ve been wondering how I could speed up the answering process and if our clients sometimes experience the same problems.
There are the questions that you know are coming and could answer them without even opening the account information. Then there are questions that take a little more time and effort. These are the questions for which I’d like to improve my customer service. Usually there is some sort of account research involved and a little bit of problem-solving to figure out what went wrong. Once you’ve got it figured out, you give yourself a little pat on the back for solving the mystery. Then you continue on with your next customer or your next task and forget all about it.
Although these questions might be infrequent, you know they are coming. I’ve decided to stop reinventing the wheel. With my new cheat sheets I’m creating as Word documents and writing my own help in the customizable help screen in our Utility Billing Software application. So instead of just giving myself a pat on the back, I’m going to increase my efficiency and help myself.