Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sweet Satisfaction for the Low, Low Price of Free

By David Tyler, BMS Marketing Manager   

BMS Cookies: Sign, Sealed, Delivered

When December rolls around, Christmas cards isn’t the only big project on the Black Mountain Software Marketing team’s “To Do” list.  December is the month our Sales and Marketing staff members get together and decide on the components of the upcoming year’s direct mail and conference programs – basically, we plan our key outreach efforts to prospective clients.  From a mind-boggling array of options, we choose the gift we will customize and mail in early March to prospective fund accounting and utility billing software clients.  The giveaway gift item will then begin making appearances at our conference booths across the country shortly thereafter. Read more >

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FAQ’s about Smart Meters and Why They are Leaving Some Concerned

Elster A3 ALPHA type A30 single-phase kWh smar...While many joke that utilities and government adapt to new technologies slower than most publicly-owned companies, one area where government and utilities seem to be advancing their technology quickly is by introducing smart meters and automated meter reading to their service territories.

The reason larger utilities have quickly adopted this technology is the perceived cost benefits, accuracy, and access to real-time information.  But smaller governments and utilities have sometimes hesitated to install these meters because of public perception.

What are smart meters?  Smart meters are electrical meters that record consumption of water, gas or energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicate that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Read more >

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Chronicles of a Montana County Road Warrior at the MACo Conference

by: David Morton, Customer Solutions Coordinator and Guest Blogger for the BMS County Traveling Road Show Series

These are the chronicles of one David Morton, road warrior on a mission to solve client problems for Black Mountain’s Governmental Accounting Software.  What you are about to read is real.

February 19, 2013 – Montana Association of Counties (MACo) Mid-winter Conference, Helena MT

A still shot from our 2013 video testimonial series shot at the MACo Conference.

I stopped by 1680 Aspen Street. It was my first stop at our Helena office since I started traveling around the state. After meeting relatively new BMS Utility Billing employees Mike, Mark, and Barbara for the first time, I was also able to say, “howdy-do” to Julia, Jen and Ian, followed by a 45 minute visit with Wayne. Read more >

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Benefits of Smart Meters for Small Districts

Smart Meter, Boring topic

Smart meters may seem like a big move for small districts.  The average smart meter costs a customer $2 – $4 per per month during implementation and deployment, which can seem (initially) like a costly venture, requiring a lot of public persuasion. But more and more small and mid-size utilities are finding that upgrading their infrastructure to smart meters is ultimately cost-effective and beneficial to their district, because smart meters enhance efficiency, reliability, and security of electrical, gas, and water operations.

Though many customers may initially believe that smart meters only benefit the district or utility, they often come to realize that smart meters are advantageous to the customer as well.   Read more >

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City Clerk Salary: How Much Money Does a City Clerk Make?

How Much Money Does a City Clerk Make (City Clerk Salary Infographic)Last month, we asked our blog readers and members of our LinkedIn Group, The City Clerk Cafe, to participate in a city clerk salary survey to find out how much city clerks get paid. We wanted to paint an accurate picture of how much money a city clerk employee actually makes. We asked our over 700 Clerk Café members to participate, and that’s exactly what they did!

What we found was very interesting!

What didn’t surprise us:

  • City clerks have girl power. Of those who responded, 80 percent were female.  Despite a world where gender roles are changing, it seems the role of the city clerk employee still mostly belongs to the women.
Read more >
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Heartbeat Data Monitoring

Inevitable business-process and workplace changes mean that providing excellence is a moving target and must be chased. We at BMS take very seriously the quality of the tools we provide to our customers. We have a fundamental drive to know what is going smoothly, and where things are less smooth in your daily workflow, so that we can continue to provide excellent products.

We know that your workday and responsibilities change over time. This requires that the tools you use to do your job also change to meet these new challenges. When possible, we try to predict the course of these workplace changes to have solutions ready for you when you arrive. Read more >

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Chronicles of a Montana County Road Warrior in Central Montana (Guest Blog)

by: David Morton, Customer Solutions Coordinator and Guest Blogger for the BMS County Traveling Road Show Series

These are the chronicles of one David Morton, road warrior on a mission to solve client problems for Black Mountain’s Governmental Accounting Software.  What you are about to read is real.

January 29 – February 1, 2013: Golden Valley, Stillwater, Carbon, Rosebud, (maybe Custer), Judith Basin.

THE PLAN:

Tues 1/29: 2pm, Golden Valley meeting with Treasurer Craig and C&R Mary Lu. Staying at Columbus Super 8.

Wed 1/30: 9am, Stillwater County meeting Treasurer Beverly McMurry and 11am, Joe Morse.

Wed 1/30: 2pm, Carbon County meeting Administrative Assistant Angela Newell and 3pm, Treasurer Jane Swanson-Webb. Read more >

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Is the Majority Always Right?

via www.slapupsidethehead.com

Majority rules, right?  But is “majority rules” always right?

In a council, a majority can change policy, make policy, and determine how a city, district, or school is governed.  That’s a lot of power for a council of say, seven, where a “majority” may actually be a three-to-three tie, and one wavering vote changes policy.

Raised under the idea of democracy and “majority rules,” we are conditioned to believe that the majority vote is fair.  And generally, that’s true.  True, if all conditions are favorable to a cohesive, thoughtful vote.  But conditions in a board meeting or council meeting can get intense, volatile, passionate, and hurried–all factors that can flaw the process. Read more >

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