A Story of a Shovel and a Backhoe

We have a funny little saying we like to use here at Black Mountain Software: “Don’t use a shovel when you really need a backhoe.”

If you are asking yourself what that means, let us elaborate.

Shovels are great. They can get the job done, and require very little knowledge or education to use.  But, if you’re trying to dig a swimming pool, you will quickly find that it’s just not enough compared to the scale of the project.

Software, too, can be inadequate to complete the tasks needed for a city, school, utility or municipality efficiently. Often, we find that clients seeking new software are using a shovel, when what they really need is a backhoe. Read more >

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Is Social Media a Part of Your Agency’s Communication Strategy?

tree-1148032_1920#GetInvolved. #CommunityAffairs. #ILoveMyCity.

Are these hashtags a part of your strategy?

Big and small, many cities and communities are upping their communication strategy with social media. It’s in real time, it’s engaging, and for the most part, it’s free! In fact, communities can reach thousands of their constituents in just moments.

While some cities have been quick to adopt this new method of communication, some have been more hesitant. That’s because adopting social media means you no longer control the communication, but let the constituents drive it with their thoughts, comments and concerns.

But creating a social strategy doesn’t have to be completely scary. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Latest News, Office Efficiency, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What To Do If You’re Getting the Paperless Pushback

Paperless Pushback-rev02The idea of going paperless is pretty revolutionary. It cuts down on waste, saves trees, is easier to organize, is easier to find, and creates a searchable document. It has been a topic of much discussion on our LinkedIn Group, The City Clerk Café, which is flooded with tips for successful implementation. So, why then, is there still pushback on going the paperless route?

Change takes time, and generations of individuals who have been working with paper for 10, 20, 30, even 40 years have a hard time exchanging a physical piece of paper for a virtual document. In addition, the prep work of scanning, storing, and organizing paperless information can be overwhelming to some. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Latest News, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Prepping for Back to School in a Three Week Timeline

Back to School. Those three little words have the power to overwhelm almost immediately. The saying, “You eat an elephant one bite at a time” comes to mind when thinking about Back to School prep. As you and your family prepare to go from summer daze to school days, remember to do so by planning your to-do’s over the course of weeks, and not days, so you can digest that elephant one bite at a time.

A Back to School Preparation Timeline

3 weeks before school starts:

  • Begin with taking an inventory of your child’s clothing. Discard items that are too small by reselling or donating the items to charity (don’t forget to grab a receipt for end of year tax purposes!).
  • Read more >
    Posted in Back to School Tips, Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Benefits of Going Paperless with a Tablet

    a storage room with Computer Network hub

    Tablets are quickly becoming every city administrator and office superstar’s favorite way to keep it all together in the office, abroad, and at conferences. You can keep all of your files in one place and the best part—it’s all portable! Since there’s been a lot of chatter about the benefits of going paperless with a tablet in our LinkedIn Group, City Clerk Café, we thought we would share these reasons to go paperless with you.

    Five Benefits of Going Paperless

    1. Cuts back on paper waste
    Not only does cutting back on paper waste benefit you because all of your files can be found in one place instead of scattered throughout various file folders, but it cuts back on the amount of paper you’re using in general. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

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