Category Archives: Latest News

Welcome to Colquitt, Georgia

“The Spirit Farmer” (aka “The Peanut Farmer”)
on 100 ft. tall Birdsong Peanut Company Silo,
dedicated in 2010, 27,000 sq. ft. mural handpainted
with rollers by Charlie Johnston.

We love a good underdog story, especially when it involves one of our clients. Colquitt, Georgia has a rich history and like many small towns, has had its fair share of adversity to overcome. After its population peak in the 50s, the influx of new technology led to the loss of low-skilled farming jobs and the outsourcing of manufacturing gigs.

By the early 90s, the town was dying and it broke lifer Joy Jinks’ heart. Read more >

Posted in City Clerk Cafe, Customer Spotlight, Latest News, Small Cities, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Smile On the Other End Of the Line: Good Phone Etiquette

Have you ever heard that a smile can be heard over the phone? We have, and we believe it to be true! And that’s why this week—Customer Service Week (which falls on the first week of October this year)—is a big deal for us.

Not only is Customer Service Week the time of year to celebrate the progress we’ve made providing quality, in-house customer service, but it’s also a time for us to reflect upon the service we provide and determine how we can improve our customer engagements.

While we realize that good customer service should describe every business/customer interaction, because so much of our support comes after the installation of our products and over the phone, we thought we’d focus on one key aspect of customer service: phone etiquette. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Events, BMS Staff, City Clerk Cafe, Latest News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Importance of City Permitting and How BMS Can Help

Permitting is an important and necessary process for cities and towns that controls and regulates construction to ensure that all work is done according to municipal code. It can be a long and arduous process for both the applicant and the municipality, but it is necessary to sustain the economic interests, safety, and growth of any community.

Why City Permitting is Important:

  • Permitting regulates and controls construction to ensure work meets codes and city ordinances
  • Permitting helps ensure work has been done safely and inspected (if required)
  • Permitting helps enforce safety, convenience, and aesthetic standards for the city
  • Aids in establishing and maintaining property information
  • Helps enforce zoning laws
  • Permitting protects residential and commercial property value
  • Permitting helps track growth and plan for future development of land, utilities, and public services

Though this process is generally a tedious one, Black Mountain Software offers a Permitting module designed to assist and streamline your city’s efforts. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, Government Accounting Standards, Latest News, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Importance of Continued Education

As fall approaches and children, teens and college students head back to school, consider what continued education could do for you. Even if you think an un-pursued interest of yours—interior design, writing, graphics—has nothing to do with your current work, dedicating time to learning a new skill fosters so much more than what appears on the surface. The very pursuit of knowledge can lead to improved health and overall happiness.

At Black Mountain Software, we believe in the continued effort to sharpen the brain through sustained learning. That’s why we offer a series of courses and publish educational information throughout the year to help our clients gain new skills and create understanding of topics related to technology, accounting, and human resources (check out our Event Calendar). Read more >

Posted in Back to School Tips, Best Practices, Latest News, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Bury Your Head In The Sand Over Cemetery Management

It’s one of those things you never think about until it’s too late: cemetery management.

Often, clients don’t see the need for it until it’s a problem: a plot sold that is not available, a record that needs to be found, or an error that’s been discovered. These mishaps can be tragic for those who assume their family’s generations-worth of  plot records will be properly managed and recorded.

Poor plot management plagues the cemetery industry. Cash-strapped agencies with mismanaged funds have led to a litany of instances regarding incorrect or incomplete recordkeeping, making sacred ground more akin to a battleground. And, if that weren’t enough, these issues are not usually addressed until long after a problem is discovered. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, Latest News, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Onsite Data Storage Can Mean Big Risks

Natural Disasters. Hackers. Malfunctions. Disgruntled Employees.

These are just a few of the things that could lead to a data disaster and put your agency at risk of being unable to recover sensitive and necessary information.

Our data can feel safe, locked away and backed up on a server. But there are still plenty of risks that can be avoided by moving data to the Cloud. That’s because with the Cloud, there is no one single place the data is stored, making it less vulnerable to the following risks.

Risk Factors to Data

Natural Disasters

In the event of a natural disaster, any data stored on a stand-alone computer or server is vulnerable to loss. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Dashboard News, Latest News, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

“The Best Town on Earth”

There are a lot of towns that claim this title, but Upton, Wyoming, actually owns the slogan: “The best town on Earth.” With its vast wildlife population, big-town amenities and rich history, it’s no wonder this little town claims the “best town” title.

 About Upton, Wyoming

 At only 2.96 square miles and with a population of only 1,100, the people in this Wyoming town are dramatically outnumbered by the vast wildlife. Because of the many lakes and streams outside the town’s borders, there is a number of fish species that feed the dense, local wildlife population.

 For the human population, this small little town packs a lot into its tiny footprint. Read more >

Posted in Customer Spotlight, Latest News, Small Cities, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technology Trends in 2017 That Will Change the Way We Live

Despite our love for creature comforts, like the warm voice on the other end of the customer service line, or an office view that is more reminiscent of a mountain resort than a tech outfit, at heart we remain a software company, and therefore prone to technological innovation. So, as we watch the world change and technology with it, we are enthralled to think where it might take us—and our business—in the future.

Remember when technology trends seemed to have decades between them? The rapid evolution of technology is so quick these days that it seems to be changing yearly—sometimes even sooner. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Latest News, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

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 >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Staff, BMS Tech Tips, Latest News, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Leave a comment

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

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