Tag Archives: Productivity

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Your Utility Billing Printing

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BMS and BDS: they kind of sound the same, and they work really well in conjunction. Black Mountain Software (BMS) has searched long and hard for a billing partner that could meet the specific needs of the utilities we service, and we found that trusted, reliable partner in Billing Document Services (or BDS).

After years of working with US cities and entities on their utility billing, we know one thing for sure: many are short on time, money, and manpower. Outsourcing with quality companies like BDS will reduce this hardship. And because they are a BMS partner, their processes interface seamlessly and efficiently with our software. Read more >

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How To Become More Productive With Less

Even before we recognized there was a Great Recession in the last decade, companies were watching their bottom lines and pulling their belts tighter. So was Government, whose major means of reducing costs is personnel-related, meaning reorganization, layoffs and leaving vacancies open longer. This provides challenges, especially in an operation with one or two employees charged with performing the tasks that keep wheels turning and customers satisfied.

Generally these are dedicated employees, aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives and motivated to make a difference in work and in life. Entities owe it to these champions to enable them to accomplish the tasks at hand and to provide tools and opportunities to keep them engaged and motivated to do their job well. Read more >

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Is Your Workspace Dragging You Down? That Unsightly Mess May Be Why You Feel Stressed

For city clerks and office personnel, on-the-job stress is a common factor. From customer service headaches to technology failures, you are constantly bombarded with situations that test the limits of your patience. While you can’t change that irate customer’s behavior or drop-kick your IT person for another computer crash, you can find out if other factors are only adding to your stress level and hampering job performance. One of the biggest contributors to how you feel throughout the day is right under y our nose, and you may not realize that your desk and office environment are dragging you down.

A messy and disorganized workspace triggerFrustrated_man_at_a_desk_(cropped)s unconscious stress, and contributes to those feelings of being overwhelmed, behind in your work, or claustrophobic. Read more >

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Software Tools for Utility Billing Clerks’ Many Hats

Amsterdam_-_Hats_-_0931When that utility bill comes to a customer’s mailbox, it looks so simple: usage, charges, balance and due date. Perhaps it contains a message about upcoming events or holiday service schedules. But does the customer ever visualize the person who produced and touched the document they now behold?

Who is that person?

In a tiny town, it could be the same person who records the decisions made at City Council meetings, maintains the municipal budget and drives the school bus. In a larger operation, paper bills might be handed off to a mailroom clerk for processing.

Many people (or one person with mega-many hats) often contribute to the complex bundle of scheduled procedures that enable water to flow when the faucet is turned on. Read more >

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How-To Time: Recording Official Meeting Minutes

English: The penultimate Minneapolis City Coun...

The decisions that cities make affect the lives of the residents. It is for that reason that all decisions need a thorough record of how they came to be.  One way to ensure that the decision process is accounted for is to maintain a good record of meeting minutes.  It’s not just a good idea—it’s the law!

The catch is, meeting notes of record are only as good as the clerk who recorded them.

How can you be sure that your meeting minutes make the grade?  By ensuring all major items of record are recorded, and do so using the correct tools and procedures. Read more >

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Reasons Data Backups Fail

Backup Backup Backup - And Test Restores

In an era where cell phones remember phone numbers for us, money can be transferred without ever writing a check, and entire business transactions can be done on the Internet, data has become bigger–and more important–than ever.

But what would happen if that cell phone was lost, or there was no record of that transaction, or the internet was down?  What then?

As more transactions become paperless and digitized, and as the world of business becomes more integrated with IT, our vulnerabilities are growing about as quickly as our data volume.

Truth be told, data dumps, failed backups, and hard drive crashes are not as common or threatening as they once were, and they are preventable.  Read more >

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Lifelong learning: The benefits and the how-to

Coffee Shop, Learning Resource Centre, Edge Hi...

A schoolteacher of mine used to say, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”  Isn’t that so true?  Doesn’t learning ultimately always benefit over having someone do it for you?  Of course it does!  Why?

  • Learning helps us understand.
  • Learning keeps us sharp.
  • Learning makes us an asset at work.
  • Learning keeps us young and up to date on our ever-changing world.
  • Learning builds credibility.
  • Learning makes us enjoyable to work with.
  • An article in Government Technology outlined five ways to keep learning.    With so many options for learning—online, webinars, seminars, in a classroom, community programs, conferences, professional organizations, social media—there are ways for just about any one to expand their learning opportunities, but here are few suggestions:

    1.

    Read more >
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    How to be More Productive at Work in 10 Steps

    clock imageAn hour of planning is worth four hours of doing.  Yes, it’s true.  But for those of us who tend to “put something together before reading the instructions,” occasional gentle reminders of how to effectively plan our day can be a huge help.

     “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort” (Paul J. Meyer).   In order to get the most out of your day, we put together a list of ten tips for a more productive work place.  Ready. Set. Do!

    1.  Get more organized.  Organizing your files and desk will cut down on the amount of time used looking for missing pieces, finding a pencil, or cross-referencing documents.   Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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