Tag Archives: Black Mountain

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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Time Saver Tip: P-Card Credit Card Management Software by BMS

English: mock credit card statementAre you already enjoying or still just thinking about getting in on the BMO P-Card rebates that MASBO is sharing with Montana school districts which use BMO’s Procurement Card (P-Card)? The P-Card and most bank credit cards offer sophisticated controls and aid in reducing paperwork. Rebates based on use activity are making P-Cards a particularly hot topic. They seem like the sweetest thing since Splenda!

As sweet as it all seems, tracking credit cards and vendor purchases can be quite a task for the school district clerk. For example, maybe you need to find an invoice but can’t remember when the item was purchased. Read more >

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Small Town Stories: Town of Circle, MT

We love to “circle” the 24 states where Black Mountain Software has customers, in search of Small Town Stories, and our latest stop is the Town of Circle, Montana!

Recently, the Town of Circle happened to become Black Mountain Software’s 300th Montana customer. We decided to celebrate this milestone by delivering a $300 check to the Circle Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture to use toward their annual Town & Country Day expenses. Emily Guldborg, Treasurer for the Chamber and Manager of the McCone County Credit Union, responded that they “greatly appreciated” the extra monies for their event, which celebrates the region’s rich agriculture and ranching industries (the area’s main economic driving force). Read more >

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Chronicles of a Montana Road Warrior – HE LIVES!

2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited photographed ...Guest Blog by David Morton, Customer Solutions Coordinator

Thursday, July 31, 2014

“Something of interest must have occurred in the last 12 months, Mr. Morton!” exclaimed BMS Marketing Director, Mrs. Smith, as she searched an empty file labeled “David’s Recent Travel Articles.”

I looked at my inquisitor, eyes half-lidded, the guile of a 5-year-old plainly on my face. “If I could remember something interesting, I would gladly tell you,” oozed lazy-like out of my mouth.

“Well, Mr. Morton, today you seem no more professional than a 5-year-old. If you don’t remember interesting things, how can we believe anything you’ve ever told us is true?”

I was tempted to quote from an ancient Tom Cruise movie, but knew she would simply respond with, “Oh, how cliché” and then with certainty I would have replied, “NO! Read more >

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Utility Billing Software Enhancements: Autopay, Email, and Paperless Billing

English: email envelopeAny more, few of us remember the days of typewriters, carbon paper, and hand-written bills. As we continue to embrace technology, even those who grew up in the days of massive paper files can find ways to execute their very own Paper Reduction Act.

Monthly billings don’t come without mixed feelings at the offices of most Black Mountain Software Utility Billing clients. It’s what they do, and it makes their world turn, but it can be so much work with most municipal utility billing systems: print the bills, sort the bills, and stuff them in envelopes. Then there’s the postage and the post office, and their job doesn’t stop there! Read more >

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Scholarship-Winner Binfet’s Essay on “The Role of Technology on Education.”

Flat Classroom SkypeWhat role should technology play in education? That’s quite a big question for any one person to answer! And that is why we are so impressed with Kyla Binfet of West Yellowstone (MT) High School! She is the 2014 Black Mountain Software Scholarship winner for her essay “What Role Should Technology Play in Education?”

Kyla is one of 260 applicants who applied for the 2014 Black Mountain Software $500 Higher Education Scholarship, available to Montana High School graduating seniors who plan to pursue higher education. With that $500 scholarship, Kyla will be attending Trine University in Angola, Indiana (formally known as Tri-State University). Read more >

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Every Data Storage Device WILL Fail! What You Need to Know

Replacing File:Handbuch Webdesign-InternetDate...Believe it or not, “Every data storage device will fail at some point in time. Every server will fail at some point in time. Every electrical grid will experience an outage at some point in time. And, every Internet Service Provider will experience an outage at some point in time.” — Thomas Toblin, 5 FAQs Municipalities Ask About Hosted Billing & Web Billing Software Providers for Utility Billing Services.

These are the realities of data security, and why more people are looking at Cloud-hosted software in an effort to reduce data security risks.

These vulnerabilities – and the potential to reduce them for our clients – are the very reason Black Mountain Software recently selected Amazon as our infrastructure-as-a-service partner for our hosted accounting and billing software. Read more >

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Tips for Office Moves

Ah the pains of moving.  The drywall dust in your coffee, the banging of a hammer while on the phone, and the unorthodox placement of common office equipment like the copy machine.  It’s anything but pleasant, and here at Black Mountain Software, we are feeling the everyday pains of both moving an office and converting a once-residential property into a corporate office. Which is why we thought the timing of an article on easing the pains of an office move was perfect!

Tips for Office Moves

Get the details.  Find out where your new office will be, what kind of office arrangement has been determined, and when the move will take place. Read more >

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Summertime, and the (utility) billing’s easy…

English: Impact Sprinkler Mechanism Français :...Don’t you wish calculating and billing sewer usage charges was as easy as…turning a faucet?  With Black Mountain Software’s usage averaging features, it can be!

Many of our water and sewer customers bill more than a flat rate for sewer charges.  Since water usage is a metered and measurable number, many utilities calculate sewer usage by calculating the amount of sewer expected to flow based on the amount of water used.

In warmer months, customers water their lawns and gardens. During this time, water goes into the ground instead of the sewer system, so it’s unfair to charge for sewer based fully on water usage. Read more >

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Cross-pollination: What Software and Search and Rescue Have in Common

What is the corporate case for supporting employee volunteerism?  That question is being asked by more and more businesses.  But if you ask Black Mountain Software, we already know the answer.

We are proud of the depth and breadth of volunteerism our employees display, and we know just what this volunteer work means to our business: better innovation, engaged employees, connection with the community, and valuable skill sets which help make better business decisions.

When skill sets are put to use outside of office, it offers employees intellectual and emotional insight into solving problems and seeking opportunities.  Volunteerism allows volunteers to gain experience and try out new skill sets which they then apply to their everyday jobs; overall reducing risk, developing their skills, building alliances, and hence, growing their business. Read more >

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