Tag Archives: office effeciency

Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Your Utility Billing Printing

print-mail-statements-invoices-mailing

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 >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Partners, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Your Utility Billing Printing

How Many Monitors Are Too Many?

By: Julia Caro, Utility Billing Support Team Lead

One, two, three, four…do you have multiple monitors, like two or more?

Tim Mielke, Utility Billing Support Specialist, uses three!

In our office it’s not just convenient, it’s a necessity!

Do you need more than one, we can’t say…but these pros and cons can help decide in a big, big way.

Pros of multiple monitors:

  • Multiple monitors can increase productivity.
  • Multiple monitors allow the user to open multiple programs to be viewed simultaneously.
  • More monitors mean more resolution options, so windows are easier to read.
  • With more monitors, the need to write notes on paper is decreased.
Read more >
Posted in BMS Products, BMS Staff, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on How Many Monitors Are Too Many?

Trend Alert – Dropbox and Similar Cloud Services

We’ve been notified of a trend happening, and no, we’re not talking colored denim and tribal prints!  We’re talking about Dropbox, a cloud-related service where your photos, documents, and videos are stored virtually and can be accessed from your phone, computer, laptop, or reader.  Why are people flocking towards Dropbox and similar cloud services?

  • Simplicity.  Work from any computer or internet device and your work is automatically saved to the cloud.  Files are never unintentionally lost, moved, or stored on the wrong devise.
  • File Sharing. Because everything is stored in this virtual space, there is no need for CD’s, USB drives, or emailing of files for future access.
  • Read more >
    Posted in Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Trend Alert – Dropbox and Similar Cloud Services

    Doing More With Less is As Easy As 1, 2, 3 (4 and 5)!

    Paperwork

    City and government budgets are tight as ever, and clerks are being asked to do more with less.  In fact, a recent survey suggests that “being asked to do more with less” is the biggest challenge for government workers today.

    While we are still a few decades away from being able to clone worker-versions of ourselves like in the movie “Multiplicity”, clerks across the country are finding ways to do more with fewer resources.  So while the deliverables and expectations may continue to grow, clerks are getting more clever and efficient with their jobs.

    Here are five things you can do to lighten the load at work, which will help improve efficiency and lighten your load. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Small Cities | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Doing More With Less is As Easy As 1, 2, 3 (4 and 5)!

    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.  There are a variety of solutions such as clouds and data recovery services to prevent catastrophic data failures from happening, but data failures do happen, and they are usually the byproduct of a few failed practices.  A recent study by IT Whitepaper discusses the reasons for most of these failures in their paper “When Good Backups Go Bad: Data Recovery Failures and What To Do About Them“:

    Failure to Backup All Data – The easiest way to recover lost data is to backup ALL data on regular basis.  While most organizations backup a portion of their data–about 60 percent–less than half backup all of their data.  This means that in case of a catastrophic event, 40 percent of data (including emails, documents, applications, and customer data) would be lost. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Reasons Data Backups Fail

    The Benefits of Cloud Apps

    Cloud Computing ImageFirst virtual offices, now virtual servers. Is this the future of information storage and access?

    The Buzzword: Cloud Computing.

    What It Is: Unlike a network server, which is a physical entity, cloud computing is a service where resources, information, and software can be accessed by multiple computers over a larger network (i.e. the Internet).

    This “virtual server” can be accessed by anyone in the “network” anytime, from any computer; allowing for easy access to applications and sharing of information between users. Because of easy transfer of applications and maintenance of software, more and more customers are migrating towards clouds and away from purchasing software because cloud computing creates efficiency. Read more >

    Posted in BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The Benefits of Cloud Apps

    Have No Fear, Help Is Here (and it’s online!)

    English: A button icon with the text "CLI...

    Isn’t good customer service about the small things?  Like a friendly voice on the line, an available employee to help, or a knowledgeable support specialist to answer questions?  We think so! And that’s why Black Mountain Software is pleased to introduce our new online help system. Currently available in all of our Accounting Software products and coming soon for our Utility Billing products, live help is just a click away (just run Live Update at your earliest convenience to activate).

    What’s so great about the new help system? The new online help is a dynamic, web-based help system. This means we have the ability to add new help content anytime, anywhere, and it is available for viewing by the customer immediately. Read more >

    Posted in BMS Products, BMS Staff, BMS Tech Tips, School Software, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Have No Fear, Help Is Here (and it’s online!)

    It IS easy to be green!

    This year, for Earth Day, Black Mountain Software’s offices are spreading a little green–literally–by planting trees! The Utility Billing office in Helena will be planting trees and shrubs around the perimeter of their office building, while the Accounting office in Polson will remove a dead tree outside their office and replace it with a new one. Some Accounting staff members also plan to be getting their hands dirty in the Polson Community Garden, which helps feed local families with donations to the local food bank.

    Are you looking for easy ways to “green” your business all year long, while also saving time and money? Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Events, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on It IS easy to be green!

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