Rock Beats

IT, Finance employees recognized for Utility Billing upgrade implementation ideas

Innovations Awards were recently earned by two teams that came up with innovative ideas to ease the upgrade to the City’s new Utility Billing system.

Jared McArthur, Sasha Lockamy and Salih Horozovic received an Innovations Award for creating a Utility Billing Account Finder Application. When the new Utility Billing System was implemented, all of the Utility Billing Customer Account numbers changed as a result of the new system’s complexity and data schema. Customers needed their Customer Account Number to pay their bills and the new numbers were not yet finalized or issued until they went live with the new system. This resulted in an influx of customer inquiries for obtaining new account numbers. To remedy this, a web application was built for the city website that allows customers to self-serve and lookup their new account numbers. This helped to minimize the amount of calls that flooded the CSR call center and provided a smart solution to the problem at hand. The project saved time by allowing customers to quickly find their new account numbers, improved services to customers by including a self-service app, and saved money and improved morale by reducing staff time spent in the call center.

Irma Mendoza, Jared McArthur, Sasha Lockamy and Sharon Davis also received awards for their work on the Utility Billing Converter Application. With the implementation of the new Utility Billing System, all unique customer account numbers changed, yet payments from customers who signed up for online bill pay had the old, legacy account numbers. A need for a solution to expedite the entry of 2,000-plus payments that were coming in daily (7 days a week) until customers had time to update their account number information through their banking institution. A custom application was built that allowed the daily import file to be uploaded which in turn converted the data into the new format with the new Customer Account Numbers. Many hours of labor were saved daily over many months. The project saved time by omitting the need for manual entry of 2,000-plus payments, improved services to customers by freeing up staff and expediting the payments, saved money by saving staff time and the need for additional temps, improved morale during a stressful process, and improved performance by making entries quicker and requiring no manual entry to be needed.

Have you implemented a rockin’ idea? Do you know a City employee or department who has completed a project that has improved our community?

Fill out an Innovations Award Application or contact a member of our team!