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Plug the Revenue Leak: A Case Study on Utility Billing Operations Optimization

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Utilities continue to face the challenge of “doing more with less”. Under such financial constraints, it is critical for utilities to effectively manage revenue generation while reducing costs through enhanced productivity. In many municipal utilities billing operations have evolved over a period of time, tempered with advances in technology. Without adequate and periodic operations review, business procedures, work flow, and technology can get out of alignment, causing inefficiencies and ultimately impacting revenue generation.

This paper presents a systematic approach that can be used to achieve operational efficiencies, and to optimize technology utilization, with the goal of enhancing revenue capture. The billing operations optimization process is presented using, as a case study, the utility billing operations optimization study performed at the City of Wilmington, DE.

A five step process used in the operations review is discussed along with an overview of the formation of multi-divisional working groups, and a discussion on the implementation process. The paper also presents the tangible benefits derived from process optimization, and the lessons learned.
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Keywords: Coordination; Implementation; Meter Services; Performance Measures; Problem Diagnostics; Process Review; User fee billing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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