Seasoned expert Gary Sanders has partnered together with MuniBilling to help give readers an in-depth look into the world of Utility Billing Systems.
For today's Ask The Expert blog we'll be focusing on how to increase your organization's revenue without raising rates. Learn how to differentiate between rates and fees to successfully increase your organization's revenue!
So tell us, how can we increase revenue if we don't increase rates?
Many utilities consider rate increases to be the only option for generating additional revenue. However, user fees are an often-overlooked source of income to supplement rate revenues.
In this webinar, Gary will present options for fees –some commonly used and others often overlooked –to consider when updating your schedule of fees.
Then what exactly is the difference between rates and fees?
Rates are charged to all ratepayers (customers), based on their class of service, and are often charged based on consumption. On the other hand, fees are charged only to customers who incur that fee.
For example, a returned check fee is only charged to customers who write bad checks and late fees are only charged to customers who don’t pay on time.
Is there anything else we should know about fees?
Fees should recover the full costs, both direct and indirect, of providing the service for which the fee is charged.
For example, a cut-off or reconnect fee should recoup the direct costs for the time spent preparing the cut-off list, disconnecting customers for non-payment, processing the payment, and reconnecting the customer, along with fuel costs for the vehicles involved.
In addition to the direct costs for time and fuel, the fee should also cover indirect costs such as employee benefits, wear and tear on the vehicles, and depreciation.
Since this topic is a part of MuniBilling's webinar series, what will we learn from attending this webinar?
During this webinar, Gary will draw upon the results of the 2021 Utility Fee Survey to present graphically how much other utilities charge for various fees.
This will provide you with insights into fees that might not be included in your fee schedule and others where your fee may be out of line with what your peers are charging.
Gary's 40+ years of experience in the industry has granted him valuable knowledge for any billing entity. With the wealth of his knowledge you can request an Operational Analysis for your organization from him!
You may be wondering, what exactly is an Operational Analysis? Well, it essentially is when Gary looks through ALL of your systems, and interviews your team, to figure out how best you can improve your billing operations.
Here are a few of your organization's systems that Gary will assess:
Service Delivery System
The end goal with this analysis is to figure out how to best save your organization time and money. This could also mean suggesting another company's platform if it's the better fit for YOU.
Gary has hosted his own blog for the past ten years. Some of his more notable credentials is that he has designed, built, implemented, and supported both ERPs and Utility Billing Systems. Thankfully, he's only a hop, skip, and jump away.