The City of Barnesville, Minnesota serves 2,600 customers and implemented eLation over five years ago. Barnesville provides telephone, electric, cable, internet, water and wastewater services to their customers. Barnesville details how eLation has improved internal efficiency and helped employees provide a better customer experience.
Barnesville sent out an RFP at the beginning of their selection process when they realized that working with three separate systems for billing and financials was not ideal for their customers or employees. Barnesville’s TEC (Telephone, Electric and Cable) Manager, Guy Swenson says one requirement was the ability to do telco billing, utility billing and financials within one system. “We didn’t want to have 2-3 different [providers] anymore, we just wanted one. Other providers couldn’t do everything we needed or had meter readings as an add-on service. We were looking for a one-stop package. eLation could do it all.”
Maximizing Internal Efficiency
Swenson has been impressed with how eLation has streamlined the billing and printing process. Prior to joining with Innovative Systems, three employees of Barnesville were spending roughly three days a month just printing and collating bills. “Someone would have to build each bill and match the telephone and utility then add in the stuffer, then put it in the envelope along with the payment envelope.” eLation has made the entire process more efficient. Now employees have those three days a month back and reduced waste. Swenson explains, “if you have ever had the privilege of using a folding machine, you know that you will be reprinting some, because it will always destroy a percentage of them.”
Mobile App Benefits During COVID
eLation has several mobile apps to help the staff at Barnesville work from anywhere. Previously, Barnesville relied on paper, scanning and other manual processes. The staff at Barnesville notes that COVID caused issues for everyone, but with eLation their staff was able to adapt and react even if working from home. Now all Barnesville employees are submitting their timesheets on eLation’s mobile app, Reach. “There’s no more paper time sheets. You submit it on the app, it’s really slick. In a couple of cases, staff have iPads and can do everything right on the spot. It cuts down on paper too. It’s a tremendous benefit. No more scanning in or data entry for the timesheets, just review and approve.” Having dependable mobile apps where everything can be done live has contributed to the efficiencies Barnesville experienced with eLation.
Other providers couldn’t do everything we needed or had meter readings as an add-on service. We were looking for a one-stop package. eLation could do it all.”Guy Swenson – City of Barnesville MN
Customer Satisfaction Improved
Helping optimize customer satisfaction has been the greatest benefit to the citizens of Barnesville. “It’s so much easier when everything is on one system. Being able to answer a customer’s questions, especially if they are upset, is huge. I don’t have to push a customer from person to person. Now whomever answers the phone can help them.” Swenson advises other municipalities looking for a new billing system to fully vet the candidates, and look for an enterprise system that is capable of doing everything you need.