I’ve written previously about minimizing days of exposure, and it’s a topic that deserves revisiting.
Components of days of exposure
If you remember, the total days of exposure is comprised of six different components:
- Days between meter readings
- Days until bills are mailed
- Days until due date
- Days until bills are delinquent
- Days until final notice is mailed
- Days until cut-off
One of the areas you have the most control over is how many days elapse between reading meters and mailing bills.
An actual scenario
Recently, while visiting with a customer, I asked the manager how long it takes them after reading meters to review the meter readings, calculate bills and send the bill file to the outsource printer.
The answer, which took me totally by surprise, was three weeks. When I questioned this, the response was the billing staff says that’s how long it takes. I didn’t press the issue, although I strongly suspected this may be a case of the TTWWADI syndrome.
The conversation continued on to how a particular customer’s misread meter was handled. The manager went to get the paperwork for the specific case in question and it turns out two full weeks had passed between the date the meter reading edit list was printed and when the field technician reread the meter.
How long does it take you?
I can think of no good reason why it should take two full weeks to get a reread returned to the office.
How long does it take your office between reading meters and mailing bills? Please take a moment to take this quick poll and I’ll publish the results in the next issue.
Is your office guilty of this?
The billing clerks for this customer are new hires since the system was installed and could probably benefit from followup training. I wasn’t even conducting a business review and this customer benefited from free consulting. Just imagine what a complete business review might discover!
If you think the way you process rereads (or do anything else in your office, for that matter) takes longer than it should, please give me a call at 919-232-2320 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how a business review could help your utility.
© 2015 Gary Sanders