As 2017 winds to a close, let me be one of the first to wish you and yours a Happy New Year for 2018!

This issue marks the seventh anniversary of the Utility Information Pipeline! About seven and a half years ago I had the crazy idea of writing a newsletter to share some of my collected wisdom and experiences from my then nearly 30 years of working with utility business offices.

With encouragement from co-workers and, most importantly, my wife, the Utility Information Pipeline was launched. Here we are, seven years and 171 issues later!

When I first started, I had a ready supply of ideas to write about. Now, seven years later, I’ve used all those ideas (and more!) and have to work a little harder to find inspiration. Some weeks, a conversation with a customer or prospect or a recent listserv post will serve as the source of that week’s newsletter. Other weeks, I have to dig a little deeper. So, if you have ideas or suggestions for a future topic, please feel free to email me.

If you have co-workers or colleagues from other utilities who you feel would benefit from reading this newsletter, please take a minute and forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe.

Looking back on 2017

Listed below are the top five most frequently viewed blog posts in 2017, based on page views:

  1. How much is your late fee?
  2. What are these barcodes on my bills?
  3. Do you have a cash handling policy?
  4. What is your leak adjustment policy?
  5. Intelligent Mail barcodes – are you ready…?

The top five posts from 2017 include:

  1. Invitation to participate in 2017 Utility Fee Survey
  2. Have you considered a third party convenience fee?
  3. 5 easy ways to get more bank draft customers
  4. What should your customer service policy include?
  5. 2017 Utility Fee Survey Results – Part III

Looking ahead to 2018

The coming year will bring about the second bi-annual Utility Staffing Survey. The Utility Staffing Survey, like the Utility Fee Survey in odd number years, will become a regular feature in even numbered years.

As time permits, I continue to update my personal website – www. I’m hoping to unveil some new tools for utilities there this year, as well.

As always, If you have ideas or suggestions for a newsletter topic, please feel free to email me.

Is this a good time to consider a business review?

The dead of winter is sometimes the best time to conduct a business review, when things tend to slow down some. If you’ve been considering a business review as an internal check-up, please give me a call at 919-232-2320 or e-mail me at to discuss a time that’s convenient for you.

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© 2017 Gary Sanders