As I mentioned in the last Utility Information Pipeline, I’m now a freelance consultant. When you find yourself out of work with no warning (as I did four weeks ago), you pivot to what you know best. For me, that’s helping utilities operate more efficiently and better serve their customers.
After the last newsletter, a reader reached out asking for more details about what a business review involved. After explaining it to this person, I thought others may also also benefit from a more detailed explanation.
What is the purpose of a business review?
A business review is a good way to ensure that your utility business office is operating as efficiently as possible. It’s always helpful to get an outside perspective, especially from someone who has been exposed to numerous other business offices, to see how well your office is operating.
Just as your annual financial audit doesn’t imply that anything underhanded is going on, neither does a business review infer that anyone in your office is doing anything wrong. Rather, it is an opportunity to ensure your utility is following best practices and taking advantage of the latest developments and advances in the industry.
“It was beneficial to have Gary put a fresh set of eyes on our processes. He recommended some ideas I had never thought of before.”
The office manager of a utility I recently conducted a business review for summed it up this way, “It was beneficial to have Gary put a fresh set of eyes on our processes. He recommended some ideas I had never thought of before.”
What does a business review entail?
Depending on the size of your utility, I will come on-site for one to three days, but generally two days unless your utility is very small or very large. I will start by meeting with the key staff in your office to review any major organizational initiatives or areas of concern. Then I will spend time with each staff member in the office who is responsible for various functional areas, observing and asking questions.
As I observe and ask questions, I take notes to incorporate into my report. My final report is a written report with analysis, recommendations, and an action plan. In addition to the report, if you desire, I will come back and present the report to management or your board. There is no additional cost for the presentation other than travel expenses.
How much does a business review cost?
Now is the ideal time to take advantage of my new independent consultant status! My fees are less than previous employers charged and I’m currently offering an additional discount for the first five utilities who respond to this email and schedule a business review.
If you are interested in learning more, please call me at 919-673-4050 or email me at email@example.com so we can discuss the details.
What are your reservations about a business review?
When I was employed by a software company, I’m sure many utilities were skeptical of contracting for a business review because they were concerned I would have ulterior motives with my recommendations. Now that I am an independent consultant, those concerns are no longer relevant.
“Some of Gary’s most helpful insights were about business and utility billing in general, and not restricted to any specific software or program we were using.”
Here’s another quote from the same manager at the utility where I recently conducted a business review, “Some of Gary’s most helpful insights were about business and utility billing in general, and not restricted to any specific software or program we were using.”
If cost is a concern, in most cases I’m able to save the utility more than my fees, and in some cases much more!
2022 Utility Staffing Survey
Response to the 2022 Utility Staffing Survey is disappointing low from where it has been for previous surveys, so I need your help!
If you haven’t yet completed the 2022 Utility Staffing Survey, please click here to do so. This should take less than five minutes to complete. I will publish the results in future newsletters.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey and please feel free to share it with your peers at other utilities.
© 2022 Gary Sanders