Regional District of Central Okanagan continues to improve efficiency with iCity® software.
Who doesn't enjoy reading a success story about one of their clients?
Recently, a news outlet in the Okanagan published a story that the Regional District of the Central Okanagan was going paperless with respect to issuing utility bills. The timing was impeccable as the Canada Post labour dispute was also front and centre of the news. We can't help but admire the proactive approach of the RDCO. They identified a possible threat at a critical time and by using the tools available, came up with a solution before the threat became a problem.
The RDCO joined the Vadim Software community in 1981 and we continue to maintain a constructive business relationship. Have there been problems over the years? Of course, but through communication we are able to work together and solve problems.
In 2012, the RDCO added iCity® Online (at the time, titled VadimOPEN) to their Vadim product suite. By using iCity® Online, time and money saving possibilities began to be utilized. Clients could now be empowered to serve themselves by creating online accounts, updating their own personal information, and paying their bills online. That meant the time that it would normally take a staff member to complete these tasks, would now become available for further RDCO improvement initiatives.
However, the RDCO recognized that iCity® Online was more than just a time saver. It was a revenue generator.
In 2013, RDCO implemented the Pet Licence module of iCity® Online. Residents in Kelowna were encouraged to register pets for free by the end of October. I wasn't the only staff member at Vadim HQ that took advantage of this offering. In fact, the main reasons I had not registered was that I couldn’t seem to prioritize the time it took to make a personal appearance at the RDCO offices. The offer sign I passed on the street every day, to and from work, was a continual reminder to make time plus the ‘free’ registration was incentive to make it happen. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one facing this dilemma. Since then, RDCO registered pets has increased from approximately 8,000 to 21,000 - an increase of 263%.
Wow. An additional 13,000 animals were now accounted for and licenced. In terms of math, based on the $20 registration fee for spayed or neutered animals, RDCO annual revenue jumped by $260,000. An increase that more than covers the cost of software.
I enjoyed my free licence for a few months and then shortly into the new year, lo and behold, I received a pet licence renewal email complete with a link to create an online account and pay my pet licence from the comfort of my couch. How convenient.
You don’t have to renew. You could choose instead to save your money and expect a visit from bylaw officers. That will cost you more. However, that $20 goes a long way because shortly thereafter, my prized pooch went on a five day walkabout but her RDCO licence hanging around her neck, had all my information attached to it for a safe return home. Needless to say, pet licencing compliance was on the rise.
So back to the paperless billing for utilities.
Aside from the staff time spent stuffing envelopes, ebilling for utilities is a cost-saving revenue boost. With approximately 3329 utility accounts, if everyone subscribed to ebilling, RDCO could realize a potential saving of the cost of envelopes 3329 x .12 = $399.48. Add a stamp and savings increase by 3329 x .80 = 2,663.20. That is an annual cost savings of $ $3,062.68. (Visit CANADA POST for stamp/envelope pricing).
Within three years of implementing iCity® Online, the RDCO, through cost savings and innovative revenue generation opportunities, has increased their budget by $263,062.68.
That is what we call Building Better Communities.