Secrets to a successful CIS implementation

Posted January 2006

By Melanie Rettie

An up-to-date customer information system (CIS) is an essential component of an effective water utility business. These systems are responsible for a wide range of key business activities including billing, managing credit and collections, tracking water consumption, and responding to customers' needs.

As reported in Secrets to a successful CIS implementation (June 2005 AWWA Journal), having an old or outdated CIS results in decreased functionality and productivity along with increased costs because of repairs. Upgrading or replacing (implementing) a CIS, however, is a daunting task with plenty of room for costly error—a major reason many utilities avoid it. This decision, however, further hinders their ability to address customer needs and meet business challenges. They no longer need to avoid this critical task. Utilities that have successfully implemented CISs share certain practices and traits. This article identifies those and outlines the steps toward a successful implementation.

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