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The Path to Better Service: Arming Utility Staff and Customers with Automated Solutions

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The three main themes the discussion focused on include:

  1. When going through an AMI implementation, utilities surrender half of the benefit of their investment by not supplying a solution for customers.
  2. Customers want to be informed. Automated solutions alert customers early on and allow utility staff to operate in a more proactive manner.
  3. Your utility doesn’t need to have AMI to make use of its meter data in valuable ways. There is great value in engaging customers and communicating with them no matter the meter system.


Jeff Price is the Director of Water Utilities with the City of Mansfield, Texas.  Jeff’s career with Mansfield Water Utilities began 23 years ago literally in-trenched in operations.  Having advanced through the ranks, Jeff has held most positions within Mansfield Water Utilities and believes his passion for community service and servant leadership is born from his commitment to the community from which he grew up. Jeff is an A Water operator in the State of Texas and has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and is the current President of the Texas Municipal Utilities Association.

Margaret Schwarz is the Resolution Center Supervisor for the Village of Glenview, Illinois. Margaret has been an employee of the Village for over 10 years. She has experience processing payroll, creating the budget, was the Purchasing Manager for the Village for six years and just recently in October 2018 took the position of the Resolution Center Supervisor. The Resolution Center “RC” is the main call center for the Village which handles all water utility billing services, processes all resident work order requests, answers resident questions, and finds the correct resource in the Village to respond to resident issues. She has been a project manager for Village wide software implementations. She was a part of procuring the automated meters used for water billing and also in procuring WaterSmart. Now as part of the RC, she manages the water billing process. She uses data from the automated meters which flow into WaterSmart which provides a resident friendly tool to manage their water usage. Margaret is known for hosting social gatherings to build comradery between different departments. Each year she hosts National Hot Dog Day, an event where staff gatherings together to celebrate the “Chicago style” hot dog.  Margaret can be reached by email or phone anytime to answer questions and discuss her experience as a utility manager.