Streamline - Winter 2012 - (Page 23)

How to Get a BY CARL BROWN, PRESIDENT CARL BROWN CONSULTING, LLC AND GETTINGGREATRATES.COM JUST MAYBE, YOU Great Rate Analyst Rate analysts are shysters, hucksters and money-grubbing crooks. – Anonymous have met such a “service provider.” More likely, you have met or heard about a service provider who is well-meaning, but they just are not suited to this line of work. There are also some pretty good service providers out there. Regrettably, great rate analysts are scarce, but they do exist. Whether someone is a full-blown crook or just a bad service provider, this is a big problem. Yes, there are the few utilities that get taken to the cleaners. But because of the horror stories that circulate, there are many more that shy away from having their rates analyzed at all. That leads to bad rates, which leads to mad ratepayers and poorly funded systems. Despite the horror stories, you can get a great rate analyst at the right time for reasonable fees with almost no risk. You just need to go about it properly. What is proper? • Talking very little, specifying even less • Listening carefully to prospective rate analysts • Making it easy for them to propose to you • Critically evaluating their proposals • Checking their references, guarantee and proposed fees What is not proper? • Mailing a 10-page written RFP to every service provider you can find • Not verifying that your prospects are actually rate analysts • Not talking with prospects • Taking two months to get the analyst on board • Paying a fortune As you would imagine, soliciting and selecting the right rate analyst requires attention to more why, when and how-to details than this. Those details are in the Rate Analyst Guide. This is a free download at You do not have to register, give your email address or anything else. This guide is written by a 19-year veteran of rate analysis. The guide also includes a link to a free model request for qualifications and proposals in Microsoft Word format. Use the guide and the RFP to get this critical task right. But wait! Your Association initiated the Virginia RATES Program to fill this niche. By all means, read the guide, but go through the RATES Program and you can short circuit most of the solicitation tasks because they are built into the Program. Visit Carlbrownconsulting. com and click the link at the bottom of the page to learn more. To conclude: When utility ownership costs were low, rates were low, so unfair rate structures were no big deal. Costs are no longer low. Rates must go up. That means fairness now counts. You need higher but fair and appropriate rates at reasonable cost. A great rate analyst will get you there. Carl Brown is President of Carl Brown Consulting, LLC, specializing in water, sewer and other utility rate analysis; and, home of many rate setting tools. Contact: 573-619-3411 or Despite the horror stories, you can get a great rate analyst at the right time for reasonable fees with almost no risk. You just need to go about it properly. 23 http://www.GETTINGGREATRATES.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2012

From the President
From the Executive Director
Groundwater in the Karst Landscape
There’s a Chill in the Air!
Chloramines in Question
Preventative (Planned) Maintenance II
What About Water Rates?
How to Get a Great Rate Analyst
Membership Directory
Wastewater Math
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/

Streamline - Winter 2012