Customer Management System

There are tons of systems out there trying to improve business processes of utility companies in general or electric companies in specific.

The key is still doing the re-engineering process well and the application system will just a tool to follow the processes. I put some of my thoughts about Electric Management System in this blog. Feel free to read and comment.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Internal Communication in Implementing Customer Management System (CMS)

The need of internal communication exists in every society or human group. The COMPANY current situation makes it is necessary to set up a program of internal communication that will specify the problems that can occur. Hereafter is a proposal of some measures to be taken.

Mission of internal communication:

To create and to maintain communication channels so that the information about the new business and operative measures, flows easily through the different levels of the organization.

Objectives of internal communication:

To involve people in the integration with the new actions, supporting the communication and motivation inside the Company. The key objective is the total staff commitment in the development of the new strategy.
To transmit Key messages of the Plan of Improvement within COMPANY itself.

Problems of internal communication:

• Information – quantity, quality, content, form, time (sometimes the staff has limited information or the information has not a satisfying content or the information is available very late).

• Communication channels – Companies normally have insufficient communication channels. Not all-possible channels of communication are used. Many times staff itself is not informed, the information does not flow fluently and/or it is blocked between certain levels. (i.e. the superior does not inform subordinates in the organizational unit).

• Human factor – this is the most complicated factor related to internal communication. Some people have problems to accept the changes that are carried out in the company. They try to reject the changes. Our suggestion is to focus on minimizing these aspects.

• Culture and the level of computer literacy – This reflects how deeply-rooted the old system is. With special regard to the aspects of work organization and human factor motivation. This is relevant to assess how possible a change is both in work organization and processes and whether the Company can assume a new organizational structure or a change in job’s functions.

Solution of problems:

• Information – each information item must have its “own adequate quality standard” (representing: information value and guarantee of accuracy) and must be available at the right time. The Company has to explain to its staff the strategy for the coming periods and what goals the Company wants to achieve. And, since one of the Company’s objectives is the CMS implementation, the staff must feel that it is involved in the fulfillment of the goals and must be motivated to participate. It is very important to prepare different ways and details of information depending on the target group of personnel (passing the information to managers might be different than passing it to the personnel who will operate the new system on a daily basis.). Furthermore, there are different levels of details about how to inform the different groups of people (for some groups it is enough to make a presentation of the main subjects and for others it is necessary to go into details). Besides that, the timing for communication is very important. The Company should start with the communication from the beginning of the implementation and do it over all the period of implementation.

• Communication channels – It is necessary to improve existing channels and create new ones. The Company should analyze the possible channels of communication depending on types of audience (using company magazine or newspaper, e-mail, web site of the company, meetings, specific bulletins, video, photos, etc). Suggestions are:
1. To increase the number of internal e-mail users
2. To issue the internal magazine with abundant content, written in an attractive style and high professional standard. The internal magazine should be sent to every employee monthly to the employee’s address. The magazine should feature articles about employees, departments, and future perspectives. Employees should feel in the center of interest of the Company.
3. To install a letterbox in the lobby, where employees have the possibility to drop a letter with questions about the future of the Company.
4. To hold meetings and professional consultation.
5. To establish a telephone service to answer employees’ questions about the changes, the future of the Company future, etc.
6. To create a department for communication and information that should answer employees’ calls, organize issuing and distribution of leaflets, arrange the contacts with personnel. This department would be responsible for internal communication and for transmitting the information to employees.

• Human resources – within this area it is important to establish a positive relationship between the staff and the Company, encouraging a feeling of pride for being part of the organization, and a positive outlook for the future. It is necessary to define clearly when the results will be achieved, to compare used resources and effort done. First, we recommend COMPANY to define the mission and philosophy of the organization. Then, through information channels and with the support of training and of the management, to move the mission forward to employees. Employees can identify themselves with the mission and philosophy of the Company. Motivation of the staff is essential for a better understanding of the changes the Company will carry out (for example to allow personnel to change the qualification for new job positions).

• Culture of organization – This is connected with a good image of the Company. COMPANY is an exceptional organization that started to carry out changes in commercial areas and to offer better service to customers. To achieve all this, it is necessary to define the tasks and to carry out them efficiently and with a high quality standard.
1. At the same time, we cannot forget the employees – to create good conditions and to offer them social advantages. It is important to appropriately motivate the staff, providing ways to improve their qualifications (in accordance with the implementation of CMS). Each employee has to be sure his work is important for the Company.
2. We suggest management sending a birthday card to every employee.

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