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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Impacts of Implementing New Customer Information (Billing) System Into Utility Company’s Human Resources

The implementation of any system means some changes in company management and is it necessary to take into account the motivation of personnel because they will be the final users and they are very important “assets” of company.

A critical factor for implementation is the participation of company’s management during all process of definition of changes and the implementation of changes to ensure the fulfillment of the planned goals. Also, the management is very important for providing direction and in transmission of information to the horizontal and vertical company structure.

Another very important activity is the organization of campaign for propaganda (publicity) of the changes that must be made in the organizational area. The objective of this will be to inform company personnel about the effects of the changes and to explain the new scope and the basic functions which will be assigned to each organizational unit and each position in unit. It will be also necessary to clarify and explain the new role of the payment point that it will have the separated functions as a delivery point for invoices and also as a collection point for payments.

From user’s training point of view, is will be necessary to give the training for each group of users on the correct usage of the functions that system will provide and relate this with the new functions of each unit until the personnel level. That it, the implementation of new processes will be incorporated in training. For some of the users will be very important learn to be confident to start working with computers because up to now their activities were done manually.

With regards to manpower, it may be necessary adjust the existing number of personnel. Initially, we can make the following deductions:
• It will probably be necessary to have more persons for customer services in Commercial office where all front office activities will be done for the following reasons: first is that these personnel will do more activities than how much they do now and second is to respond to the increasing number of clients.
• It may also be necessary to increase the number of personnel in the Call Center when the company will want to give more services to the clients by phone.
• It will be possible to eliminate the number of readers because of change in number of days for reading and the consequent re-distribution of meter reading workload. When company will start to read daily (for residential clients), that means 20 working days per month, the number of meter readers can be reduced significantly.
• It will also be necessary to have persons for the administration of system. This group of personnel must be comprised of IT personnel and commercial area personnel. It is recommended that the administration of system will be assigned to some or all COMPANY personnel who are currently working in the project.
• The necessity to have personnel that will have the responsibilities related to the resolution of anomalies of the system can be covered by personnel who are currently responsible for some billing activities which will be automated when the system is implemented.
• It will probably be necessary to have some personnel who will manage the technical center (planning of work orders, assignment of work orders, and monitoring of completion and resolution of work orders, and updating of information in the system). This group may be comprised of those who are currently managing the similar works but without the support of a computerized system.
• Temporarily, it will be necessary to have additional personnel for technical activities like operators of batch process running and monitoring of Customer Information System. The personnel that maintain the existing systems which will be replaced by the CIS may be transferred to other functions after the CIS is implemented.

Another important factor will be the availability of the personnel. Upon the Customer Information System implementation, there will be functions that must be carried out outside the regular working hours. This is related to the batch operator who can start his tasks only when the users finish their on-line activities. This will also be the case when updates of the system will be implemented. Personnel from System Administration Unit must have shifts (distributed working time) that will cover the daily operation period which may be longer than the official working time of an employee per day.

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