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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Data Gathering

Data gathering is considered important prior to implement Customer Service System. This will serve to gather necessary data that are not present in the current system. In addition, it will clean the data. Remember GIGO.

Field campaign will be managed by sub-department according to the established schedule for each one of them. During the execution of the campaign will be gathered the information regarding the properties, meter chambers, services and meters (and sub-meters). In addition, the global position satellite (GPS) coordinates of the properties will be captured for the purpose locating services in the future. GPS coordination will be used as well for reading routes-itineraries optimization and for the assignment of the services to the Geographical and Administrative Structure of the Company (Commercial, Technical, and Reading offices).

Four entities will be gathered in field campaign. The order represents the hierarchy of the entities. It means that a higher entity can contain more lower entities. For example: A property can contain more than one meter chamber. A meter chamber can contain more than one services, etc.

• Properties (and GPS coordinates).
• Meter Chamber.
• Services.
• Meters (including submeters).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meter Management Module (MMM)

This process describes the movement of meters from the time of request or purchase from the central store.

  • The system handles as meter number the number received from the manufacturer. The system assumes that there is not duplicated number. This number is assigned when introducing a new group of meters. i.e: group 1 (10 meters) – numbers from 30001 to 30010
  • The system allows inquiring the number of meters waiting for calibration /verification in individual months of selected calendar year. Inquiry can be done in graphical form, or in the form of a list. Displaying the necessary data can be done after registering the selection criteria, which are store, type of use and date interval.
  • Meters movements is a key part of the module and allows the registration of all meter movements: receive, sent, reject meters. The reports option allows inquiring and printing the reports of movements of meters between the stores.
  • The system stores a multiplier factor attached to each meter and usage type (active, reactive, demand).
  • It is not a problem for the system to change meters and bill taking into account the readings attached to the removed and new meter. Meter numbers are independent of contract or service point numbers so it is not require to install again the same meter when was replaced for calibration.
  • There are reading anomalies reports and service orders reports that allows tracking of the works done in the field related with meters along with the anomalies detected during the reading.

Current meter numbers and data corresponding to installed meters or meters in stock and laboratory will be entered into the MMM data base according to the conversion team analysis and campaigns.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Information provided to customers (Queries)

The function of queries is used to view information in order to answer questions from customers.

Information about the service points can be viewed immediately, making it possible to advice and inform customers about the options they have when contracting or increasing power, applying for another tariff, or just to answer any questions they may have.

It is also possible to immediately view the status of a specific complaint or any other unsettled issue (billing exception, work order, contacts). This option provides the following kinds of queries:
Inquiry by service point (Current service point data)
After entering a valid selection criterion from the database, it is possible to carry out a whole series of queries in order to answer any question or to settle any complaint presented by a customer. Queries can also be made in order to verify the information provided by a customer.

There are multiple possibilities to access the available information about a specific service point, namely:

• by service point number (SPN) and serial number of the contract for a particular service point
• by meter number and meter brand
• by customer name
• by number and type of customer ID card (national ID number, driver's licence, passport, etc.)
• by service point address
• by bank account number for those with direct debit accounts

Viewing a specific service point displays a big amount of information that can be summarised as:

1. General service data
This provides basic data such as the date of creation of the service, reading and billing frequency and contracted power. It also contains some statistics of the supply at the service related to quantity of unresolved work orders, anomalies, and contacts.  It is also possible to create or view the details of the different Contacts/ Complaints, Service Notes, and Miscellaneous Charges in order to answer any question a customer may have. It is also possible to enter Readings provided by telephone by the Customer. 

2. Inquiry the historical data of service point
This query allows displaying all history of the contract (past contracts due to change in contract holder or contract modification) and allows inquiry on information about the general service data during the validity of the contract.
3. Invoices
This provides general invoice information and corresponding amount outstanding, invoice statuses, and data about payment, in cases when the invoice is already paid.  This also displays the image of the invoice that was issued.

4. Meter and Control Devices
 Meter Devices
This displays the list of meter devices currently installed at a particular service point which including the technical features of each meter device with the respective history of readings obtained.

 Meter Device History
This provides a list of general meter devices information for all meter devices that have been installed in the service point in the past with the respective installation and removal dates. 

 Control Devices
This inquiry provides information related to the control devices of a particular service point (such as circuit breakers, etc.).

 Control Devices
This inquiry provides a list of control device information for all control to the control devices that have been installed in the service point in the past with respective installation and removal dates.

5. Property Data
These option displays the information about the property in which a particular service is supplied (address, reading route and itinerary, reading sequence, and device currently installed in this property).
6. Customer Data
This option allows viewing customer and account information, and the services associated to the account/s of the customer.

7. Customer Debt
This displays the debts that the customer associated to the service has.  Debts are customer-related, so the system sums all the unpaid invoices for all the services and all the accounts that a customer has in the system.

8. Account Information
This provides information about the account (payer's name, billing address, standard/direct debit account specification, bank and bank account data if with direct debit account).

9. Contract
This provides contract data of the service point such as tariff, contracted power, contract type, registration date, termination date, reading and billing cycle, penalty generation information for late payments, as well as ID Pelanggan. Also it displays the graphical association of service points.
10. Billing History
The displays the display the history of usage and bill amount development of a specific service point in diagram form.

11. Billed Usage
This provides data on usage that has been billed, the respective billing dates, billed amounts and other billing information.

12. Connection
This provides a diagram of the connection of the supply – meter chamber – meter point – meter.
13. Requests
This provides data on all requests which was applied for for the selected service point and registered into the system.  Data included registration date, statuses that the request past through and the result of resolution.

Core Modules of Customer Management System

Customer management system should represents the core of the whole system. Its functional modules make it possible to maintain an optimal level of relations between the customer and the company. These basic modules are:

· Customer Service
· Meter Reading
· Billing
· Collection
· Service order
· Accounting Interface

Friday, October 20, 2006

Meter Chamber

One good way of having good meter reading is to plan to have good meter chamber. Meter Chamber is the place where you put all the meters. Usually, meter chambers are used in apartments or property where more than one service exists. Meter Chamber is also used for crowded urban area in order to ease meter reading.

Good management of meter chamber will help readers in doing his jobs. However, open meter chamber like picture shown could be prone to fraud.