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.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gathering Meter Infomation

Meter (Submeter) it is the important entity to be gathered and it applies for the services previously reported as legal and founded as metered service at the moment of the visit.

All the meters (or submeters) will be gathered related to a service. A supporting document will show the meter information available in the current system. However, surveyor should report the meter information in the field. Field information is considered to be more updated and correct information compared to the data in the system.

Note: The surveyors will report the information of meters and/or submeters in the cases when they have access to meter location. Each service can have one or more meters and in turn a meter can to have one or more submeters.

When a surveyor find more than one meters in the meter chamber, the capture of the information is recommended starting from right to left and from top to bottom (for Arabic speaking countries). Refer to figure for example of capturing sequence.

This order in gathering sequence will be used for reading sequence in the future.
Note: Surveyor has to consider the reporting order of meters in a meter chamber to be the order of reporting services as well.

Similar to gathering service information, knowledge of technician is important when gathering meter information to ensure the correctness of information. Surveyor should be familiar with different cases that could happen on meter information and its technical information.

It is of extremely important that the surveyors know the relation between service and its meters. Included here are the types of meters that are measuring the service. Knowledge of technician could be used to identify different scenarios that they could encounter (more than one meter, meter and sub-meter relation, more than one type of meter – active/reactive meters).

During field gathering, surveyors will have meter catalogue preloaded in his HHU. This meter catalogue is available with pictures to help surveyors identify the correct meter information during gathering. Once surveyor identifies the brand and model of the meter, they need to input information of meter number and its status.

When the meter to be gathered is not available in meter catalog, surveyors have to report the complete information of these meters.

Monday, May 14, 2007

DG Cut Over Procedure

During data gathering process, it is not advisable to have changes in field data nor BW data. Changes of data could impact the accuracy of data gathered during the field.

In exceptional cases, changes of data are unavoidable due to new contracts and meter exchange for broken meters. These changes should be recorded in separate procedures so that DG team can report the changes to CSS project for further actions.

This data gathering cut over procedure document is to describe the procedures that should be followed when there are new contracts, contract modifications, contract terminations, and meter exchange during field data gathering.


• Account: defines the financial relationship between the Company and the Customer that is: which services are grouped to be paid together, who pays the invoices and how (method of payment).
• Customer: is an individual or corporate entity who has a relationship with the Company as a Contract Holder, as Payer or as Owner of the property.
• Service: defines the service being offered by the Company to the Customer (usually bounded by a service contract between the Company and the Customer).
• “Large Customer”: services currently managed in the Large Customers Divisions in Company at the level of Region. In this classification are included services with low power contracted (small services).
• “Small Customers”: services currently managed in the Small Customer Divisions (Billing Windows) under Service Bureaus.
• Data Gathering Management System (DGMS): Data Gathering system to be installed at each Data Gathering Center (per sub-deparment) to accommodate Data Gathering Process.
• Billing Window (BW): Current Company billing window that handles most of commercial activities.

continue to next posting...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Auditing Gathered Data

Gathered data will be audited daily to verify the information obtained by surveyors. The process of auditing will be done in the field when surveyors do the field gathering.

At the beginning of day, DGC Head will plan and identify 20% of surveyor teams that will be audited. DGC head and Reading Supervisors, then, meet the surveyors in the field and take their HHU for auditing. DGC Head will check 10 entities from HHU. These entities data could be property, meter chamber, services, meter and submeter. For each of the entities, DGC Head will confirm the correctness of gathered data based on his observation in field.

The DGC Head will register the audit results in the audit formats. The DGC Head will inform the errors to related surveyors and suggest the data modification needed. Lastly, DGC Head has to guide surveyors so that they will not continue repeating the same error.

After finish auditing, surveyor can continue the work.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Resources For Data Gathering

As it has been mentioned in the document that the most important resources in the execution of the field campaigns are the surveyors (readers and technicians). These personnel will be the responsible for the gathering of data in site. The basic team will be composed by a reader and technician.

Likewise, it is of equally importance that the DGC Head, reading supervisor, and back office to follow up of the schedules and maintenance of the information. In addition, they should support the surveyors.

For the launching and follow up of the parallel activities in the DGCs.


The DGC will be composed of:

• Head of DGC (1 per DGC). He will be the responsible for the execution of the campaigns in his subdepartment. His responsibilities are:
o Coordinate the preparation and delivery of the dB for the organization of the field activities (organization of current routes, creation of lots and planning of the field activities) before start of field campaign.
o Guarantee on-time and enough supply of the human resources and necessary materials in the execution of the field campaign.
o Control the progress of the campaigns in their subdepartment and coordinate the necessary measures for the commitment of the deadlines of the schedule.
o Together with Back Office / IT to resolve daily problems like: cable for charging, surveyor performance analysis, HHU problems.
o Coordinate with Centralized Team with regards to problems that can not be resolved in DGC.

• DGC Back Office / IT Support (minimum 2 per DGC). They are responsible for the daily coordination of the field activities and give technical support in the maintenance and use of the tools (software and hardware). Their responsibilities are:
o Participate in the organization of the services corresponding to the Billing Windows (BW) of their subdepartament with the participation of the Reading supervisors of each BW.
o Create in the DGMA and DGMS applications the users and passwords of the personnel in charge of the activities in the DGC.
o Coordinate the daily delivery and reception of lots captured of their subdepartament.
o Control the schedules of gathering of their subdepartament and together with DGC Head take the respective measures for the good execution of the campaigns.
o Record the attendance of the Surveyors.
o Carry out the correction of the errors detected by the validations of the DGMS. Coordinate with IT staff (Local or Centralized) of subdepartment data to help with the correction.
o Control the status of the HHU assigned to their DGC and coordinate with DGC Head their replacement when necessary.
o Give technical support to the Supervisors in the use and maintenance of the DGMA.
o Coordinate with the Centralized IT, the correction of the problems that is not possible to resolve at local site.
o Guarantee the on-time delivery (daily when LAN is available or weekly if LAN is not available) of the dB from the Local Data Gathering Center to the Centralized IT Team.

• Reading Supervisor (as needed per DGC). They are responsible for the management and follow up of surveyors. Their responsibilities are:
o Participate together with the Back Office (IT) Team in the organization of the services, creation of lots and planning of the works in the subdepartments.
o Give support to the Back Office in the creation of user name and passwords in DGMA and DGMS.
o Daily audit the performance of surveyors and remind surveyors to gather based on the methodology defined
o Coordinate with the surveyors with regards to the problems in the field.
o Control the daily attendance of the surveyors.
o Control the performance of the surveyors and to coordinate with the DGC Head the necessary measures to improve the performance and avoid deviations from the planned schedule.
o Plan the lot for re-gathering.
o Validate in field if necessary the information gathered and validated by DGMS.

• Surveyors (Readers and Technicians). They will be the responsible for the capture of entities in the field gathering. Their responsibilities are:
o Carry out the gathering of field campaign with quality and fulfilling the deadlines settled by the DGC Head.
o Report all the situations that could affect the execution of the campaign.
o Taking care of the tools assigned for the execution of the campaign.

Note: The number of surveyors in each subdepartament will depend on the established schedule of activities for each one of them and on the same personnel's capacities.

Note: The IT Support can be performed by Back Office as well.


The Region Team will be responsible to follow up the operation and administrative activities of each DGC under his Region. He is also responsible to push each DGC to finish the field campaign based on schedules that have been agreed with DG Project Managers before the gathering starts.

• DG Region Coordinator (1 per Region). He is in charge of the general execution of the campaigns in his Region. Their responsibilities are:
o Establish and agree the schedules with DG Project regarding the field DG in his region.
o Provide necessary resources for the execution of the campaigns in the subdepartments that belong to the region.
o Follow up DG Centers' performance and progress. Analyze its commitment to the established deadlines and take the necessary actions for the better performance of the campaigns. Follow up should be done as well by visiting DGC.
o Together with DG Center Head to prepare action plan for problems arise in DG Centers
o Monitor the progress of Conversion Cutover procedures in the region. For new service procedure, he should ensure that the data is given to Centralized IT Team monthly.


The Centralized Team will be in charge of the integral follow up of the operative and administrative activities of DG in the Regions, consolidation of the information of the campaigns and its treatment for further processes.

Central Organization this conformed by.

• DG Project Manager. Their responsibilities are.
o Reporting to the steering committee.
o Directing, supervising, controlling and co-coordinating the data gathering project.
o Supervising and providing information on compliance with the guidelines established by the Steering committee.
o Ensuring that COMPANY achieves the project’s objectives.
o Controlling the projects' monthly progress reports and their consolidation.
o Control the progress of DG in each region.
o Participating in the steering committee, providing information on general progress in the projects and of the more important critical points, which should be detailed if so required by the respective DG Managers.
o Managing the project's human and material resources.
o Review and approve all deliverables.
o Coordinating with Region Team regarding the availability of resources for DG purposes.

• IT Support (1). Is the responsible of giving technical support to the Regions and Local Organizations (DGC) in the maintenance and use of the assigned tools (software and hardware). Their responsibilities are:
o Give technical support to the Local IT in the use and maintenance of the local applications.
o Propose, analyze and carry out the proposals of improvement for the tools and applications designed for the campaign.
o Revise and correct the errors that appear in the use of the tools (those errors that it is not feasible to correct at local level.
o Gather and give the appropriate treatment to the DG dB coming from the regions.
o Once updated in the centralized DGMS extract and submit to Region Coordinators the progress report of their Regions.

• Cut Over / In house Assistant (1). Is the responsible for:
o Execute and coordinate of in house campaigns.
o Execute and coordinate cut over procedure with region team.
o Coordinate the submitting of the required information for the campaigns.

• GIS Team (1). The primary functions will be as follows:
o Preparation of offices layers in GIS.
o Preparation of address structure in GIS
o Suggesting enhanced reading routes and schedules in GIS.
o Carry out the activities above with the schedules defined by DG Project Managers.

• Training Team (as needed). Team composes of COMPANY personnel is responsible of transferring the knowledge to the operative personnel to be used in the campaigns. The primary functions will be as follows:
o Identify the needs of training the execution of DG campaigns.
o Design the training schedules according the DG campaigns schedule.
o Coordinate the availability of training rooms and others miscellaneous items (projector, HHU, applications, documentation, etc.).
o Carry out the trainings of master trainers and final users of the applications and tools used in the DG campaigns.

Additionally, the Centralized team will perform the necessary knowledge transfer to DGC to correct performance of DGC.