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.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Standard Reports for Customer Management System in Utility Company

The module “Reporting or Management Information System” should provide comprehensive information concerning the Commercial activities necessary for the company’s management. The functions “Alarms” and “Inquiries” can serve this purpose.

Alarms serve to monitor selected indexes, which are important for the company’s management. The indexes have flag-shaped labels, whose colour changes depending on the reached index value according to pre-set limits. These alarms make it possible for the responsible employees to quickly establish what Commercial areas are trouble-free and, on the contrary, which ones present an unfavourable development allowing them to take the necessary measures.

Inquiries display comprehensible information about the selected Commercial management area of the Distribution Company and can be displayed in text or graphic form. Selecting information can be restricted to specific periods, query types and other conditions (the different types of queries are described later in this chapter).

To provide the necessary information, the module should use of the following queries:

This query displays information about the service point-readings that have to be or have been processed by the readings module within the selected period. This query displays the number of service points planned for reading in the selected period, the number of service points for which a theoretical reading date has been Generated, the number of already read service points, as well as the ratio Readings – theoretical reading date, and the ratio Performed readings – total number of planned readings.

This query displays the results of the readings performed in a specific period of time. The first to appear is the total number of readings with the respectively Generated theoretical reading date. It also specifies the number of real and exceptional readings, of not-performed readings due to customer absence, and the total number of not-performed readings.

This query displays the daily billing course, namely the number of billed supplies as of a specific day, billed amount usage, the advance billed amount, the ratio Supply billed by usage estimation – total billed usage.

This query displays the following monthly billing information: number of billed supplies, total billed usage in local currency, volume of billed technical units in local currency. This query has two windows. The second one contains the billing details: the total arrears/overpayments, the usage billed amount, the billed fixed charge, the billed miscellaneous charges, the VAT included in the prices and the advance billed amount.

This query allows viewing the information once the billing has taken place. This information includes the total number of processed supplies, the number of supplies billed according to reading and according to estimation, the number of exception bills, the total billed usage, the total billed amount and the billed advances.

This query displays all the information concerning the types of bill rules other than energy usage bills, indicates temporary supply bills, contract charges, frauds, miscellaneous charges, instalments, advance collection, deposits, etc. within a specific period.

This query display the exceptions registered in a specific period of time, their settlement and the average settlement time.

This query displays the initial (at the beginning of the monitored period) amount of the outstanding bills, of the bills sent for collection in the course of the period, of the bills collected in the course of the period, as well as the outstanding bills balance at the end of the monitored period.

This query allows monitoring the duration of the different collection stages for the different bill types in days.

This query allows monitoring the outstanding claims (debts) in the different bad payers management stages, namely as for their number, percentile constitution or amounts in local currency within a specific period of time.

This query allows monitoring the percentile development (growth or reduction) of claims, namely as for their number and amounts in local currency within a specific period of time.

This query allows monitoring the bad payers management process and its effects, i.e. the number of disconnection notices, disconnections, reconnections, bad claims, legal recoveries and deprecations.


This query displays the average duration of the whole “reading, billing, sending for collection and collection” Commercial cycle within a specific period of time.

This query allows monitoring the development of the number of contacts as for their settlement time, speed, type (justified and unjustified) and their duration.

This query displays the number of service orders, specifying the number of unsettled orders at the beginning of the monitored period, the increase of new orders, the amount of orders settled and canceled within the period, as well as the promptness of their settlement and their duration.


This query displays information concerning the supply requests within a specific period of time. The issue here is, for instance, the following information: number of unsettled requests at the beginning of the period; number of filed, settled and cancelled requests within this period; the average number of settlement days and the duration of the requests in the system, as well as the number of unsettled requests at the end of the period.

This query displays information about the number of valid power supply contracts available in the system at the beginning of the monitored period; the number of contracts created, edited and terminated within this period, and the number of valid contracts at the end of the period.

This query provides information about the amount on-line operations performed at the different Commercial offices, monitoring the different types of Commercial activities both in absolute and percentile expression.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reducing Commercial Cycle Duration

Reading - Billing - Collection is a normal Commercial Cycle for Utility Company. The duration to complete one full cycle is important for the cash flow of the company. The lesser it takes, the faster that the money can be collected over the consumptions used by customers.

Old fashion Utility company often forget the important of short Commercial Cycle Duration. Let us say that the electricity company produces a bill monthly. Most of the old fashion utilities company will spend the whole month reading customer's meters, resolve some anomalies/exceptions and bill all the services at the end of the months. By doing this, the company has an average of 15 days for its commercial cycle.

Why? Because the customers read on 1st day will get their bill on the 1st day of next month, while the customers read on 30th day will also get their bill on the 1st day of next month. Thus, the average will be 15 days more or less. What does 15 days commercial cycle means? It means that in average, that electric company will collect the money 15 days after the customers have consumed the electricity.

For us, it might not mean a lot. But for an electricity company whose revenue is million and million of dollars, this 15 days delay means something. Upper management of utility company should start thinking the best way to reduce the commercial cycle. One ideal set-up is to have daily cycle, where the customer is read and at night, the bill is produced and ready for delivery and collection the next day. This case, the commercial cycle will be reduced into 1 day. This is assuming that there is no anomalies or exception on that bill.

Reducing commercial cycle is not an easy task as it will affect the core business process of utility companies. In depth analysis and study should be paid attention to understand the risk of implementing the changes. Customers can be affected as well if they are not properly informed. Always put a team for change management to do this kind of task.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Weekend Break

One day ahead and it is weekend. I like to visit DialAFlight site to find ideas from my city breaks. I realized that there are a lot of holidays ideas that I can do during short breaks. The packages are awesome with cheap fights and a nice hotel. I never find it cheaper if I need to book directly to the airlines and hotels.

This gives me an idea as well to do travel stopover. I used have stopovers if I need to visit Asia from Europe during my business trips. If I have more time, I usually check the holidays offers in the city that I will do stop over and plan so that I could extend my transit stopover for few days and enjoy the city.

The site also offering tailor-made holidays by calling them. So, if you have in mind what additional activities aside from the package they offer, you can try consulting with them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How to get accurate GPS

In implementing new Customer Information System for Utility companies, data gathering is often required to complete the data that are lacking. Identifying the data that will be gathered is important before going to the field. Additional data can be added since the cost of adding additional data during field campaign less.

GPS coordinate of properties or customers become an important data for the company. The main issue is how to get accurate GPS during field gathering. You can take a look at how the GPS work before designing any activities of GPS gathering in the field.

There are many ways to be considered to get GPS accuracy but from my experiences, the most important is to implement PDOP value in your application. PDOP as defined by GPS Glossary of UIOWA.EDU:

"PDOP: Percent Dilution of Position. Measure of the geometrical strength of the GPS satellite configuration. The amount of error in your position. PDOP less than 4 gives the best accuracy (under 1 meter). Between 4 and 8 gives acceptable accuracy. Greater than 8 gives poor accuracy."

In simple words, the PDOP is an indicator that tell you whether your GPS coordinate that you will take is having enough satellite, enough signal strengths, good satellite positions, etc. The lower the value of PDOP, the better.,

If you want to buy the GPS HHU, ask your vendor if they have PDOP module also installed. If you have bought the GPS HHU, try googling to find PDOP .dll or modules that you can integrate in your HHU applications.

Once you have this module installed, you can always remind your surveyors to get GPS coordinates while the PDOP values shown is as small as possible. This will give you another reminders like:
- avoid too close to tall buildings.
- avoid too close to tress or other obstacles.
- avoid too close to surveyors' body. Yes, your body can block the signal as well.
- and other strategies.

If you want to have better accuracy of GPS, you can even plan the time to do GPS data gathering. All satellites are rotating following their orbits, so you can estimate the best time in your area to have more satellites with more strength. This schedule of satellites are recorded by Almanac. To simplify the discussion, you can try the planning software by Trimble. It is free to try.

I will try to post most of my techniques based on my experiences in GPS gathering in my next post. I hope this can help you. Feel free to leave comments if you have questions or suggestions on how to improve the GPS accuracy during data gathering.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Report any abuses in your project implementation

Since the project implementation life cycle is mostly short, the monitoring done by the project manager often loose. Authoritarian project manager is focussed on the end product without much participation. Due to this, you will encounter many abuses by the project team members. The most common is by claiming the work that was not done by himself/herself. This could be done with or without the knowledge of the person doing the job. How unfair the world is, right?

Even if the person knows that his/her task was claimed by another team member, he/she just kept quite because he/she does not want to ruin the relationship with the team member who claimed the work. Well, if you have the same experience and afraid to report, you might try informing your boss using Anonymous Email. Be sure that you put enough evidences. I am sure your boss will appreciate that. If you do not want to make it obvious, you can link it with different cases not related to your case. The main point is to teach the lessons to the abuser, right?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Project Methodology Explained - Data Gathering Sweeping

Today, I was discussing with the client about the methodology of how to sweep the area using map in data gathering. This data gathering is about taking information of meters and GPS position of the properties.

The discussion was going very well and a lot of ideas and comments were interchanged. The hardest part in the data gathering sweeping using maps is during planning. During planning, we need to visit the area and divide the area into smaller areas to work on. Base on the smaller area define, the maps will be printed and the sweeping direction should be defined on the map.

Estimation of how many days to finish the small area should be determined. The end results of this planning will be:
- Printed maps with sweeping direction defined. All these maps should be properly named so that we can easily identify the relation with the big map that we are going to post on the wall.
- Estimated schedule to finish sweeping the area. This could be the basis to compare the progress and performance of the surveyors.
Of course we have other tools to monitor the performance and do the auditing of data quality gathered by surveyors.

Take note that good planning is the important for the data gathering. As much as possible, we do not let the surveyor to make a decision in the field. All guides should be clear from the beginning. All sweeping directions should be defined clearly in the maps.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Project Hobby – Learn to play Piano

Aside from my busy days in project implementation of electricity system, I like to spend my time doing my hobbies. At least, it will my day relax after spending time in the office. I like music especially when piano plays involved.

I like to hear my friend playing piano during weekends. She is one talented girl who can just come up with the cords to play with. She always told me that it is not too late to start learning to play Piano. “Yeah right”… I said to myself, “with my age?” To my surprise, I recently read an article linked by Piano Chords Blog that was showing a 94 year old man is learning piano.

Well, either it is too late or not, I tried before when I was a kid and it seemed that my talent is not there. For you that are still wandering if you have a talent for playing piano, you might try some lessons. I found many free piano lessons online available.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Roles of IT Personnel in UNIX Related System

Customer Information System implemented in Electricity companies requires a huge platform to handle all transactions and data in the system. Some of the companies chose UNIX system to deal with better stability. Thus, Roles of IT personnel are important to keep the system running smoothly.

The fundamental role of IT with regards to UNIX related system is to provide support to ensure that the operating environment is running with sufficient reliability and availability. The operating environment includes all HW and SW components which includes PCs, operating systems, databases, servers, routers, switches, hubs, and the network (LAN/WAN) itself that connects these components together.

Backup and Recovery
IT will be responsible for the backup of SYSTEM server files, applications and databases. It is their job to ensure that in the event of machine failure or disaster, there is an up-to-date data and accurate data which SYSTEM can be restored from.

Provides Adequate Service Level to Users
Response times and system availability must be within a set tolerable limit defined by the users. IT must ensure that these service levels are being met.

Ensure Information Security
It is the job of the IT organization as a whole to ensure that the company’s information is not made accessible to unauthorized users.

New IT Positions
The implementation of SYSTEM will mean the creation of new tasks for within the IT department. The qualifications of the current company’s employees will be reviewed and these new tasks will be assigned to them based on their skills. SYSTEM will have need of the following positions:
• Technical Support Staff
• UNIX Administrator
• Network Administrator
• Database (Oracle) Administrator
• Batch Operator

The UNIX Administrator will be responsible for maintaining the environment in which the SYSTEM database and server runs on.

The Network Administrator will be responsible for maintaining network components and configurations like routers, switches, hubs and LAN/WAN connections.

The Database Administrator will be responsible for administration and maintenance of SYSTEM database. He will ensure that table statistics, table indexes, and database spaces are optimized for efficient performance. The database administrator will also be responsible for the daily backup of the SYSTEM database.

The Technical Support Staff will be responsible for maintenance of PCs, deployment of application and perform general support for the system.

Batch Operators will run and monitor the batch process, ensure that the batch process finishes and perform troubleshooting if necessary. The batch operators will be running the batch at night.

It will be necessary to have at least two (2) batch operators working alternately. Having to ensures that the other operator will be there to run the batch if one is sick or on holiday. Batch operation is not a very technical job. The operators will be trained to run the SYSTEM batch, troubleshoot common errors and report major ones to the administrators.

At least one person should be dedicated to the support and maintenance of SYSTEM, this person will need to have UNIX and Oracle administration skills, a working knowledge of networking will be helpful but not essential. The network administrator and general technical support staff need not be dedicated to the maintenance of SYSTEM. Network administration and general technical support duties are merely additional tasks to be performed by existing COMPANY IT staffs. It would also be beneficial that someone else from IT will have a working knowledge of UNIX, Oracle and SYSTEM to do temporary support in instances that the person dedicated to SYSTEM administration is sick or on holiday.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Communication is the Key for Project Manager

I think this is not a secret anymore that communication is important in project management. In my blog post now, I would like to discuss the media of communication. I am not going to talk about the communication strategy. But as simple as the media itself and how to reduce the cost for communication.

Maybe some of you have been using internet phone to reduce the communication cost, but this can be done (of course) if only you have the internet connection. Most of the time in the project, you are mobile and you do not have internet connection in most of the area. That is why I am going to discuss about global phone card.

One company that offer the services is Pingo. With this virtual card, you can save your international call up to 90%. And what I like most is that they are plain and simple. No hidden costs. I used other company before and I was shocked when the credits run out so fast. After some queries, I found out that there are additional fees that were not mentioned in their home page before. I just found out in some small fonts appeared in the long agreement statements.

Well, If you think that I exaggerate things, you can try it yourself for the international calling card and get 5 hours of free International calls during your sign up. You can put also a coupon code “ppp3” to get $3 rebate from Pingo. In total, you get $25 worth of calls for just $17.

Customer Service Defined In Electricity Company

There are many ways to defined good customer service. In electricity company, the customer service should be define to achieve the main goal, which is to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to customers. This main goal will result into several aspects that the company should pay attention for.

1. Giving best services to paying customers. Obviously, these customers deserve better services that non-paying customer. It is important that the company implements Customer Rating giving better rating for those who are paying the bills on time.

2. Warn about the disconnection. Non-paying customers are eligible for disconnection. However, the warning should be given before disconnection. Detailed company policies should be defined about non-paying customers. Special campaign can be launched to socialize the policies to customers. Non-paying customers are also have the right to be warned before any disconnections because electricity is one of the major necessities for daily life.

3. Find fraud connection and act immediately. Electricity fraud connection can result into network interruptions because of overload. Thus, company should find away to continuously find of customers with fraud connections, such as double connection and meter bypass. This step is to ensure that no network interruptions for paying customer because these illegal fraud connections.

Have You Prepared with the Coming Holidays?

Time goes fast. This is what I like about September. In near time, we will have holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas and New Year. Well, you might think that I am too excited talking about these topics now. But, it is better to prepared ahead right? At least I won’t be bothered in the next months for all my online bookings and online shopping. You now how difficult it is to book near holidays and how the prices will go up for shopping.

So, start from know. Make your own wish list. Tell you family to make their own as well. Browse in your leisure time for some deals of your list. You can have great BestBuy coupons to get more discounted on your wish list products.

Do not forget to have your selected Food & Wine for your stocks. I would like to get on My Wines Direct coupons. Make this year holidays memorable for you and your family. Reward yourself for the fantastic works that you have been done for the past year. This will boost your morale for the next year to achieve higher goals.

I personally like to reward myself for new computer related stuffs. I have been checking on the products from Dell coupons. For traveling, I am still undecided on where to go so far. Hope that in next week I will start booking.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why we called it Project? What differs Project with Operation?

Many of us have heard about the term “project”, even during our college days we often heard “mid-term project” or “final term project”. Project involves organization of people and other resources to perform work. But what makes it different with Operation? As we know that operation also involves people and resources to perform work. The main differences can bee noticed because projects are:
• Temporary
• Resulting a unique product or service

“Temporary” means that the project has a definite start time and finish time. The project starts when the initiation process has been launched. The project finishes when the project’s objectives have been achieved. The project duration can be short like matter of days. On the other hand, the project can take years as well. Take note that even the project can take year, this is because the scope of the project is huge. Small scope of the project should not take time to manage. If the project keeps on deviating from the objective or having delays in most of the time, then, the project management should think and act if the project should be terminated.

Even tough the project is temporary, the end result are mostly a permanent product. For example: project of implementing new customer information system for electricity company. The project itself is temporary to implement new system. When the project’s objective is achieved and the project closes, the system is going to be used by the company in permanent basis. The work will then become an operation work.

“Resulting a unique product or services” means that the project carries out a unique product or services. Let us continue the example of implementing customer information system for Electricity Company. One may say that the customer information system is not unique. It is a common system used by many electricity companies. So what makes it unique? The one that make it unique is because the project is implemented by different vendor. It is unique because the electricity company that is going to be implemented the system is different. It is unique because the customization of the customer information system for that electricity company is different. And many more but I think you get my point already.

As the project results into a unique product or service, the characteristics of the product or services should be defined clearly in the project scope. This is usually clearly stated in the contract if the project involves other party outside the company.

1 Month signed in PPP

I have been blogging for a quite sometime now. But I just joined last month to PayPerPost (PPP) using this blog. PPP is a place where a blogger like me can grab an opportunity given by the advertisers to review their site. In return, I get paid for the sponsored content.

Since my blog is just new and has limited visitors, google still does not give me any enough Page Rank. If you do not know what PR is.. better googling about it fist. PR0 limits me to grab many opportunity in PPP. There are still some, but I get choosy sometime on the topic because I do not want to review the site if I am not knowledgeable enough for the topic. Even for these selected opportunities that I grab, I managed to earn around $50 for the first month. Well, not bad considering how new my blog is and how choosy I am in taking the opportunity.

The good thing about PPP is that I have an option to donate my earnings to non-profit organizations. But so far, I would like to donate them myself because I have some non-profits organization near my house that really need some donations. I am glad that I can donate some of my earnings from PPP to those organizations.

Aside from the monetary values, I get some new bloggers friends as well. I am becoming frequent visitor of blogs that I found in PPP. I like to read their blogs and also noticing the different writing styles that they used to post blogs.

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.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Why PMBOK is commonly used in project management?

In implementing a new system to a company, project management is the key in planning, staffing, executing and monitoring the whole process. Project implementors often use different approach to make sure that the system can be implemented with minimal risk. In general, this methodology for project management can be generalized into several steps. Most well known project management is PMBOK.

PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is combination of knowledge in the area of project management. It becomes a standard of project management because it has been proven in many project managements. It is a practice or methodology that is generally accepted. Generally accepted means that it could be applied to any projects in general. However, generally accepted means as well that in some of the projects, some methodologies are not obligatory.

PMBOK can be used by anyone interested in the project management, namely:
• Project managers
• Project team members
• Managers of project manager
• Customer of the project or project’s stockholder
• Consultant involved in the project management
• Trainers or educator in the area of project management

PMBOK can be summarized into 5 general processes:
1. Initiating Processes – in first step is to recognize that the project should begin. Commitment from all parties should be available to initiate the project.
2. Planning Processes – the process should define a workable scheme to achieve the goal of the project.
3. Executing Processes – in this process, the available human resources and other resources should be coordinated to carry out the plan.
4. Controlling Processes – measurement to detect any deviation from the goal and plan should be implemented. Necessary corrective action should be imposed to align the project into the plan.
5. Closing Processes – the project should end and acceptable by all parties. This step is related to formalize the closing of the project.

In next posts/articles, I will discuss in details about each processes and everything related to project management to ensure you do not miss the concepts of it. Make sure you sign up in our mailing list (you can find on upper left of the site) to be notified for any new post related to project management.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Organization Aspects in Utility Company

The organizational structure of each company should be created in accordance with the resources that have already been assigned to the commercial areas for realization of the basic commercial processes with the goal to obtain the satisfactory results. These satisfactory results are:
- to the clients – providing high quality level of services
- to the own company – obtain good economic (financial) results
- to the own personnel – through motivation.

Organizational strategy should be developed in consideration of these three elements (client, company, personnel) to satisfy the expectation for each of them.

Orientation to the clients

The whole organization of company should be created with the client in mind and this aspect should follow in the company’s organizational development. The organizational strategy should be oriented towards obtaining a good reaction from the client and to present the best image of the company.
The company should develop these processes which allow it to satisfy the client’s needs using the different possibilities available in the market and adhere to the high quality of these processes during implementation.
Also, based on information gathered from the client, it may be necessary to adjust or modify the commercial procedures to improve the quality of services provided.

Orientation to the results

It is true that the company cannot exist without its clients. On the other hand, it is also true that the company’s resources to realize its activities are limited. Priority should be to satisfy the clients but it is necessary to study the financial costs and gains of these activities. It is not possible to spend resources without obtaining good financial results.

A process should be established to permit management to identify and evaluate the participation of each organizational unit in the fulfillment of these goals. These organizational units should participate and be responsible for accomplishing the results set by the company. Similarly, it is necessary to do this each position in the organizational units. A balance should exist between the results which the person/position must obtain and the resources that are assigned to it.

Orientation to the processes

The company’s resources should concentrate on the basics – key processes in commercial area which generate high added value. On other side, it is necessary to eliminate processes which do not generate any added value and processes which produce only losses.
Basic commercial processes should be defined. The inputs, outputs, responsibilities and activities within in each process should be made clear. If it is possible, some criteria for measuring and evaluating the costs of different activities and the financial gains should be established.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Bypass Meter - You want to know how to bypass meter?

With the electricity tariff hikes, many customers of utility company is trying to bypass the meter. In this case, I will be specific in Electricity Meter. The most common meter bypass that is done by customer is by putting a jumper in meter terminal. You can see the picture of meter by pass here. This kind of meter bypass can be easily noticed by reader when they go regular reading of your meters.

Another type of meter bypass is by removing external potential copper on the terminal. This kind of fraud is hardly noticed because the reader will not pay attention on the terminal copper when doing the reading. See the picture of by passing meter using external potential open.

Double feeding can also be a type of meter by pass as it will not register the whole consumption of electricity. If you meter cable is over the ground, than it will be easy to do. However, it is one of the easiest one to notice. Unless the cables in your area is so crowded that it is difficult to notice which one is legal and which one is not. If the cable is under ground, it is difficult to tamper but when it is done, you are less likely to get caught in near future. Readers seldom check the underground connection unless there are troubles. See double feeding here.

Customers are encouraged to do meter bypass because it seems common to them. They see neighbors are doing that, why should not I? Especially when they encounter that the personnel from electricity company is offering that services for some dollars.

Nevertheless, in most countries, doing meter by pass IS A CRIME! So think twice or even a thousand times before doing it. You are not only cheating to the electricity company, but also you are cheating the community.
- When you steal the electricity by bypassing meter, you increase the commercial loss of the electricity company. In the end, the company needs to raise the tariff to cover all the commercial losses that it encountered.
- When you steal the electricity by bypassing meter, you increase the load of transformer and cables in your area. Electricity company has a reason to put a breaker near cables and transformers. This is to ensure that the load will not over the planned load by the company. Increasing load to the cable can cause sparks and will lead to fire. Increasing load to the transformer can cause the transformer to shut down for protection. This will shut down the whole electricity in your area.

In conclusion, it is nice to know how the meter is bypassed. But DO NOT do it. Warn your neighbors who are doing it!