Revenue Cycle Management...
There is an increasing desire from the federal government to implement more integrated solutions to manage the distribution, marketing and sales of electricity; and to monitor the financial transactions of PHCN. Sabrud was contracted with these functions, which comprise the monitor and control of the consumption of electricity, billing, financial transaction protocols and customer service issues.
Sabrud Consortium was awarded Revenue Cycle Management Contract in December 2001 by National Electric Power Authority for Onitsha and Nnewi Districts and we effectively started this three years Contract in 19th May 2002.
To deliver the content of the contract, Sabrud Consortium together with her technical Partners in South Africa initiated and implemented the following strategies, which have proved beyond doubt our capabilities.
» Customer Audit
» Route Sequencing.
» Establishment of many pay points by use of banks.
» Introduction of computerized Automated Cash Receipting Machines instead of use of Casio Receipting Machines.
» Disconnection of defaulters by use of authentic defaulters list.
» Construction and installation of maximum demand meter tamper proof boxes to prevent energy theft.
» Net logging of MD Customers meters and assessment of their energy consumption.
» Sanitization of Database by cross-checking double billing
» Design, development and installation of Customer Care Unit software, New Services Customer Software, Customer Account View Software.
» We have reached understanding with the Chief Operating Officer of the Zone (Disco Enugu) to introduce this NEPAccs Software to other districts in the zone.
» Initiation of use of banks for Revenue Collection instead of multiplicity of use of Kiosks.
» Initiation of use of the NGO in the Rural Community for Revenue Collection. Community transformers are billed and communities are encouraged to pay for electricity in common by so doing quick response for settlement of bills is received.
» We were able to implement our strategies by investing up to N92m on improvement of area operation resources and management resources to PHCN.
Sabrud Consortium as energy sales and marketing company
We are allocated up to 42 million kWh from National Electric Power Authority and the value is read monthly from the Grid Metering 132/33 kV substation. The billing is normally carried out the following month and the cash collection is carried out on the third month
Sanitization of database
Presently, we have sanitized the database of our coverage areas by 80 percent. This is achieved by carrying out Route Sequencing and physical checks of inactive consumers. By so doing, we clear dead accounts, names and addresses.
Sequencing consists of the following steps:
• Gathering of information
• Processing of information – meters, direct connections, illegal acts, etc.
• Printing bills according to the “sequenced” meter readings. (by address not account number)
• Follow up of un-sequenced accounts, monitoring
• Registering of new customers, tariff changes etc.
The term sequencing in our context means that the costumer’s accounts are grouped together that is serviced by marketer in a certain route. All the routes of a marketer are in a concentrated area to prevent them from traveling all over the place.
Ideally a route would be what customers can be serviced (visited) in a day e.g. A long street.
Sequenced bills mean that a marketer will receive his or her bills in the correct order that they are going to be delivered. The first bill will be the first meter in the street.
Sequencing will enable the marketer to plan his day effectively as meter reading and bill distribution are the most time consuming tasks in their work month.
Management information extracted from this exercise can be used to make many enlightened decisions.
Every marketer must physically visit every customer which will then indicate that customer exists and must be billed for any electricity used. Marketer’s work is very time consuming and requires a lot of effort.
Maintenance of Billing System
Our specialists in billing operation, adopted a unique strategy in the maintenance of UNIX computer system, using spectrums software and AVR software. We bill up to 140,000 non-MD customers and 800 MD customers.
We also designed, and installed other management information system softwares in existing PHCN spectrum and PHCN operating computer centers, which has aided in our operations.
These have sanitized the existing PHCN Database with the result that has put to an end in areas of:
- Crazy billing
- Double billing
- Poor in billing ratio
- Erasing of consumer debits
- Late production of bills
Sabrud Consortium Revenue collection strategy
We have up to 40 collection points in Nnewi/Onitsha Districts and 50% of the collection points are using automated cash receipting machine system which is made up of:
• Computer unit P4
• Printer EPSON LX 300 + P4-HP 310
With this automated cash receipting machine system we are able to correct all payments online as of date we have reduced the labour cost of DCU and CCU departments because the Labour in entering stubs is reduced.
Sabrud Consortium Customer Care Centers
We have installed P4 computers with HP 300+ Printers at 10 Customer Care Centers The customer Care Centers are at Onitsha, Omagbe, Awada, Ogidi, Odoekpe, Okpoko, Oba , Nnobi and Ihiala.
Sabrud Consortium Metering Department
The hub of our success is due to the ingenuity of Sabrud Metering Specialist, who by use of highly sensitive electronic equipment can easily project the energy, and power consumption of any consumer. Our Metering Specialists have put to an end in Onitsha/Nnewi Districts the following evil practices:
- Swapping of CT Leads
- Reproved of CT fuse
- Breaking of meter seals
- Retting of KVA meters
- Tampering of meters
- Arbitrary estimation
Our Metering Specialists have installed tamper proof boxes to cover all the MD meters in Nnewi District and Onitsha District.
Our Metering Specialists have constructed many MD and non MD meters which have not been done for many years in NEPA, now PHCN History.
Our Metering Specialists continually monitor performance of all good meters in the Network.
We have two units of Metering Department. One at Nnewi and the other at Onitsha. The Metering takes care of:
• Net logging
• Clip-on ammeter readings
• Test on meters
• Measurement of multiplying factors
• Maximum Demand meter reading
• Grid Meter reading
Sabrud has understood by experience that the work of IT Specialists constitute the main hub of Revenue Cycle Management. Our IT Specialists have designed, developed software for:
- Evaluation of marketers performance
- Evaluation of marketing operators performance
- Evaluation of rapid response performance
- Evaluation of efficiency of management information tools
- Extraction of debtors list
- Evaluation of metered customer population and estimated customers population.
- Our IT Specialists by use of NEPAccs software can easily determine the energy consumption patters of the district, service center and area.
We have in our employment capable and experience Marketing Specialists who by use of route sequencing have closely identified all the customers in our area of operation, develop good relationship with the customers and help in advising the customer on how to optimize the use of energy and priorities their consumption as to save energy.
Our Marketers are responsible for evaluating the energy consumption pattern of all our consumer and render advice on individual basis on how to improve power factor and reduce energy consumption and also improve the quality of power supply to the area by use of banks of capacitors as to improve power factor.
They are specialists in registration of new customers, identification of illegal connection and reclassification of tariffs for customers who are on unrealistic tariff class.
Our Marketers due to long experience have developed technique for identification of highly indebted customers. We also have developed high Marketing Technique for collection of outstanding debts.
By implementing the above strategies, Sabrud Consortium was able to double the revenue collection in less that two years. The yield was raised from N2/Kwh to N5/Kwh.
We made a Net benefit of more than N900m in three years. Our performance was acclaimed to be very good by PHCN.