The rollout of modern metering equipment and smart metering systems is presenting metering point operators with a big challenge. Aside from the complexity of the rollout itself, they have to observe the price ceilings defined in the German Metering Point Operation Act and survive in a tough competitive environment.
This can be mastered only when the relevant business processes – from planning and implementation through to control, evaluation, and reporting – are supported and extensively automated.
How can you simulate meter replacement cycles, fault clearance processes, metering product replacements, and the installation of new or additional devices along with the corresponding resource requirements?
How can you thoroughly and consistently automate processes – from rollout through to commissioning of the gateway and market communication?
Is it possible to carry out optimization according to various criteria, such as the available capacity of service personnel?
How can you monitor the processing of jobs and intervene if necessary?
How can unforeseen non-routine events such as batch recalls be taken into account?
How can you compare the planned rollout with the actual progress of the project?
How do you retain an overview with so many systems and subprocesses?
Can the rollout software be integrated easily and cost effectively into the existing IT landscape?
Find answers to all these questions here.
The rollout of modern metering equipment and smart metering systems is due to start in 2017. As a result, many metering point operators will have to organize meter replacement cycles and conversions that represent a significant increase over current volumes.
On top of that, operators have to contend with new buildings, fault clearance processes, and metering product replacements – which may entail conversion work.
As the rollout grows in complexity, so too do business processes. In terms of qualifications and availability, the requirements for service personnel rise sharply. The important thing is to design processes for both internal staff and external service providers such that they can be implemented easily and error-free.
Among other benefits, this will shorten installation times and minimize multiple service trips to one address.
Depending on the size of the metering point operation, thousands or even millions of modern metering units and smart metering systems have to be installed. The hardware, organization, logistics, and IT systems are all major cost drivers that have to be controlled. Automating business processes is an absolute prerequisite for optimizing costs.
It is therefore important to structure the rollout as well as possible from the beginning: from planning and implementation all the way through to control, monitoring, and reporting. Only by doing this can you reduce financial, organizational, and logistical risks and observe the price ceilings set out in the German Metering Point Operation Act.