Boost Reading Accuracy and Employee Productivity
Manual meter reading is labor-intensive, inefficient and sometimes leads to misidentification. Some meters are installed high or inside the resident’s house, bringing inconvenience to field workers. Those written data can’t be transferred to the computer system until workers come to an office and type in consumption details one by one. To overcome these difficulties, it’s necessary for them to automatically collect consumption, status data from meters and transfer data to a central database in real time for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing.
Each meter is attached with a RFID tag, into which information like the serial number, user name, status data, address have been written. With a phone-sized mobile computer in hand, field workers can directly receive electronic assignments and operation instructions, with no need to commute between offices and working fields. Select one from the task list, accurate GPS function helps direct him/her to the right meter in the shortest time. Absolutely all reading work is pre-planned in order, guiding the meter reader from the close-by meters to those far off. This strategy enables workers to reach more meters in a certain period of time. On the other hand, accurate GPS positioning enables administrators to track the employees in real time and get to know what exactly they have done, when and where they did it. It provides basis to assess the performance of all employees, especially when they are far out of the reach in the field.
After arrived at the site with the PDA, readers can obtain consumption data from a long distance automatically, being not disturbing residents, at the same time, making reading work much safer. Data can be updated to the backend database automatically, eliminating manual records and transcription. This timely information coupled with analysis can help utility providers to arrange more reasonable energy production and distribution, and customers better control the use of electricity, water or natural gas. The billing is computed automatically both on handheld devices and backend administration center, reducing human calculation errors. This progress improves consumer satisfaction, eases off readers’ workload and reduces unnecessary losses caused by miscalculation. Another important improvement is that electronic broken line graphs available to the administrators enable them to easily notice abnormal energy consumptions that may be caused by machine breakdowns. Or they can detect if the equipment has been tampered with in the first time to avoid losses, protecting businesses against fraud.