In Africa, the utility firm Rwanda Energy Group (REG) has partnered with South African-based software firm IFS to optimise its operations.Under the agreement, REG will use IFS’s Integrated and Business Management (IBM) system to improve its revenue collection and utility operations.
The power company will use the software to automate processing and management of its business transactions including payrolls and supply chain deals.
The system is expected to help the company reduce human error, enhance efficiency and transparency in the management of its projects.
According to a local publication, REG selected to implement the IFS solution to reduce commercial losses from the current 3% to less than 1%.
[quote]REG collaborated with the South African-based software developer through its subsidiary the Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL).
EUCL is a subsidiary of REG developed to help the utility firm improve its operations by engaging in timely and cost effective projects.
Eng Jean-Claude Kalisa, managing director at EUCL, said: “We were looking for a modern business management solution that can enhance organisation control and aid timely decision-making to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability throughout the organisation.”
The deal follows the release of a report compiled by Rwanda’s Auditor General Office highlighting inefficiencies in REG’s billing system.
With Rwanda targeting to expand its power output to 562MW by 2018 from 190MW in 2016 and increase its customer base to 70% of the country’s total population by 2020, the utility firm integrated the IFS software in its system to meet future accounting constraints.
Smart utility operations
In related news, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in early June announced that it began piloting a new billing and payment system to improve its revenue collection in nine city communities.
From 1 June, GWCL began collecting customers' consumption data using a hand-held Android device to simplify meter reading in the local service areas.
The system is said to calculate a metering point’s water usage rate and remotely sends the bill to customers via email or text message.
The deployment of the system forced GWCL consumers to provide the utility with cell phone numbers and an email address.
After receiving their usage information, consumers can make their payments by purchasing scratch cards sold at GWCL customer service points and authorised vendors. [Indian city integrates GPS in utility customer billing].
GWCL reported that it is planning to extend the deployment of the system to improve its utility operations countrywide, based on results of the pilot.
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