Scheduling the work of meter readers


Bristol, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 18, 2007 – Western Power Distribution, a utility with 2.5 million electricity customers, is using a new system to schedule the work of their meter readers – and now one person in the call center handles the daily meter reading schedules for over 200,000 properties.

The utility is using 360 Technologies’ Dynamic Scheduling Engine to calculate the meter reading schedules. This has introduced productivity gains, and means that meter readers always have a full eight hour schedule of work, with travel time taken into account.

The U.K. has the most competitive electricity market in the world, and the result is that different suppliers provide gas and electricity to customers in the same area – and even the same street. The fact that customers frequently switch supplier also means that meter reading routes change regularly, making the whole process more difficult to resource and manage.

“The volume and complexity of the meter reading process posed us significant problems as the routes are always changing, so scheduling the meter reads manually was no longer an option,” said Andy Shean, Commercial Manager for WPD. “360 have understood the intricacies and complex rules involved, and the system is able to cope with the volume of data, process it very quickly and demonstrate significant routing and scheduling efficiencies.”