Andrew Rose, managing director of the Write Squad, recently handed over the training toolkit for Landis+Gyr’s Suprima Plus prepaid vending solution to Christian Exenberger, the Landis+Gyr product manager for this product. The training material focuses on helping and guiding utilities’ move towards the more effective and efficient implementation of prepaid vending services.

Many system handovers that take place at a utility focus on the installation and configuration of the system. In addition, training material often falls short of transferring effective knowledge and skills, quite simply because training is not the speciality of systems developers. Often little time is allocated to ensure that different users of different departments can get to grips with the processes and functionality of a new system. This in turn results in capable systems being underutilised and various users requiring support.

It was with these potential problems in mind that the Suprima Plus handover training toolkit was designed. Five distinct handover interventions were designed.

Suprima Plus

These are: Vending prepaid electricity with Suprima Plus – for cashiers and vendors. A bird’s eye view of the Suprima Plus system – for utility personnel who need an introduction and overview of the prepaid industry and the Suprima Plus vending solution. Suprima Plus for financial reporting and revenue control. Suprima Plus for the utility’s engineering department. Suprima Plus for system administrators – the approach of this content is to give an overview of the installation and setup process, and then raise discussions to highlight any potential support issues that may come up because of system and hardware problems, or because the utility personnel are not competent enough to manage the system.

Although the industry has been acknowledging for some years now that effective prepayment solutions have great benefits for the utility and the consumer, the reality of implementing a metering and revenue management on the ground is far more difficult than most would admit. Much of this difficulty has its roots in the inability of utility personnel at different management and departmental levels to come to grips with the potential of the metering systems that are being implemented, and the system experts understanding what they really need to hand over to their customers.

This in itself typically stems from ineffective handovers of systems. The Suprima Plus handover training material that was recently released takes its starting point from the fact that different people in a utility (different user groups) need different conversations and learning experiences around a system. There is no need to take the engineering department through the tasks and responsibilities that would be undertaken by the revenue management department.

It is important to acknowledge that the handover of any system, be it prepaid vending services, banking or telecommunications, is difficult. The range and types of users, their competencies and their personal motivation is always a challenge. The Suprima Plus learning material makes a big leap towards making the handover of a prepaid vending system more efficient and effective.

Read more articles from ESI Africa magazine edition 4 2011