One of the key reasons for the on-going IoT revolution has been the stern emphasis from governments, on upgrading traditional water and electricity meters, to smart meters. Governments have taken up the initiative to replace millions of meters across countries, in order to construct a well-connected system that can heavily contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint of the energy and water system.
Smart meters are a step towards efficient resource consumption and management, enabling both suppliers and customers to monitor their data with transparency and use that data to calibrate their usage. Given their ubiquity, the scale of smart meter installation projects is enormous. With multiple stakeholders involved in every process across a variety of regions, this is simply too complex a process for the traditional system of meter installation to be relied upon, and hence a digital revolution has emerged to expedite and regulate the installation process.
Grid is at the forefront of that digital revolution. With Grid, you have a single tool that handles everything from on-site data entry to intelligent dashboards, in real-time. Grid makes sure the cutting-edge tech in smart meters is not rendered useless by pilfering, misreporting and wastage that often comes with retrofitting areas with smart utilities. Grid’s No-code framework transforms the installation and maintenance phases, which are still very much legacy processes.
The biggest advantage of having smart electricity meters is quite honestly the data you can extract, which can be harnessed for insights that elevate customer experience, enhance grid operations, and reform energy distribution and planning.
Smart water meters, too, actively regulate the consumption by capturing consumption patterns and promoting efficient usage, which in turn highly benefits areas with water scarcity concerns.
But for all of this to succeed, you need to make sure the data that’s collected is accurate and hasn’t fallen victim to misreporting as a result of human errors. In the traditional method, this is a very common occurrence.
The Grid Process
When utilizing Grid, pre-installation surveys are turned into an error-free process, with all the data collected on mobilephones using the Grid mobile app, and processed in a centralized database for further visualization. This way, unique identification numbers, like the Revenue Register number, are recorded once and for all with no irregularities, and you also no longer have to worry about all the paperwork or inefficient data storage.
Plus, the survey data can then be utilized for designing the most productive blueprint for installation with Grid’s features like geolocation, image-capturing, and real-time data entry-to-analysis. This saves a lot of time and expenditure, as technicians can cover the maximum amount of touchpoints for installations in the shortest amount of time, increasing productivity by up to 50%.
From Surveys To Inventory Management
An accurate survey also enhances inventory management required for the Installation and Maintenance phases. Grid ups the game over other software options like SAP by breaking the in-store data management barrier, and establishing asset management chains across complex hierarchies.
For example, using Grid's 100% flexible No-code solution, you can record and regulate assets and tasks that have been handed down to sub-contractors, who have been assigned by contractors who themselves are hired by the Urban Local Bodies. This ensures end-to-end coverage across complex hierarchies with utmost transparency. Which means, each and every piece of equipment involved in a project involving millions of assets utilized by thousands of personnel and spread across areas as large as whole states, can be tracked with ease. This is the power that Grid puts into the hands of decision-makers, to enable the fastest decisions with no room for error.
What About Security?
Among other features, the Grid application also provides the option for user details confirmation through integrated OTP authentication. This helps sustain a high hit rate, and your personnel only visit premises that are verified and approved by the utility department.
Traditionally, because of improper management of survey data, multiple personnel end up visiting the same premises, resulting in a logistics failure. Digitization ensures smart logistics, along with the access to validating survey data against present data within a matter of minutes. This helps in identifying irregularities in the data collection process, and improves the experience of the end users.
The geolocation and image capturing features further upgrade these appointments by acting as proof of visitations and data for QA/QC teams to verify entered data with captured data. The latter is extremely important as smart meters replace static meters, and the final reading before installation needs to be accurately recorded to calculate the specifications for the next billing cycle. Mistakes in this process would either lead to dissatisfied users or a loss to electricity and water providers, thus resulting in a no-win situation.
With all the talk about the importance of data, let's not forget that the data obtained from sensors is raw and needs to be thoroughly cleaned, processed, and transformed into KPIs presentable in the desired form.
Business decision-makers greatly benefit from this feature, as they can easily customize Grid without any code, to obtain insights in real-time for their actionable plans. They can also monitor the progress of daily tasks, teams, and sub-contractors on integrated dashboards that paint a holistic picture of the entire project with transparency into every little detail taking place 1000 miles away.
This data is utilized to find out averages and gauge them against the performance of various teams to take immediate corrective action. In short, with Grid, you have a rapid action Failure Mode Analysis of a million-dollar project sitting in your pocket. Grid also lets you set visibility settings to grant access to utility authorities to track the progress of the project.
This aids in overall quality control and inspection by authorities, while also streamlining the billing process, as Municipal authorities don't need to conduct manual checks any more. They can also utilize all the consumer data collected from their contractors to concisely map Single Line Diagrams through Google Maps for the whole power distribution network, within minutes. In the case of water meters, the water pipeline distribution network can be aggregated for real-time insights and future regulation.
Grid's remarkable flexibility is also responsible for the nearly unlimited scope for integrations it provides, as it can handshake with any Meter Data Management System or Head End System. Suppliers or tech companies can readily find consumption trends and patterns, while also easily keeping an out for abrupt abnormalities that bring attention to a maintenance check or suspicious activity. Seamless integration with any billing system also ensures that all your post-installation operations management is on a single platform that does all the heavy lifting for you, with every feature open to being redefined by you. After all, the aim of digitization is to transform the most complex business processes into the most convenient ones, and that's what Grid stands for.