Electricity Billing System

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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction
ZESA (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority) SMS Billing System is a web based system which is designed to address the critical requirements of the billing system through the use of a message using a cell phone. It provides enquiries about the customer, the customer's location, cellphone number, meter reading date, billing date, due date and the balance to be paid. This system is going to help easy access to the customer’s account details. It can also update information when a customer pays his or her bill therefore it is a real time system

1.2 Background
1.2.1 Background of Organization
ZESA Holdings was established in 1938 as a parastatal in Zimbabwe. It's headquarters is located in Harare Zimbabwe. The authority is responsible for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity. The authority is working on a number of major rehabilitations and new projects over the next twenty years, mostly in conjunction with neighboring states as it believes that regional power sharing and co-operation is the best way for equitable distribution of the region's power resources.

1.2.2 Organizational Structure
ZESA Holdings consists of four subsidiaries which are Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), Powertel Communications and ZESA Enterprises. Each subsidiary has its own managing director. Each subsidiary has its own branches, which consists of the Accounts department, Admin department, Operations department, Logistics department, Sales and Marketing department.

Logistics Director
Sales and Marketing
Finance Director

Managing Directors
Chief Executive Officer
(CEO)

Accountants

Distribution
Procurement

Representatives

Figure 1.1: Organogram
1.2.3 Vision
To be the preferred provider of electricity and convenience.

1.2.4 Mission Statement
We are committed to the provision of safe and reliable electricity and related services to all in a fair and cost effective manner.

1.3 Research Problem
At ZESA the number of customers is on the increase and the current system is failing to cope up with the large volumes of work. Below are some of the problems noticed. * Inaccurate bills caused by wrong meter readings thereby leading to some customers being unsatisfied * Large workforce to run the bill cycle because they will be need of stationery for printing the bill and workers to deliver the bill statements. * Large queues of queries because if a customer finds out that his or her bill is incorrect he or she will visit the nearest ZESA company to be assisted * Due to a huge paperwork which need to be done, the current system is prone to errors * Some customers are in remote areas so it is difficult to send someone to collect the meter readings on a monthly basis 1.4 Aims of the research study

To develop a new billing system that is simple to run and is easily accessible to customers as it will be in the form of a sms on their mobile phones .This system will bring convenience to the customer as they can get their bills wherever they are and anytime of the day.

1.5 Objectives of the study
This system will:
* The system should enable real-time and data capturing and manipulation in-order to keep data consistency throughout the system. * Establish an account status enquiry facility that caters for customer enquiries on their statements anywhere. * Enable faster transaction processing to meet the large number of clients the firm currently has. * To ensure that confidential information of the customers accounts including information from their accounts is not accessible to unauthorised users and that the system maintains its integrity through the use of passwords and access levels. * Creating a flexible billing system that is user friendly.

1.6 Limitations of the study
* This system will only be applicable to those customers who have cellphones...
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