A true measure of staff's success
One of the first problems faced by the Meter Section when it began preparing for the ISO 9002 certificate was how to establish a measurement traceability to national or international energy standards.
This is a requirement for ISO 9002 certification for meter testing services.
Yuen Wing-ying, senior meter engineer in the Customer Services Department of the Transmission and Distribution Division, was unable to find a laboratory in Hong Kong that could provide this service, so he headed for New Zealand.
Today, it is no longer necessary to go abroad for the service.
Last year, the Standards Laboratory of the Meter Section became the first company in Hong Kong to be accredited by the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (Hoklas) in electrical energy measurements.
The Meter Section already had comprehensive work instruction and quality records before preparation for ISO 9002 began in late 1994.
'These provided a good framework for aligning our system to ISO 9002 standards,' Mr Yuen said.
However, the first internal audit exposed the usual problems a company meets when preparing for ISO 9000 and there were a large number of non-conformances which took some time to put right.
'We overcame this with training,' Mr Yuen said.
'We also re-engineered a calibration process and started to revise our test procedures: for example by fully computerising the semi-automatic test benches.
'The number of non-conformances were far fewer at the second internal audit and, when we received our HKQAA audit, we only had two minor non-conformances.' Hongkong Electric, therefore, became the first electricity supply company that was ISO 9002-certified on its electricity meter service.