“Snowtober”, the major storm event in October 2011 which resulted in 3.2 million people without electricity, demonstrated the issues facing electric utilities today. Stakeholders and customers were furious, and demanded answers from utilities:

  • Congressional hearings: “How could this happen?”
  • Regulator meetings: “Why was your response so slow?
  • Customers: “I’ve been out of power for eight days!”
  • Media: “Where are the repair crews?”

Electric utilities now exist in a world demanding high accountability, transparency, and results:

Accountability

Shareholders, regulators, and customers are demanding accountability from their utilities. Traditional crew callout and scheduling tools, such as Microsoft Excel and white boards, are inadequate for today’s accountability-driven environment. Modern tools improve accountability through centralized processes, ensuring the right people are at the right place at the right time, and the ability to prove they were there.

Transparency

Regulators, executives, and labor leaders are demanding transparency in metrics, resources, compliance, and safety. Traditional crew callout and scheduling tools do not work in a transparency-driven environment because they are not set up to share data easily. Modern tools improve transparency with automatic documentation and metrics at your fingertips.

Results

How does your crew callout performance compare to other utilities? Many utilities do not know, and are exposed to humiliation and fines when interrogated by regulators or the media. With modern crew callout and scheduling systems, not only will outage response and restoration times be quicker, but the tools will give you greater command of the situation, improving public perception.

Customer Example

Dominion Virginia Power, serving over 2 million customers within 30,000 square miles of Virginia and North Carolina, finds ARCOS to be essential to their business. In fact, Dominion determined that the callout system “was at the core of knowing what was going on with the utility’s workforce.” See the T&D World article

Business Case

The ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite pays for itself through the reduction of hard costs alone. When soft costs are added, the decision to go with ARCOS is one of the easiest (and most profitable) ones you will ever make. The ARCOS Suite is highly scalable, and will benefit your utility whether you are an IOU or a Membership Cooperative. ARCOS is one of the only systems you will ever implement that will be up and running in less than three months, demonstrate real ROI within six months, completely pay for itself within one year, and result in positive cash savings year over year. The tables below respresent examples of two different business cases bases upon a larger IOU and a smaller sized Membership Cooperative.  Average savings and actual cases can vary.

Business Case: ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite for Electric Utilities (Large Segment)

Soft Cost Savings Opportunities

  • Accountability
    • Provide visibility into front-line performance
    • Reduce callout time to reduce CAIDI potential fines
$250,000/yr
  • Transparency
    • Maintenance of homegrown system for data entry and reporting
    • Reduce average labor time for common repairs
$50,000/yr$60,000/yr
  • Interrogation and Scrutiny
    • Court fees; Media training
$100,000/yr+

Total Soft Costs

$460,000/yr

Hard Cost Savings Opportunities: Automating the crew callout process

  • Reduce callout dispatch time
$25,000/yr
  • Reduce wait time
$270,000/yr
  • Increased revenue from meter spinning sooner
$30,000/yr
  • Reduce callout documentation time
$45,000/yr
  • Reduce list maintenance time
$45,000/yr
  • Eliminate cost of grievances (avoiding) or settle-up costs
$25,000/yr

Total Hard Costs

$440,000/yr

Total Savings

$900,000/yr

Business Case #2: ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite Electric Utilities (Small Segment)

Soft Cost Savings Opportunities

  • Accountability
    • Provide visibility into front-line performance
    • Reduce callout time to reduce CAIDI potential fines
$100,000/yr
  • Transparency
    • Maintenance of homegrown system for data entry and reporting
    • Reduce average labor time for common repairs
$50,000/yr$38,500/yr
  • Interrogation and Scrutiny
    • Court fees; Media training
$50,000/yr+

Total Soft Costs

$238,500/yr

Hard Cost Savings Opportunities: Automating the crew callout process

  • Reduce callout dispatch time
$7,500/yr
  • Reduce wait time
$10,000/yr
  • Increased revenue from meter spinning sooner
$8,000/yr
  • Reduce callout documentation time
$7,500/yr
  • Reduce list maintenance time
$13,500/yr
  • Eliminate cost of grievances (avoiding) or settle-up costs
$5,500/yr

Total Hard Costs

$52,000/yr

Total Savings

$290,500/yr

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