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ARCOS Inc.

The Sunday Read: The High Cost of Airline Strikes

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Strikes are not unknown in the airline industry. British Airways troubles last week are just an example.

Does it really have to be this way? Over 1,700 cancelled flights? Flight perks removed for pilots for 3 years?

ARCOS Ascend and RosterApps can help by automating labor rules and empowering employees to perform their own shift management. It’s one step that can bridge the gap between unions and carriers by keeping grievances to a minimum and the yoke of labor agreements stable.

We hope the negotiation table stays open and a resolution found soon. It’s costing everyone including the customers.

Lincoln Electric System Picks ARCOS to Speed Response, Restoration

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – September 10, 2019 – ARCOS® LLC will implement its Callout & Scheduling, Crew Manager and Resource Assist solutions to centralize and automate Nebraska-based Lincoln Electric System’s manual process for responding to power outages ranging from a single broken pole to major events. According to LES, the ARCOS platform can expedite contacting and dispatching crews to respond to outages with the goal of decreasing LES’s System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI).

“While we’ve always been successful getting crews to where they need to be to restore power, we have a very manual, cumbersome process for doing it,” says Fredrick J. Rumery, coordinator for T&D Construction at LES. “Especially when it’s all-hands on deck, our manual process is time-consuming when contacting, securing and reporting on the status of crews.”

Lincoln Electric System’s 500 employees service approximately 200 square miles within Nebraska’s Lancaster County, including the city of Lincoln. When an after-hours emergency occurs, LES dispatchers alert troubleshooters. If a job requires more work than a troubleshooter can handle alone, a dispatcher will call a duty supervisor who turns to a paper list of crew members updated and printed daily. The duty supervisor is typically a design engineer, construction manager or substation manager. These individuals are not always best suited for deciding what type and make-up of crew is best for any given job.

“Each week we provide our duty supervisors with a packet showing who’s available; if there’s an after-hours callout, they’ll mark who they contacted and turn it in the next morning for data entry by our operations staff,” adds Rumery. “There can be errors with a paper process.”

According to LES, the utility is launching the ARCOS platform in November beginning with the Callout & Scheduling solution to create a central repository for all crew data. Once launched, Rumery expects to see the average time to call out and secure a four-man crew drop from 45 minutes to a few minutes or less. LES will also replace its homegrown system for tracking the status of crews during normal business hours with Crew Manager. The Crew Manager system will give LES a real-time look at where its crews are working as well as how managers can deploy crews for changing circumstances such as forecasted storms or construction projects.

“During a storm event, the ARCOS platform will track when employees work and provide visual warnings when crews reach the end of their 16-hours-on, 8-hours-off schedule,” adds Rumery. “ARCOS starts the clock automatically when an employee is called in and accounts for their work. Currently, this is done by staff using spreadsheets.”

LES will also implement ARCOS Resource Assist to replace the computer spreadsheets the utility relies on to solicit and intake resources from contractors and neighboring utilities during major events. The data entry involved in capturing how many crews are available and inputting their make-up and equipment takes LES operations staff added hours better used elsewhere.

“Crew Manager and Resource Assist are going to speed up restoration and increase efficiency,” says Rumery. “The reporting capabilities will help us show our union partners exactly how many crew members and crews are called and working. Reporting everything accurately will be a huge benefit because it gets the right people for the right jobs equitably and efficiently.”

The Sunday Read: A Thanks for Hurricane Mutual Assistance

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ARCOS loves it when a plan comes together but we love it even more when utilities unite under a common cause.

There is no group who is more giving and willing to go the extra mile than today’s linemen and women. We see it time and time again when a hurricane blows into America’s coast. They put their lives and families on hold to help other families and communities in need, often hundreds of miles away from their own. They risk life and limb to serve others without a concern for overtime or the hazards they are about to face.

There is no other industry who has this dedication to resource sharing and the dispatch of mutual assistance convoys to the weather-stricken places where there are needed most. Business competition and trade secrets are put aside for the common good – and even though capes are not permitted on the job, we can still see them flapping on the backs of these heroes in defiance to the crushing strength of the hurricane wind.

Thank you. Thank you for making your job look easy. Thank you for your long hours, the time spent without your children, and the sacrifices your spouses make. Thank you for making our lives easier through your hard work and incredible diligence to restoration efforts. Thank you for being true first responders and facing the things you see with courage, strength and a commitment to making lives better as soon as possible.

ARCOS is proud to serve this industry and provide solutions that not only turn the power back on faster but make situations safer for the men and women doing the work.

Hurricanes like Dorian don’t stand a chance when we face them together.

Bring it on Mother Nature. We’re ready for you.

 

 

The Sunday Read: In the Face of Disaster, Energy Companies Go Above and Beyond

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The ARCOS Sunday Read has talked before about defining the responsibilities of a utility company to their community. It’s more than restoring power. It’s about restoring lives. And it’s going on right now in Dayton, Oh.

After Memorial Day tornadoes ripped through the city, the Vectren Foundation – part of CenterPoint Energy – awarded Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton and Rebuilding Together Dayton $300,000 each toward their disaster recovery efforts. This money is designated for survivors without means to get their homes repaired.

Utilities care about their customers. There’s no doubt about it. ARCOS salutes the Vectren Foundation and CenterPoint Energy for being there for the communities they serve.

The Sunday Read: How Dedicated Are Utilities To Sustainability?

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Recently, when Pugent Sound Engery’s CEO, Kimberly Harris, stepped down, the investor-owned utility hired, Mary Kipp, former president and CEO of El Paso Electric. The transition is marked as a rarity since a woman CEO is being replaced by another woman CEO, but another striking note is Kipp’s advocacy to combat climate change. As Kipp said in a recent Seattle Times article, “As a utility, we don’t set public policy, but we find the very best ways to comply with it.”

Sustainability is a major issue for utilities and an uphill business and economic struggle. Con Edison took it seriously and with forethought in 2013 when they began building a sustainability strategy. Through an EPRI report, they defined 20 issues they must face. Safety and health, cyber and physical security, energy reliability and resiliency are some of the essentials that need to be addressed.

ARCOS is helping by providing full situation awareness. Through our suite of products, utilities can gain data that can share how many crews are out there, where, and what teams may be closest to the problem. If the data is analyzed, work flows can be established that save on fuel costs, emissions and could answer other sustainability questions.

What does sustainability mean to your utility? Is it on your radar? Are you dedicated to addressing concerns about the future now?

The Sunday Read: Being Strategic About User Adoption

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How is your organization driving User Adoption of new technology? The key to eliminating a sea of questioning faces, fuzzy logic, and an adherence to old processes starts with a strategy. ARCOS has a few suggestions on how to make the transitional road to a different technology successful and a little less bumpy.

  • Share an outline with the entire company of any changes way before deciding on an implementation date. This ensures that everyone from the receptionist to those traveling or in the field know what’s coming.
  • Tell them why. Define exactly why a certain piece of technology is being brought in, how it will impact what they do, and the benefits of having it. Buy-in is most successful when staff realize how it will make their life easier.
  • Schedule a Q&A with all employees. Take note of anyone who is fearing the change or is having issues with someone moving their cheese. This is the time to share training, implementation dates, and when roll-out is expected to be completed.
  • Train the employees who had the most problems accepting the incoming technology first. Give them special care and make the questioning group evangelists for the product by the time training is over. Consider allowing them to become the technology leads on the new system with the responsibility to train others.
  • Provide a schedule of feedback and sharing. Let your team know that you care about how the new tech is working for them in their environments. Let them share any problems they are having – but always drill down to a solution during any discussion of dissatisfaction. Don’t let questions dangle. Listen to their input and really contemplate what they say could bring a resolution to their issues. Act upon what they share. Make the meetings happen weekly, then monthly and finally every 3 months.

User adoption can be tricky but if you have a plan in place, any problems that bubble to the surface won’t come as a surprise. You can create a smooth transition for every member of  your crew and team. Seamless user adoption is possible.

Learn more about ARCOS’ implementation methods here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARCOS Named to Inc. 5000 List for Fifth Time

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For the fifth time, Inc. magazine has named ARCOS® LLC to the Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. This year, ARCOS ranked No. 3,295 on the list. ARCOS delivers SaaS solutions for:  managing resources; ensuring accurate, compliant shift scheduling; and automatically planning for all types of events.

“Appearing on this year’s Inc. 5000 list is due, in part, to our work expanding our resource management cloud-based platform for utility companies and helping other critical infrastructure industries like airlines and manufacturing automate the way they manage their resources,” said ARCOS CEO Bruce Duff. “There’s always a demand to make sure people are where they need to be to restore service, keep planes flying or run production lines.”

According to Inc. Media, “Companies that made the list, on average, have grown sixfold since 2015.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, is at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

“This is your fifth time on the Inc. 5000, which is a truly extraordinary accomplishment,” wrote Inc. Editor-In-Chief James Ledbetter in a letter to Duff. “Of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000 over the years, only a fraction have made the list more than once. A mere four percent of companies have made the list five times.”

The 2019 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 to 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018. The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million.