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ARCOS Inc.

In Urgent Need of Shift Replacement

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Ground Crew

In a day and age when we can stream almost any TV show ever made to a device held in the palm of our hand, it’s hard to believe that some in the airline industry are still scheduling ground crews using paper forms and Excel spreadsheets. The errors and rework that manually adjusting or assigning traded shifts can cause is a tedious process, especially when those exchanges can tally in the hundreds. Resource management innovation has moved past these antiquated modes of working by providing automation that eliminates this massive headache for Station Supervisors and un-knots the time it takes to properly staff shifts based on employee skill sets.

This technology is available now in ARCOS RosterApps.

Let’s take a look at a quick hypothetical. A ground crew employee is caught off-guard by a family matter that they need to attend to, yet they are scheduled to work a six-hour shift that evening. That employee dashes to ARCOS RosterApps and contacts a superior with a tagged caption that reads along the lines of “in urgent need of shift replacement.” A solution then has multiple ways of manifesting itself. If work rules allow it, the employee could simply request “real time” PTO to a supervisor. The supervisor can either approve, deny, assign that shift to another employee or even post it to the Open Shift board. By presenting multiple avenues towards finding a solution, ARCOS RosterApps allows for greater flexibility in real time and makes balancing work and life much more achievable.

An everyday process kicks off with a supervisor posting a bid to a Work Group. That shift is then open for claims from other employees within the group who are interested in picking it up.  Initiating a “bidding” process for the shift includes multiple employee interests – such as a hierarchy based on seniority and specific preferences set by each individual employee. If any conflicts arise, supervisors are notified immediately to reach out to involved employees and resolve the issue. Factored into the equation are union rules, employee skills, and mandatory time off. This all takes place in a fraction of a second and leads to the filling shifts faster without worry of mistake or operator error.

Modernizing flight and ground crew scheduling is easy and stress-free and helps airlines save money and regain the valuable employee time wasted while navigating outdated procedures. Contact us to find out how ARCOS RosterApps can innovate your scheduling procedure.

Balancing Automated Callouts and Collective Bargaining Agreements

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ARCOS likes bargaining agreements

Suffolk County Water Authority was recently in a logistical conundrum.

Consistent water service is extremely important to its 1.2 million customers across Long Island, New York. But in urgent situations where a response crew is needed quickly, Suffolk County was still relying on outdated paper lists to contact workers.

Superintendent of Maintenance Chris Given was involved in finding a solution to this problem.

“There wasn’t one moment that made us decide to fix this,” Given said. “It was an accumulation of years of knowing that our supervisors were spending too much time on the phone to get people on the scene.”

Knowing that electric utilities use automated call systems as part of daily operations, Suffolk County decided to put out an RFP to find a similar system to manage its callout.

Given helped screen a number of options, but decided to implement the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite.

“We ultimately decided on the ARCOS system as it was the only system able to balance our complicated CBA, while also able to call multiple job titles from our seven locations,” Given said.

The ARCOS system was the only one that could balance the complex union agreements between the offices, while also quickly assembling a full response crew. Once implemented, the automated callout system brought average crew response time down from 100 minutes to just 80.

“It changed the way we operate regarding emergent callouts, and it eliminated grievances,” Given said.

When a supervisor is calling dozens of workers, human errors occur that can result in employee grievances. The ARCOS Callout system takes that human element out of the equation.

Furthermore, if, for example, two water mains broke in one night, the supervisor may end up so busy trying to assemble a crew that they are unable to supervise anyone else.

But ARCOS opens the supervisor up to be able to support the crew with additional information, and allows them to more adequately supervise multiple crews in an emergency situation.

For other water utilities struggling with similar difficulties, Given highly recommends looking into an automated system.

“We had been doing callouts the same way for over 50 years, and we knew there was a better way,” Given said. “You don’t have to create a solution by yourself, but you also don’t have to keep doing it the way you always have.”

ARCOS named 2018 BizTech Award Honoree for Role in Keeping Utilities, Airlines and Manufacturing Plants Running

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – December 5, 2018 – Columbus Business First has selected ARCOS LLC as a 2018 BizTech Award honoree in the Outstanding Product category for the software maker’s resource management platform, which utilities, airlines and manufacturers use to respond to daily and extraordinary disruptions to service and operations.

“During daily operations and unplanned events, which interrupt service, companies use our platform to locate, dispatch and track workers who can restore service,” said Bruce Duff, chief executive officer of ARCOS. “The platform ARCOS has today was born in 1997 when our founder Mitch McLeod automated the process of assembling utility crews for emergency work.”

Since then, the ARCOS platform has grown to become a critical resource management system for airlines and manufacturers. Prior to ARCOS, there was no single way to fully automate contacting and managing crews. The process was almost exclusively a manual one, linked with phone calls, spreadsheets and paper lists. These manual processes result in cancelled flights, an inability to keep production lines running at capacity, and employee grievances sometimes totalling $100,000 or more. With complex rules for how and when employees get overtime, employers relying on manual processes often struggle to get workers where they’re needed, which can delay flights or extend a power outage. Flawlessly mirroring these rules and scenarios is a hallmark of ARCOS’s crew management software, damage assessment solution and automated callout system.

The BizTech Awards highlight companies, like ARCOS, that are technology and innovation leaders across Central Ohio. The Outstanding Product Award recognizes firms that have achieved success launching unique, innovative solutions.

“Our technology finds resources wherever they are and sends them to wherever they’re needed, often within minutes” added Duff.  “Utility companies say our technology is a ‘game-changer’ because it helps them better gauge restoration costs; airlines can use our platform to reduce canceled and delayed flights; manufacturers can automate the scheduling of hundreds, or thousands, of workers covered by dozens of bargaining agreements across multiple shifts, which ensures every line in a plant is covered.”

The ARCOS platform consists of solutions such as:  ARCOS’s crew management software, which managers use to automatically assemble available crews, analyze crew response and report outcomes; the ARCOS Damage Assessment solution for shortening from days to hours the process of surveying damage caused by major events like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; and, ARCOS Resource Assist™, which automates the manual process of managing contracted or mutual assistance workers and equipment.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is a leader in delivering SaaS solutions for managing the resources of critical infrastructure sectors. The ARCOS solution goes beyond the callout of crews and automatically plans for all types of events, and reports on the up-to-the-minute location and status of equipment and crews via mobile technology for utilities, airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities. The ARCOS resource management platform helps utilities, airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction and the efficiency and accuracy of operations. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at  https://www.arcos-inc.com

ARCOS automates call for help in ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’

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ARCOS moose

ARCOS® LLC – a provider of resource management software and services for critical infrastructure industries – will soon implement its solution for automating the way Fairbanks, Alaska-based Golden Valley Electric Association responds to, restores and reports on outages.

Using the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling solutions, GVEA’s supervisors, dispatchers and line workers, among others, can plan, launch and track the status of automated, after-hours calls for emergency crews from their desktops, tablets and smartphones. GVEA will begin rolling out the ARCOS suite to line crew sections, then plant workers and, eventually, non-union workers needed for storm roles.

Gary Betsill, vice president of Operations for GVEA, joined the utility from Georgia Power where his former colleagues still use ARCOS to mobilize crews for after-hours emergencies and storm response.

“When I arrived in 2017,” said Betsill, “the in-house callout program we used was rudimentary.  It could do a straight callout, but if you introduced a second- or third-man scenario, it didn’t work.”

With ARCOS, GVEA will ensure it calls out lineworkers according to the bargaining agreements in place with the locals of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and International Union of Operating Engineers. The agreements with the unions confirm, in part, the equitable distribution of overtime. In fact, mirroring complex work agreements is a hallmark of the ARCOS solution.

“I sold ARCOS to our management by telling them the product’s claim to fame is absolutely emulating the contractual obligations for callout procedures, every time,” added Betsill.

But Alaska will surely offer some new and unique callout circumstances for ARCOS.

“We’ve had snow drifts so high a moose has walked into the power line and caused an outage,” recalled Betsill. “We’ve had eight-foot drifts where caribou have walked over the fence, right into a substation.”

Based on his past experience, Betsill also believes the ARCOS solution will reduce GVEA’s System Average Interruption Duration Index, or SAIDI, which will be a bonus for the cooperative’s members. The ARCOS platform will also serve a role in helping union workers participate for the first time in GVEA’s Incentive Employee Program. Among the IEP goals for line workers is achieving a 50-percent callout acceptance rate, which the ARCOS solution will track.

According to its website, GVEA operates and maintains 3,216 miles of transmission and distribution lines, 35 substations and 8 generating facilities covering a 5,973-square-mile service territory.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is a leader in delivering SaaS solutions for managing the resources of critical infrastructure sectors. The ARCOS solution goes beyond the callout of crews and automatically plans for all types of events, and reports on the up-to-the-minute location and status of equipment and crews via mobile technology for utilities, airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities. The ARCOS resource management platform helps utilities, airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction and the efficiency and accuracy of operations. Learn more about ARCOS resource management software at  https://www.arcos-inc.com.

ARCOS Founder Inducted Into BGSU 2018 Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame

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Our founder and visionary, Mitch McLeod, was inducted into the 2018 BGSU Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame.  Mitch set us on our path – and we are so incredibly proud of him.  Check out this video which pretty much sums up Mitch’s incredible leadership.  Only four inductees were chosen this year, and we think you’ll agree – this award is pretty special.

Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame 2018 – Mitch McCleod from Bowling Green State University.

…Mitch’s Acceptance Speech

ARCOS among Central Ohio’s 50 fastest-growing companies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – October 18, 2018 – ARCOS LLC has again won a place on the Columbus Business First Fast 50 – the annual list of the 50 fastest-growing emerging companies in Central Ohio. This year ARCOS ranks #38, at 31.8 percent growth. The Fast 50 Award recognizes companies for financial growth and performance over the past three years. ARCOS has made the list ten times in the last 12 years. Of the nearly 460 companies that have been on the list since it began in 1996, only two – Progressive Medical, Inc. (14) and Sequent (12) – have made more times.

“Being on this list year after year is a testament to our employees and their commitment, teamwork and responsibility,” said Bruce Duff, chief executive officer of ARCOS LLC. “They’ve built a bond with our customers that’s unheard of – 100 percent of our clients are referenceable; we have a 100-percent success rate implementing our technology.

“We’re committed to solving the toughest challenges for our customers working at utilities, airlines and other critical infrastructure companies,” added Duff. “We help them respond with crews, restore service and report response details during daily business disruptions or outright emergencies.”

Since appearing on the 2017 Fast 50 list, ARCOS acquired Des Moines, Iowa, RosterApps to expand its offering for the airline industry with ground crew-management and scheduling software.

Mitch McLeod, founder of ARCOS, laid the foundation for the company by identifying a crucial need in the utility industry that was critical to the firm’s early success. More than eighty-seven percent of U.S. households are served by utilities that use ARCOS technology to accurately track restoration time and speed up crew mobilization.

Today, North American electric, gas and water utilities along with power generation plants, major air carriers, manufacturers and industrial facilities rely on ARCOS to keep operations running. ARCOS resource management solutions help customers respond to after-hours and major events; restore service by quickly and safely assembling crews; and report the outcome, which informs executives, employees, first responders, regulators, media and the public.

ARCOS provides SaaS solutions solve resource management challenges that critical infrastructure companies face. The ARCOS Resource Management platform helps customers plan, respond, restore and report actions taken during normal operations or unplanned service interruptions.  Using ARCOS, utilities, airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities improve response time and improve efficiency of resources while improving customer satisfaction.