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With ARCOS software, Connexus Energy to get real-time visibility into field operations

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – May 17, 2022 – ARCOS® LLC is implementing its Software-as-a-Service ARCOS Callout®, Crew Manager® and Mobile Workbench solutions for Ramsey, Minn.-based Connexus Energy, so Minnesota’s largest electric cooperative can automatically secure crews and manage the utility’s work and crews in one dashboard, integrated with its outage management system (OMS).

Connexus teammates reviewing documents together

Connexus Energy system operators are spending more time than ever analyzing data from AMI, the SCADA system, and substations. The utility sees ARCOS’ system helping in two ways: First, automating operators’ manual processes and reallocating their time to focus on complex tasks and helping co-op members or first responders, and second, improve the efficiency of, visibility into and reporting on field services like restoration and construction.

“ARCOS automating callout wasn’t what appealed to us; the concept of ARCOS being a field management tool is what put our decision over the top,” said Kristin Whitwam, Electric Operations Project Leader for Connexus Energy. “Being able to bring together and integrate all our work and crew data in one repository and govern all of it is what sold us.”

To deliver work assignments to the field, Connexus Energy now relies, in part, on software from Clevest to send trouble tickets to crews’ mobile devices. Connexus Energy says, while Clevest works fine for sending trouble tickets, the transition to getting all work order types embedded in it never happened.

“That isn’t as appealing as having one product to manage callout, crew management, and mobile work,” Whitwam says.

A goal of improving member satisfaction

Today, Connexus Energy sends crews work orders on paper and clipboards, and crews report back intermittently by radio on the status of jobs. With large construction projects like distribution lines or energizing service for new subdivisions and commercial buildings, a packet of paper in each truck is the official record of progress until crews update managers, usually at day’s end.

“With a paper-based system, our crews run new residential service, but we can’t confidently tell builders, who are our members too, that service is energized until we hear from our crews,” added Whitwam. “With ARCOS, we’ll see work as it happens and tell builders exactly where their service stands.”

Connexus Energy printed out more than 7,000 construction work orders in 2021, all of which went onto clipboards, into trucks and came back for reconciliation. Relying on paperwork makes it challenging to know where crews are and the pace at which they’re accomplishing jobs. With the ARCOS platform, Connexus Energy sees an opportunity to give management real-time visibility into work and crews, while improving member satisfaction. The utility connected approximately 1,500 to 1,700 new service lines last year, with some of its biggest builders requesting up to 100 service connections per year. The builders are managing schedules just like Connexus Energy. So, the utility says the ARCOS system will help these builders save money because ARCOS’ software will, for example, deliver real-time updates on when there’s energized service. That, in turn, makes builders more inclined to construct residential and commercial projects in Connexus Energy’s service territory.

“We want builders to know we’re easy to work with,” said Whitwam. “With Mobile Workbench, if a builder is waiting for critical service to be energized, as a company we’ll see that work completed as it happens in the field; anyone a builder contacts in our Construction department can get them information and reduce wait time.”

Benefits for callout

The utility relies on two, dedicated crews for after-hours restoration. But when trouble strikes, these crews can be tackling other jobs. When that happens, Connexus Energy taps system operators to find and call available crew members for after-hours emergencies like downed poles or blown transformers.

“Completing a callout varies but can take up to an hour,” Whitwam added. “Workers want to know how long they’re needed, who they’ll be working with and answering those questions takes precious time. When system operators complete a callout, they also fill out a report for our leadership, summarizing what happened; that can take another 15 to 30 minutes.”

With ARCOS’ software, emergency response begins when the OMS alerts the system operators to an outage. An operator launches an automated crew callout describing the job, skills required, and more, which typically takes a few minutes to fill. The Crew Manager system notifies the operator that a repair crews is responding. The system operator then goes into Mobile Workbench and select the OMS repair ticket and responding crews. The called-out crew will head to the trouble, make repairs, close the ticket via their mobile device and release themselves from the job, alerting the system operator.

“Implementation is now underway and begins with callout, followed by Crew Manager and Mobile Workbench,” said Mark Koplin, vice president of Technology for Connexus Energy. “We’re very early into implementation, but ARCOS is well-organized, and we don’t feel like we’re pulling them along to get this done; they have a roadmap, and they’re leading us, so we don’t have to figure this out alone.”

ARCOS names Odus Wittenburg as its next CEO, succeeding Bruce Duff

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – February 16, 2022ARCOS® LLC, the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions, has named Odus “Boogie” Wittenburg – a veteran at building and leading fast-growing, innovative publicly traded and private technology firms – as the company’s CEO effective immediately. Wittenburg succeeds Bruce Duff who, after 10 years as CEO of ARCOS and 40 years in the software industry, has announced his retirement. Duff will take on a strategic advisory role, supporting Wittenburg and the executive team through this transition.

Under Duff’s leadership, the company has thrived – including during the pandemic – by growing its employee base, expanding the number of customers served, meaningfully increasing revenue and innovating across ARCOS’ software solutions.

In 2021, Inc. magazine named ARCOS to the Inc. 5000 for the seventh time. Over the past year, ARCOS has laid the groundwork for continued growth by increasing headcount across all its teams. Through this transition, Wittenburg looks to continue the company’s strong revenue growth by investing in ARCOS’ leading technology platform and supporting customer needs.

Wittenburg takes the helm of ARCOS after an esteemed career leading and expanding a number of enterprise software and technology companies. Most recently, he was chief operating officer for Bold Commerce, an e-commerce technology company serving 90,000 brands. Before Bold, he was chief commercial officer for Anaconda, a provider of open-source data science software. Wittenburg also served as president and executive vice president of Customer Experience for publicly traded financial services software company Q2 Holdings, Inc., a maker of digital banking and lending solutions. Prior to Q2, Wittenburg spent 10 years at Rackspace Hosting, leading the managed cloud computing company’s Americas business unit. Wittenburg earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Over the past 10 years, Bruce has helped transform ARCOS into the high-quality business it is today. I thank him for his leadership as we continue on our growth trajectory,” said Wittenburg. “I am excited for this next chapter and privileged to help carry on ARCOS’ mission of solving the toughest resource management challenges for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries.”

“Boogie has experience leading companies and mastering technology, including mission-critical software-as-a-service solutions,” added Duff. “While he’s technically minded, he’s approachable and likes to know the story and people behind the numbers. He’s a great fit for this role technically, operationally, financially, and culturally; I have no doubt he’ll take ARCOS to the next level with the continued support of our investors Vista Equity Partners.”

In March 2021, Vista Equity Partners, a leading global investment firm focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses, made a majority investment in ARCOS to help continue the innovation of its products and develop its suite of offerings.

About ARCOS LLC
ARCOS is a leader in delivering SaaS solutions for managing resources, ensuring accurate, compliant shift scheduling and automatic planning for all types of events. The ARCOS solution reports on the up-to-the-minute location and status of equipment and crews via mobile technology for utilities and other critical infrastructure like airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities. The ARCOS resource management platform helps organizations save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction and the efficiency, safety and accuracy of operations. Learn about ARCOS resource management software at https://www.arcos-inc.com.

With ARCOS, gas utility’s automated call outs find crews closest to the trouble

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – September 1, 2021 – Since implementing the ARCOS® Software-as-a-Service Callout and Scheduling solution, managers at a Northeastern natural gas utility say dispatchers using the technology have moved from a manual process for calling workers for gas leaks and repairs to an automatic one that locates and assembles available crews in minutes. The callout system’s Closest to the Trouble technology helps workers quickly identify the closest qualified resource with the right equipment, so utility managers can expedite emergency response. 

“CTT is a game-changer for us, especially after-hours,” said a manager overseeing workforce scheduling and dispatch at the utility. “If there’s a gas leak, we find the nearest resource in seconds through ARCOS.” 

The utility operates and maintains thousands of miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve hundreds of thousands of customers. 

According to utility managers, the ARCOS callout solution centralizes data for hundreds of employees including first responders, foremen, mechanics, dispatchers, and customer service representatives. The ARCOS solution also stores contact information, backfills shifts in the event of unplanned absences and tracks a worker’s status. Gas utilities like this one rely on the ARCOS solution, in part, when calling out workers for unplanned or emergent work. The solution accounts for complex work rules that ensure overtime is parceled out to gas chiefs and mechanics in accordance with union agreements.  

The natural gas utility uses the ARCOS solution around the clock. But dispatchers rely on the system after regular business hours. If, for example, a first responder arrives at a gas leak on the weekend and secures the leak but still needs a crew for repairs, dispatchers tap ARCOS to launch a call out in seconds and assemble an available crew minutes later. 

The ARCOS solution replaced a sometimes-tedious process in which dispatchers would have to juggle directing field personnel or other work while manually searching a list and making phone calls to find available crews. In extreme cases, a callout would take a dispatcher an entire shift to complete. With the ARCOS solution automatically running a call out in the background, dispatchers monitor incoming calls about gas leaks and devote their attention to handling emergencies. If the volume of emergency calls outstrip the number of available first responders, dispatchers use ARCOS to immediately identify and bring in additional first responders. The impetus for buying the ARCOS solution, says the utility, was making more efficient use of dispatchers’ time, while getting crews to work quickly and safely. 

About ARCOS LLC 

ARCOS provides the leading SaaS-based resource management platform built specifically for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries. Using ARCOS, companies manage the real-time availability of unionized workforces and contractors alongside long- and short-cycle work necessary to keep services flowing for more than 90 million people and businesses across the United States and Canada. ARCOS’s best-in-class customer support coupled with its quick return on investment, automated callout capabilities, electronic crew management, contractor management, emergency mobilization, work distribution and field service mobility solutions help its customers safely respond to, restore, report on, and manage critical activity that keeps electric, water, gas and travel running smoothly. Learn about ARCOS resource management software at https://www.arcos-inc.com. Follow ARCOS on LinkedIn, @ARCOS LLC, and Twitter, @ARCOS 

ARCOS makes Inc. 5000 list for seventh time

By News Articles, Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – August 25, 2021 – For the seventh time, Inc. magazine has named ARCOS® LLC to the Inc. 5000. This year, ARCOS ranked No. 3,473 on the list. ARCOS is the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions. According to Inc. staff, “Only 3.26 percent of Inc. 5000 companies have made the list seven times.” 

“To make the list this year, when our country and the world faced so many challenges, is a testament to how our employees improvised and innovated—they’re remarkable,” said ARCOS CEO Bruce Duff. “Our solutions automate critical processes like restoring electric, water or gas service, and finding qualified, available airline crew members to fill open trips or shifts due to unforeseen circumstances. The fact that we continue to win new business and our customers are renewing contracts during the pandemic speaks to the mission-critical nature of what we’re selling.” 

Inc. Editor-in-Chief Scott Omelianuk said, “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.” 

The 2021 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2017 and 2020. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2020. The minimum revenue required for 2020 is $2 million. The 2021 Inc. 5000 list, including company profiles and an interactive database, is at http://www.inc.com/inc5000. 

About Inc. Media 

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com. 

About ARCOS LLC 

ARCOS provides the leading SaaS-based resource management platform built specifically for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries. Using ARCOS, companies manage the real-time availability of unionized workforces and contractors alongside long- and short-cycle work necessary to keep services flowing for more than 90 million people and businesses across the United States and Canada. ARCOS’s best-in-class customer support coupled with its quick return on investment, automated callout capabilities, electronic crew management, contractor management, emergency mobilization, work distribution and field service mobility solutions help its customers safely respond to, restore, report on, and manage critical activity that keeps electric, water, gas and travel running smoothly. Learn about ARCOS resource management software at https://www.arcos-inc.com. Follow ARCOS on LinkedIn@ARCOS LLC, and Twitter, @ARCOS.

Pennsylvania American Water aims to mobilize field crews faster with ARCOS

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – August 24, 2021 – To improve resource management and the speed with which it mobilizes crews, Pennsylvania American Water will implement the Software-as-a-Service ARCOS Callout® and Scheduling solution for its field service representatives, first responders and utility workers. Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, joins Tennessee American Water in choosing the ARCOS solution.

“Among the key drivers for choosing ARCOS is the software’s ability to make it efficient for us to pinpoint available crews in an emergency,” said Jake Gentile, senior manager for Operations, Southwestern Pennsylvania, at Pennsylvania American Water. “The ARCOS system will automatically mirror callout procedures and help us quickly mobilize our response.”

The ARCOS Callout and Scheduling solution helps utility managers act on emergencies by automatically locating and alerting available crews to respond to water main breaks, shut off meters, or handle other emergent issues.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS provides the leading SaaS-based resource management platform built specifically for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries. Using ARCOS, companies manage the real-time availability of unionized workforces and contractors alongside long- and short-cycle work necessary to keep services flowing for more than 90 million people and businesses across the United States and Canada. ARCOS’s best-in-class customer support coupled with its quick return on investment, automated callout capabilities, electronic crew management, contractor management, emergency mobilization, work distribution, and field service mobility solutions help its customers safely respond to, restore, report on, and manage critical activity that keeps electric, water, gas, and travel running smoothly. Learn about 1ARCOS resource management software at https://www.arcos-inc.com. Follow ARCOS on LinkedIn, @ARCOS LLC, and Twitter, @ARCOS

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Great River Energy picks ARCOS automated callout for control center staff

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 23, 2021 – This summer, ARCOS® LLC, the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions, will roll out its ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite for Minn.-based cooperative Great River Energy, a provider of wholesale electricity to 28 member-owned cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin, so the co-op can automatically identify available employees after business hours and direct them to restoration work.

“For years, Great River Energy has made manual calls for communications between our control center and field crews,” said Mark Peterson, system operations manager for Great River Energy. “Automating callouts will save time for our control center staff, so they can focus on their core responsibility, operations.”

With Great River Energy’s manual, after-hours callout process, control center operators search (one call at a time) for available employees. Once they reach a worker, they describe the problem and dispatch them. Staff manually input worker status through established work rules tied to seniority, hours worked, scheduled time off and proximity to a job site. A recent winter storm sped up the decision by Great River Energy to take the chore of manual callouts off the operators, so they could automatically launch calls with ARCOS and focus, instead, on front-end analysis linked to restoring substations, identifying transmission infrastructure damage, or starting peaking generation.

“Our operators have tools to pinpoint issues and analyze conditions, but it takes concentration and dedicated time to make the most of these tools,” added Peterson. “Every minute spent on a manual callout is a distraction that reduces situational awareness in the control center.”

Approximately 200 Great River Energy employees will be listed in the ARCOS System including control center workers who log in to launch and analyze callouts. According to Great River Energy, managers will measure the success of automated callout in two ways: First, the number of people reached through the system (versus a manual process) and the success rate for each call; second, how much time automation shaves off the callout process per event.

ARCOS Receives Strategic Growth Investment from Vista Equity Partners

By News Articles, Press Releases

Utility and critical infrastructure resource-management leader will accelerate hiring, drive innovation in core products and expand suite of offerings

COLUMBUS, Ohio March 17, 2021 – ARCOS® LLC, the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to receive a majority investment from Vista Equity Partners, a leading global investment firm focused on market-leading enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. ARCOS and Vista will partner to accelerate investment in hiring, continue driving innovation in its core products and expand its suite of offerings – solving the toughest resource management challenges for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries.

Since 2005, ARCOS’ technology has helped hundreds of the largest electric and gas utilities and airlines manage their crews and resources, especially in unplanned scenarios where resources are needed on short notice. ARCOS helps these organizations identify which crews and resources are available, reduce the time needed to assemble crews and perform callouts, and confront a host of other resource-management challenges such as overseeing contractors and managing service disruption incidents.

“For essential workers in industries like utilities and critical infrastructure, the ability to assess resources and respond quickly can make the difference between success and failure,” said Bruce Duff, CEO of ARCOS. “With Vista’s partnership, we will continue to bring our best-in-breed technology solutions to these industries, as well as explore new areas for product expansion and help our clients continue to modernize practices and processes, so they can respond and restore services quickly. We are thrilled to have Vista’s backing as we chart our next chapter.”

“The partnership between ARCOS and the utility industry has been one of collaboration that has provided us with solutions to effectively respond to, restore and report both planned and unplanned events that occur every day of the week,” said John Tyler Anthony, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Pepco Holdings. “We look forward to continuing to work with ARCOS as they begin their new partnership with Vista Equity Partners, and we appreciate their continued focus to expand their products and ensure comprehensive resource management capabilities for us and other critical infrastructure industries. Providing safe, reliable and affordable service is the industry’s primary mission and having technology providers like ARCOS is critical to our collective success.”

“Bruce and his team have built an indispensable business by helping their customers be nimbler and more responsive in managing their resources,” said Patrick Severson, senior managing director in Vista’s Foundation Fund. “ARCOS’ customers are providing power, water, gas and other essential services to people across North America, and these customers rely on ARCOS to keep those services online. The ARCOS team is extremely driven by this mission, and we are excited to help them have an even greater impact by investing in their people, products and customers.”

ARCOS and Vista Equity Partners expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2021. The investment by Vista follows The Riverside Company’s investment in ARCOS in 2013. William Blair & Company and Lightning Partners served as the financial advisor to ARCOS and The Riverside Company, and Harris Williams & Co. served as the exclusive financial advisor to Vista Equity Partners. ARCOS management will remain meaningful shareholders of the company along with Vista Equity Partners.

About ARCOS LLC

ARCOS is a leader in delivering SaaS solutions for managing resources, ensuring accurate, compliant shift scheduling and automatically planning for all types of events. The ARCOS solution reports on the up-to-the-minute location and status of equipment and crews via mobile technology for utilities and other critical infrastructure like airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities. The ARCOS resource management platform helps organizations save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction and the efficiency, safety and accuracy of operations. Learn about ARCOS resource management software at https://www.arcos-inc.com. Follow ARCOS on LinkedIn, @ARCOS LLC, and Twitter, @ARCOS

About Vista Equity Partners

Vista is a leading global investment firm with more than $73 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, permanent capital, credit, and public equity strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista’s investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity. Further information is available at vistaequitypartners.com. Follow Vista on LinkedIn, @Vista Equity Partners, and Twitter, @Vista_Equity.

Media Contacts:

ARCOS
Bill Perry
bperry@arcos-inc.com
614-975-7538

Vista Equity Partners
Dafna Tapiero
vista@laurelstrategies.com
202-776-7776

SMECO digitizes planning, tracking crew moves with ARCOS Crew Manager

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – February 22, 2021 – ARCOS® LLC, the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions, has implemented ARCOS Crew Manager® at Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), so utility managers can not only see where, what and how long the co-op’s 40 service and construction crews are working but also create a digital snapshot of which crews and equipment are available minutes, hours or even weeks ahead.

“Crew Manager is an evolution from the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite we installed in 2006,” said Ronnie Wise, Distribution Operations manager for SMECO. “ARCOS callouts use algorithms to call crews in the order our business processes dictate; with ARCOS, we’ve assembled 14-person crews in 24 minutes. Before that we made callouts by hand, one call at a time – it could take an hour to build a crew.”

During normal business hours, SMECO’s distribution system operators (DSOs) use Crew Manager alongside the work and outage management system to keep tabs on crews’ field work and customer appointments. Crew foremen, which SMECO calls operations supervisors, begin their shift and enter the status of crew members into Crew Manager. The software then tracks and computes hours worked, breaks and availability – on a dashboard for the DSOs.

To manage resources for a forecasted storm, SMECO’s managers access a visual display of the status, skill sets and location of crews and equipment in Crew Manager via color-coded icons. Managers drag and drop icons across the utility’s territory to create different restoration scenarios. If a scenario shows a gap because, say, a crew will have worked too many hours or there aren’t enough resources to cover a set of circuits, SMECO can reorder its plans in Crew Manager and quickly see an alternative or know precisely how many contractors to call on.

SMECO has also relied on Crew Manager during the COVID-19 pandemic to split its crews into blue and gold teams to better manage, or mitigate, a potential outbreak. The system allows DSOs to quickly see if a field assignment might cause crews from different teams to inadvertently converge at a work site, which helps to prevent crossover.

DSOs also rely on the crew management software to set up attributes, or badges, for resources. For instance, next to a truck’s serial number in Crew Manager, a DSO can link a color-coded badge reading “digger-derrick” or “single-bucket truck.” Before Crew Manager, SMECO relied on an ever-evolving number scheme to track truck types and other equipment.

Wise added, “Cooperatives that don’t have these systems will ask, ‘Why do I need to buy a software system to make calls and track crews when I have dispatchers?’

“We gave our DSOs these tools, so they can put more time into researching what crews need, or formulating a game plan for restoration,” said Wise. “In the midst of chaos, it’s made life less chaotic.”

Central Georgia EMC trims time off outages with automated callout

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – November 9, 2020 – ARCOS® LLC, the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions, has implemented its ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite for Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, so the co-op can automatically contact available workers to restore service in the wake of any sudden event or an incident outside normal business hours.

“We run a very lean organization and had a pop-up storm requiring an all-hands call for help; using ARCOS, more than 80 percent of our workforce responded within two minutes,” said John Harkness, senior vice president of Distribution Services at Jackson, Ga.-based Central Georgia EMC (CGEMC). “With our manual method, that all-hands call would’ve taken up to an hour to complete; ARCOS helped us restore power 30 to 45 minutes sooner, which has a positive impact on CAIDI, SAIDI, customer satisfaction and revenue.”

Before installing the ARCOS SaaS platform, CGEMC – a non-union, 59,000-meter customer-owned electric cooperative serving 14 counties south of Atlanta – relied on its system operators and supervisors to manually call crews to find workers available for restoration work. With ARCOS, CGEMC system operators push a button on their keyboard or mobile device and let the automated callout system organize the calls for help, which has also improved the rate at which workers accept calls.

“Our employees wanted a better way of knowing when they’re needed after hours and where they fall in the callout rotation,” added Harkness. “We wanted a seamless, efficient way to contact employees outside normal working hours, get a response and track the outcome.”

According to Harkness, his line department’s employee performance appraisals, and ultimately salary adjustments, rely partially on how line workers respond to after-hours callouts. Prior to ARCOS, the co-op’s operators and crew leaders documented (often with pen and paper) whom they called, how often and the response. Typically, the process occurred outside the office, at a crew leader’s home by phone requiring the caller to bring documentation into the office and type notes into a database. Documentation errors could undermine employees’ confidence in performance and salary reviews. Since automating callout tracking, Harkness says the errors are gone and employee confidence has improved. Using ARCOS reports, the co-op publishes a weekly scorecard of callout responses on an electronic billboard that employees see by job classification. The co-op resets the scorecard as each performance review period begins.

“Some of our lower performers in years past are now doing far better and pointing to the scoreboard,” remarks Harkness.

Inside the ARCOS software, CGEMC was able to construct a variety of callout types:  on-call; volunteer; assistance-needed; and all-call. The co-op can launch each type in seconds and get a response in minutes.

“Automation gets everyone equally participating in callouts and improves our restoration times, which means happy customers and reductions in CAIDI and SAIDI,” says Harkness.

Harkness also says automating the callout process gave his co-op a way to think about how the non-union, member-owned utility does business. Even before ARCOS, CGEMC discussed speeding up response times and improving the capture of data related to productivity, so the co-op could take the burden off the staff. With a non-union workforce, CGEMC had flexibility in transforming its callout approach. Implementing ARCOS provided CGEMC with the chance to improve processes for its line department and managers.

“We knew we wanted to better distribute work and reward performance, but we couldn’t manage that with a manual system,” recalls Harkness. “Automation, specifically ARCOS, gave us software to track exactly what’s happening and acknowledge and reward employees for their contributions.”

 

For 11th time, ARCOS makes list of Central Ohio’s 50 fastest-growing companies

By Press Releases

COLUMBUS, Ohio – October 20, 2020 – ARCOS LLC has again earned 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 #27, a climb from #38 when ARCOS appeared on the list in 2018. ARCOS has made the list 11 times since its first appearance on the list in 2007. Of the nearly 500 companies on the list since it began in 1996, only two – Progressive Medical, Inc. (14 years) and Sequent (12 years) – have appeared more times than ARCOS. The Fast 50 Award recognizes companies for financial growth and performance over the past three years.

“One of our founding principles is:  We take on the toughest challenges for our customers whether they work at a utility company, airline or in another critical infrastructure industry,” said Bruce Duff, chief executive officer of ARCOS LLC. “Our employees’ willingness to work as a team and go to great lengths to help our customers is rewarding personally and professionally, and it’s part of why ARCOS regularly earns a place on the Fast 50 list.”

ARCOS’s early success came from automating a complex, manual process that utility managers relied on for identifying and calling out crews for after-hours emergencies and restoration. ARCOS went on to win business from the largest investor-owned utilities, municipalities and co-operatives; approximately 90 percent of U.S. households are served by utilities that use ARCOS technology. ARCOS next deployed its solutions for crew scheduling and management as well as damage assessment to help gas and water utilities. ARCOS then turned to helping the airline industry save millions of dollars by automating the way managers fill complex schedules (often disrupted by weather) for flight crews and ground crews. ARCOS has recently implemented its workforce management and scheduling solutions for manufacturers and logistics companies.

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 to executives, employees, first responders, regulators, media and the public. The ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite is a SaaS platform for managers to automatically assemble available crews, analyze crew response and report outcomes. The ARCOS Damage Assessment solution helps utilities shorten the process of surveying damage caused by major events like hurricanes from days to hours. ARCOS Resource Assist™ automates the manual process of requesting and managing third-party resources and equipment.