Keeping up with customer growth can be an issue for utilities. There’s an influx of people moving into already densely populated areas and causing load strains as requests for power increase. It’s a good problem to have from a revenue perspective but presents its own set of generation and crew availability challenges. A recent example is when freezing temperatures hit Texas at the height of the pandemic. Rolling blackouts became a necessity, and as crews worked in smaller groups dictated by safety protocols, work productivity suffered. It was taking more time than usual to complete restoration jobs. In wake of these issues, the industry has started to embrace new ways of managing resources.
The Role of Technology
Improving operations and overall efficiency comes down to technology. The goal is to acquire software that will do a job for you quickly. Through automation, generation can be controlled, and crews manned and dispatched by skillset to tickets that can be rapidly closed so they can move on and speedily finish what’s next. It still can be a balancing act but having apps like the ARCOS Resource Management Platform can help an operation focus on meeting the demands that customer growth requires – like building out new lines, expanding facilities, and maintaining the lines and equipment they already have.
Looking to Utility Service Providers
The amount of growth is also causing an increase in the use of contractors and utility service providers. How utilities are choosing to perform contractor management is an important step in eliminating bottlenecks, roster misunderstandings, and the accurate post reporting of completed work. And as utilities are holding contractors to higher expectations (certain safety ratings, qualifications, productivity margins and whether they have supervision in the field), solutions such as ARCOS Resource Assist and Resource Assist Lite are becoming an industry standard to readily link the right contractors to a utility’s job needs.
Efficiency through Innovation
Another item that has risen to the top is the innovative ability to look at the efficiency of all utility operations technology available. The solutions that are in the field must speak to each other so trends can be defined, work orders created, and full situational awareness attained. One solution across the whole company is not going to work, but one that ties multiple apps designed for specific tasks or purposes together will. ARCOS Mobile Workbench is a solution that has an API that bridges that gap and can deliver enterprise system data integration.
Growth is an opportunity – an opportunity for more profit, more investment, more tech, and more benefit to the customer experience. It’s also an opportunity to create a new way of working. Contact ARCOS now and learn how our solutions can help ease the burdens your utility may be facing.