Press Releases

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Grant Public Utility District Automates Callout of Electric Crews with ARCOS

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Columbus, Ohio – June 25, 2015

If an automobile collides with a power pole and knocks it down at midnight or lighting takes out a transformer over a holiday weekend, Grant Public Utility District can reach a small army of electric linemen and others in seconds to begin the process of restoration. Since May, Grant PUD, which serves 46,000 customers across Grant County, Wash., has launched more than 900 automated, outbound calls to assemble crews via the Saas-based ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite.

Before May 2015, Grant PUD contacted crews via a manual process. When a power outage occurred after normal working hours, Grant PUD’s dispatchers would manually dial a list of workers to find available personnel to begin restoration work.

“Dialing each worker by hand for a callout could take as long as an hour,” says Chris Heimbigner, line superintendent for Grant PUD. “Dispatchers had to manually roll – or move people from the top to the bottom of a list – for each callout. With ARCOS, we took the manual process out of callouts.”

According to Heimbigner, Grant PUD learned about the ARCOS solution from Spokane, Wash.-based Avista Utilities, which uses the suite for assembling, managing and tracking electric and gas crews. The ARCOS solution automates the assembly of crews for emergency repair, filling a shift or special projects. And it strictly mirrors the work agreements in place between Grant PUD and IBEW Local 77 for callout and overtime rules.

“I do believe ARCOS has decreased outage duration and our response time,” adds Heimbigner. “We’re a huge county. And the system is new, and we’ve had to make adjustments moving from a manual process to an automated one, but we’ve had zero issues.”

After manual callouts, Heimbigner says he was regularly questioned about why one crew member was called before another or skipped over entirely. Digging into the reasons why manual calls were made in a particular order could take away hours each week from managing contracts and daily operations. With the automated system, Heimbigner now spends that previously lost time solving customer issues, ensuring safety and supporting engineering work. Heimbigner also sees the ARCOS solution’s reporting features helping Grant PUD with crew management. Being able to automatically review and confirm the outcome of each event and callout will give Grant PUD a view of where trouble areas are, who’s responding and how frequently crews respond. The ARCOS solution covers line workers; station operators; electricians; fiber technicians and fiber installers; customer service representatives; and transportation, facility and warehouse workers.

“The automated callout system removes the human element of calling people and saves hours of a dispatcher’s time,” says Grant PUD ARCOS Administrator Taffy Courteau. “The maintenance of our rosters and the sanctity of the order of calls is preserved.”

About ARCOS LLC

Twenty-four of the top 25 U.S. utilities rely on the ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite. When the power goes out, a gas leak is reported or another emergency occurs, the award-winning, SaaS-based ARCOS Suite instantaneously finds, assembles and tracks repair crews, reducing outage interruptions and improving restoration time for electric, gas and power plant utilities. For more information, visit www.arcos-inc.com or call 614-396-5500.

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Hydroplants Automate Notifications to Customers, Public Officials

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Even when utilities try their best to get word out about a planned outage or change in water flow level, customers often say they never received information. Door hangers left by utilities on front doors can easily fall off or go unnoticed by consumers using a different entry point. Manually dialing municipalities downstream from a hydroelectric power plant requires time away from other operations, sometimes up to an hour or more.

Utility Workers Manage Call Out Schedules and Response with New ARCOS Mobile App

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ARCOS® LLC, a provider of crew callout and crew management systems and services for 24 of the top 25 U.S. utilities, has launched new features for its ARCOS Mobile application, which speeds up the call out of utility crews for emergencies such as electric outages, gas leaks or a power plant boiler tube leak. ARCOS Mobile provides easier access to the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite for utility managers and crews via a tablet, phablet or smartphone.

More than 50 Utilities to Attend 12th Annual ARCOS Conference for Crew Call Out and Crew Management

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ARCOS® LLC, a provider of crew callout and crew management solutions, will host more than 50 of America’s electric, gas and power plant utilities at the 12th-annual ARCOS Conference at the Wild Dunes Resort in Charleston, S.C., from March 15 – 18, 2015. San Diego Gas & Electric – winner of the 2014 ReliabilityOne™ National Reliability Excellence Award – will deliver the conference keynote session titled “What does it take to become a reliable electric utility?”

Utility Execs Explain How to Centralize Crew Management Before and After Storms

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At DistribuTech 2015 in San Diego, Calif., executives from ComEd, Iberdrola USA and Northeast Utilities will join a panel to discuss new strategies and technology for automatically assembling and managing their crews as well as contractor and mutual aid crews before and after major restoration events. The panel begins on Feb. 5, at 10:30 a.m. in the San Diego Convention Center, room 24A.

ARCOS Provides New Logistics Features in Latest Release of Crew Manager Software

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ARCOS® LLC has released new logistics features for its ARCOS® Crew Manager software to give utility storm managers a way to pre-arrange and track internal and external crews’ lodging, meals, staging areas, equipment and vehicles during major events. ARCOS Crew Manager creates a centralized database for utilities to rapidly position crews, contractors and mutual assistance crews during storm recovery efforts.

ARCOS Hires Software Industry Veteran Ted Schneider as CTO, Names Mitch Chapman Product Chief

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ARCOS LLC has hired software industry veteran Ted Schneider as its new chief technology officer. Schneider will manage cloud operations, software development and product management. Mitch Chapman, who previously served as ARCOS CTO, becomes Chief Product Architect, a newly created position. Chapman will research new technologies and dive deeper into the design and development of the ARCOS platform.

Improving Utility Crew Management at 15th Annual Electric Operations Technical & Leadership Summit

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At this year’s Midwest Electric Association annual Electric Operations Technical & Leadership Summit in Springfield, Ill., Kimberly A. Smith, director of emergency preparedness for ComEd, and Kenneth Wagner, senior emergency preparedness administrator for ComEd, will present a session explaining how ComEd aims to improve crew management with a high-tech system for mobilizing and tracking utility repair crews.

Ameren Missouri Automates Crew Call Out with ARCOS

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Ameren Missouri will soon replace a manual crew callout process with the Software-as-a-Service ARCOS Suite, which automatically calls and assembles crews to restore power. Electric utilities such as Kansas City Power & Light have installed the ARCOS Suite and note a 30-minute reduction in the storm CAIDI process because the utility reduced the time to identify and assemble available linemen.

New ARCOS Mobile App Gives Utilities Faster Wat to Get Crews to Outages, Leaks

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ARCOS LLC, a developer of crew management, callout and emergency response software for 21 of the top 25 U.S. utilities, has launched the ARCOS Mobile application for the DROID™, iPhone® and Samsung Galaxy smartphones and other Android™ and iOS™ devices to speed up the call out of utility crews for emergencies such as electric outages, gas leaks or a power plant boiler tube leak.

ARCOS Takes Investment from the Riverside Company

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ARCOS, a maker of crew management, callout and emergency response software for 21 of the top 25 U.S. utility companies, has taken an investment from Cleveland-based private equity firm The Riverside Company to expand operations and reach the remaining U.S. utility market and other industries. The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm with extensive experience investing in high-growth software businesses.

Empire District Electric Company Aims to Reduce Duration of Power Outages and Water Repairs with ARCOS

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Empire District Electric Company will soon hang up its after-hours manual phone dialing process for calling crews and, instead, rely on the Software-as-a-Service ARCOS Suite to automatically call and assemble crews to restore power and fix water leaks. Empire purchased the ARCOS Suite to reduce outage times as part of “Operation Toughen Up,” an initiative for strengthening the company’s delivery system.

ARCOS Promotes Bill Brackett to Vice President of Services and Support

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&ARCOS®, Inc. has promoted Bill Brackett to vice president of Services and Support from director of Professional Services. In the newly created position, Brackett and his team will implement the company’s software for new ARCOS customers, provide customers live support for technical questions, analyze operations to boost efficiency and manage quality assurance testing. Brackett will also oversee the design of new features for the ARCOS Suite.

Snohomish County Public Utility District Automates Call Out with ARCOS to Reduce Duration of Power Outages and Water Leaks

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May 22, 2013 – Columbus, OH

Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) has begun using the Software-as-a-Service ARCOS Suite to automatically call and assemble its utility crews to restore power and repair water leaks. Before automating its callout process, PUD Energy Control Dispatchers maintained paper lists of electric linemen and water servicemen who could take a callout, also known as a request for emergency or special work at an unusual time or place.

When dispatchers now receive information about an outage or a leak, they use the ARCOS callout and
scheduling software to alert crews in seconds. The system describes the trouble to linemen and servicemen via mobile phone, pager, home phone, text or email. The automatic call for crews electronically mimics the callout process and precisely follows any workplace agreements in place. The system also tracks which workers answer a callout and keeps a record of which employees are at a job site, in training, on vacation or sick.

According to Electric Light & Power magazine, assembling and dispatching crews faster can reduce storm CAIDI (customer average interruption duration index) by up to 30 minutes because crews get to the scene of trouble faster.

“We anticipate our outage times will be reduced,” said Roger Bauer, senior manager, Regional Design and Construction Services for Snohomish County Public Utility District.

Approximately 300 employees in the line and water departments as well as customer service will be part of PUD’s new automated callout system. PUD managers say the automated callout system is a way to make internal processes efficient. The utility felt its outage- and leak-response metrics were good, but managers wanted to make those metrics great. The ARCOS system will also ensure 100-percent compliance with PUD’s union agreements for callout.

About ARCOS, Inc.
Twenty-one of the top 25 U.S. utilities rely on the ARCOS℠ Callout and Scheduling Suite. When the power goes out, a gas leak is reported or another emergency occurs, the award-winning, SaaS-based ARCOS Suite instantaneously finds, assembles and tracks repair crews, reducing outage interruptions and improving restoration time for electric, gas and power plant utilities. For more information, visit www.arcos-inc.com
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