Press Releases

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With ARCOS Software, GRU can Dispatch Crews More Efficiently

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Gainesville Regional Utilities has implemented the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite to speed up its response to after-hours calls for power restoration. Dispatchers can use the ARCOS software on their computers to automatically identify and call available utility crews, analyze responses and report on the outcome. GRU will also use ARCOS’s SIREN notification software to create and send emergency notices or updates to utility employees via email, voicemail or text messages.

New ARCOS SOS Software Rallies Accountants, IT Pros and others for Storm Duty

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ARCOS, Inc. has developed a new add-on module for its ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite that utility companies can tap to mobilize workers – other than line crews – for major storm duty. Dubbed ARCOS System Outage Staffing, or SOS, the software alerts workers to assume storm jobs such as guarding wires, patrolling sites, liaising with local officials or setting up a contractor staging area.

Salt River Project Navajo Generating Station Marks One Year of Automating Emergency Call Out

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Salt River Project’s coal-fired, 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station near Page, Ariz., is one of only a handful of power-generation plants nationwide (the others include Progress Energy’s Crystal River Complex and Alabama Power Company) that can begin assembling its emergency workforce in minutes, not hours, via callout. Callout is an order to report for emergency or special work at an unusual time or place.

To Speed Up Power Restoration, Sam Houston Electric Coop and ARCOS Automate Crew Call Out and Scheduling

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Automating callout caught the attention of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative Chief Operations Officer David Babcock because he wants his dispatchers to focus on monitoring the utility’s IT systems, not calling linemen for emergency work. Babcock’s goal is to make sure dispatchers concentrate on the activities that improve reliability. To make that happen, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative will put in place a newly purchased ARCOS Suite this May.

To Speed Up Power Restoration, Sam Houston Electric Coop and ARCOS Automate Crew Callout and Scheduling

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COLUMBUS, OH- February 15, 2012 

Automating callout caught the attention of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative Chief Operations Officer David Babcock because he wants his dispatchers to focus on monitoring the utility’s IT systems, not calling linemen for emergency work. Babcock’s goal is to make sure dispatchers concentrate on the activities that improve reliability. To make that happen, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative will put in place a newly purchased ARCOS(SM) Suite this May. The internet-based software, hosted by ARCOS, will free dispatchers from combing through electronic spreadsheets and files for the names of linemen who are available to restore power. The software locates and assembles utility repair crews after normal business hours, while factoring in any labor agreements dictating the order of calls.

“During a major outage, manual callout is a high-maintenance task that can take anywhere from 45 minutes to one and a half hours for dispatchers to complete,” said Babcock. “We’re a small utility with limited resources. The ARCOS Suite will allow our dispatchers to focus on monitoring our SCADA system, video from substations, security and technology in the dispatch center, instead of picking up the phone to locate and assemble line crews.”

Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s service territory covers 10 Texas counties, 6,000 miles of line and 200,000 poles. Approximately 60 linemen are on call to restore power if the lights go out. Babcock says the cooperative studied how much time, on average, it takes to bring together line crews who then travel to the scene of an outage. The utility believes it can significantly improve how fast that process is accomplished with ARCOS automating the assembly and dispatch of crews.

In the rare instance that the Texas electric cooperative faces an outage requiring more help than its linemen can provide, Babcock says ARCOS could play a role.

“Sam Houston Electric Coop wants to reach its list of available linemen in a few seconds with ARCOS, then determine if it needs to call contractors for more help,” said Bruce Duff, chief executive officer for ARCOS. “An automated callout system is going to help Sam Houston Electric Coop make that determination in seconds as opposed to an hour or more.”

Because of its size, Babcock says his electric cooperative has to have a good business purpose before purchasing anything. “The cost of ARCOS compared to our other technology systems was a fairly small investment when compared to the fairly big problem it solves,” said Babcock.

About ARCOS, Inc.
Eighteen of the top 25 U.S. utilities rely on the ARCOS Automated Crew Callout and Resource Management System. When the power goes out or other emergency situations occur, the award-winning, web-based ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite instantaneously finds, assembles and tracks repair crews, thus reducing outage interruptions and improving restoration time for electric, gas and power plant utilities. For more information, visit www.arcos-inc.com.

To Shorten Outages, AEP Creates Crew Callout

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To meet the new Ohio standards and improve outage response time in other states where the company operates, AEP is deploying strategies such as tree-trimming and more sophisticated meters as well as a newly purchased internet-based software system, made by ARCOS, Inc. The hosted system automatically locates and assembles utility repair crews after normal business hours.

ARCOS Makes Managing Resources “Point-and-Click” for Lee County Cooperative

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No matter what time of day it is, Don King, Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s senior supervisor for construction and maintenance, knows where his company’s line workers are – all of them. The click of a mouse gives King a complete view into whether they’re working, available to work or unavailable. And the line personnel, who maintain over 8,000 miles of energized line in Southwest Florida, like it that way.

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