Kansas City Power & Light had a situation. Callouts were taking hours. Grievances were piling up. Every adjustment to the process caused another challenge. The system they were using wasn’t working and the implementation team, newly formed to handle the situation, was given a deadline to replace it by the end of the year. This was a tight timeframe and whatever solution they chose would need buy-in from multiple parties, including members from two separate unions.
Enter ARCOS. Our configurable callout solution can be implemented quickly and easily, decreasing manual callout processes from hours to minutes. It takes into account all your union and business rules to create fast and reliable calls. ARCOS also logs every action taken and call made to produce comprehensive reporting, providing all the records you need in the rare instance a grievance arises.
Vetting the Program and Exceeding the Test
KCP&L was familiar with ARCOS but they hadn’t used it. They’d heard good things from other utilities and looked into us further. They liked what they saw, but they were understandably hesitant to switch to something new – especially with the stakes involved and the fact that the last system they bought hadn’t worked out.
As a result, they hired the Edison Electric Institute to conduct a survey of companies to find out which automated callout systems they preferred. Respondents were asked what worked, what didn’t and why. This would allow KCP&L to not only know which system their peers considered the best, but what features they wanted and weak spots to avoid.
The results came in and the majority of those that used ARCOS were highly satisfied, which was in-line with the impression KCP&L already had of ARCOS. Buoyed by positive data, they decided to implement ARCOS.
KCP&L had specific guidelines they wanted ARCOS to abide by. First, they needed rapid implementation before the end of the year that wouldn’t impact their crews greatly or negatively. Moving to a new system often means an adjustment period but KCP&L didn’t have time. Everything needed to work right out of the box.
Part of minimizing worker resistance was needing fully transparent schedules and rosters that were easy for supervisors to maintain. This way the field workers could see what was expected of them. KCP&L needed 24-7-365 availability for any employee to access the system via the internet so the callout could be made from anywhere.
Lastly, the new solution needed to fully comply with all their business and union rules. If it didn’t there would be grievances, an occurrence that was a driving reason for the switch. It would make all their work to find a better system meaningless if this couldn’t be done.
ARCOS was able to satisfy all these points.
Real World Results
Tom Burke, Superintendent of Distribution System Operations for KCP&L, was pleased. Callouts that used to take hours were done in minutes or even seconds. And he wasn’t the only one who was happy. He reported widespread acceptance from workers in the field and the back office, all overwhelmingly positive.
Tony Laughlin, Superintendent of Field Operations, had a similar reaction. Grievances plummeted. The few that were reported were all traced to user error, not problems with the system. Their new ARCOS reporting backed that up and allowed for easy resolution and unerring transparency. With data instantly and always available, accountability had never been higher.
This left the team with such a positive impression that Burke said he was looking to other ways to use ARCOS in various parts of their operations. His experience left him with the confidence he could count on ARCOS and make use of it more widely.
What more can you ask for?