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Speeding Up Restoration by Digitally Linking to Contractors

By April 27, 2022Blog

Two linemen working on a poleWith so many things being instantly available in modern society, it can be a challenge to satisfy eager customers when services go down. They likely don’t know just how much happens behind the scenes to bring their utility service to them and are looking for an immediate fix.

When it comes to restoration, a big challenge for many companies is lining up contractors to assist. Bringing in additional crews can be a timely process, with back-and-forth communications to outside companies and roster spreadsheets that need multiple updates. This impacts the overall speed of the repair greatly.

Once the fixes are in-process, some utilities have turned to text messages and online portals to communicate repair status with their customers. This gives some insight into the process and sets expectations for when services may be running again. But isn’t it even better if the fix itself can be quicker?

Automating the Process

A large part of the time involved in restoration is spent communicating with employees and assigning them specific work. This includes both internal staff and outside contractors, the latter of which often requires a separate process. Add to that the slowdowns that happen along the way, from errors in data entry, to making changes on the fly once the full extent of the damage is known. Sometimes, workers or contractors without the correct skillset are sent to the wrong place. Then there’s the closing -out of the event, which often requires reconciling money spent on work done and reporting on all activities,; including data that you may have to wait to get from contracting partners.

The ARCOS Resource Management platform can improve much of that process by automating assignments and reporting. Rosters can be automatically built by skillset and availability, calling out just who is needed. Crews can be assigned and monitored in Crew Manager. Contractors and mutual assistance employees can be easily integrated into your existing system with Resource Assist, making them part of your workflow rather than an exception.

Real-World Success

One of our utility partners, FirstEnergy, is one of America’s largest investor-owned utilities. Their storm response team includes nearly 100 contractor companies, as well as their own staff. Since adding Resource Assist to their workflow, FirstEnergy has filled tens of thousands of requests for crews, expediting restoration, eliminating errors, and speeding up reconciliation.

They’ve gone from a largely manual process to using our automated portal, making changes quickly and efficiently. Instead of taking hours to build crews, FirstEnergy now begins assigning work within ten minutes of receiving responses.

Another utility partner, Pacific Gas and Electric, uses ARCOS Resource Management daily for clear sky operations, as well as storm support. They’ve eliminated inconsistencies, standardized their crew building process, and now track their work digitally. They can see a snapshot of which crews and equipment are available from their teams and contractors well in advance, or in real-time. This allows them to plan for exactly the number of additional resources and employees needed at any moment.

Once PG&E helped their contractor partners get registered in Resource Assist, the time required to request and manage those crews was reduced by 80%. They no longer have any mistakes when assembling rosters. They know every day just how many contractors are on their property, where they are, and what they’re doing.

Quick and Efficient

All our processes are configurable, and we will work with you to design a solution that fits your existing workflows. We can minimize the manual parts of your processes, saving you administrative time and money, and digitally connect you to your contracting partners to secure resources in minutes. Best of all, you’ll be able to get services back to your customers as quickly as possible – making them, and you, happy.

To learn more about saving time and speeding up your restoration with the ARCOS Resource Management platform, read our latest case study or contact ARCOS now.

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