Digital Utility Software Automates Callouts
COLUMBUS, Ohio – September 1, 2021 – Since implementing the ARCOS® Software-as-a-Service Callout and Scheduling solution, managers at a Northeastern natural gas utility say dispatchers using the technology have moved from a manual process for calling workers for gas leaks and repairs to an automatic one that locates and assembles available crews in minutes. The callout system’s Closest to the Trouble technology helps workers quickly identify the closest qualified resource with the right equipment, so utility managers can expedite emergency response.
“CTT is a game-changer for us, especially after-hours,” said a manager overseeing workforce scheduling and dispatch at the utility. “If there’s a gas leak, we find the nearest resource in seconds through ARCOS.”
The utility operates and maintains thousands of miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve hundreds of thousands of customers.
According to utility managers, the ARCOS callout solution centralizes data for hundreds of employees including first responders, foremen, mechanics, dispatchers, and customer service representatives. The ARCOS solution also stores contact information, backfills shifts in the event of unplanned absences and tracks a worker’s status. Gas utilities like this one rely on the ARCOS solution, in part, when calling out workers for unplanned or emergent work. The solution accounts for complex work rules that ensure overtime is parceled out to gas chiefs and mechanics in accordance with union agreements.
The natural gas utility uses the ARCOS solution around the clock. But dispatchers rely on the system after regular business hours. If, for example, a first responder arrives at a gas leak on the weekend and secures the leak but still needs a crew for repairs, dispatchers tap ARCOS to launch a call out in seconds and assemble an available crew minutes later.
The ARCOS solution replaced a sometimes-tedious process in which dispatchers would have to juggle directing field personnel or other work while manually searching a list and making phone calls to find available crews. In extreme cases, a callout would take a dispatcher an entire shift to complete. With the ARCOS solution automatically running a call out in the background, dispatchers monitor incoming calls about gas leaks and devote their attention to handling emergencies. If the volume of emergency calls outstrip the number of available first responders, dispatchers use ARCOS to immediately identify and bring in additional first responders. The impetus for buying the ARCOS solution, says the utility, was making more efficient use of dispatchers’ time, while getting crews to work quickly and safely.
About ARCOS LLC
ARCOS provides the leading SaaS-based resource management platform built specifically for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries. Using ARCOS, companies manage the real-time availability of unionized workforces and contractors alongside long- and short-cycle work necessary to keep services flowing for more than 90 million people and businesses across the United States and Canada. ARCOS’s best-in-class customer support coupled with its quick return on investment, automated callout capabilities, electronic crew management, contractor management, emergency mobilization, work distribution and field service mobility solutions help its customers safely respond to, restore, report on, and manage critical activity that keeps electric, water, gas and travel running smoothly. Learn about ARCOS resource management software at https://www.arcos-inc.com. Follow ARCOS on LinkedIn, @ARCOS LLC, and Twitter, @ARCOS