April 30, 2014 12:03 ET

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

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwired - Apr 30, 2014) - 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.

ComEd is the latest in a string of utilities (the others being Central Maine Power Co., New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric, all part of Iberdrola USA) that have put in place cloud-based software for utility storm managers. With the software, utility executives and managers can access a computer-generated board for visually organizing and mobilizing crews required during large power restoration events.

"Automated crew management is a game changer for the utility industry," wrote Kerri Foster and Joe Purington of Central Maine Power Co. in the February 2014 edition of T&D World Magazine. "Mobilizing and tracking crews efficiently, capturing crew staffing and the time crews worked, and playing it back after a storm has passed -- this is all data Iberdrola USA is collecting to better gauge restoration costs and address information requests from executive management and regulators."

A perennial question asked by utility executives is: Why does it take hours to determine how many crews are working a storm?

Smith and Wagner will explain how the ARCOS® Crew Manager cloud-based system they're putting in place enables supervisors to tap a "virtual board" for tracking crews in real-time by job classification, staging area, elapsed-time worked and status. With the software, supervisors can direct crews (including foreign contractor and mutual assist crews) and show their precise status during a major event. Power is restored faster because the utility deploys workers swiftly, efficiently and safely. Smith and Wagner will also show how ComEd can use the software to ensure storm managers always have accurate information, which eliminates delays in rolling up crew data from phone calls and spreadsheets.

Twenty-three 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 or call 614-396-5500.

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