COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 2012) - ARCOS, Inc. has developed a new add-on module for its ARCOS(SM) 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.
"For utilities that have automated the callout and scheduling of line crews with the ARCOS Suite, SOS efficiently contacts the utility's remaining workforce to assume various storm roles to insure public safety and assist in the overall restoration effort," said Bruce Duff, chief executive officer of ARCOS. "SOS also lets utilities automatically track and update all storm rosters, in one location."
The ARCOS Suite is a SaaS-based application that identifies and calls available utility crews, analyzes responses and reports on the outcome, while accounting for complex union agreements.
Virtually all electric utilities have storm roles -- the jobs that workers take on to expedite power restoration after a major outage. After a major weather event, many companies rely on spreadsheets, phone trees and manually dialing to contact and mobilize workers. With SOS, storm center personnel can now spend these precious hours working on more productive restoration tasks like determining which circuit outages they can resolve with, for instance, a remote control switch.
As employees acquire new skills, change jobs or retire, it becomes difficult for a paper-based, storm-role process to identify who is available or best qualified for each storm role. With SOS in place, if an employee with experience as a lineman transfers to the Information Technology department, a manager can see the employee's background and assign him a storm role scouting for downed lines, instead of, say, assisting with transportation. SOS connects with HR systems, training software and learning management systems (LMS) to capture and update an employee's contact information as well as job title, experience and current and past work groups.
SOS also keeps tabs on an employee's working status, which means the software tracks when each employee accepts a job for storm staffing as well as when they complete their storm work. At any point during the process, a manager can use SOS to print a report showing who has accepted work, who is working and who has not accepted a callout for storm duty.
"ARCOS is always up to date, so a utility can know with confidence that its storm rosters are up to date and instantly accessible," added Duff. "This allows electric utilities to mobilize a workforce in minutes versus hours, allowing utilities to restore power faster while keeping the public safe from downed wires and other electric equipment."
About ARCOS, Inc.
Nineteen of the top 25 U.S. utilities rely on the ARCOS (SM) Callout and Scheduling Suite. When the power goes out, a gas leak is reported or another emergency occurs, the award-winning, cloud-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 www.arcos-inc.com or call 614-396-5500.