ARCOS LLC, a company offering workforce management solutions for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries, and American Electric Power have expanded AEP’s use of ARCOS’s software beyond the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite to include ARCOS Crew Manager, Resource Assist and Mobile Workbench. The ARCOS mobile workforce management solutions support AEP’s field mobility project, which automates critical aspects of managing crews and restoring power.
“From the corner office to the street corner, AEP is building on one mobile workforce management platform to identify resources and capture a real-time view of the status of crews and equipment,” said Ross Fuller, president of ARCOS.
Crew Manager integrates with ARCOS’s callout system and allows AEP storm coordinators across seven operating companies to rapidly plan for major weather events by identifying available crews with the needed equipment via interactive, digital boards. Coordinators can then share that data through mobile devices that executives, managers and field crews can tap.
Since the scale of some outages requires assistance from contractor crews, AEP will link Resource Assist to Crew Manager and the ARCOS Callout Suite to simultaneously obtain crews and resources from multiple utility contractors. Resource Assist centralizes and standardizes how a utility tracks the number and type of requests it makes, which in turn safely speeds up fulfilling needs, reconciling invoices and releasing crews after restoration. To enhance its use of Resource Assist, AEP will explore how contractors can take advantage of the ARCOS sMART mobile application. AEP crews have used sMART for several years to receive directions to staging areas and information about lodging, meals and re-fueling.
AEP will also implement the ARCOS Mobile Workbench software to provide field crews with a single, simple solution for assigning field orders and tracking work as it happens.
In 2011, AEP purchased the ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite to automatically locate and assemble distribution line crews after normal business hours as part of an effort to improve service restoration and reliability as measured by CAIDI. AEP achieved a five-minute reduction in CAIDI with the ARCOS callout system when calling out a four-person service crew for restoration work.