Macrosoft Inc. has released the results of a survey it conducted to study the restoration practices of utility companies in North America.
The report aimed at benefiting utility companies to understand common best practices and pain-points that can be effectively addressed, is the outcome of a detailed study conducted during the period of Feb-March 2006. The results are based on responses from more than 100 storm center personnel across 45 utilities. The report highlights the importance of standardizing operations and leveraging technology to enhance efficiencies in the quick assembling of resources, their effective deployment, tracking and managing them before, during and after the event.
Some interesting findings that emerged from the survey include:
- 87% of participants indicted they have at least one major outage every year. Utilities in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast indicated they face the highest frequency of emergencies outages with in excess of five major events annually.
For the survey, an emergency outage is defined as an outage that affects greater than 5% of customers for over 24 hours.
- 53% of the respondents reported having more than 500 field personnel deployed during a large scale restoration event.
- 95% of the respondents said that their organizations make use of contractor and mutual assistance resources during storm restoration.
- Despite being in a hi-tech world, a majority of companies do not use automated systems, but still use manual spreadsheets, white boards or forms to track and manage people and equipment resources during and emergency outage.
“While the survey helped obtain valid data on storm statistics, common practices and challenges faced by utilities during large-scale outage situations, it also reinforced Macrosoft’s understanding of the industry,” said Edward Sable, president, Macrosoft. “Resources on demand is designed to precisely cater to the needs of the utility companies and help them speed their efficiencies during restoration. We are happy to find that companies who adopted our technology innovation have given us highly encouraging feedback.”
Macrosoft developed ‘Resources on Demand’ (RoD)--a software tool that helps utility companies to effectively track and efficiently manage people and equipment resources during their restoration efforts. This is a Web-enabled system designed to replace manual/Excel processes currently in use at many power and utility companies to manage resource requests and track personnel movement during emergency outages. RoD captures Resource Requests and Available Resources, improves the Resource Assignment process (replaces Excel spreadsheets), and provides historical information on the movement of resource teams.