Great River Energy co-op selects ARCOS to update after-hours workforce scheduling for restorations

Infrastructure workforce management and Software as a Service (SaaS) firm ARCOS LLC is supplying its call-out and scheduling suite for Minnesota-based electric cooperative Great River Energy.

The solution for Great River allows it to automatically identify available employees after business hours and direct them to restoration work. Recent winter storms accelerated Great River Energy’s decision to shift from manual call-outs from its operators to ARCOS’s system.

“For years, Great River Energy has made manual calls for communications between our control center and field crews,” said Mark Peterson, system operations manager for Great River Energy. “Automating call-outs will save time for our control center staff, so they can focus on their core responsibility, operations.”

Thus, the cooperative can focus on such needs as front-end analysis linked to restoring substations, identifying transmission infrastructure damage or starting peaking generation.

“Our operators have tools to pinpoint issues and analyze conditions, but it takes concentration and dedicated time to make the most of these tools,” added Peterson. “Every minute spent on a manual call-out is a distraction that reduces situational awareness in the control center.”

Approximately 200 Great River Energy employees will be listed in the ARCOS System including control center workers who log in to launch and analyze call-outs. According to Great River Energy, managers will measure the success of automated callout in two ways: First, the number of people reached through the system (versus a manual process) and the success rate for each call; second, how much time automation shaves off the call-out process per event.

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Great River Energy serves about 700,000 members who received electricity through 28 cooperatives. It is the second largest electric generation supplier in Minnesota.

ARCOS supplies SaaS solutions for managing resources, ensuring accurate, compliant shift scheduling and automatically planning for all types of events. The ARCOS solution reports on the up-to-the-minute location and status of equipment and crews via mobile technology for utilities and other critical infrastructure like airlines, manufacturers and industrial facilities.

Among ARCOS’ clients are Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Central Georgia EMC, Dakota Electric Association and El Paso Electric.

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