Salt River Project (SRP) doesn't pick up the phone to call its maintenance crews after hours if a transformer goes out or a pole comes down. Instead, the Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.-based utility relies on an Internet-based application to identify available crews, call them, analyze responses and report on the outcome.

SRP is using the high-tech ARCOSSM system, which provides real-time intelligence on which crews are able to respond to callouts and when. If SRP receives word that a callout is necessary, a supervisor engages the ARCOS system and the software can fire off voice or text messages to hundreds of crew members in seconds. Crew members respond as to whether they can work the callout, while ARCOS takes into account a complex set of pre-determined workforce rules and regulations.

Before implementing ARCOS, calls were made on an individual basis with a dispatcher contacting one working foreman at a time. Then, each foreman would make calls to assemble the rest of the crew. SRP says the new callout system can trim an hour or more off the time it takes to assemble a crew, which means crews get to the trouble site faster and restore power sooner. Eliminating manual callouts frees dispatchers to respond to other mission-critical tasks and allows maintenance supervisors to focus on assessing the severity of multiple repair situations and taking action.

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