Winter is almost over, which means spring and summer will soon arrive. These seasons pose serious problems for utility companies, as storm systems strong enough to damage essential electrical fixtures enter the area. In fact, almost one-third of all outages recorded last year occurred between March 23 and Sept. 21, according to data from the Department of Energy. With this in mind, utilities should start addressing weaknesses in their outage management strategies.
Implementing new technology is the most effective way to successfully bolster dispatch and field operations. However, for organizations that have worked with paper-based processes for decades or longer, it can be difficult to understand how complex software can simplify outage mitigation workflows. In reality, many utilities use these systems and see transformational benefits. That’s why the outage management system market has grown considerably larger in recent years, according to research from Statista. How do these solutions demonstrably improve the operation?
Facilitating outage accuracy and transparency
Utility companies that use traditional outage mitigation methods often work with incomplete data or deploy service crews with service interruption information that changes en route. This slows down response times and reduces customer satisfaction. OMS solutions cull data from meters in real time, giving utilities accurate data when they need it the most. Additionally, accompanying mobile products allow dispatchers and linemen to maintain open communication channels. This helps crews stay up to date on service requests and avoid time-wasting trips to functioning electrical components.
“Almost one-third of all outages recorded last year occurred between March 23 and Sept. 21.”
Improving customer service
When outages occur, customer interactions increase exponentially. Normally, these communications take place over the phone. This overwhelms dispatchers and leaves customers frustrated. OMS platforms equipped with mobile portals solve this problem, giving utilities the ability to send out outage updates and keep in touch with those affected, without picking up the phone. In most cases, customers can log into these online spaces and view up-to-date outage information pulled straight from meters, giving them fewer reasons to call in and speak with dispatchers.
Making compliance easier
The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires utilities to adhere to specific outage mitigation protocols and assures compliance via annual data submissions. OMS software makes it easier to show compliance, as users can access historic outage notification metrics without wading through paper files or navigating multiple backend systems.
OMS solutions are the optimal solution for utility companies looking to improve their processes in preparation for spring and summer storms. Interested in further exploring the technology? Contact DataVoice. Organizations across the country use our system to serve customers. Learn more about our industry-leading OMS platform today.