To serve customers more quickly and effectively during outages, the City of Rock Hill decided to update its response capabilities. The existing system did not incorporate technology in a comprehensive way, meaning outage reporting and response consisted of too many manual processes.
Staff needed a way to group calls in outages and detect which piece of infrastructure was responsible for an interruption in service. The main aim was to replace the time-consuming legacy procedure, which involved determining the street where a call originated and sending field crews out to investigate. This is where the upgrade to DataVoice International’s Outage Management System came in.
The Rock Hill team opted to replace their manual outage management procedures with DataVoice OMS. The system takes calls automatically and enters data into the system. Recording information on paper from each call was a time-consuming process, and has been completely replaced by the OMS.
“Instead of taking calls, handwriting information on a piece of paper and trying to dispatch based on paper data, now calls are being taken automatically, there’s predictive analysis going on automatically, paging our duty folks, getting them rolling toward the issue,” said Rock Hill Director of Electric Utilities Mike Jolly.
The OMS connects directly with the city’s databases and Automated Metering Infrastructure, giving a graphical representation of power usage allowing personnel to have
far greater visibility into any issues leading to outages. Integration with Geographic Information Systems and the department’s vehicle tracking system allows office staff to determine which crew is best positioned to resolve an outage, dispatch that team and oversee them on their way to the predicted source of the trouble.
A further deployment after initial OMS use is an integrated texting feature to notify customers of outages and estimated restoration times. This reduces the number of calls on the lines, as people no longer have to wonder about the status of their electricity during an outage.
“Instead of taking calls, handwriting information on a piece of paper and trying to dispatch based on paper data, now calls are being taken automatically, there’s predictive analysis going on automatically, paging our duty folks, getting them rolling toward the issue.”
Mike Jolly, Director of Electric Utilities, Rock Hill Utilities
The superior integration and automation that comes with a DataVoice OMS deployment has changed power interruption response procedures in Rock Hill. When a more significant outage takes place, a notification goes out to management immediately. “The availability of information and the operational efficiencies that have gone with it have been a game-changer for us,” Jolly explained.
In-depth data analysis makes outage response more efficient than ever before. Reliability reports are now available for any selected time period, and predictive analytics algorithms can help office staff identify the root causes of issues.
During major outages, the positive effects have been most pronounced. While under the old system, 500 customer calls coming in would have to be taken and mapped one at a time, dispatchers can now view the customers on each line and immediately get crews started on resolution.
With these new efficiencies, the City of Rock Hill is better able to serve its customers, especially when outages strike.