How to Improve Crew Management

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Utility implements new system to expedite restoration process

BY BILL PERRY, MARCH 24 Media LLC

Assembling and deploying utility crews for major events is often a manual, cumbersome process for utilities. When executives or the media ask the status of crews in the wake of storms, it can take some storm centers up to four hours to pinpoint the location and status of crews.

“Where are the crews?” is a perennial question that directly affects restoration costs and time. To answer that question, Iberdrola USA (IUSA) has been collecting data to gauge more effectively the restoration costs and address information requests from executive management and regulators.

In the autumn of 2013, Central Maine Power Company, New York State Electric & Gas, and Rochester Gas & Electric began automating its crew management process. These utilities, which are part of Iberdrola USA, installed web-based software to give storm managers and other employees access to a computer-generated board for visually organizing and mobilizing crews required during large power restoration events. Electricity Today Magazine spoke with Kerri Foster, the manager of T&D Support – Programs and Projects for U.S. utility Central Maine Power, a part of Iberdrola USA to gain a greater perspective on how and why the company chose to move forward with using this new crew management system.

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