ATLANTA, Nov. 11, 2002 – Rappahannock Electric Cooperative has gone live with CES International’s Centricity, an operations-management software package that enables REC to provide customers with real-time updates during power outages and streamline a number of operational functions.
The Centricity suite also includes Internet-based decision-support tools that integrate data from multiple systems, allowing REC to analyze information and distribute it to employees via intranet.
Billy Carter, director of Fredericksburg, Va.,-based REC Operational & Construction Services, said the leading benefit of the Centricity system is better customer communication.
“By supplying customers with more information when they call in, we save a lot of call-backs, because what most customers want to know is what’s wrong and how long the power will be off,” Carter said. “Now we can give them that information quickly and with a high degree of accuracy.”
REC chose CES International’s Centricity after an in-depth analysis of competing products, and after deciding to consolidate the operational functions at the utility’s two districts and headquarters. Also factoring in was Centricity’s problem-assessment capabilities.
“Previously, storm-related outages were dispatched from both districts, and it took several people to determine what device was open or what else the problem might be,” Carter said. “So we had to keep some of our best people inside to do that. Centricity allows us to work the outage more efficiently and with fewer people, so now we can have more of our experts back in the field where they can actually see what the conditions are and better assess the problems.”
As part of the Centricity package, REC installed the Web Call Entry and Performance Mart modules. Web Call Entry gives customer-service personnel access to real-time data on customers and outages via a Web browser. Performance Mart integrates data from multiple systems into easy-to-read reports that can be posted or distributed via intranet or Internet.
Carter said the Centricity implementation went smoothly. He attributed the success to excellent cooperation between CES, REC and Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), to which REC outsources its information-technology functions.
Said Dave Jones, CEO and president of CES International: “We’re pleased to have REC as a customer, and we’re especially pleased that their implementation went as smoothly as it did. We expect Centricity to provide a pretty significant ROI since REC did not previously have centralized operations, and we think their customers will really be impressed with the kind of up-to-the-minute information that REC can now provide over the phone.”
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), based in Fredericksburg, Va., is a consumer-owned utility that provides electric service to more than 80,000 connections in parts of 16 Virginia counties. It was formed in 1980 with the merger of two cooperatives, Virginia Electric Cooperative in Bowling Green and Northern Piedmont Electric Cooperative in Culpeper. REC maintains over 10,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the mouth of the Rappahannock River. For more information, visit www.rappelec.com.
CES International is a global supplier of real-time software solutions for distribution utilities. CES’ flagship product, the Centricity operations resource management (ORM) system, optimizes distribution-network operations and reliability, dramatically increasing customer-service capabilities.
The Centricity information infrastructure enables the safe and efficient integration of emerging power technologies with traditional distribution networks. Equipped with comprehensive energy-delivery network management capabilities, Centricity helps customers achieve enhanced return on network assets and deliver the “high 9s” reliability and power-quality levels demanded by the information economy. For more information on CES International, visit www.ces.com or call 1-800-450-0266.