Enterprise Resilience

Avineonics

Outage Restoration Management Suite

Restoring services such as electricity, gas, and water following large scale outages caused by weather-related events such as ice storms, hurricanes, and thunderstorms is an expensive and daunting responsibility for utility companies. Emergency events damage assets and often result in millions of dollars of restoration and recovery costs. Furthermore, rising customer expectations, media attention, and social networking outlets have combined with regulatory requirements to make outage restoration efforts extremely visible, challenging, and time consuming.

In order to manage restoration efforts effectively, utility companies establish and maintain outage restoration plans and operating procedures for their generation, transmission, and distribution systems. The success of such plans depends not only on the processes utilized by your staff to restore service but also the systems used to document procedures and distribute information.

Depending on the severity of an event, hundreds or thousands of employees, contractors, and mutual assistance organizations can be involved in restoring service to customers. Numerous personnel with multiple skill sets coming from different departments and organizations are expected to operate harmoniously while closely following the outage restoration plans and procedures. While most utilities have detailed plans, communicating procedures to all of these personnel and actively managing their implementation sometimes remains an obstacle to prompt restoration.

The Avineonics Outage Restoration Management Suite (ORMS) is a comprehensive software solution for outage restoration planning, exercises, and management. Through role-based user access and functionality, the ORMS provides a secure method to improve process assurance and situational awareness throughout the outage restoration life cycle. It also takes advantage of legacy systems investments by leveraging functionality available from Outage Management Systems (OMS), Mobile Dispatch Systems (MDS), Emergency Management Systems (EMS), Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), and Customer Information Systems (CIS). The ORMS may be implemented as an enterprise system or in decentralized instances by individual operating units.

Key Benefits:
  • Improving and automating preparedness and restoration processes.
  • Improving documentation and information sharing.
  • Consolidating and automating email, spreadsheet and paper based processes.
  • Institutionalizing best practices such as the Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Improving communications, resource tracking, and resource utilization.

Typical Users:

The ORMS is a web and mobile software application. Users can access ORMS software installed on their company server or hosted by Avineon on a cloud server using:

  • Web Browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome.
  • Mobile Applications – iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, Android.

Typical users include incident management personnel; emergency managers; executives; senior managers; preparedness coordinators; operations managers; support personnel; logistics personnel; environmental, health, and safety personnel; corporate communication personnel; finance and accounting personnel; contractor team leaders; mutual assistance supervisors; staging site managers; etc.

Modules and Features:

Planning

The ORMS makes it easier for utility companies to maintain their outage restoration plans. Information maintained in standalone spreadsheets, databases, documents, web pages, and emergency plan appendices becomes more manageable through consistent interfaces in ORMS.

Planning functions include:

  • Emergency Role Assignments – First, second, and third roles for personnel.
  • Trainings and Credentials – Individual course completions and certifications based on assigned roles.
  • Contacts – Contact information related to employees, contractors, suppliers, media, government, mutual assistance, etc.
  • Circuits – List of circuits by jurisdiction along with customer counts.
  • Checklists – Key tasks and steps by emergency role and function.
  • Resources – Staging sites, hotels, emergency equipment, and supplies inventoried by location.
  • On-Call Rosters – Daily/weekly assignment of on-call personnel designated for emergency roles.
  • Documents – On-line sharing of the latest version of the plan documents and on-line reviews/updates.

Exercises

Training employees in the use of outage restoration plans and testing associated procedures are important steps to ensure safety and effectiveness during emergencies. The ORMS enables utility companies to carry out table top and functional exercises/drills to meet periodic training requirements and improve collaboration across departments and with government organizations. The system provides an HSEEP consistent framework for scheduling, designing, delivering, and evaluating training/testing sessions.

Key capabilities include:

  • Calendar – Schedule tabletop and functional exercises/drills.
  • Roster – Identify personnel participating in each exercise/drill by assigned sites and roles.
  • Scenario – Design emergency events, target audience, and expected actions.
  • Simulation – Deliver and track exercise events using email, text messages, video clips, etc.
  • Activity Logs – Document actions performed by participants during the exercise.

Restoration

The ORMS provides with functionality to manage outage restoration incidents in real time.

This includes the following functionality:

  • Advisories – Issue email and pager updates related to weather, outages, and employee callout plans.
  • Incident Action Plan Activation – Track and maintain current status of business functions, sites, days/shifts, organizations, etc.
  • Wire Guarding – Track assignments, field assessments, relief requests, hand-offs, etc.
  • Damage Assessment – Rapidly receive and document detailed assessments by site and circuit.
  • Objectives – Track key restoration objectives and status.
  • Resource Management – Track incident management teams, support teams, crews, contractors, mutual aid, etc., including their vehicles and equipment.
  • Logistics – Track staging, hotel reservations, room allocations, food, fuel, etc.
  • Communications Management – administer meetings, briefings, press releases, inquiries, electronic bulletin boards, and social networking sites.
  • Activity Logs – Document all actions as they are performed.
  • Task Management – Make assignments and track completion of tasks.
  • Dashboards and Reports – Utilize real time dashboards, mid-action reports, and after-action reports.

Improvement

The ORMS provides the ability to maintain activity logs from training exercises/drills and actual restoration efforts in a centralized location and standardized format. The logs support after action reviews, evaluation of lessons learned, and identification of corrective actions. This in turn helps your organization follow a structured approach to analysis and continuous improvement.

Key features include:

  • Lessons Learned – Track lesson learned by procedure/plan and department.
  • Corrective Actions – Track improvement actions by assignee, status, and due date.