October 6, 2015

Tri-County EC Uses New GIS Technology

Tri-County EC Uses New GIS Technology to Help Improve Communications

South Carolina’s Tri-County Electric Cooperative recently faced a common dilemma among utilities. Employee attrition from an aging workforce and the rapidly changing energy industry is forcing utilities to re-evaluate the way they do business. Like many utilities, Tri-County had used GIS software developed in house for years, but when the developer retired, the department lost the expertise of maintaining the system, forcing the utility to look for other options.

“Several vendors were considered options for us. Futura’s tight integration with our SEDC billing and accounting software was a major selling point. It brings all of our departments together in a cohesive unit,” said Bert Walling, Manager of Member Services at Tri-County EC. “All systems are now connected. Not only does this make us more efficient, it also improves our ability to serve our members better.”

By combining FuturaGIS, FuturaStake, FuturaMobile and Field Inspector, the utility now has a suite of integrated tools with a single point of data entry from the field or office. The utility’s field operations use the latest software developments to improve job efficiency, decrease windshield time, eliminate errors resulting from double entry, and enhance communications throughout the utility. Jobs can now go from start to finish with a few simple clicks of a button, eliminating trips back to the office.

Tri-County EC also updated outage procedures with the addition of FuturaOMS. Outage identification and response times are improved through IVR integrations that track outage calls by customer account, location, existing and new outages. FuturaOMS also combines switching, network tracing, automated predictions, and input from multiple data sources to aid Tri-County in enhancing outage communications internally and externally, reducing outage duration by identifying and dispatching crews to problem areas faster.

The utility chose Futura’s Catalyst analytics tool to provide a hub for all of the utility’s vital information. Catalyst combines all of the utility’s key data sources in a map setting for easy graphical review, allowing managers and other users to spot trends and patterns more easily and empowering them to make better-informed decisions. By choosing Futura, Tri-County EC has set itself up to be a leader in the utility field. The integrations between Futura’s core-Esri GIS solutions and SEDC’s Accounting and Billing software enable the cooperative to communicate customer information with an ease that is truly remarkable. Not only does the utility improve operations tremendously, but customer service becomes top of the class.

About Tri-County Electric Cooperative

Tri-County Electric Cooperative serves approximately 17,000 meters in six counties in South Carolina. Headquartered near St. Matthews, with district offices located in Santee and Eastover, the utility has become a leader in economic development for the area. Not only has Tri-County EC provided reliable electric service and innovative programs for 75 years, it has also been pivotal in the community. TCE offers electrical safety demonstrations, Operation Roundup grants, youth programs and conservation programs. Learn more at: www.tri-countyelectric.net