As the year draws to a close, it’s not only time to reflect, but also time to plan for 2016. Rest assured, your cooperative continues to push forward with innovation in order to provide you with the best, most reliable, service possible.
This year, we completed a major technology upgrade with the new GIS systems powered by Futura. With the new system, we were able to integrate our work flow directly into our billing system, thus saving time by making our processes much simpler. As an added benefit, the system now removes unnecessary duplication of effort. We no longer hand-write staking sheets and then pass them around. Now, everything is entered into a centralized database so everyone at CECI is always on the same page.
And, that’s just the beginning. We have plans to continue to improve upon this system. First though, we must spend some time getting our database of poles and lines, and everything attached to them, absolutely correct. Once that is done, we will then be able to roll out an Outage Management System (OMS) which will allow you, the CECI member, to receive specific outage information without even needing to call in!
We aren’t there yet, but I hope one day we can “beat the call.” That means, we will know about your outage and have crews dispatched before you even get a chance to call in.
CECI also added three new positions in 2015. We welcomed Luke Johnson to his role as Operations Manager. Luke has been doing a great job coordinating the efforts of the crews, while playing a primary role in the GIS rollout. He is also responsible for the work plan, which allows CECI to keep our lines up-to-date.
Prior to this year, we utilized a contract crew on an eight month basis in order to keep the lines clear of trees and brush. Now, we have our own two man inside crew working 12 months of the year. In the short time they have been here, both Eric and Layton have done a great job at getting caught up with past tickets. In the future, they will increase our response time to your calls, and enable CECI to keep its lines clear of trees.
By keeping the lines clear, system reliability should definitely be positively impacted.
Finally, we have begun work on our capital credit retirements. Part of being a cooperative member/owner means you receive an allocated portion of each year’s margins. Both the board and I take very seriously the idea that members should receive their portion of capital credits and we are working on a plan to get them out as soon as possible.
My hope is to get funds to you in 2016, with a plan in place to retire capital credits every year, assuming the cooperative remains in strong financial condition.
You can rest assured we are constantly on the lookout for better ways in which to serve you. Until next month, be safe.