Project Profiles / Experience

ArborMetrics Solutions, Inc. to Assist Northern Indiana Public Service Company With Vegetation Management Program
 
Hendersonville, NC– ArborMetrics Solutions, Inc. was recently selected to provide both transmission and distribution vegetation management services to NiSource’s Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO).

On NIPSCO’s transmission lines, ArborMetrics arborists will handle work planning from start to finish.  “ArborMetrics’ people are contacting land owners, gathering the data for the GIS mapping system, interfacing with the contractors and managing quality control,” says NIPSCO Supervisor of Forestry Operations Jason Lietz.

“Our approach to Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) offers continuous process improvement through quality control audits of the work,” explains ArborMetrics Business Development Supervisor Henry King. “This completes the feedback loop and let’s us help NIPSCO improve its reliability.” 
On NIPSCO’s distribution lines, ArborMetrics personnel will be performing hazard tree identification, looking for removals, getting permissions, and making circuit inspections to ensure compliance with contractors’ specifications.

NIPSCO provides electricity and gas to the northern Indiana region and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NiSource, a publicly traded utility engaged in virtually all phases of the natural gas business, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution.
          
ArborMetrics Solutions provides utilities with the means to increase efficiency in vegetation management through the use of inventory management, mapping, resource allocation, scheduling contract personnel and implementing electronic tools for work management.
          
For more information about ArborMetrics Solutions, please call toll-free 866-685-1880, e-mail info@arbormetricssolutions.com.


Blue Ridge EMC Case Study - Raising Member Satisfaction Levels

When Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp., based in Lenoir, North Carolina, set a goal to raise its ACSI customer satisfaction rating – already one of the highest in the industry – it began by thoroughly investigating all of the areas driving customer satisfaction levels. Right-of-way services were among the first to be addressed.

Right-of-Way Supervisor Roger Reid knew immediately of an area in which he needed help to avoid potential member complaints. For over a decade, Reid had accumulated thousands of notes about individual right-of-way issues and special member needs. These notes included specific danger trees, sensitive property issues and trees that members had refused to allow the cooperative to remove. “I knew we needed to manage this data more closely before it began to cause us problems with member complaints,” Reid explained.

Enter ArborMetrics Solutions. Reid partnered with ArborMetrics’ Manager Robert Richens, who had already worked with Blue Ridge Electric on a highly effective pre-planning project for vegetation management work. “With over 70,000 members and a huge seasonal population, we identified hundreds of special needs issues for Blue Ridge’s right-of-way program,” said Richens. “If not handled correctly, any one of them could have a major negative effect on their member satisfaction efforts. It was time to manage this data logically and electronically, but Blue Ridge wanted more than just a database,” he continued.

In 2007, Blue Ridge Electric contracted with ArborMetrics and within months, data that once was spread over dozens of maps, paper clipped to folders, or even worse, stored inside someone’s memory, suddenly became a valuable tool to help the cooperative meet its member service goals. Taking it a step further, ArborMetrics contracted with a young arborist to use the data to design a member communication strategy. This plan allowed the co-op to begin working with members ahead of the right-of-way crews to gain permission for tree removals and to access hard-to-reach properties.

The result? In the third quarter of 2007, Blue Ridge Electric reached its highest customer service scores ever, with the highest score in right-of-way services leading the way. It was clear that putting quality data in a manageable form and using it to deliver service with a personal touch was the key to attaining great customer satisfaction goals.

Contact:  Robert Richens, ArborMetrics Solutions, Inc., 828-685-1880, or Roger Reid, Blue Ridge Electric, 828-759-8994.

ArborMetrics Certified Arborist measures the girth of a tree.