From Outages to Optimization: How Custom Software Can Improve Operations for Electrical Cooperatives


“Very few things enter into our operation that would be considered game changers, this in fact would be close to the top of the game changer list.”  

-Kevin Gardner, Cullman Electrical Cooperative 


If you lead a cooperative, you already know that providing reliable and affordable electricity to your members is your top priority. But with limited resources, managing operations and serving members can be a major challenge. That is where custom software solutions come in. By streamlining your operations, enhancing customer service, improving data security, enabling data analysis, and adapting to changing needs, custom software can help your cooperative overcome challenges by providing even better service to your members.  

From Challenge to Solution: The Story of MST Connect at Cullman Electric 

Cullman Electrical Cooperative presented us with a challenge: they needed a solution to track their MST installations and assignments. Recognizing the importance of the task, we assembled a full-stack team of developers at Moss Rock Solutions and joined motivated leaders at Cullman Electrical Cooperative. This custom solution helps Cullman Electric, or any broadband supplying cooperative, track their MSTs through three modules: MST, Splicing, and Addresses. 

In the MST Connect module, users input splices and MSTs, along with the number of ports, cable length, available ports, and install date. The Splicing module allows field personnel to enter the light levels for each MST on a splice, the number of ports with light, and any splicer notes. To ensure security, all modules have restricted access based on user privileges. Splicers may only access the Splicing module. Installers use dedicated interfaces on iPads or iPhones to enter information, and the system automatically populates the install date and installer. 

The Addresses module enables users to add address information, map numbers, meter numbers, and assign an MST to an address. It features two sets of addresses: an “original” address and an electrical address. Users input the “original” address information, while we import a spreadsheet nightly from their BroadHub system into Addresses to update changes made to addresses, subscriber information, and a few other fields. We also import a weekly spreadsheet that updates the electrical address information in MST Connect with any changes made in their Meridian system. 

When an MST is assigned to an address, it automatically populates a “Ready for Drop” field and turns green, alerting users that installers can now install the drop. Additionally, the MST assignment updates the number of ports remaining, letting users know when an MST is at or nearing capacity. The Addresses module also contains subscriber information and service information such as Latitude/Longitude, whether the service is overhead or underground, and other details. 

No Broadband? No Problem: How Custom Software Can be Adapted to Meet Your Cooperative’s Requirements 

After successfully implementing the MST Connect solution for Cullman Electrical Cooperative, we realized that other cooperatives could also benefit from custom software. However, not every cooperative has the same needs or resources as Cullman Electric. 

 We developed a flexible approach to allow cooperatives to customize their own applications for their specific workflow. With this approach, we can help any cooperative improve their efficiency and streamline their processes.  

Are you struggling to keep track of your cooperative’s installations and assignments but do not provide broadband? MST Connect can still help you! With our full-stack team of developers and highly trained leaders, we can help tailor MST Connect to meet your cooperative’s specific requirements. Let us help you streamline your operations and simplify your data management process, so you can focus on providing the best service to your members. 

Streamlining Operations: How Custom Software Can Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs for Electric Cooperatives 

Running an electric cooperative is a complex task that involves managing a wide range of operations and tasks. From ensuring the reliability of equipment to monitoring power consumption and managing billing and payments, with the right tools in place, managing these tasks can be streamlined and simplified, helping to improve efficiency and reduce costs. 

Custom software solutions can play a crucial role in helping electric cooperatives achieve these goals by: 

  • Collecting and analyzing data on energy usage and distribution, helping them identify areas where energy is being wasted and opportunities to optimize energy usage.  
  • Automating key processes, which can help reduce the time and resources required to manage operations. 
  • Freeing up staff to focus on more pressing tasks, which can help improve the quality-of-service delivery while also reducing errors and minimizing downtime 
  • Providing a more seamless and user-friendly experience for members. 


From streamlining operations to improving data analysis and member engagement, custom software can help cooperatives overcome pressing challenges and thrive in a rapidly changing energy landscape.  


Enhancing Customer Service: The Benefits of Custom Software for Member Portals and Service Delivery  

Providing high-quality customer service is essential for building and maintaining strong relationships with members. But with limited resources and staff, managing member interactions can be a challenge. This is where custom software solutions make a real difference. 

By developing member portals that allow members to view their bills, pay online, and report outages, electric cooperatives can streamline their operations and provide more personalized service. These convenient tools not only make it easier for members to manage their accounts and report issues, but they also help reduce the workload on staff, freeing them up to focus on other critical tasks. 

With detailed information available at their fingertips, customer service representatives can quickly access member data, answer questions, and resolve issues, all while providing a personalized experience for each member. 

By leveraging custom software to enhance their customer service offerings, electric cooperatives can improve member satisfaction and retention and reduce the costs of manual data entry and administrative tasks. Electric cooperatives strengthen their position in the competitive energy landscape. 


Improving Data Security: How Custom Software Can Protect Sensitive Information for Electrical Cooperatives  

Data security is a top concern for any organization that collects sensitive information, and electric cooperatives are no exception. As custodians of their members’ personal and financial data, electric cooperatives have a responsibility to protect that data from cyber threats and other security risks. 

Custom software solutions can play a key role in helping electric cooperatives meet this challenge. By implementing robust security protocols such as encryption, access controls, and secure data storage, custom software can help safeguard member data against unauthorized access and breaches. 

In addition, custom software can also help electric cooperatives comply with applicable regulations such as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards, which require utilities to protect critical assets and data against cyber threats. 

By prioritizing data security through the use of custom software, electric cooperatives can build stronger relationships with their members, protect against costly security breaches, and meet regulatory requirements – all while providing reliable and affordable energy to their communities. 


Enabling Data Analysis: The Power of Custom Software in Optimizing Energy Distribution and Usage 

Data analysis can be a powerful tool for electric cooperatives, providing valuable insights into energy usage patterns and distribution needs. By tracking and analyzing data, electric cooperatives can make informed decisions about how to optimize their operations and better serve their members. 

Custom software solutions can harness the power of data analysis by collecting and analyzing substantial amounts of data quickly and efficiently. By identifying areas of high demand and predicting future usage trends, custom software can help electric cooperatives make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and optimize energy distribution. 

This not only helps electric cooperatives reduce costs by minimizing waste and ensuring efficient use of resources, but it can also enhance member satisfaction by providing reliable and affordable energy services. Members can benefit from customized energy plans that reflect their individual usage patterns, as well as proactive outage alerts and other value-added services that are tailored to their needs. 

Overall, custom software solutions can provide data-driven insights to make informed decisions, improve service delivery, and reduce costs – all while maintaining their commitment to providing reliable and affordable energy services to their communities. 


Adapting to Changing Needs: Why Custom Software is Key to Future-Proofing Electrical Cooperatives  

Emerging technologies and changing regulations can create new challenges for electric cooperatives. Custom software future-proofs operations by integrating with renewable energy sources, complying with new data privacy regulations, and incorporating emerging technologies such as smart grids and energy storage systems. By staying ahead of the curve, electric cooperatives can provide innovative and sustainable solutions to their members. 

Custom software solutions can help electric cooperatives overcome their unique challenges and better serve their members. By streamlining operations, enhancing customer service, improving data security, enabling data analysis, and adapting to changing needs, electric cooperatives can save time and money while providing reliable and affordable electricity. 

If you are an electric cooperative looking to optimize your operations, custom software solutions, such as MST Connect, may be the key to achieving your goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.