(502) 632-4322

BUILDING INTEGRATION

Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

Is “reducing false alarms” on your radar?

… It’s on Axis’ radar, too.

The network video leader recently rolled out a new offering: motion-detecting radar.

The Axis D2050-VE uses radar technology to minimize false alarms triggered by spiders, small animals, shadows and light reflections. Once motion is detected, the device can trigger camera recording and/or activate a horn or lights to deter unauthorized access to property or a facility. The radar can be used alongside cameras with video motion detection, and can be used to track movement with PTZ cameras.

Reducing false alarms is key to good security. Not only are false alarms annoying, they impact operational readiness. Repeated false alarms fatigue personnel, and can make it possible for more credible threats to be disregarded.

“Radar closes a gap as it offers good area coverage, detects movement with high accuracy, and reduces false alarms,” explained Andres Vigren, Global Product Manager, Axis Communications, in a press release. “Compared to simple motion detectors, AXIS D2050-VE provides additional information of detected objects which allows for auto tracking with Axis PTZ cameras. Customers can now easily add proven radar technology to their existing or new surveillance systems to protect their premises.”

The radar detector was designed to be used in medium industrial installations. While its effectiveness is maximized when part of a complete surveillance system, it can also be used as a standalone tool. It integrates with other Axis products, including cameras and management software, and is also compatible with other systems thanks to its open interface design.

The Axis D2050-VE Network Radar Detector is wall mounted detector and designed for outdoor use. It offers detection coverage of 120 degrees and 164 feet, and is powered by Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+). The Axis D2050-VE has IP66, IK08 and NEMA 4X ratings for tough environments, and can be operated in temperatures ranging from -40°C to 60°C (-40 to 140°F), well within the typical temperature range for the Ohio Valley.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team at (502) 632-4322 for more information about Axis products.

Convergence of security and communications

Security systems and communications systems used to be two entirely different propositions.


Security teams were responsible for evaluating and procuring video cameras, ID badge systems and the like for their particular use cases. They oversaw the installation and use of those systems, and owned any associated data.

Communications systems were typically owned by IT teams. They evaluated and procure phone and conferencing systems for their particular use cases; oversaw the installation and use, and owned any associated data from those systems.

Security and communications systems operated differently, with no connection, often on entirely different networks.

All that is changing. The move away from analog systems to digital was the first step towards converging security and communications systems. The next step is figuring out how to make disparate IT and security systems work together and exchange data.
Through its DevConnect program, Avaya, a segment leader in communications systems, has opened the door to convergence a little more. The program empowers partners to create, verify and market Avaya-enabled solutions. DevConnect offers access to almost all SDKs offered by Avaya products, as well as technical education, tutorials and sample applications, forums, and in some cases, technical developer support on the use of Avaya APIs.

Axis, an ETC Services partner and market leader in security systems, is an active participant in Avaya’s DevConnect program. Through the partnership, they’ve developed integrations between their Network Door Stations and Avaya systems. Axis Network Door stations combine communication, video surveillance and remote entry control into a single device, and allows users to identify visitors and grant them access to a facility from a single platform, from anywhere in the world.

Perhaps more powerfully, converging the security and communications systems means data can be combined. Security data that was once entirely separate can now be integrated with other data streams and used for other business purposes, extending the value.

For more on how Avaya and Axis are partnering together, listen to this episode from the Avaya DevConnect 8 & Out podcast.

Summer time is prime time for school maintenance

Summer break is just weeks away, and teachers and students are both looking forward to an extended break.

Not so for building maintenance personnel. Summer is the time to catch up on cleaning and maintenance projects that had to be put off during the school year. Their hard work will pay off; studies indicate that well-maintained facilities have a positive impact on student achievement.

On the agenda for many schools:

Floor maintenance. Floors take a beating during the school year, and now is the time to clean and protect them in preparation for next year. Furniture can be moved out of the way and products can be applied with proper drying time.

Window maintenance. Windows do more than let the sunshine in. They also aid in scientific exploration, showcase art, and serve as the starting line for day dreams. All of those activities lead to everything from smudges to cracks and defects. Windows can be thoroughly cleaned and replaced during summer months.

Deep cleaning surfaces. Tabletops, counters and bathroom surfaces get wiped down during the year, but summer is the time to do the job more thoroughly.

But summer is also a good time to address larger system needs, too. School maintenance personnel should take the opportunity to inspect, clean and review:

HVAC systems. Filters and ducts should be inspected, updated and cleaned. Systems should be evaluated to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency.

Fire safety and emergency alert systems. Equipment and systems should be inspected and tested.

Security systems. Worn or outdated equipment should be replaced. Camera placement should be evaluated and adjusted, if necessary.

School staff should also take the opportunity to revisit emergency plans, too, particularly if the facility is has made significant changes, such as room reconfigurations, additions or other building projects. Summer is also a good time to investigate adding new systems and processes.

Well-maintained systems are key to building maintenance, and important for the development, health and safety of students and staff.

We’re always happy to discuss how our solutions can help. Connect with us at the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington or call us at (502) 632-4322 to discuss your needs.

Growing our team: Scott Kohler

We’re pleased to announce that Scott Kohler has been promoted to Sales Manager.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 2.10.14 PM

Kohler, who has more than 15 years of sales and leadership experience, took the reins of the Controls and Security Sales Team on June 1.

“Scott demonstrates strong leadership and is instrumental in developing the growth of the business,” said Jeff Murphy, president and CEO of ECT Services.

Scott joined the ECT Services team three years ago, and most recently served as service account manager. His goal is to continue delivering a strong customer experience.

“I love what I do, where I do it, and I love working with and helping people,” said Kohler.

But what would he be doing if he wasn’t the sales manager at ECT Services? The avid golfer would love to turn pro.

When he’s not at work, the University of Louisville graduate enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing, enjoying his friends or cheering on the Cardinals.

Spring has sprung – are your systems ready?

Spring has sprung, and the change in season is a good reminder to review your HVAC and lighting systems to keep them operating at peak efficiency. The following may need your attention:

31443713_s

Spring HVAC servicing. The weather is getting warmer, and AC units need to be inspected to keep them operating at peak efficiency. A qualified technician will program your thermostat and check related system controls, inspect and test electrical connections and system components, clean and lubricate moving parts, inspect and clean the drain to prevent moisture problems and replace the air filter.

Lighting controls. Now that the time has changed, review your indoor and outdoor lighting timers and adjust accordingly. Need to know what time sunrise/sunset will come to your neighborhood? Check here.

Now is also good time to inspect lighting systems, too. Check for loose wires and replace burned out light bulbs.

Temperature controls. Warmer weather means adjustments should be made to maximize efficiency. During the summer, set air conditioning temperature controls to 78 degrees during peak hours when cooling is needed, and a higher temperature outside of those hours when less cooling is needed.

Air filters. You might be tempted to throw open the windows on pleasant spring days and let the breezy sunshine regulate the temperature in your facility. While spring breezes feel wonderful, they also carry a wealth of pollen and other allergens that could make life miserable for allergy sufferers. Install fresh air filters in systems, and consider purchasing air purifying units to keep staff and guests comfortable.

You’ll find more energy saving tips for businesses here.

Small business to small business

At ECT Services, we are proud to bring the “small business” touch to our customers to help us stand out from the big name corporate competitors.  Our sales mentality is relationship driven and customer service focused.  We strive to be seen as a trusted advisor that keeps the customer needs first.

The goal of our account team is to introduce new technology as it becomes available and keep in mind applications that would apply to the individual customer needs.  In the fast-paced world we live in, new technology is constantly creating more effective and efficient ways to simplify managing a facility.  We don’t want to just introduce a product, but rather the entire solution the product can help provide.  We want to be that expert and resource to know your facility and do the research to help you learn about and select the right system for your needs.   We feel that if we truly understand our client’s underlying interests and needs, then we can work toward a full comprehensive solution versus a quick band-aide for the immediate problem.

The key attributes of a sales team is not only be knowledgeable, but also credible and reliable.  We use our engineering resources and office support to ensure that you will have an quick response and a team you can rely on.

We look forward to working with you soon!

Kari Guy

Vice President of Sales

ECT Services, Inc.

What Makes an Exceptional Service Company?

Many different skills are required when working in the service industry. A Service Company’s first priority should be ensuring they understand what the customer wants and then providing them with an exceptional service experience.

The company’s service team members need to be good listeners. They should identify what the customer needs by asking good questions and making sure they understand, clarifying as necessary and setting the expectations for the next steps. The team member should be courteous and a person whom enjoys helping others. These team members will be happier and the customer will know that they are proud to help in any way they can. These team members will more naturally build relationships with the customer because they genuinely care. These relationships take time but are critical to developing trust and open communications between the two companies. Communication is the most important factor in a company’s ability to deliver an exceptional service experience.

At ECT Services it is our Goal is to be your technology partner for life. Delivering an exceptional service experience is just one more way we hope to achieve this goal. We have begun to survey our customers in an effort to help us better understand how we are doing towards this goal. We would appreciate your time in completing the very short survey should you receive one.

Of course you can always call me if you should have anything you would like to discuss regarding your service experience.

Tom Barrett,

Service Manager,

502.636.2402 ext107

What, Exactly, is Customer Service?

Every company should strive for their customers to say: “Their customer service is above and beyond.”

So what is going above and beyond? I’ve asked coworkers and existing customers and the answers were generally the same. Most of the people said that it was when a company delivered an over-the-top WOW customer service experience.

My definition of above and beyond is when your company is above average, all of the time. That’s what your best companies do. As a result, they deliver beyond their customers’ expectations. Being above average means when there is a problem or confrontation, then you step the customer service up to take care of the customer. The result is a loyal customer who says, “They are an amazing company with which to do business. And once in a while, when I have a problem, they really do take care of me. I can truly count on them.”

Your customers may not use those exact words, but that is what they will be thinking. At ECT Services we strive for excellent customer service, not just above and beyond. In the next few weeks several of you will be receiving a customer satisfaction survey. ECT Services utilizes these for continuous improvement in our service delivery. We believe we cannot address an issue if we do not know about it. Please consider completing the survey should you receive one.

Factory Mounted verses Field Mounted Controls

When faced with a renovation or construction of a new building one of the choices that building owners and engineers face is whether to order HVAC equipment with factory mounted or field mounted controls.  While either method may be capable of achieving the desired result, communication between the owner, engineer, equipment manufacturer and controls contractor is vital to ensuring the success of the project.  Clearly assigning responsibilities between the equipment manufacturer and the controls contractor can eliminate delays and unexpected costs to the project.

If field mounted controls are selected, it is expected that the controls contractor will provide and install all controllers and all of the sensors (I/O points) that are required to accomplish the sequence of operation and graphical display of the HVAC systems.  However, when factory mounted controls are selected the expectations are not always clear to everyone.  These expectations can be clarified by adding the following to drawings and specifications:

“If factory mounted controls are provided, the equipment manufacturer is responsible for meeting the entire sequence of operation as outlined.  In addition the equipment manufacturer is responsible for providing the data required to meet all of the points indicated in the points list for that piece of equipment.”

In addition, many sensors are shipped loose with factory mounted controls and the controls contractor is expected to install and wire these to the factory controller.  This can again be clarified by adding one of the following to each sensor or control component shown in piping and airflow diagrams:

① Installed and wired by the equipment manufacturer.

② Provided and shipped loose by equipment manufacturer.  Installed and wired by the temperature controls contractor.

③ Provided, installed and wired by the temperature controls contractor.

 

While at first glance factory mounted controls may appear to be the best option for ease of installation, the required points, complete sequence of operation and desired graphical representation for each piece of HVAC equipment must be considered.  Regardless of which method is selected, communication of requirements and assignment of expectations are keys to eliminating confusion, delays and potential cost increases to a project.

Building a successful project team.

One of the core missions of a good project manager is to build teams. You often find, however, that managing and building teams is much easier when described in courses and theory than it is in the practice of managing actual projects. 

But there doesn’t need to be a gap. Here are five actionable steps that you can begin implementing today to help your teams become stronger, make you a much better project manager and create an atmosphere that breeds success.

  1. Be an active communicator. 
  2. Trust your team. 
  3. Understand your team members’ individual motivations.
  4. Don’t embarrass your team. 
  5. Be flexible.