ACHRNEWS

Johnson Controls' Facility Response Center becomes 'clients' disaster recovery team

July 12, 2000
MILWAUKEE — Call it “the next level”: Customer service involving constant system monitoring; customer service that’s anticipated and prepared for in advance of when it’s needed — service that’s made ready, for example, based on weather forecasts.

Enter Johnson Control’s Facility Response Center (FRC).

Carrying UL listing as a Central Monitoring Station, the FRC is “an additional level in the company’s range of services,” states Jim Bohn, director of Integrated Customer Solutions.

The FRC resides under the Johnson Controls Customer Success Center (CSC) umbrella, which also encompasses Building Services, CSC Parts, Canadian Customer Care Center, and Field Support Center.

The FRC monitors seven types of technical equipment, such as fire and security systems, Metasys® building automation systems (bas) from Johnson Controls, ddc systems, and other third-party systems. The service covers more than 200 U.S. and Canadian facilities, the company reports.

“We’re our clients’ disaster recovery team,” says Dana McMillion, FRC supervisor. “We monitor what they need and want monitored, and we react.”

Response time

According to McMillion, there’s typically an 11-sec information input followed by a 15-min solution.

The FRC communicates immediately with building operations people, with preassigned contractors who respond to the customer’s problem, or with Johnson Controls staff serving those functions, 24 hrs each day.

“That immediate response is crucial for medical facilities, frozen-food storage and other perishable items, and a host of other time- and temperature-sensitive operations” Bohn notes. “We’re their insurance.”

The FRC constantly monitors the weather “and anticipates,” he says.

“For example, we doubled our staff on July 5 this year because it was a legal holiday and we knew by Friday it was going to be a scorcher that Monday and additional problems would ensue. We were right. We received 550 calls that day through the system.”

The Customer Success Center receives approximately 70,000 calls per month — “three quarters of a million calls in 1998” adds Bohn.

Backup

What happens if the FRC is hit with a disaster, despite its redundant phone systems, computer systems, and power sources (including a backup gas generator)?

All communication is redirected immediately and automatically to the company’s facility in Canada, which has complete backup capabilities, explains McMillion.

The Customer Success Center, besides its FRC operation, provides the following e-commerce services, the company notes:

  • A supplier-assisted inventory replenishment (SAIR) plan for distributors;

  • An automatic inventory replacement (AIR) system for wholesalers; and

  • Electronic data interchange (EDI) parts ordering for large wholesalers.