Reliability S.T.A.R.T.S With ASD
Dec 06, 2016
During the early 1900s, taking a spin through town in your automobile was a much riskier affair than it is today. The fatality rate of 15.6 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the 1930s was much higher than our current rate of 1.8, even though there are millions more cars on the road today traveling at much faster speeds. Why? Car manufacturers began to recognize they had an obligation to meet higher safety standards and began using crash test dummies to fully evaluate how well their vehicles could withstand impact.
The crash test represents a shift in thinking to more ethically sound business practices. Companies began to think ahead of problems that could occur down the line and prepare in advance for those scenarios. Rather than waiting to hear about a flaw in their design, manufacturers learned how to test out their models internally before any malfunctions occurred. When business owners recognize that they have an obligation to fully test out a product or service before offering it to others, society benefits.
At ASD, we have created our own version of a crash test to continually evaluate and assess our own software and hardware. We have invested in multiple redundancies to ensure that our systems can adapt to any situation. These built-in safety nets demonstrate ASD’s commitment to being a responsible business partner to the funeral homes we serve.
Reliability S.T.A.R.T.S With ASD
During major weather events, there is a higher chance of telephone communication issues. If a local phone company experiences an interruption of service, it could greatly jeopardize your funeral home’s ability to connect with at-need families. Fortunately, this is not the case when your lines are forwarded to ASD. Our Secure, Timely, Adaptive and Redundant Telecommunication Systems are tested and evaluated regularly to ensure calls are answered promptly and professionally. Read below to learn about how reliability S.T.A.R.T.S with ASD.
Few things are as unsettling as the thought of a company you have done business with releasing your confidential information to a third party. Due to the sensitive nature of funeral service work, it is especially important to be vigilant of this to ensure that your privacy and the privacy of your clients is never violated. At ASD, we understand why security is a crucial concern for many funeral directors. That is why every funeral home we work with has its own designated toll free call-forwarding number securely tied to an individual account. This ensures that call recordings and messages are always kept private. ASD will never release this confidential information to a third party. In addition, funeral home owners have several options for allowing or restricting their employees from accessing information through ASD.
ASD’s systems are programmed with many automatic processes. For instance, when we take a message for you, the text message or push notification you receive is sent to you automatically as soon as the message is saved. This means there is no possibility of a delay due to human error. Our responsive, automatic processes also extend to many of our internal safeguards. Below are some of the examples of how this works and why this automation is so critical for our company:
- Every Thursday, we simulate a power outage to test out our on-site backup generators. During the test, our electricity seamlessly switches over to generator power in a matter of seconds. Our computers are connected to an enterprise-level UPS battery array that provides instantaneous backup, ensuring our terminals do not shut off if a power outage occurs. We have needed to rely on our back up generators on several occasions in the past during local power outages. This weekly test is done to ensure our generators are working properly and will automatically restore power to our building without any interruption of service.
Two of ASD's Three Back Up Generators
- Network outages have plagued call centers for decades, yet few answering services have solutions in place to protect against these unpredictable events. ASD built our facility with a state-of-the-art fiber optic network. Our data centers are designed to utilize multiple long distances providers simultaneously, so a disruption of service on any carrier’s network will not disable our operations. During a network outage, calls are automatically rerouted to a working network.
- A “dial storm” occurs when phone lines across the country are flooded with a barrage of robo-calls from recorded telemarketers. These “spam” calls are a nightmare for most call centers because they tie up phone lines, waste staff time and prevent critical calls from getting through. ASD’s patented Solicitor Shield™ is a one-of-a-kind spam blocker that can automatically detect dial storms and dynamically shield our systems from these repeat robo-calls. In the past, Solicitor Shield™ has blocked more than 1,000 automated solicitations in a single minute. (Click here to learn more about Solicitor Shield™.
Creating automatic processes to safeguard against potential issues is not only paramount for ASD, but to our clients as well. For this reason, we highly recommend that every funeral home enable No Answer Call Forwarding to protect their funeral home’s critical calls. With No Answer Call Forwarding, you can program your phone lines to always automatically divert to ASD if the call is not answered in the funeral home by a predetermined number of rings. This ensures that if there is a bad storm, a random power outage, or you just can’t make it to the phone in time, your calls will still be answered with professionalism and compassion.
Under the leadership of ASD Family-Member Owner, Marty Czachor, Jr., the ASD technical team understood early on that building sustainable and compatible software was necessary to allow for future advances in technology. All of our systems were designed in house, ensuring that we are never reliant on third-party vendors.
On-site, programmers can update software immediately, respond to troubleshooting requests and run diagnostics to optimize performance. This is a crucial component to what makes ASD the most reliable answering service for funeral homes. We understand that for directors, there is no second chance to earn a family’s trust. For this reason, our systems can instantly adapt to circumstances that would cripple other answering services. Here are a few examples:
- ASD uses the RespOrg process to reroute phone lines in the event of a regional outage. Every one of our clients' calls are cycled through multiple telephone carriers. This precaution ensures that if an issue occurs with one carrier, the call will then be re-routed to a working carrier without disruption.
- Our dual UPS Battery Systems protect us from unexpected power surges by supplying energy stored in a large bank of batteries.
- ASD’s Operation Center can adapt even if a major disaster were to comprise our building. We now have multiple off-site data centers and more than 100 remote stations available that provide our office with an extra layer of support.
ASD regularly updates its UPS battery system, which provides emergency power and protects us from unexpected surges by supplying energy stored in a large bank of batteries.
You know the adage, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Well, here at ASD, we have taken that age-old wisdom to a new level by creating redundancies for every component of our software, hardware, and external connections. It is vital for our company to consider every possible scenario and take steps in advance to secure our systems. Just to give one example, after Hurricane Sandy hit, a local hospital in our area lost power for days when their backup generator failed. It is stories like this that have encouraged us to believe it is better to be safe than sorry, which is why we now have three generators. We understand we have an enormous responsibility to the funeral directors that trust us with their sensitive calls. Here are a few of the ways our redundancies keep your calls protected:
- ASD now has three powerful back up generators to safeguard us from local power outages
- Two state-of-the-art data centers ensure are phone lines are never disrupted.
ASD's state-of-the-art Data Center
- ASD has invested in two independent PBX Computers, two mirrored SQL Server data base systems online, two SQL Server database systems offline for disaster recovery, two synchronized file servers for voicemail access, and multiple air conditioners to keep our Operations center cool. This back up support keeps us prepared for any emergency or disaster scenario.
- Our office is equipped with a full alarm monitoring system to regulate any abnormalities that might affect our employees and equipment.
An Answering Service’s Obligation
An answering service should do more than just answer your calls and take messages. An answering service has a responsibility to ensure that your valuable, timely and extremely sensitive calls are answered without delay and without interruption. Your calls should always be protected no matter what circumstances arise. This principle is built into every aspect of our service. Our systems are routinely tested and evaluated because we believe it is our obligation to ensure you remain connected to your community 24/7. We leave nothing to chance when protecting your funeral home’s phone calls.
Your peace of mind S.T.A.R.T.S with ASD. To learn more, call 800-868-9950 or email Sales@myASD.com.
About The Author
Jess Fowler is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess.Fowler@myASD.com