ASD Turns 50: Part II of our Company’s Story
Jul 05, 2022
In 1972, ASD Founders Marty and Barbara Czachor sought to establish a small answering service business to support their growing family. Never could they have imagined that 50 years later, their company would become the leading answering service for funeral homes, working with more than 7,000 firms across the country. The story of ASD’s growth and evolution over the past five decades is one of passion, innovation, and leadership. From the beginning, our goal has been to improve the world by improving communication and to help those who are dedicated to helping others.
Below, we trace our company’s roots back to our founding and provide of a timeline of our company’s most pivotal moments. Please note: this blog is part of a series that will trace ASD’s 50-year history though our company’s most significant milestones. In the post below, we outline our history from 2000-2010. Click here to read Part 1 which records our history from 1972-1999. Be sure to visit our blog throughout the year to read more chapters from our past.
In 2000, ASD Founders, Marty Czachor Sr and Barbara Czachor retire from the day-to-day functions at ASD. The two continue to provide guidance to our 2nd Generation Owners, Kathy, Marty Jr., and Kevin while remaining active in supporting charitable organizations.
Marty and Barbara were recently inducted into the Foundation for Catholic Education Hall of Fame in recognition of their longtime support of catholic education.
Text-messaging was integrated into ASD’s answering service system around 2003, allowing funeral directors to receive their messages via text. In later years, ASD would expand these capabilities to allow clients to reply to their urgent messages via text instead of being interrupted with a phone call.
The evolution of ASD’s text messaging solution through the years since it was first introduced in 2003.
In 2004, ASD unveils a new website, www.myASD.com, which allows clients to access messages and call recordings as well as send ASD details about current services online. In later years, ASD will expand these features to include a web checkout option that enables clients to send their on-call information online.
A screenshot of a newsletter ASD sent out to clients in 2004 explaining the many benefits of our new website.
In 2006, ASD expands operations and moves from a small office in Glenolden, PA to our current headquarters in Media, PA.
It may be hard to believe, but from 1972 up until 2006, ASD’s answering service operations were run completely out of a small, 2,500 square foot twin house in Glenolden, PA. To say it was a tight squeeze is an understatement! In the photo above, you can see our old company name, Answering Service Dispatch, that we used up until ASD became funeral home exclusive in the mid-90s. More than 30 of our current employees have been with our company since before we moved to our current, 20,000 square foot office in Media and love recalling stories about those old Glenolden days.
In addition to offering more office space, our new facility allowed us to invest in multiple redundancies to protect our clients’ sensitive phone calls. This included:
• The establishment of our first data center. This state-of-the-art fiber optic network can utilize multiple long distances providers simultaneously. This investment ensures that a disruption of service on any carrier’s network will not disable ASD’s operations. In later years, ASD will add two other off-site data centers to back up all of our systems with multiple redundancies.
• The installation of a powerful onsite generator. This ensures ASD is safeguarded from local power outages. In the coming years, ASD will add a second back up generator to provide dual redundancy.
• The investment of a dual USP Battery system. This protects us from unexpected power surges by supplying energy stored in a large bank of batteries.
Click here to learn more about our company’s multiple redundancies.
ASD attends our very first National Funeral Directors Association convention in 2006 in Philadelphia. This opened the door for us to get to know our clients on a more personal level while gaining a deeper understanding about what communication solutions would help make their lives easier.
A few advertisements we published before the 2006 convention and a photo that shows a bird’s eye view of our first booth setup. We get nostalgic about a lot of things from that era of our company’s history, but those salmon colored shirts are definitely not one of them.
In 2007, ASD transitioned our answering service operations from an antiqued analogue process to a modern and secure digital system.
One of the first priorities for our company after moving to a new modern facility was to switch over from analog telephones to Voice over IP (VoIP).
In 2008, ASD begins taking active steps to grow a Spanish bilingual team and marketing our services to funeral homes in need of a bilingual answering service.
An advertisement ASD published in 2008 promoting our Spanish bilingual capabilities
Integrations with other funeral home website and software companies lead ASD to introduce a new FuneralSync™ solution in 2009. This feature allows clients to automatically transfer first call data and obituary information between ASD and other funeral home software programs.
An advertisement ASD published in 2009 promoting FuneralSync™
In June 2010, ASD releases its First Call Alert™ and First Call Connect™ features which immediately alerts clients when ASD begins taking a first call for their funeral home and gives them the option to connect into the call while in progress.
A promo image we created with the release of First Call Alert™ and First Call Connect™
A Solicitor Shield™ feature is added to enhance ASD’s answering service system. This telecom invention protects ASD from recorded spam calls that would otherwise flood their phone lines and allows clients to block unwanted calls from specific numbers.
Early promotion for ASD’s Solicitor Shield™ in a 2011 email.
Thank you for reading about ASD’s history and evolution through the years. Please visit our blog next month to read about 10 more pivotal moments from our company’s history.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (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@myASD.com