ACM completes computer upgrade

New system to improve dispatcher, dealer access
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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

PHOENIX - A nearly $300,000 investment in new computers for central station dispatch personnel and supervisory staff at ACM UL Monitoring Station, a contract central station based here, was completed last month, nearly two years after the company finished a remodel of the central station that added additional space.

The project, which saw the installation of two Intel Pentium III hot swap redundant computers, also improved the speed of Net Link, ACM’s dealer web access and the service’s associated software.

“The computers we replaced were five times slower, had five times less capacity and were three times as large,” said Karen Kohn, president of ACM. “Dealers are already saying they see improved speed in their access,” she said.

For ACM UL, which mon-itors about 53,000 accounts for 450 dealers, according to company officials, keeping up with technology is paramount, particularly in the area of reducing delays in dispatch time.

“Everything we do before we dispatch just puts more of a delay on the time that call is dispatched,” said Kohn.

To that end, the company has also added a handful of new employees in the customer service department, a dedicated staff that handles inbound calls.

ACM now has about 40 employees, with the majority working in dispatch positions.

The central station’s 34 workstations have dual screens, so that a dispatcher “doesn’t have to go offline to look up information,” according to Bob Kohn, executive director of ACM UL.

Other new technology is being tested for service upgrades, such as video and GPS monitoring, as well as Internet monitoring.

The company is investigating new receivers that will be used to implement the new technology over the next few months.

The company also hired a new general manager, April Cannon, earlier this year.

Cannon, formerly the central station manager at ACM, has been with the company for eight years.