Kawasaki Motors is a well-recognized brand for motorcycles, ATVs, Jet SkiⓇ watercrafts, a market leader by consumers who appreciate speed. So what does Kawasaki do when it needs to quickly reach all of its 450 U.S. employees across six states?
We spoke with Tom Porter, former director of Human Resources & Administration for Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. to get a customer’s take on why an internal communications system was so important for this fast-moving company.
Many companies still rely on obsolete methods to communicate on a broad scale with employees, even during emergencies. Why did you believe it was time for something better?
Tom: We really didn’t have any type of dedicated alert system. As you said, we were dependent on phone trees and emails for a long time. During emergency situations, however, these methods were unacceptable. We recognized that newer technology could greatly improve Kawasaki Motor’s critical communications, particularly a mass notification system that was cloud-based.
As you know, AlertMedia enables organizations like yours to quickly interact with their audience and consolidate multiple communication channels in order to reach every employee, no matter which device they use. Can you give a real-world example of how Kawasaki has found this to be useful?
Tom: With emails and phone, there is always the potential for inconsistent information, and you end up playing the game of “telephone.” We originally were looking for a solution to use during severe weather, but there are many potential ways we envision using the AlertMedia system. For example, if you encounter an IT virus, relying on email as your only communication channel is less than ideal. But the platform allows us to communicate over multiple channels.
Related: Why You Can’t Just Send an Email
That brings up a good point. Many people associate mass notification systems with emergencies, typically in the form of weather-related incidents. You’re finding ways to use the platform for internal communications of all kinds.
Tom: Yes, we plan on using the platform in many ways to keep in touch with our employees. As a geographically diverse organization, correctly identifying the right audience for specific messages can present a challenge. We’re happy the platform communicates directly with our HR Information System to access accurate employee data, organizing employees into accessible groups based on location, department, or any other attribute that might bind an audience together.
We have offices and employees in geographies that can experience severe weather, among other events, and we needed a systematic approach to notify a large and diverse audience during these incidents. AlertMedia provides this for our business.
There are several emergency communication systems like AlertMedia on the market, all promising to keep everyone connected during critical events. What was it about AlertMedia’s product that persuaded you to select it for your company?
Tom: When evaluating any new technology, you have to consider ease of use, ease of implementation, and of course, affordability. We interviewed four different companies and chose AlertMedia for those reasons. The system provides 99 percent of what we were looking for. We particularly like the ability to use the system on both the web and mobile devices.
Have you used the platform recently and if so, how did it work for you?
Tom: Because AlertMedia’s system is so easy to set up, we were up and running on the platform in no time, allowing us to communicate with affected team members during the recent California wildfires. AlertMedia’s platform made it easy to isolate impacted employees, quickly communicate with them based on location via texts and emails, and let them know their number one focus should be on protecting their safety, families, and property.
So, having the AlertMedia geofencing capability definitely speeds communications and enables you to target your messaging to precisely the right people. How else do you plan to use this feature?
Tom: Because of the success we’ve experienced so far with the platform, we now plan to use it in many situations, such as active shooters and chemical spills. These types of events impact only a small number of employees, but segmenting employees by location drastically speeds communications.
What advice would you give other organizations who may have come to the same conclusion as Kawasaki, namely that phone trees and emails alone won’t cut it anymore?
Tom: You don’t know what you don’t know. We went into this process not knowing a lot. We could never find a white paper or summary on what to look for in a mass communication system. We did quite a bit of research which was somewhat overwhelming, but when we contacted AlertMedia, we received a quick, two-page document that was written like an executive summary. We understood it and appreciated the high-level overview.
The Solution: An Internal Communications System
Kawasaki Motors is one of an increasingly growing number of organizations that are ditching antiquated communication technologies in favor of more instant methods people are inclined to use. With fewer employees tied to desks, having the ability to communicate on multiple channels across multiple devices, individually or simultaneously, drastically speeds communications.
As Kawasaki’s employees are spread across the country, efficiently notifying them was a major struggle. Thanks to AlertMedia’s mapping and grouping features, they were able to target messaging to employees who might be impacted by emergency situations such as wildfires. For Tom, having an internal communications system that’s ready to go 24/7 brings peace of mind.
Kawasaki Motors has found many ways to use their AlertMedia software, boosting ROI and keeping employees connected at all times, no matter the situation.
Want to learn more about a mass notification platform to help your internal communications?