Automotive Parts Manufacturer FCC Shifts to AlertMedia to Modernize Critical Communication
- ReliabilitySafeguards the delivery of critical information with read receipt confirmations and ERP data synchronization.
- SafetyProactively protects employee health and safety by enabling FCC to monitor emerging global threats.
- ContinuityStreamlines shift scheduling and keeps operations running smoothly, even during potentially disruptive events.
- EngagementFacilitates open communication between employees and the business, improving trust and transparency.
- ProductsEmergency Communication Software, Threat Intelligence
- Primary UsesEmergency, Business Continuity, Operations, IT Outages, Inclement Weather, HR
FCC Elevates Communication of Critical, Time-Sensitive Information to Protect Employees
Founded in 2002 and based in Indiana, FCC North America (FCC) manufactures clutch assembly products for the automotive industry. As the U.S. subsidiary of a large Japanese manufacturer, FCC Co. Ltd., FCC maintains comprehensive product development and manufacturing capabilities. Operating five facilities across North America, the organization designs and produces automatic and manual clutches for leading automobile, ATV, and motorcycle manufacturers.
Prior to AlertMedia, FCC used a basic mass notification system to communicate with employees during critical events but soon ran into several problems. Since the system lacked the ability to sync with FCC’s employee directory, employee contact information was often out of date, resulting in deliverability issues. FCC also leveraged manual call trees, but those were prone to delays and misinformation. To streamline and accelerate the communication of important, time-sensitive information, FCC enlisted AlertMedia. From traditional emergencies to business-critical communications like open enrollment and shift scheduling, AlertMedia helps FCC ensure employee safety, improve productivity, and maintain business continuity.
Overcoming Communication Deliverability Hurdles
In a manufacturing environment, internal communication presents several unique challenges. Reaching non-desk employees with time-sensitive information and communicating with a workforce that has varying levels of technical comfort and expertise can be complicated. For FCC—with four manufacturing facilities and one sales office spread across the U.S.—critical information wasn’t reaching intended recipients on time, or worse, at all.
FCC relied on manual phone trees to communicate important information such as shift schedule changes and severe weather conditions. This was not only time-intensive but also inherently error-prone. Says Diana Pethtel, ERP Systems Staff Administrator at FCC, “We had a major tornado hit the area and the only way we could communicate with employees was by having managers personally call employees over and over until they could reach them. It was a tedious, time-consuming, and ineffective approach.”
FCC began using a basic mass notification system but quickly realized it lacked essential functionality. “Effective communication starts with accurate people data, but our previous mass notification system couldn’t sync with our employee directory. Employee contact information was often out of date, resulting in low deliverability rates,” says Michael Hunt, FCC’s ERP Systems and IT Manager.
Improving Communication Accuracy With Real-Time Data Syncs
Recognizing the need for a more reliable emergency communication solution, FCC turned to AlertMedia. By automatically syncing with the people data in FCC’s ERP system, AlertMedia ensures employee contact information is always accurate. “When we send out a notification through AlertMedia, we can be confident that it’s going to have a high success rate at reaching its intended recipients,” says Hunt.
With 1,600 employees spread across multiple facilities and geographies, the ability to segment individuals into dynamic groups in AlertMedia ensures employees only receive relevant, targeted notifications. And by creating and assigning administrators to different groups—each with their own set of access permissions—FCC can delegate group management and messaging to the people best suited to keep group members up to date.
“We have more than 350 groups set up in AlertMedia. By segmenting our audience a number of different ways—such as by county, department, employment status, and more—we are prepared for any situation we may need to communicate about,” says Hunt. “The ability to create dynamic groups with multiple administrators saves us time and enables a much more deliberate, thoughtful approach to employee communication,” says Hunt.
“When we send out a notification through AlertMedia, we can be confident that it’s going to have a high success rate at reaching its intended recipients.”
You can assign admins different levels of access, defining permissions by what’s useful to your organization. After you’ve added your admins to the account, assign their communication responsibility by indicating if they should have access to only a particular set of groups, people, or locations. These extra permissions not only provide your organization with added flexibility, but they also allow leaders to communicate critical information to their specific teams—adding another critical element of message segmentation.
With AlertMedia’s multi-channel messaging capabilities, FCC can safeguard deliverability by sending messages simultaneously via email, text message, phone call, and mobile app. With read receipt confirmations, FCC can also verify that messages are received when and by whom intended. This is particularly useful for ensuring workers are aware of the latest shift and overtime schedule updates, which tend to be dynamic in a manufacturing environment. AlertMedia also allows FCC to view in-depth reports over any time period, providing a full audit trail that is useful for compliance purposes.
To further their employee safety efforts and maintain vital business operations, FCC recently added AlertMedia’s threat intelligence solution. With real-time, reliable threat insights, FCC can rapidly notify employees of any unfolding events that might impact them locally. Says Pethtel, “By monitoring emerging threats in relation to where employees live and work, we can drastically improve employee safety. If an employee’s been on the manufacturing floor all day without access to the latest news, AlertMedia allows us to give them a heads up about any threats that could impact them before they head home.”
AlertMedia’s threat intelligence solution also enables FCC to keep a pulse on any threats that may disrupt business logistics. “Some of the parts we need for manufacturing assembly are sourced from Asia. A severe weather event impacting Vietnam or Thailand could potentially delay shipments and impact our operations. AlertMedia’s threat intelligence gives our leadership team visibility into unfolding events around the world that could potentially disrupt business operations so that they can take proactive steps to mitigate the risk,” says Hunt.
Leveraging AlertMedia for Any Critical Event
FCC now uses AlertMedia to communicate critical, time-sensitive information for a wide range of scenarios, from severe weather events to more routine business events like shift scheduling. Using AlertMedia to communicate benefits information, annual open enrollment deadlines, and 401K notices has also allowed FCC to cut costs and become more eco-friendly. Says Hunt, “When we have to send out required legal notices and other long-form documentation to employees, we can use AlertMedia to send them a notification with a link to the document. This allows us to be more efficient while also maintaining compliance.”
Most recently, FCC has used AlertMedia to communicate with employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. FCC, like many companies, experienced a rapid and dramatic shift to remote work when the pandemic struck. With AlertMedia, FCC has been able to stay in close contact with all of the company’s associates during the pandemic—both those working on-site and those working remotely. “AlertMedia has been vital to our employee communication efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has allowed us to reliably reach employees with clear, consistent information and regular updates during the rapidly evolving crisis,” says Pethtel.
And, says Hunt, FCC is just getting started. “With so many potential applications, we are really just scratching the surface of what’s possible with AlertMedia,” he says. “AlertMedia’s global threat intelligence greatly enhances our ability to protect our employees and operations. It enables us to not only identify emerging threats but also quantify their impact on our business. Automating the impact assessment and real-time communication around emerging events allows us to operate with unprecedented safety, visibility, and efficiency.”
Transforming the Way Manufacturers Communicate
Employee communication has been an area where manufacturers have often fallen short in the past. Communication has traditionally been inconsistent because many workers don’t have a company email address or regular access to a computer, and variable shift schedules only add to the complexity. But for manufacturers like FCC that prioritize effective employee communication, the rewards are plentiful.
Says Hunt, “AlertMedia has fundamentally transformed the way we can communicate with employees. Improving communication allows us to create a culture of trust and transparency that enhances employee safety, engagement, and productivity—all critical components of success for modern manufacturers.”