Kawasaki Relies on AlertMedia to Keep Employees Connected During Critical Events
- CommunicationsKeeps a geographically dispersed workforce informed and connected at all times
- SafetyProtects employees and ensures business continuity during critical events
- EfficiencyModernizes Kawasaki’s emergency communications plan to improve efficiency
- ReliabilityEnsures fast, reliable delivery of critical, time-sensitive communications
Kawasaki Modernizes Communication for a Dispersed Workforce
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. markets and distributes motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, and Jet Ski ® watercraft. With a network of almost 1,100 independent retailers and close to an additional 7,400 retailers specializing in general purpose engines, Kawasaki is a market leader known for its powerful, stylish, and category-leading vehicles. Kawasaki employs 450 people across six U.S. states—many of which are prone to severe weather and natural disasters—with approximately 250 employees based out of the organization’s Orange County, California headquarters.
To protect employee safety and ensure business continuity, Kawasaki sought improvements to how it communicated time-sensitive emergency information. Kawasaki now relies on AlertMedia’s emergency communication software to protect its business and people during critical events. From the California wildfires to daily safety concerns, putting a modern, reliable mass notification system in place has helped Kawasaki ensure the safety of their employees.
Obsolete Communication Methods Failed to Reach Kawasaki’s Workforce
“During an emergency, it wasn’t acceptable to continue to rely on dated communication methods. With emails and phone calls, there is always the potential for inconsistent information, and you end up playing the game of ‘telephone.'”
At Kawasaki, the methods used to communicate with employees during emergency events were antiquated and time-consuming. Without a dedicated emergency communication system, the organization was dependent on phone trees and emails. “During an emergency, it wasn’t acceptable to continue to rely on dated communication methods. With emails and phone calls, there is always the potential for inconsistent information, and you end up playing the game of ‘telephone,’” says Tom Porter, Kawasaki’s former Director of Human Resources and Administration.
As a geographically diverse organization, correctly identifying the right audience for specific messages also proved to be a challenge. “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,” says Porter. “We recognized that newer technology could greatly improve Kawasaki Motor’s critical communications, particularly a mass notification system that was cloud-based.”
HRIS Integration Enables HR to Send Emergency Communications in Seconds
Recognizing that new technology could enhance the organization’s critical communications and emergency preparedness, Porter and his team evaluated several different vendors before selecting AlertMedia’s emergency communication system. “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,” reveals Porter. “We particularly liked the ability to use the system on both the web and mobile devices. AlertMedia’s system is also so easy to set up, we were up and running on the platform in no time.”
By integrating directly with Kawasaki’s HR system of record, AlertMedia can access employee contact data in real-time to ensure the right people get the messages they need, when they need them. Using this employee data, the platform also allows Kawasaki’s HR team to segment employees into dynamic groups so Porter and his team can send relevant, targeted communications. Adds Porter, “We’re happy the platform communicates directly with our HR Information System (HRIS) to access accurate employee data, organizing employees into accessible groups based on location, department, or any other attribute that might bind an audience together.
When wildfires raged across Southern California, AlertMedia’s geofencing capabilities also made it easy for Kawasaki to rapidly identify and communicate with affected employees. From the time Porter first received news of local evacuations, it only took minutes to identify the employees within the evacuation zone, and just seconds to deploy a notification from his mobile device letting those employees know they should leave work immediately. Porter adds, “During the 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.”
Flexible Delivery Options Allow for Effective Communication
AlertMedia’s flexible communication capabilities—such as multi-channel delivery and the ability to access the platform via web or mobile application—are vital to ensuring the effectiveness of Kawasaki’s emergency communications plan. By communicating over multiple channels— including voice call, text message, email, mobile app push notification, and even social media—Kawasaki can ensure the fast, reliable delivery of critical information.
Since most emergency situations—such as the California wildfires the company experienced—are location-specific events, Porter believes AlertMedia’s location tracking and geofencing capabilities will prove invaluable during a wide range of critical events. With a map view that layers in multiple known locations for employees—such as their home and work addresses—administrators can keep employees informed of local threats. As a result, “We now plan to use AlertMedia 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,” says Porter.
Due to the flexibility and success of the platform, there is a multitude of ways Kawasaki now anticipates using AlertMedia to improve internal communication. Adds Porter, “We plan on using AlertMedia in many ways to keep in touch with our employees. If you encounter an IT virus, for example, relying on email as your only communication channel is less than ideal. We originally were looking for a solution to use during severe weather, but there are many potential ways we envision using the AlertMedia system.”