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Ask Kenyon your Crisis Management Questions

Dear Kenyon,

Your organization has mentioned “equipment readiness” before and it made me wonder why I can’t just order the equipment that I need at the time of the crisis. What is the purpose behind maintaining warehouses full of equipment if I can just order equipment as needed?

Kind regards,
Mr. Necessities Only

Mr. Necessities Only,

Funny you would mention equipment readiness, as I was just working on a warehouse project that shows exactly why you shouldn’t wait until a crisis to prepare equipment.

With Operations Specialists based in USA, UK and Australia, all Kenyon’s equipment is regularly checked, tested, packed and labeled for shipment throughout the year to ensure that it’s ready to go at any moment.

This is important because most of Kenyon’s deployment equipment cannot simply be bought off the shelf. Many items are custom-built, made to order, or specially sourced by multiple suppliers. Not only that, but lead times can vary between suppliers and equipment, ranging from a few days to several weeks, so it is vitally important that Kenyon has everything you need ready to deploy.

Let me share an example. Kenyon currently has two conference bridge and public announcement (PA) systems, one in Houston, Texas, and the second in Bracknell, United Kingdom. Due to the significance of this equipment and the time and engineering that goes into producing it, having two kits allows Kenyon to respond to multiple incidents simultaneously, regardless of location. Vital at the time of incident, and specifically required in the United States for aviation accidents, is conference bridge and communications systems. These are used to link family members who have not travelled to a family assistance center to the briefings and allow them to participate remotely and securely. Providing family briefings for both those at the Family Assistance Center and those unable to travel to the center is a requirement of the Family Assistance Act issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board for Aviation Disasters.

conference bridge
Conference Bridge

Recently we replaced one of these systems. You cannot just call up and order an entire conference bridge in full and expect it to arrive the next day. To acquire it, you need to source the individual pieces, assemble it and test it, all of which takes time. Making this purchase highlighted just how important it was to not only have these on hand and ready-to-go but it emphasized why it was so integral to have more than just one.

A basic conference system and a handheld microphone may be fairly easy to purchase online or at a local store; however, not only do they not meet the requirements of the family assistance act, they don’t meet the real world needs when used. Our conference bridges are built to be used multiple times. They are fully portable; large enough to conduct briefings in rooms of various sizes; and, most importantly, they have the ability to provide audio conferencing, which allows off-site families to dial into the conference bridge on a predetermined toll-free number to hear all communications and daily briefings live. Our conference bridge equipment can also be paired with our hand-held translation equipment, so that the families can receive the information in their language simultaneously.

Because this equipment cannot be bought in a package from a local audio store, Kenyon worked with a professional audio-visual communications supplier to design and build the bridge as required. Following several phone calls and emails, we established a synopsis, outlining our requirements with our account manager and a proposal was created. Once the proposal was signed, we then collaborated closely with the engineers, discussing and approving every stage of the conference bridge’s production. This process took us from initial design to engineering, constructing, programming and, finally, testing to ensure the conference bridge’s performance met our standards exactly.

Following its successful build, the bridge arrived at Kenyon’s Houston office where it was installed and tested. After testing, the Kenyon Operations team received additional training before finally preparing it for deployment and now it’s ready to ship the moment it is needed.

The total time taken, from first contact with the supplier to receiving the equipment and having it ready to deploy, was nine weeks. In a crisis, even a few minutes can negatively impact your response. Nine weeks would destroy it, which is why we do all of the equipment maintenance for you, so you can focus on a rapid response if a crisis should arise. Harry Broughton

Warmest Regards,

Harry Broughton
Operations Specialist

Harry joined Kenyon as an Operations Specialist and is primarily responsible for maintaining readiness of Kenyon’s global equipment and resources, while overseeing the maintenance and care of our UK response inventory and warehouse functions.

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