Hallcon’s largest 24/7 Demand Response Center in Lenexa, Kansas, manages over 130,000,000 miles of demand response trips per year throughout North America with a team of over 120 professionals. When the threat of COVID-19 came in early March, our team sprang into action to prepare for the possibility of shifting to a work from home model. Significant logistical and safety-related obstacles needed to be overcome to ensure we could maintain the service quality our clients have come to expect.
Many Hallcon clients such as the Railroads of North America are essential to our transportation infrastructure. They depend on our demand response team to keep their railroad running 365 days a year. Over the years, we’ve built contingency plans to keep service running safely through almost every scenario imaginable, such as power outages, tornados, or other severe weather, but nobody could have anticipated something quite like the COVID-19 Pandemic. That’s why it was so critical that our team had the foresight to begin preparations as early as possible.
Our virtual phone system allowed our operations to work from anywhere and adjust to most situations – but that wasn’t the only challenge. First, we prioritized older and more at-risk employees to work from home so they would be protected. Then, we set up an internal process for employees to quickly acquire the computers, Wi-Fi, and equipment needed to effectively work from home. We also ran proactive testing scenarios to identify and address any issues before finalizing our plan. All our team’s preparation paid off; once the decision was officially made in mid-March, we were able to complete the shift to work from home in just 5 days.
Even in the first week of working from home, there were no attendance issues, and we maintained our excellent On-time Performance (OTP) and “time to dispatch” service levels. This outcome speaks not only to the leadership of our demand response team, but to each and every team member who went above and beyond to make it happen.
“This is a testament to the resiliency of our demand response team and their focus on client service,” said Steve Heinking, VP of Hallcon’s Demand Response Center. “I’m so proud of this team for stepping up and working together to keep our employees safe while helping our railroad clients move essential product throughout North America.”
Thank you to everyone who played a role in this accomplishment. Together, we are #HallconStrong.