Telcom & Data: The devil is in the detail - Ricardo Trinidad

Corporate upstream sites require durable and reliable communications and emergency notification systems at all times. Ricardo Trinidad, president of Telcom & Data, talks to Chief Executive Officer about how his company provides the latest layered emergency communications systems for mission-critical applications.

Based in Milwaukee, US, Telcom & Data provides durable emergency alert systems that can notify personnel inside businesses and local authorities beyond that an accident has occurred on site. Moreover, the company's hardware solutions are always built to specifications determined by the intended user.

"We do not have explosion-proof devices sitting on the shelves waiting for when a customer calls," says Ricardo Trinidad, the company's president. "Everything we sell is going to be manufactured to standards relevant to the customer's needs. On the downside, that means a bit of a wait time; however, in the end, the user is going to receive exactly what they've asked for and more."

To facilitate this, for the most part, Telcom & Data collaborates with long-standing and trusted industry partners. However, when it comes to working with new manufacturers, Trinidad and his colleagues are judicious in making sure they subscribe to their company's rigorous quality-control standards.

"We look for a few different things when we initiate a new product line," he says. "We're going to look at the system or alarm first, to test it and ensure it works to the highest standards. Secondly, we need to know how easy they are to work with. In case we have a failure, how is that handled? How quickly can the manufacturer turn a new product around? We're looking for all of these things."

This attention to detail and commitment to efficiency also extends to the company's returns and repair policy.

"We might have phones that come back to us that may have gotten beaten up or have parts torn off them," says Trinidad. "It happens. After all, our products are sometimes deployed in very hazardous environments. In cases like that, we will take the phone back and refurbish it - and if the product has failed, we'll replace it at our own cost."

The common touch

The applications for Telcom & Data's products are diverse. As well as heavy-duty phones, the company also supplies multilayered communications systems that can provide audio and visual alerts in cases of emergency.

"In a broader sense, these are mainly supplied to clients working in areas where notification of wider communities or area-specific crews is necessary," explains Trinidad. "These can be wireless notifications to cellphones, computers and pagers, as well as high-powered speakers.

"For example, we've worked with an army corps of engineers at a First World War archaeological site that was being cleared of mustard gas shells. We provided them with a notification system that allowed the entire local community to be alerted if there's a gas release and evacuation became necessary."

Creating an emergency response plan (ERP) requires a detailed risk analysis. When designing a mass-notification system, one must consider the anticipated risks of each facility, probability and frequency of occurrence, and projected loss. The role of mass notification - how the facility disseminates information and specific take-action instructions needed for different types of emergencies - is an important element of risk mitigation.

"Our customers have always come to us for a high-quality communications solution," Trinidad says. "Above all, that means a durable and reliable solution that can function in a variety of mission-critical applications."