Support Center ..... by Marriott

on 2012-11-08 Tony Pitale wrote

Sure, you have heard of Courtyard by Marriott. But for ICS, one particular Courtyard became our Support Center for 3 days following Superstorm Sandy.

When the hurricane had completed its trail of destruction, Tony assembled a reconnaissance team at the office on Wednesday to determine our course of action. Each member had various sources of information; together the net result was that restoring power to the office would be unpredictable and a long-term prognosis. It was determined that the primary system server would be relocated to a home with power and internet and that a skeletal support staff would be relocated to a hotel where Vision Support could be provided. The Marriott Courtyard in Wayne, PA had sufficient availability through Sunday.

The advance team arrived at the hotel around 3 that afternoon and immediately set up in the Business Center. The Courtyard’s available wifi provided quick access to the company email and we re-routed our main phone number so team members could begin to accept calls. Other staff collected the messages that had piled up during the week and for the next four hours, Vision Support was able to begin triage and get the word out that additional services would be available the next day.

Thursday morning, we hit the ground on the run. (As we didn’t want to monopolize the Business Center, we moved to a corner of the lobby, where we would continue to work throughout the next 2 days.) Our primary server had been relocated and Web extracts resumed for our retailers. As more stores began to open up, we received Support calls ranging from power-related issues to what-if scenarios. The team continued to work on the backlog of calls and emails with assistance from the developer at the server site.

Throughout this time, the staff at the Courtyard went above and beyond the call. Every one of their associates were friendly and outgoing; they assisted with the receipt of faxes and even extended the breakfast hours to accommodate one of our team who had arrived late the previous evening. ICS prides itself in projecting a positive image to our Liquor Store Retailers; the staff at Courtyard echoed our mission statement with their actions, numerous times. They truly acted like they were sharing their home with us.

While I’m sure that we were just a few of the ‘Sandy refugees’ served by the Courtyard in the aftermath of the storm, the spirit and attitude of the associates at the Courtyard will be something that the ICS team remembers for years to come.