ACS Building Services
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In Leawood, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City, Automated Control Systems dba ACS Building Services works to make buildings smarter, safer, more efficient and comfortable. From security surveillance and access controls to fire systems and HVAC equipment, ACS helps ensure a range of commercial, industrial and institutional facilities are running at top performance. In doing so, the company has fostered long-standing relationships with established customers throughout Kansas City and surrounding areas such as St. Louis.
“ACS started as American Century Security in 1963, but the company was sold in the mid-’70s,” recounts Robert Harper, president of ACS. “23 years ago the company relaunched as Automated Control Systems [ACS Building Services] and that’s the name we’ve been under ever since.”
Cultivating customers for life
Operating in the niche market of building automation and systems integration, ACS services office buildings, schools, churches, hospitals, national franchises and a long list of other facility types. “We’re really big in the school-institutional market,” says Harper. “In the Kansas City area we’re the vendor of choice for 43 school districts’ campuses.”
Over the years, ACS’ 50-person team has worked to build repeat business by following a set of core values key to business. “Our selling advantage lies in our four core values,” says Harper. “First, we communicate regularly by design. Second, we nurture long-term relationships. We’ve found that one-off contracts just end up failing, so we make a point to take care of the customer over the long term.”
“Another core value is we find solutions not excuses,” continues Harper. “Our team is empowered to make the right decisions and everyone who works for ACS is looking to make the customer’s experience a better one. Last but not least, we finish what we promise. At the end of the day, if we stick to this, we’ll end up with a customer that’s happy and one that will be with us for years.”
Smart products for comfort and safety
ACSs’ goal is to make a smarter, safer and more comfortable facility for occupants. “As a building automation and integrated systems contractor, we specialize in a number of smart products and services that make a building safe and comfortable,” explains Harper.
ACS delivers products such as access control, lighting and temperature systems tied synced with building automation, high-definition video surveillance equipment, fire alarms and burglar alerts, energy management and HVAC service and more. “These products not only add life to a building; they save our customers time and money,” says Harper. “In the end, they also conserve energy and keep occupants safe.”
The ACS advantage is a host of these smart products and systems, working as one. “Not only are we controlling temperature and taking care of fire and access control and intrusion systems, we’re integrating it all together,” explains Harper. “So when you present your card at the front door, not only does it turn off your alarm system, it also automatically adjusts your office temperature to your set preference.”
Delivering simple peace of mind
Through a range of building automation, energy management and video and security platforms, ACS goes to work for customers, managing and integrating all systems so the last thing an owner has to do is worry about their building. “Our single biggest push in 2015 has been to improve the user experience by offering our services as one service, as opposed to a customer having to manage their own access control, building automation and energy systems,” says Harper.
The ACS staff steps in to manage all systems and offer daily reports. “Now our customers can manager their building all through email, instead of having to learn new software,” says Harper.
“Customer response on this has been amazing,” he continues. “A customer doesn’t want to worry if their building automation computer has been updated or if the anti-virus software is current — they don’t want to think about that, they just want the building to work for them.”
By managing all systems in one, ACS offers flexibility. “If there’s an event at their office and it needs to stay open late, the customer simply sends us an email saying leave the front door unlocked until this time and we’ll do that and make sure the building is at correct occupant temperature until the given time,” says Harper. “We’ll take care of it all.”
It’s no surprise that ACS has been widely recognized for its superior service. “We’ve won HVAC and building automation awards and we recently received a customer service award from our access controls supplier,” notes Harper.
After 25 years and counting, ACS Building Services continues to make buildings work for owners and occupants, striving for the most integrated approach to comfort, security and efficiency.
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