It’s no secret Waste Management is the leading provider of waste reduction, management, collection, disposal, recycling and renewable energy services. The company is North America’s largest environmental solutions provider, serving more than 20 million residential and commercial customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
What may be less apparent, however, is that Waste Management is also one of the leading security and surveillance providers in the country. WM Security Services, Inc. (WMSSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, protects the assets of the multi-billion dollar, Fortune 200 company, while additionally offering commercial security and surveillance services to a variety of businesses.
The Waste Management security operations center (SOC), located in Houston, Texas, monitors the safety and security systems of customers across the country. The center also serves as an emergency response and crisis management office.
“We work around the clock, 365 days-a-year, and our staff is made up of highly trained, industry-certified security professionals,” said David Lee, manager for the SOC. “We monitor fire and burglar alarms at more than 2,000 Waste Management facilities, and the SOC additionally provides intelligent video monitoring and security tools to help companies manage risk, allowing them to focus more on maximizing their core business.”
When WMSSI outgrew their original monitoring space, the company moved the entire security operations center to a new location in downtown Houston. As part of the move, Lee and his team inherited a data center that was less than modern and in need of updated work spaces.
“The consoles and entire data center was really outdated,” Lee said. “Everything looked like it was from the 1980s and the consoles were curved, so they didn’t really fit into the new control room very well. Unfortunately, there wasn’t room in the budget for a redesigned command center at that time.”
When next year came around, WMSSI made sure there were funds for a complete remodel of the security operations center that included new consoles and command centers. Throughout the process, however, Lee and his team ran into a few challenges in remodeling the new space and finding consoles that would fit some of the room’s unique characteristics, including a unique truss system and misappropriated wiring.
“The room has an interesting truss system that is designed to tie together the creative function of the room,” Lee said. “We hang banners from the trusses, but they jut out from the wall a bit, so finding consoles that would work in this space proved to be challenging.”
Existing wiring in the room provided additional challenges for Lee and his team as well, as many of the power outlets were in less-than-ideal locations or simply non-existent. This forced the team to reposition operator stations throughout the room and making sure each piece of security monitoring system had access to the proper power source.
“The wiring wasn’t always located in the most convenient location,” he said. “And once we had all of the wires in place for operations, we needed to make sure the room looked professional and attractive to both staff and visitors.”
In order to solve the space and wiring challenges, Lee contacted his long-time partners at Winsted Corporation, a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of consoles and control room furniture. Together, they determined the best console solution that not only provided an answer to the trusses and the wiring challenges, but one that would additionally offer an environment for comfortable, efficient operations.
Lee and the WMSSI chose a control room product line from Winsted called Sight-Line. Working together, the team harnessed their creativity and determined the best way to install the console so that the furniture would complement the truss system, solve the wiring challenges and still perform at a high level of functionality and efficiency.
“Winsted was really creative in helping us select a console and coming up with creative ways to install the command center into the space, discretely hide the wires and still provide a functional, spacious and aesthetically appealing control room,” Lee said.
Creative design and unique installation helped solved the space challenges, and the console construction with exclusive design features provided an answer to the wire challenges.
“The imbedded power strips and openness of the console flooring made it much easier to create a plug-and-play environment, and the internal cable system hid the wires to maintain aesthetics and functionality,” Lee said.
As well as aesthetics and functionality, WMSSI considered the health and comfort of the security staff when selecting the right console. Pairing the Sight-Line control room console with Winsted’s Versa-Trak monitor support system, the entire configuration provides ergonomic, modular and adaptable features that give users flexibility. These features allow operators to adjust monitor angles and desk height based on personal needs for comfortable, efficient operations.
“Our operators often work 12-hour shifts, so we decided to try the adjustable raised desks so staff could take a break from either sitting or standing at any time,” Lee said. “We’re the first center in Houston to implement Winsted sit/stand consoles and it’s really a healthy benefit we can provide our employees.”
While functionality and operator health are two key benefits to the new control room furniture, Lee also said the SOC now serves as an impressionable showpiece for prospective customers and external businesses.
“The SOC is a big selling point for WMSSI,” Lee said. “Winsted really exceeded our expectations with their creative design thinking and coming up with a functional unique product. The entire setup really helps us show potential customers the level of sophisticated security and surveillance services we can provide.”