Ford Audio-Video (AV) is a nation-wide, commercial integrator service. The company designs, installs and rents and service professional sound, video and lighting systems for businesses, educational institutions, government facilities, churches, performing arts centers and sporting venues. Ford A/V was the leading audio visual recording and debriefing designer / integrator at UT Southwestern’s simulation center, and have since expanded its services to include more focus on medical simulation centers!
Ford AV provides a wealth of experience and trained industry experts to ensure every customer’s intended project is a success. Specializing in enterprise-level solutions, Ford AV has installed systems across the United States and internationally. The company currently has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, New York City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Tulsa, Washington DC and more.
Ford AV routinely works on many of America’s largest construction sites and adheres to the most rigid safety standards. With a $50 million bonding capacity, the company notes that all projects are extremely secure.
UT Southwestern Case Study with Ford A/V
Having been awarded 2nd Best Hospital in Texas by U.S. News & World Report the last two years, UT Southwestern Medical Center is no stranger to going above and beyond. Continuing in that tradition, Ford AV aided in the design and implementation of a new 9-story, 400,000 SF medical facility that combines UT Southwestern’s academic and clinical offices with one of the largest Simulation and Clinical Skills Training Centers in the nation.
UT Southwestern decided to invest in this project after recognizing that significant economic growth in North Texas had created growing demands for clinical and academic services. The project features a state-of-the-art simulation training center as well as hundreds of multi-use conference rooms and clinical offices, widespread digital signage, fully integrated lecture halls, laboratory services and a rooftop terrace and garden. The top floor houses the building’s impressive executive conference room, which boasts 98” Christie commercial-grade UHD LCD Displays on either end. Delivering exceptional image quality and contrast, these displays also feature an OPS slot for compatibility with digital signage devices, pluggable media players and other user-focused conveniences like multi-window capability.
The crowning jewel of the project is its Simulation and Clinical Skills Training Center with Standardized Patient (SP) Training and High Fidelity Simulation Suites for surgical and clinical skills in OR, ER, ICU, Obstetrics and Team Robotic disciplines. Ford technology provided solutions that capture, manage, archive and review simulated training events for state academic testing as well as track learner competency and progress reports through Learner Management Software (LMS) programs.
UT Southwestern’s ambitious addition to their West Campus represents the first time its clinics have been brought together with their corresponding academic offices. It also promises a brighter future for Texas healthcare by developing both students and professionals who are more practiced, better educated and steeped in excellence.
History of Ford A/V
Ford AV has over four decades of experience with AV technology projects around the globe. The company was founded in Oklahoma City in February 1973 by Jim and Claire Ford.
Initially the company designed and built recording studios and rented sound systems. Based on Jim Ford’s experience as a musician and recording engineer, and coupled with his degree in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma, the company designed and built recording studios. They were built from the ground up, each including acoustics, noise control, lighting and audio electronics.
The studio business continued and included major installations in Southern California and Hollywood. With Brian Roth as the company’s first engineer, Ford AV began to design and manufacture professional audio equipment. The first product was an electronic crossover, followed by a powered studio cue system for musicians. The manufacturing portion of the business expanded to include large 32 input recording consoles.
Then, in 1974, Claire Ford left her job as a science teacher to “help out.” She focused on the accounting, purchasing and management aspects of the company, while Jim engineered and directed sales. Also in 1974, Ford AV installed the first church system as a company, and has since installed more than 2,000 church systems across the nation. In 1976 the company moved to a bigger building, and Jack Langston and Steve Simmons joined the company as salespersons.
Starting in 1975, Ford AC began taking on large commercial requests, such as the Houston Intercontinental Airport, the Fiesta Texas theme park and the JC Penny’s corporate headquarters project. These projects were the foundation for establishing Ford AV as a nationally known contractor. In addition, during the early 80’s Ford AV installed the Astrodome in Houston, and the US Postal Training Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
In 2000, Ford AV built an additional 50,000 square foot facility which improved facilities for engineering, service, project management, fabrication and testing and included a large training and product demonstration center.
Ford AV continues to strive to add industry professionals to our workforce, and has done so by adding degreed professionals in data networking, software development, broadcast television, lighting systems, acoustics and computer systems to the company’s staff. Given the transition from analog to digital electronics and to the control and transmission of audio/video media over data networks, Ford AC now also sells services for data network professionals including software, switches, routers and servers.
Specialized Ford A/V Process
From the first phone call, Ford AV professionals are there to guide and streamline a customer’s planning process. A company service representative will listen to each customer’s needs and will use their expertise to understand that customer’s end goal.
To create desired systems, a design team comprised of over 150 employees and 80 engineers provides a foundation by engaging each product with a fresh and creative approach. This is accomplished through diversity across the team of designers, with backgrounds ranging in engineering, draftsmanship, accounting and other varied professions.
Helping bring the designs to fruition, Ford AV engineers hold degrees in electrical, mechanical and acoustical engineering, as well as physics, theater, and computer science. They can produce system drawings, acoustical, power and mechanical recommendations, 3D room renderings, lighting plots and more. The drawings help to ensure accurate documentation for both the Ford AV installation staff and other trades involved in the project.
Then, project managers deliver systems to customers safely, on time and to specification through execution and action, planning and scheduling, problem resolution and resource management. Each day brings challenges, which require project managers to develop solutions stemming from their knowledge of technology and construction experience.
Once the system has been designed and delivered, the installation process involves superintendents and installation technicians taking the specifications, drawings and equipment to piece together the system. Craftsmanship is required to build the system. Once complete, the system will be tested and commissioned by Ford AV engineers and project managers prior to turning the equipment over to the customer.
As technology advances and Ford AV systems have become more complex, increased training is required to help customers understand how to fully utilize all of the features and benefits offered by the company’s systems. Thus, Ford AV provides a wide variety of customizable training including on-site, online, instruction manuals, website videos and educational seminars. The value of the customer’s investment can only be realized when employees are fully trained in the proper use of the system.
If there are any issues with an installed system, Ford AV has service centers that are centrally managed across all locations to provide customers with a 24/7 toll free number with a single point of contact and management of service requests. According to Ford AV, each time a service technician arrives at a customer site, the company emphasizes that the most important aspect of assistance is the technician’s experience, knowledge and determination to solve the problem at-hand.
Ford Technical Support uses a centralized dispatch service to quickly deploy technicians to address any type of system distress. Customers have access to an array of service programs, such as:
- Preventative Maintenance Agreements
- Prepaid, Discounted Service hours
- On-site Operator Support
- System Asset Management
- Global Remote Monitoring
- Service Level Agreements
- End-User Technical training
- First-use support
- Quick-start guides
- Custom training videos
- And more!
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