October 3, 2023
By Kevin Eigelbach
Louisville, KY – Lesson learned from the windstorm of 2008: Buy a generator. That’s the plan for New York City-based VMS LP, a media monitoring service. “As well as we did this time, I would rather not put my people through that process” of moving to a location with power, VMS CEO Peter Wengryn said. “The prudent thing to do is buy that generator.” It’s one of many lessons local business learned about handling disaster the hard way on Sept. 14, when the remains of Hurricane Ike blew through and knocked out power to three-quarters of Louisville Gas & Electric Co.’s area customers.
VMS had a plan in place for short-term power outages at any one of its 18 locations nationwide. Divert work from that location to other locations. But when it became clear that power would be out for days, the company made other plans. It found a temporary home at the Louisville office of Peak 10, a Charlotte, N.C.-based computer-needs outsourcing firm, where VMS already kept its main computer servers. Peak 10 provided space where about 70 or 80 VMS employees could work on each eight-hour shift. Employees pitched in and moved about 80 or 90 desktop computers in their personal vans or trucks, Wengryn said.
“We have a great staff who was able to make this happen,” Wengryn said. “Many of our people worked 24 hours a day for two days straight.” After dividing the staff into three shifts, VMS was able to keep about 200 of its 300 local employees working. Two days after the outage, the office was operating at 95 percent capacity, he said. The company’s power went out on a Sunday and returned on Friday. The following Saturday, the company hired a professional mover to put everything back in its Louisville office, at 10400 Linn Station Road.
Though the power outage was a difficult trial, “we learned that we have the confidence that if we can get through this, we can get through anything,” Wengryn said.
VMS is the world leader in integrated media intelligence solutions that bring together news monitoring and advertising monitoring across all media – broadcast, radio, print, Internet and outdoor.
VMS provides public relations firms, advertising agencies and marketers worldwide with the most comprehensive, cutting-edge editorial and ad retrieval, management and analysis solutions, including a broad spectrum of industry-leading advertising and public relations measurement and tracking tools.
VMS monitors thousands of hours of television broadcast news in all 210 U.S DMAs™ – by far the most of any provider – through a unique nationwide digital network, enabling us to help manage brand reputation with unparalleled speed, breadth and depth. VMS also monitors approximately 10,000 hours a week of radio broadcasts nationwide again the industry's broadest coverage.
VMS provides access to the largest continually updated advertising database in the world with over five million ads and commercials through the market leading AdSight platform. The competitive advertising intelligence VMS provides includes U.S. and international creative content as well as domestic spending and occurrence data from Nielsen for the top 100 U.S. television markets.
VMS operates 15 full-service offices and 3 monitoring centers throughout the U.S. For more information about VMS call (800) vms-2002 or visit www.vmsinfo.com.