The top 5 things we learned from ADA: 'I can't make anyone happy!'

Sept. 27, 2012 | by Corey King

The buildup to the ADA deadline was the craziest, most pressure-packed time most of us suppliers have ever experienced in the ATM Industry. Many work days started before 6:00 a.m. and ended after 9:00 p.m. with the same words coming from everyone's mouth: "I CAN'T MAKE ANYONE HAPPY!"

Firm deadlines plus high demand equaled a shortage of supply

Regardless of the amount of time spent planning, examining and/or determining what was needed to become ADA compliant, there simply were not enough machines — new or refurbished — to go around. The reality is that all manufacturers required similar components from overseas suppliers who could not keep up with the demand.

Throw in a few newly introduced ATM models that took off (for instance, the SelfServ 16), and we had the recipe for constant jams and delayed installations. Audio kits all by themselves were a major clog in the upgrade pipeline. Most models required unique pieces, unique cables, harnesses and audio boards. If any one of them was backordered, the kit could not be completed and shipped out.

All major ATM brands, suppliers, services experienced delays. All major brands had customers a little bit unhappy at one time or the other!

PCI and EMV compliance added a twist

Two additional, unforeseen issues that came up were PCI and EMV compliance. On the surface they might have seemed like simple "bumps in the road" but the reality was — and still is — a much bigger issue.

Depending on the brand of ATM, there could be the need for additional core upgrades now or in the near future. Depending on the brand of ATM and model, there could be a need for a completely new fascia and card reader now or in the near future. Depending on the brand of ATM, the newest software might require additional core upgrades, memory, etc.

In short, once we started digging into ADA compliance, there was the realization that this was a very significant issue requiring time that no one had. And you know what that had most of us saying: "I can't make anyone happy!"

Firm deadlines plus high demand equaled a shortage of techs

The window for ADA plans and compliance basically ran from March 15, 2011, to March 15, 2012. One year seemed like a long time but, as noted above, there were supply issues, additional compliance issues — and how about some weather and construction delays?

All of this aside, we had, in my opinion, the second most important issue to deal with after the shortage of hardware — there were not enough techs to go around! ATMs are not toasters and require trained and experienced service techs to install, configure and bring live. Very often issues come up during install that require parts, network involvement, etc. This being the case, if you were a tech in the field, you were spending a lot of time away from your family!

What a time the ADA wave was for all of us. I hope some of the above will help others realize that they were not alone. I hope it will help end users realize that, maybe, their sales and service company had many things happen that were beyond their control — or that it will validate the dedication of those who worked tirelessly to make things happen for them on time!

If you still have or know of ATMs that are not ADA compliant — ummmmmm — they really need to get done!

Topics: ADA Compliance , Components , Manufacturers , Refurbished / Used ATMs , Service / Parts

Corey King / Corey King works with American Bank Equipment "supporting companies that have boots on the ground." He has extensive experience working with and for ATM sales and service organizations and writes from a parts, machine, compliance and upgrade perspective.
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