In a crisis, one of the best things to say is, "How can I help?" When the pandemic turned the education system upside down, Lee Mandel, CEO of IntraLogic Solutions, asked his school district clients what he could do.
IntraLogic Solutions of Massapequa is a security technology company. It specializes in one-button lockdown systems for emergencies in schools, like an active shooter, and video cameras. The technology also connects schools to police departments. Eighty percent of IntraLogic’s clients are school districts, and the rest are municipalities, businesses and government agencies.
"COVID has been a scary, trying time. The bulk of our clients got hit hard," Mandel said.
As schools shut down, projects the company had in progress and in the pipeline were put on hold. Mandel pondered the next best steps. The answer came from the question he asked his clients. "We didn’t want to come off as ambulance chasers, but we spoke to school districts and asked how we could support them during COVID," Mandel said.
He shares how he used the intel clients provided to come to their rescue and help his company, too.
What did you discover from clients?
Security was no longer their priority. The urgency was health and safety. Our challenge was to determine how we could use our resources, software and technology staff, our skill set, to meet their needs. We came up with digital wellness.
What did you do to help create 'digital wellness'?
We quickly added several new products, services and technology to help schools open, stay open and protect health. For example, we created Tempe, a rapid temperature-taking device that can go on walls and buses and is contactless. While a lot of vendors offered overpriced technology, the Tempe is under $200 and can take a lot of temperatures quickly. ... It solves a major challenge.
Did you add any other services?
We now offer technology and apps that track cleaning and disinfection in schools and businesses and keeps records of compliance. With our Equip ID, you tap on a site tag for the app’s checklist of tasks that need to be done. Staff and the public can tap the tag to get information on the disinfection schedule and history. The system validates when cleaning is complete, and management can track compliance.
Were there issues in switching gears?
Fortunately, we had a technology team in place. What was key is that we stayed in our core competency, technology, so we didn’t incur huge costs. That’s the way to pivot. We got manufacturing, but we bought in small quantities and built from there.
Did the strategy pay off financially?
Not only did it get us through the pandemic; we got new business. Twenty to 30 new school districts came on board for the wellness products. Most of them were from Long Island, but also upstate New York and Florida. Some of them also became customers of our security products. We strengthened our relationship with existing customers.
How else has the pandemic changed IntraLogic?
We are re-evaluating our need for physical space. Remote working is effective. We will likely relax our work-from-home policy when the pandemic is over. While nothing beats physical interaction, we will continue to use Zoom. It’s efficient. I can do five meetings in a day and not have to drive all over Long Island. We will continue our wellness program. Just like after 9/11, you still have to take your shoes off at the airport; masks and temperature checks may not be around forever, but for a while. As for our core security, it will come back.
A note to our community:
As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing. Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.SUBSCRIBE