American Express started as a package delivery service company and competed with companies like Pony Express back in the 1850s. When they reinvented themselves and started selling credit cards in 1958, they became a financial juggernaut. Adapting, reengineering, and changing on a dime are a few vital ingredients that often create a recipe for success. Paul Lutus, who designed the spacecraft components for the NASA Space Shuttle, once said, “The most successful people are those who accept and adapt to constant change. This adaptability requires a degree of flexibility and humility most people can’t manage.”
At IST, we have always been in the business of adapting and reengineering. I have often said, “If it’s not broke, break it.” When I first started the company 23 years ago and began to expand across the country, our operations and sales team worked virtually. It worked then and it certainly works now. We could not do that without technology. Right from the get-go, I wanted to use technology to work smart and cut costs for our clients. Our mail operations are a good example of how we work smart with fewer people. We developed voice recognition to sort mail quickly and accurately. Our next generation will combine LED-light technology with voice recognition to sort mail even faster.
We are now living in a world where the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many companies to re-think how they do business and how they will return to work in a safe environment. We have a strategy at IST called Facilities Forward which offers support systems designed to help our clients as they reposition themselves for a robust recovery. Years ago we developed Docstor Mail which enables us to scan and image mail. This transition from paper to electronic footprint complements social distancing by delivering mail to computers instead of mailboxes. IST’s web-based conference room management system called Confirm enables our clients to safely hold their meetings on-line and can accommodate teleworkers as well. IST’s Space Planning Systems enables our clients to manage their employee locations and organizational moves as they implement the standard six-foot distancing protocols.
IST has developed a comprehensive approach to ensure a workplace is a safe place. In the office, we provide a variety of services such as cleaning, sanitizing, health checks, social distancing plans, and reducing touchpoints. Our sanitizing and disinfecting services (SDS) will decrease the likelihood of diseases like COVID-19 and influenza from spreading through the workplace. SDS will result in fewer sick days as well as increase a feeling of security and morale. SDS services can be added to current IST support functions. Our Facilities Forward flyer provides more in-depth information about these vital services for our clients.
There is no question that these are unprecedented times. The abundance of fear and conflicting information does not make it any easier. Our number one priority is the safety of our employees and our clients. We are doing our part to ensure a safe workplace environment. We have had many pandemics in the past. This time, we have a vast array of tools, drugs, and hopefully a vaccine that will be developed soon. As of early July, there were about 160 vaccine projects underway throughout the world. It’s just a matter of time before the pandemic comes to an end, but some of the protocols that we put in place will likely remain. So, as Paul Lutus said, with a lot of flexibility and humility, we will get through this. Thank you for all that you do.