Health & Safety

Interview: How Auto Dealerships Screen for Covid-19 with CrowdBlink Protect

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Milan Malivuk, CrowdBlink's SVP of Sales and Marketing, sat down for an interview with Todd Phillips, Editor of Canadian auto dealer.

Full transcript is included below. What you will learn in this interview:

  • How auto dealerships can get an exclusive offer for Covid-19 screening tech that they will not find elsewhere.
  • The most efficient way to screen everyone at your location without operational slowdowns.
  • How to safeguard your dealerships from prolonged shutdowns in the event of Covid exposure at your location.

Video Interview:

Transcript: Covid-19 Screening Tech for Auto Dealerships

Todd: Hello, I'm Todd Phillips, the editor of Canadian auto dealer. We're here today with Milan Malivuk, He's the VP of sales and marketing with CrowdBlink. It's a new screening platform and technology to help ensure that the people getting into your facility have been tested for temperature and for other health-related concerns. And it's now being offered to dealerships across Canada, so we thought we'd touch base with Milan today and learn a little more about it. So Milan, tell us a bit about this new platform and how it's being used in this COVID-19 world to make sure that everybody's safe.

Milan: Hi Todd. Yeah, thanks. So really right now, what we've been able to offer various dealerships across Canada, and moving into the UnitedStates as well, has been a way for them to ensure that nobody's entering their workspace while displaying any symptoms or risk factors of COVID-19, and maintaining automatic digital records of all of these assessments and the actual screening that goes along with it.

Todd: So tell us a bit about how it works. So somebody shows up at work and how does this technology, how do they get tested? What type of procedures are in place to make it work? And what does the dealership have to do on their end to make it work?

Milan: So, obviously one of the key factors was we had to make a very lightweight solution, it wasn't going to work if we had to install a bunch of proprietary equipment. So we've created a mobile application that works on any Android or iOS device. It could be a phone in your pocket, or an iPad, oran Android device, it doesn't matter. And by using that device an individual, whether it's the general manager of a dealership or a service advisor, it doesn't matter, can you use that to actually conduct the assessments by either scanning an employee's ID badge, or just entering a name, and asking a series of risk assessment questions: do you have a sore throat? cough? recent travel? exposure to anybody? those types of things, that are all customizable.

Optionally, you can record a temperature. So most of our clients are using either a Bluetooth infrared thermometer to take temperatures and just record it in the application as well. And that way they're just conducting a daily assessment in the morning as people arrive at work. There's the option for employees to actually conduct self-assessments as well. So again, it comes down to a lot of configuration here, but it offers some of our partners and clients the ability for their employees to conduct those assessments. Using the app at home before they even arrive at work.

And then as they arrive, they have a QR code in that app that just gets scanned by whoever's doing the screening from the dealership staff. And this way you're doing some of the assessment, the risky part at home before you actually arrive. And when they do arrive it's just operationally a much easier process, because you're just literally scanning a QR code off of people's phones. And obviously, you're getting all of this information logged into a database.

Todd: Well that's interesting. I interviewed one of the dealers who are piloting and testing this program within Canada. And she was saying that it was, the whole process of screening takes 10 seconds between the temperature, the recording. And it's very quick, so it's not like you're going to have big lineups to get in your dealerships. So was that the intent really, to make this a fast, effective, but still not a bottleneck technology?

At the end of the day, businesses still need to operate, and introducing a bunch of operational friction and conducting an extra hour or two hours of conducting these assessments and going through everybody with a pen and paper, just isn't really going to cut it for most industries.

Milan: Yeah, absolutely. At the end of the day, the COVID situation has really introduced a lot of new requirements, obviously and rightfully so. But at the end of the day, businesses still need to operate, and introducing a bunch of operational friction and conducting an extra hour or two hours of conducting these assessments and going through everybody with a pen and paper, just isn't really going to cut it for most industries.

So even things like the self-assessment innovation is just a way for us to help businesses be able to comply with these new requirements and the new realities without really sacrificing the operational efficiency. And by allowing them to still do all of the things that they need to do and reasonably are possible, while not really slowing down the operation, and not making it impossible to actually conduct their day to day business.

Todd: Well, the other thing is we're getting used to this or accustomed to this, and things as simple as going for a meal at a restaurant now. We have to sit down and write down our name and number, and that sort of stuff and contact in case something happens, they can do reverse contact tracing and that type of thing. I imagine this app and the technology, everything gets recorded into a log, so you now have a record of who was in your facility, when and some of the basic temperature recording. So I guess that's useful as well, as a tool that the records who's coming in and out of your facility?

The benefit with using CrowdBlink Protect is that all of these assessments and all of the results are automatically logged in a very secure industrial-grade database. And that enables you to do a lot of things that pen and paper doesn't, like the ability to go search through reports.

Milan: Absolutely. It's funny you mention the restaurants because we've actually had a number of restaurants starting to use the application as well. Because yes, if you've been to one where you walk up and they ask you your name, and your phone number, and all of these details. So pen and paper, I'm sure anybody who's using it right now knows that that also generates a lot of record keeping. The benefit with using CrowdBlink Protect is that all of these assessments and all of the results are automatically logged in a very secure industrial-grade database. And that enables you to do a lot of things that pen and paper doesn't, the ability to go search through reports. And if, in the unfortunate case that somebody does test positive, you're able to go back and say, okay. Here's actually a full report of everybody who was potentially exposed because they were in the same place at the same time, over this period of time.

So there's a lot of benefits that digitizing these types of records has, aside from just the overhead of having to do the management of pen and paper and all the paperwork that comes out of it. But also just the ability to go back in and really quickly generate reports. And it's really enabling a lot of our clients across a number of different verticals to minimize their downtimes. Because what we're also seeing is in some industries, when there is a positive test for COVID-19, that a really important factor that I think a lot of people didn't consider originally was how quickly can you contact trace and isolate exactly who was potentially exposed so that you can reopen quicker? It's the difference between your business being shut for a day or two versus a week or two. And that's a huge impact, which I think goes without saying.

A really important factor that I think a lot of people didn't consider originally was how quickly can you contact trace and isolate exactly who was potentially exposed so that you can reopen quicker? It's the difference between your business being shut for a day or two versus a week or two.

Todd: The other thing is it does, it depends on the dealership or the business, I guess, but they can also use the technology equally to screen customers. Maybe not at a certain point in the process, maybe if they're going to go to the sales office, FNI office or something like that. I guess then you could say, okay, and what part of a procedure we want to do your temperature test and basic questions. So that's another option as well, I guess, in the retail setting. It's for your own teams, but it could potentially be rolled out to customers as well, right?

Milan: Absolutely. I think the initial, let's call it value proposition, to the dealerships that have rolled it out has been to make their employees feel comfortable about going back to work. And that's the feedback that we've heard. But ultimately, even when we look at some of the other industries that have been using CrowdBlink Protect, even in the real estate industry right now they're really conducting it as a part of also showing to their community: here's what we're doing to keep your visit to our dealership safe and to our open houses safe, and to all of the other industries that we serve. So it's a very easy way that you can have one set of assessments that are perhaps a little bit more in depth, let's say, of your employees. And there could be another assessment that's being configured that's for sales prospects as they're coming in, or people for service appointments.

That enables you to do something a little bit lighter. Maybe you don't need to go through all of the full questionnaire that you would with staff, but maybe you still want to record the name. Maybe you want to record just some basic questions that are a little bit lighter weight. But it can also potentially aid with rolling into information gathering. So for example, in the real estate market what we're seeing is that if you went into an open house before, they had a guest book that they would try to collect contact information. So this way you actually are able to capture some contact information, obviously with the correct opt-ins so that you can have communication with these individuals after their initial visit, while also putting measures into keep them safe and conduct those screenings that'll help with contact tracing, and a number of other things.

Todd: It's interesting, you mentioned other industries. Maybe tell us a bit about the background on the company because I understand you're in sort of the event base and dealing with crowd control or crowd access. And you pivoted to roll out this new technology, tell us a bit about that, the origins of the app and really where you came from.

Milan: Absolutely. So obviously, we didn't have a COVID-19 solution a year ago because that wasn't a thing. Our background has been for the past 10-11 years, we've been in the live event industry and we provide access control, ticketing, and cashless payments to most of the largest names in the event business. So our clients have been things from the largest music festival Tomorrowland, to things like the San Diego Comic Con, sporting events, we just did the Rio Open just before COVID-19 hit. We've processed over a billion dollars in cashless payments and we've had over 24 or 25 million people using our platform for access control. So ultimately, when the entire COVID pandemic started to hit, obviously the live event industry and festivals has just been really heavily affected, without exaggerating. So as other industries were looking at how can they pivot and help with the response, we've had breweries changing what they were producing into hand sanitizer because they had that kind of equipment.

So we took a look at what we had. We're not in a position where we can start producing PPE and face masks and sanitizer, and things like that to help with the response because that's just not what we do. We're a technology company, but we are very comfortable with working in high risk environments like festivals and large crowds. And controlling access to sensitive places and making sure that only the right people get in at the right time. So access control is our core thing and we have technology. So as soon as we started taking that infrastructure that we've already had from there, we needed to really deploy it at the essential businesses. So we pretty much, within a couple of weeks after the pandemic kit, there were these industries like construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and longterm care facilities, food processing plants that didn't have the, let's call it luxury to shut down and they just had to keep operating at the peak.

So we deployed our solution there and we've been helping those essential businesses keep operating safely. And now as other businesses and organizations have been reopening, now we've been seeing mass adoption with childcare centers, for example. And schools across the country as well, so there's a number of different verticals that we're working with. Because ultimately the new requirement is, and the new reality is, organizations need to do everything that they can to ensure that they're keeping their staff safe, their workplace safe, their community safe, and keeping these records to enable the contact tracing, so it spans across an individual sector, or industry, or vertical.

Todd: And so the technology is available now with this platform in Canada. So for dealers who are watching this, where do they go, how do they sign up, and what are the approximate costs for that?

Milan: Sure. So typically, the way that our pricing works is it's based off the number of screeners, so that would be the person that's conducting these assessments or recording the assessments. So if you think of maybe a receptionist or a general manager, and some service advisors in the dealership setting that would be doing it. Our standard pricing is at $49 per month per screener, but we've got an agreement in place with CatalyticTechnology where they've negotiated a discounted rate for dealerships. And typically, most of our clients are using between four to five licenses per location.

And we hope some dealers inquire and take you up on the offer, it sounds like a good platform. We did talk to a dealer who was using it and had nothing but rave reviews about it.

And so what they've done is they've negotiated and built a special package, which is five licenses for $99 per month for dealerships. So it's available exclusively through them. Otherwise, it's $49 per license times five, which would bring you to $245 per month. So you're looking at some substantial savings for dealerships there by going through CatalyticTechnology. To take them up on that offer, you would go to, I think it's catalytictechnology.com. I think you might have the link that you can share with your audience but alternatively, for just more information, you can always go to crowdblink.com. But that offer and that special discounted package is only available through Catalytic Technology.

Todd: Well, that's interesting. I think we're going to see the world changing and dealers are going to have to implement a lot of these technologies. Certainly, they're already there on the sanitization protocols and Toronto adjusted their operations. Certainly more digital journey and even the physical access control, I think this is just another level of things that will become part of the new normal. So thanks for sharing with us today, the history and the offering. And we hope some dealers inquire and take you up on the offer, it sounds like a good platform. We did talk to a dealer who was using it and had nothing but rave reviews about it. So, kudos to you for that.

Milan: Thank you, Todd. Pleasure to be here.

Todd: Okay, thanks. Signing off.

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