First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Kenneth Ratton: We, like most, have been navigating how to adapt to the environment where the work-from-home, or partial work-from-home and work-from-the-office, routine intersects with our daily lives. We are also trying to be good stewards of social distancing. We’re in a unique position at Radiant RFID to be developing solutions that allow large companies and offices to return their employees to work – and are carrying that out for our own people and teams, too.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Radiant RFID.
Kenneth Ratton: I co-founded Radiant in 2004 after a decade of working in enterprise technology development and implementation. Our specialty at Radiant focused on the need for more robust, adaptable, and versatile asset tracking technology – and not just in manufacturing. We help the world’s largest companies trace their most valuable assets, whether that’s in aerospace, higher education, data centers, or for public agencies. Today, we’ve expanded to help companies practically and safely implement automated social distancing technology and contact tracing in the workplace.
How does Radiant RFID innovate?
Kenneth Ratton: We’ve been at the forefront of asset tracking and RFID-based technology solutions for more than 15 years. Our team believes the best way to solve each customer’s problem is to design a solution tailored to a customer’s needs. There are certain tenants we focus on: solutions that require little to no infrastructure, products that are easy for a customer or their IT group to implement, and incorporating advanced analytics that empowers decision-making. We look to create value for our customers by reducing costs, saving time, and increasing employee safety or productivity.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Kenneth Ratton: In March, we were able to rapidly pivot one of our existing solutions and develop and launch one of the only functional and reliable technology solutions for workplace contact tracing and automated social distancing notifications. In many ways, we’ve seen our business take off as a result – from March to May, we probably spoke with half the Fortune 500 companies about pilots or the applications our contact tracing solution would have on helping to return their employees to work. Radiant has a history of producing innovative solutions that serve the greater good during crisis times – whether that be helping the government and families trace evacuees in the wake of hurricanes or helping large manufacturers and big businesses reopen with proper safety measures in place in response to COVID-19. There’s something about the pressure of developing new solutions in a time crunch that allows our team to thrive.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Kenneth Ratton: We took a big risk early in the pandemic – developing a new enterprise technology solution on spec without a contract or client order. That’s a huge investment from a manpower standpoint. It was a lot of long nights and weekends for our team to engineer, test, and fine-tune a working product that could deliver social distancing notifications with accuracy within six feet and contact tracing that allowed for anonymization. That gamble – the investment on the front end in product development – was based on a strong partnership we had with clients that knew they needed a solution in the workplace but didn’t know exactly what they were looking for. What we developed had applications across industries, and we’ve seen our current clients look to bring on Radiant for additional workplace safety projects and a great influx of new clients as a result. The learning: sometimes, you have to pour everything you have into a new idea, with the blind faith that the customers and adoption will result.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, and how do you project yourself and Radiant RFID in the future?
Kenneth Ratton: Take things one day at a time. While we have been able to expand our business and grow into new verticals, it wasn’t easy or a flash-in-the-pan. Your team is incredibly important, and I’m thankful that at Radiant, we have a really smart, dedicated group of individuals working to build our company and solutions.
Who are your competitors? How do you plan to stay ahead of the game?
Kenneth Ratton: I can honestly say that today there is not one single company providing a complete, fully functional, and reliable solution for contact tracing and social distancing notifications at the scale with which we are at Radiant. A lot have tried, and a lot are in development, but what we’ve heard time and time again from customers and in proof-of-concept pilots is “Wow, Radiant’s solution actually works.” We can show measurable reductions in the number of interactions in the workplace and give employers access to contact tracing data that can save significant time and money on the backend as staffing decisions are reviewed. Our speed to implementation – which can be as little as two weeks for some customers – and the infrastructure-free nature of our solution are key differentiators. We’re continuing to innovate and push how we can scale the solution for wide adoption and application across more and more workplaces.
Your final thoughts?
Kenneth Ratton: I’m grateful for the team at Radiant. Every startup or entrepreneur-minded company needs to learn early in their careers to build around them with smart people. We have a brilliant group and are proud to be a provider helping tens of thousands of Americans return to the workplace safely.
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