This Toronto Entrepreneur is Helping Keep Employees Safe Worldwide Amid COVID-19

In 2017, serial entrepreneur Ariel Mashiyev took over a small three-year-old company that had developed a simple visitor sign-in app for businesses. Three years later, Toronto-based iLobby is a global leader in enterprise visitor management solutions, setting record month-over-month growth, and now helping companies in more than 45 countries keep their employees safe with automated screening tools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to Mashiyev’s quick pivot to add innovative body temperature scanners, COVID-specific screening processes, and touchless technology to the system’s capabilities when the pandemic began, iLobby has given businesses the ability to implement crucial tools to help protect their workplaces and meet regulations, particularly in Ontario, where businesses are mandated to comply with the province’s new daily requirements for COVID-19 employee screening.

One of these innovations is the new iLobby FeverCheck™, which features a high-precision, smart thermal camera that accurately scans for elevated body temperature – a common symptom of COVID-19 – within just seconds, and flags people who might present a health risk. During the sign-in process, if a temperature is deemed too high or someone doesn’t pass the initial screening questions, rather than singling people out, the system protects their privacy by unobtrusively sending an instant notification to management or HR, who can deny access if necessary.

Reflecting on his early days, Mashiyev said: “I was challenged to turn the business around in 90 days, so that’s exactly what we did.” Within 36 months of restructuring the company and pivoting the product to focus on large global enterprises, iLobby has become a global leader in its space, he added.

In January this year, the company received a strategic investment of over USD $100 million from Insight Partners to help scale its go-to-market strategy and expand its visitor management offerings.

More and more companies are turning to iLobby amid the pandemic, Mashiyev explained, because the company’s automated processes and smart technology provide a turnkey, low-cost solution to keep employees and visitors safe by managing the access point into facilities. The company has streamlined crucial screening steps into a process that can take less than a minute to complete, giving businesses a simple solution for managing their facilities during these times.  

“As a result of COVID-19, every single business in the world is incurring higher costs as they figure out how to deal with employee safety,” said Mashiyev. He points out as an example a major Canadian manufacturer that reportedly spent millions to disinfect its plant after an employee tested positive for the virus in March.

“We were already innovating in this market before the pandemic and now, more than ever, we are ensuring our clients are protected during the pandemic,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty in workplaces for how to implement effective measures, and we are solving the entire process for them through automation.”

Fortune 500 clients

Since April, iLobby has leveraged its expertise working with major Fortune 500 companies, and organizations including the likes of Canada Post, Scotiabank, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Manulife, Saputo, and Questrade to launch touchless sign-in, contactless body temperature scanning, automated capacity management and one-click reports for faster contact tracing should a COVID-19 case surface and need to be tracked.

iLobby also provides an automated process for completing and tracking COVID screening questionnaires, a solution that is proving effective for Ontario businesses who must comply with the province’s new mandatory pre-entry COVID screening regulation.

One Ontario business benefiting from iLobby’s COVID-19-specific screening solution is Hershey Canada, which has implemented touchless sign-in using QR codes, automated fever checks to manage an otherwise manual process, and screening questionnaires to safeguard the 150 employees working intermittently at its Mississauga office.

“When the government rolled out restrictions, and a list of do’s and don’ts, it really made us think hard about how we were going to manage employees as they returned to work after the lockdown,” said Hershey Client Support Specialist Mahesh Bhajan.

The company turned to iLobby’s touchless system because it’s “easy to implement, easy to use and gives our employees peace of mind,” Bhajan said.

Cantel Medical, which operates worldwide, has implemented iLobby COVID-19 screening tools at its locations in Greater Toronto, Minnesota and Texas. Senior Manager, Global Workplace Services, Michelle Martin said the technology is used to ensure all visitors are compliant with entry protocols, which include a COVID-19 screening questionnaire completed on a touchscreen.

“Our employees feel safer knowing that anybody entering the facility has been properly screened,” said Martin, adding that the platform’s automated tracking capability is particularly useful.

For Mashiyev, iLobby’s rapid response to COVID-19 is more than just a technological feat. It’s about caring about the communities in which the company operates. “By keeping businesses safe, we are keeping our communities safe”, he explained. When COVID-19 reached Canada in March and the country was in lockdown soon after, for example, one of the first steps iLobby took was to donate $50,000 worth of iPads to Toronto hospitals and long-term care facilities to help vulnerable individuals stay connected with their loved ones.

“We cannot control COVID, but we can control how we handle it,” Mashiyev added, noting that when the pandemic hit, instead of panicking, the team went into overdrive, working closely with clients in essential businesses in order to develop the necessary solutions to address their concerns. “We believe that the most proactive action we can take during these uncertain times is prevention and risk mitigation, and we continue to adapt to the changing circumstances in order to protect the people and businesses in our communities.”

Gail Bergman | Contributing Writer

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