For more than 20 years, Intertek Industrial Corporation has been providing a diverse range of occupant protection and restraint products to the EMS market. With their superior product knowledge, flexibility, and courteous service, they have built an unrivalled reputation for delivering customer satisfaction.
The company was incorporated in 1992 by founder Douglas Riddell as an extension of Intertek International, which launched in the 1970s. Riddell re-incorporated the company with a sole focus on supplying products to the emergency vehicle markets.
President Scott Bradley joined the company in 1999 and immediately took on the General Manager role as a partner with Riddell. He became President after purchasing the company over several years. Before starting with Intertek Industrial, Bradley was VP of Market Development for an inventory management company servicing World-Class companies. Prior to that position, he was instrumental in the growth of the seatbelt manufacturing business, which is now the strategic partner to Intertek Industrial. “I’ve simply been in these markets and around these products since I was a teenager,” Bradley says.
“After joining the company in 1999, we became committed to a continual and intense focus on servicing the emergency vehicle and cot/ gurney sector of the market.”
As a provider of a diverse range of products to the emergency management sector, Intertek Industrial Corporation is driven by their desire to develop new quality products that keep EMTs and patients safe in the back of an ambulance. “It really drives everything that we do,” he says.
“It is that focus and true commitment to customer satisfaction and safety that differentiates us from the competition”, Bradley adds. On top of that, they also have extensive industry experience, product and market knowledge. “We pride ourselves on a very lean, reactive, and talented management group that allows us to service those markets. Intertek certainly attempts to think different than the competition.”
Intertek’s customers consist primarily of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) of seat and emergency vehicles, with the latter focusing mainly on ambulances. Intertek services at least 85 percent of the ambulance manufacturers within the U.S., Bradley says. “We’re also a significant solution provider to the primary cot manufacturers in the United States. We’re really proud to be affiliated with these industry leaders.”
Intertek best serves those customers by understanding their requirements, and suppling the quality products they need, when they need them. It has always been their objective to develop “value-added” supply programs, Bradley says, that encourages and assists their customers in improving their bottom line and performance.
Intertek also strives to develop long-term partnerships with everyone they work with – from employees, to suppliers, to customers. “That’s a philosophy that carries throughout our culture,” Bradley says. “It is something we continuously stay focused on. Our customers seem to react well to that and want to do business with us because there is a level of trust that can only happen over time.”
The company offers two specific products considered to be the most popular of their offerings. One of them is their recently-introduced PROTEK Advanced Restraint System for the side-facing seat in an ambulance. “With that particular product, we aim to do a lot of things,” says Bradley. “The new product set out to meet several objectives in the rear of an ambulance. We made it very comfortable, easy and functional to use.”
“The easier and more functional it is, the more likely an EMT is to use it, which is really paramount to their safety,” he adds.
The other popular product Intertek offers is a PROTEK™ Passenger Awareness System that tells the driver who is in the seat or who is restrained in the back of a vehicle, Bradley explains. “We’re providing a feature to the driver in providing the status of the occupants in the rear of the ambulance. We are hopeful that such innovation will modify driver behaviour, as well as provide a training tool to administrators in teaching the importance of wearing an occupant restraint during transport,” he says.
“Consequently, information from each designated seating position can be recorded and transmitted to a Vehicle Data Recorder (VDR).”
Intertek has 14 employees, all of whom seem to enjoy the positive company culture based on mutual respect. The average Intertek employee has spent a little more than 12 years with the company, and several of them have been there more than 20 years. The longevity of their staff is a good indicator of their strong employee relations.
“Our culture supports a very open communication platform. We really work hard at reducing or eliminating any type of departmental silos,” Bradley says. “By doing this we improve our response to the market.”
Intertek also places a lot of value and importance in managing and understanding their partnerships with the companies on their supply chain. “We have long-term partnerships with domestic and international partners. Those relationships, in a lot of cases, extend beyond 20 or 25 years,” says Bradley. “With that type of cooperation, we can bring these valuable products to market.”
Intertek Industrial Corporation conducts significant testing with the federal government and with independent test and research centers. They are currently testing products to standards that are just being developed in the interest of research and development, Bradley says. They also utilize Computer Aided Design software systems for design and production purposes. “Our commitment to technology is demonstrated by our participation in research and development, such as conducting dynamic crash-testing of newly developed and patented restraint systems.”
Over the last several years, the emergency vehicle market has seen a 20 to 25 percent reduction in the production of ambulances due to “macro-economic” effects, Bradley says. However, despite the declining number of vehicles, Intertek Industrial Corporation continues its plans for product development. At the moment, they are working hard on a unique and proprietary design for the cot and gurney market.
“We’re very excited about it,” he says. “We continue to do a lot of retooling on it in anticipation of new dynamic crash standards and feel the product can meet a long-time need in the market.”
While they will continue to grow within the emergency vehicle and cot / gurney markets going forward, “there aren’t any firm plans to expand into other markets outside of their core competency,” Bradley says. “Our intention is to grow within these markets and increase our product offering and the functions of our current products.”
Looking ahead longer term, Intertek will move away from traditional lower-cost restraint systems, and will act as a pivotal force in helping the industry move towards using advanced safety options within the emergency vehicles. “Clearly the technology and the products are there to make the environment in the back of an ambulance safer,” Bradley says. “Our goal over the long-term is to bring those advancements to the marketplace.”