Backbone North America – COVID-19, Time to screen

COVID-19, Time to Screen

Pre COVID-19, the team at Backbone North America would have been heavily immersed in overseeing production management for events such as Rolling Loud and EDC. However, during this pandemic, they had to pivot their focus. Backbone North America shifted its scope of work and re-invented new ways of adapting and working during these challenging times. In one such pivot, Backbone started providing COVID-19 safety screening services and logistics to corporations. Jeffrey King: “Shifting our scope from working on events towards overseeing safety screenings for large corporations was a necessity. This is where our help was needed the most at the moment, and this is our current focus”. 

For one such corporation, Backbone is providing COVID-19 safety screening services at all their multiple locations, upwards to 20 locations. Their objective was to dispatch local teams, screen all personnel, and implement safety protocols at these locations. Backbone provided management of teams with over 20-50 team members per location to execute and uphold these safety screening measures. All personnel entering buildings at such locations were being thoroughly screened before gaining further access. They implemented health check screenings, temperature scans, and ensured all were following mask, shield, and glove protocols. Throughout these locations, there was an influx of hundreds and hundreds of people daily and providing an efficient, systematic screening process was crucial in implementing these safety measures.

Being adaptable and flexible are key components

 Jeff: "At the onset of this project, it was quite challenging in procuring the right local team members. The requirements for this type of crew is comparatively a different crew for festivals. We had to find the best application for scheduling and making sure that the crew was all on time and in the right locations. Taking on this challenge created a new respect for the staffing offices on festivals and HR agencies. I used to give them a hard time by asking why the person I worked with was not on time at the location we agreed. Now I understand their challenges better”. Backbone North America is managing over 50 team members for these screening operations daily. To effectively manage and communicate with all team members, a work scheduling mobile app had to be utilized. Mobile phone geolocations ensured that team members were at the scheduled locations. Scheduling, time management, communications, and team accountability were all streamlined through this app.

Jeff: “The challenging part about this project was how involved it was. Just learning about the difficulty of managing different locations, how hard it is to make sure that people are on time. Sentences like ‘Oh, my car won’t start, I'm gonna be late’, actually meant he was not coming. Or, ‘My phone app is taking me to the wrong location’ which resulted in sending the location manager to find him. The screenings needed to be managed 24 hours a day, divided into 3 shifts. Situations like above ensured that we never had a dull day!”. The North America branch will continue with safety screenings services as long as COVID-19 safety measures require it. Other satellite cities such as Austin, Texas, and New York City are both on the expansion list for Backbone services. Being adaptable and flexible are key components to the success and longevity of Backbone. Staying positive til festivals and events eventually are all back on the horizon. In the meantime, through COVID-19 safety screenings, we work towards a safer and healthier work environment and sooner to festivals that much faster.