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Have you seen how many items agencies need to track?

Have you seen how many items agencies need to track?

These aren’t photos of toys — they’re real service professionals posing with real gear.


Paramedics participating in the 2019 Tetris Challenge. The paramedics are laying in front of an ambulance with their equipment symmetrically laid out around them.A new trend has emerged called The Tetris Challenge. This challenge clearly shows all that needs to be tracked within the emergency services industry, and it is also pretty fun to participate in.Today’s service providers respond to some pretty tough situations in their day-to-day tasks while facing increased call volume and higher expectations for patient experience delivered. To meet these increasing demands agencies work to eliminate waste, create a more streamlined workflow and…have a little fun together! 

With the Tetris Challenge, there seems to be something satisfying about organizing colorful objects on the ground into neat grids. These grids have become a social media phenomenon like the game Tetris. Now, there’s a trend among emergency service providers and other industry professionals that playfully brings the 1980s video game to real life. 

Having a system in place to perform regular checks and manage assets, inventory & fleet maintenance is a key component to improving agency efficiency. In a critical situation your team doesn’t have time to search for equipment & supplies that should be right within reach. Police officers partaking in the 2019 Tetris Challenge.

The Tetris Challenge started on September 1st, 2019 when the Zurich police published an image on social media of two officers lying on the ground, surrounded by the contents of their car. The car, the crew and each item is laid out in a geometric pattern. Since then, public services units from around the world have joined in – artistically photographing their work equipment (and even themselves) laid out in tidy rows.

The fun challenge gives a nod to knolling, a term coined in 1987 by a janitor named Andrew Kromelow who was working at Frank Gehry’s furniture studio. It involves organizing related objects and tools on the floor at right angles, allowing you to see every item clearly in a photograph. Today’s Tetris Challenge is a fun way to visualize the often chaotic nature of working in emergency services in a visually satisfying and an organized way. Creating a very clear way to see all the assets, supplies and even narcotics used daily in emergency service also quantifies the continual flow of inventory items & equipment that must be tracked. 

Firefighters partaking in the 2019 Tetris Challenge. The firefighters are laid out in front of a fire truck with their gear symmetrically placed around them.Now from Switzerland to Taiwan, police, firefighters, paramedics and flight crews are laying their equipment to take part in the on-line trend. Scroll down to check out some of the best Tetris Challenge compositions so far. (add images here) Have you laid out your equipment to see how many items you have to track on a daily basis?

To enter the Tetris Challenge simply layout all your gear in personal in the sample fashion. Have an aerial photographer or drone come by and snap an image. Then you are ready to post away on any social media platform with the hashtag #TetrisChallenge. 

At Operative IQ, we would love to see what you are tracking so share the love with us by including us in your feed at @OperativeIQ or #OperativeIQ. 


The Operative IQ team partaking in the 2019 Tetris Challenge.About Us

Go beyond standard warehouse management software by tracking your supplies with complete visibility throughout your department. Seamlessly connect field personnel to management through our Check Sheet and Back Office efficiently.

Operative IQ understands your daily demands and provides you with streamlined processes to help you get more done in less time. Your crew uses our Electronic Check Sheet to conduct rig checks, equipment & gear inspections, inventory counts, report issues and much more from any smartphone, tablet or computer. Electronically track and report on Inventory & Assets, Fleet Maintenance and Narcotics Transactions in real-time from any device.

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Operative IQ named to Inc. 5000 annual list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

 NEW YORK CITY, New York Inc. Magazine names Metro Atlanta based operations management solution Operative IQ to its annual Inc. 5000 list of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Private Companies.

“It is truly and honor to be recognized as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies by the INC 5000,” Operative IQ CEO EJ Auferheide said. “With the support of our amazing clients, partners and dedicated team, we continue to see outstanding organic growth. This allows us to make continuous investments in our applications, services and team members. Together we are creating something very special.”

With this announcement, Operative IQ joins a prestigious community of industry thought leaders as Inc. 5000’s annual list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

Not only have the companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 20) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2019 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 454 percent, and a median rate of 157 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $237.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 1,216,308 jobs over the past three years.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter said. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

Inc. Magazine’s 2019 Inc. 5000 list is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018.

Operative IQ continues to provide cutting edge, affordable operations management software and products designed with the health care profession in mind. Operative IQ Operations Management Software offers modules that include: Inventory Management & Asset Management, Integrated Purchasing, Fleet Maintenance, Service Desk Ticketing System and RFID Tracking. EMS Technology Solutions has won four consecutive EMS World Top Innovation Awards for its operations management software.


EMS to Operations Management- A Medic’s Journey

We are fortunate to have Josh Hopson on our team as the Director of Client Services. Josh’s EMS experience helps give our team perspective on the true needs of our clients, and he is an incredible asset to the agencies he guides through the implementation process with Operative IQ.  We wanted to give you an opportunity to get to know Josh and his journey into operations management!

When did you start your EMS Career?

I started working in the medical field around 2006 and began my EMT-Intermediate training in 2007.

What led you to Operative IQ?

I worked for a private ambulance service that was the catalyst for the initial creation of Operative IQ. In 2014, I was approached by Operative IQ to interview for a contract position to help a Middle Eastern EMS service in Abu Dhabi set up their Operative IQ service. I ended up working in the United Arab Emirates for three months and upon my return was offered a full-time position with Operative IQ.

How has your EMS background assisted you in your role at Operative IQ?

I had the privilege of working in the field as an EMT, Paramedic and a supervisor. I believe the real-life practical experience I gained in my years in EMS allows me to approach an organization’s implementation with more empathy and a better understanding for some of the obstacles and complications that are a part of this industry. It also doesn’t hurt to have a solid knowledge of the common terminology and industry practices.

One of the best parts about having worked in EMS for many years is having a general knowledge of medicine and chaos control that you can use no matter what you do for a living. Having had the chance to encounter people who on occasion are in the most stressful situations of their lives has taught me the skills I need to be able to work with anyone, at any time, in any situation. It also helps put things in perspective. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Emergency Medicine can attest to the true frailty of life and the appreciation for life that knowledge can bring.

What kind of advice can you give to individuals in EMS now that you have a business perspective on day-to-day operations management with Operative IQ?

Sometimes it can be hard to see the big picture amidst the other tasks first response professionals face. As a clinician, the mundane and routine tasks of submitting supply request, mechanical vehicle inspections and asset verification seem trivial or unnecessary.

The reality is that as EMS services grow overtime, the process that works while the organization is small probably won’t work as well after it becomes larger. Organizational culture plays a big role in its overall success, and a company’s traditions usually craft its culture. Doing things the way you did them ten years ago usually isn’t going to work. The simple truth is when someone relies on your service for lifesaving help, it must be your mission to make sure all the pieces are in place to give patients with a life-threatening illness or injury the best chance for survival. They don’t get to choose the person that shows up to save their life. A major component in survivability is preparedness. Having what you need, everything in its place, and making sure all your assets are accounted for and in working order are tasks that I feel are often underplayed.

Operative IQ helps make those tasks easier. It doesn’t make them disappear, but that’s not the point. These are things that should be a priority in every organization. You have to be willing to adapt and change as an organization. Implementing sound processes and utilizing Operative IQ allows organizations to save lives and save money which means, better equipment, better patient outcomes and hopefully higher pay!

VIDEO: IQ Genius Handheld RFID Reader in Action

Live look into the Snohomish Fire District 7 IQ Genius Handheld RFID Reader implementation

Deputy Chief Scott Dorsey and Operative IQ President EJ Aufderheide show our latest innovation in action as the technology is rolled out at Snohomish Fire District 7. In the below Facebook Live video from October 2018, Chief Dorsey shares his first-hand experience with the device as well as immediate time and labor savings he is experiencing within his operation following implementation. Click the video below to hear his story and to take a look for your self at this new advancement.



EMS Technology Solutions Continues to Deliver Innovative Solutions to Operations Management

EMS Technology Solution’s IQ Genius Handheld RFID Reader works seamlessly with Operative IQ’s Inventory Management system to reduce labor costs while improving the accuracy of supply room inventory counts, expiration date tracking and lot number management.

Upon receipt of goods, users can quickly print and encode unique RFID tags for each item within the order to track product quantity as well as expiration dates and lot numbers. Once printed, the RFID Tags are affixed to the item and later used to perform inventory cycle counts using the IQ Genius Handheld RFID Reader.

With the IQ Genius Handheld RFID Reader, users can wirelessly scan a room using Radio Frequency Identification to reconcile inventory counts quickly and more accurately than traditional manual counts.  Users can use the integrated bar-code reader to start inventorying a Single SKU or switch to Full Inventory mode to count all items in a given supply room.

As items are counted the IQ Genius Handheld RFID Reader beeps to alert the user that new items are being found.  When the beeping stops the user has completed their inventory and no new RFID tags are being found.  A Preview feature allows the user to see what they have counted and any potential inventory adjustments to be made.  At this point, the user can choose to continue the inventory count, placing the scanner back in to read mode to find additional inventory tags, or submit their inventory count to adjust their quantity on hand.

The result is fast, accurate inventory management combined with huge labor savings for Fire and EMS.