All In The Family

All In The Family

From lamination to multi-layer authentication, the Schonzeit family has set the bar as both innovators and trusted authorities in the security industry

Located in the heart of New York City, Idesco Corp. and IDSecurityOnline. com LLC, offer a physical presence in Manhattan that stock inventory, maintain a staff of trained technicians and have a showroom open to the public to educate and inform customers as well as perform free on site security consultations. Both companies represent the family tradition of innovating, while maintaining the trusted brand we all know today.

Keeping a family business going strong is no easy task and takes determination, perseverance and a commitment to a customercentric philosophy that spans decades. What sets apart a family business from any other company is the sheer fact that each generation wants to make improvements and continue the momentum that the generation before has built. Having the entrepreneurial landscape in your family DNA is an added bonus and can create the path of success for any type of business with the proper management and forward-thinking approach.

It all started in 1943 when Hyman Schonzeit founded Identification Service Corp. in the heart of New York City as a manufacturer of laminated credentials and safety tags. With its own design staff, printing presses and lamination equipment, Hyman quickly grew the business by winning large corporate and governmental contracts that included providing the War Department with ID cards. The system involved taking a person’s photo, developing Kodak film, cutting the picture out, and laminating it to a card-sized piece of paper. This manual method of ID card manufacturing was the standard in the industry until the late 1980s, when the first card printers and digital identification systems were introduced into the marketplace. Idesco extensively tested numerous manufacturers’ systems and aligned with those that delivered the most solid platforms. With the advent of the PVC card and their associated printers, Idesco moved quickly to upgrade its offerings. This early adoption of new and better technology enabled Idesco to not merely maintain its market presence, but to expand upon it.

The Schonzeit family business continued to evolve when Hyman passed down the business to his son, Jack Schonzeit in 1975. Identification Service Corp. grew into Idesco Corp. and Jack continued to build upon the momentum that his father Hyman created. The company was known to provide quality products and services in the ID market, and Jack continued to deliver and exceed his customers’ expectations. Keeping true to the motto “All In The Family” Jack brought his son, Andrew Schonzeit into the family business and in 1980 offered him a variety of jobs in the company while he was attending college at NYU. In 1984, Andrew became president of Idesco after the untimely passing of his father. Under his supervision, the company emerged as not only an ID badging company; but a premier security systems integrator. Andrew is a game changer; a true visionary who saw the security industry evolving and jumped on board without looking back. As the security industry started changing to open platforms and IP solutions, Idesco was ready to take the business yet again to the next level. Under Andrew’s direction, Idesco successfully added security products and services to their repertoire and quickly became an industry leader in digital ID badging systems, access control, biometrics, turnstiles, visitor management and digital video surveillance.

As a true pioneer in ID Badging, the last seven decades have been an evolution for Idesco to turn into a full-service security systems integrator, designing and managing high-scale system installations in multiple vertical markets. Idesco has a large footprint in the education market and works with some of the top universities in NYC and Long Island such as NYU, Pace University, Adelphi University, School of Visual Arts, and CUNY. Within each generation, there were fundamental changes that took place, but the one thing that remained constant was being able to separate family from business.

Family came first and foremost in the world of the Schonzeit family and knowing when and where to discuss business was a cardinal family rule. They were similar in so many aspects; yet different in the way they approached daily business and company culture.

“Both my father and grandfather insisted that everyone call them ‘Mr. Schonzeit’ where most people in the office refer to me as ‘Andy,’ he said. “Our employees are part of the Idesco family and have shown us a level of loyalty that has spanned decades. They have been with us through thick and thin and continue to show their support and dedication to Idesco and our customers on a daily basis.”

Idesco prides itself on having industry and product knowledge that is second to none. With technicians and service professionals on staff 24/7 to assist customers, a state-of-the-art NYC showroom, large product inventory, and an online portal to schedule same day service; Idesco has it “All”....and continues to keep it “All In The Family.”

THE FOURTH GENERATION

Gabriel M. Schonzeit began his career working at Idesco’s factory. Gabriel worked his way up and streamlined Idesco’s marketing efforts.

“My father treated me like every other employee,” said Gabriel M. Schonzeit, president of IDSecurityOnline.com. “I was both complemented and critiqued for my work. His knowledge of the ID industry is unparalleled and I am very lucky to have him as my mentor.”

In 2009, Gabriel and Andrew launched IDSecurityOnline.com LLC. The goal was to provide affordable, durable and easy-to-use ID card solutions for companies and organizations of all industries and sizes nationwide. Today, IDSecurityOnline.com is a leading supplier of ID card solutions that offers high quality ID card printers, photo ID systems, ID card software, card printer supplies, ID cameras and badge accessories. In just eight years, Gabriel and Andrew have created the largest privately held secure issuance company in North America. Gabriel built the business based on a commitment to excellence and delivering exceptional customer service and support. His mission statement has always been clear: Keeping every company and individual safe and secure. “Security is based on trust. Trust is paramount in adoption of new technology that saves lives.”

Gabriel is not one to react to markets, but instead creates them. Similar to his father and the generations before him, Gabriel has built a level of trust in the industry that cannot be replicated. “Protecting physical assets with unique encryption as well as strong outlined learning, and deployment guides can add a layer of security. “Educate and inform” that is what I do all day and will continue to do in the years to come,” Gabriel said. “If a company can educate and inform and also be innovative, they will be successful,”

ALWAYS AT THE FOREFRONT OF INNOVATION

The needs of customers have changed drastically throughout the years and customers have become more tech savvy. Both Andrew and Gabriel are already ahead of the market and bring “swag” to an industry filled with individuals who have reacted to the changing market. “It is not an easy task to keep up with what customers truly need but as an integrator, we have to be ready to meet all their requirements,” Andrew said. “At the end of the day, it is all about offering solutions that bring true value to our customers.”

One of the unique solutions that Idesco brings to the table is a line of ID card printers for oversized badges, including the XXL 2.0 ID card printer which has quickly become a top seller. These printers are designed to personalize oversized ID cards on demand. Widely adopted by event managers, the XXL printer is used to secure major venues, concerts, award ceremonies, tradeshows, and other corporate functions. “Idesco has always been at the forefront of innovation and technology,” Andrew said. “We wanted to offer a solution that would help event managers issue oversized badges on demand easily and affordably and that’s what we did with the XXL printer.”

For more than seven decades, the Idesco family has been protecting New York and will continue to do so in the years to come by providing innovative solutions and deploying them to American companies who need them. The key to effecting nationwide change is to offer proactive innovation combined with a solution built on a foundation of trust. Hyman, Jack, Andrew and Gabriel Schonzeit have each individually accomplished this. Keeping it “All In The Family” has been the cornerstone of success for the family and can be the motivation for other family businesses around the world to continue building upon the successes of each generation.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Security Today.

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