Communication In Motion: A Visit to Cardo Headquarters

May 05, 2020 View Comments by

For those that follow my musings online, you may know that I had an article published in the January/February 2020 issue of RoadRunner, a U.S. magazine devoted to motorcycle travel. The article, “Ra’anana to Eilat – Watch Out for Camels & Tanks,” documents a 220 miles (350 km) ride from my hometown through the Negev desert ending at the bottom tip of Israel. Soon after publication, I received a message from Mike Tole, the North America brand manager for Cardo Systems. He had read the article and, having been to Ra’anana, asked if I wanted to visit Cardo headquarters. As a satisfied customer of their Freecom communication device installed on my Shoei Qwest helmet for the last 18 months, I was thrilled. What I didn’t know is that they are located right here in Israel, only ten minutes from home! How convenient is that?

During my visit, guided by Sagy and Eyal from marketing, I was impressed with the diversity of their employees in terms of age as well as gender. My experience here in Israel is that the majority of young companies consider age to be a negative, but it was obvious to me that this was not the case at Cardo.

I saw women in the engineering and quality assurance departments, not just in marketing and human resources. As an engineer myself, I found this refreshing. Their offices were welcoming, well designed, and without many of the (distracting!) trappings found in tech companies such as foosball tables, bean bags, and wandering pets.

Conversations with their social media marketing staff were interesting and I was surprised how much time is spent answering Facebook messages and pointing customers in the right direction when they need assistance with their products. Deciding who, where, and how to focus their social media efforts is a challenge that Cardo, as well as many other companies, face in today’s difficult marketing environment. They definitely take their customer support very seriously and it shows.

Cardo started back in 2003 as Scala, one of the first companies to make Bluetooth communication devices for mobile phones and then quickly moved the next year into the motorcycle communications field. They are considered to be a leader in wireless motorcycle communications and their products consistently receive top ratings and reviews by independent journals. They are one of the few manufacturers whose motorcycle communication products are waterproof (not water-resistant), critical for riding in the rain. Their latest product, the Packtalk series of devices enables up to 15 riders to communicate using dynamic mesh communication (DMC) as well as enabling riders to listen to music, GPS, and answer/make calls via their mobile phone or via natural voice recognition enabling “hands-free operation.” More technical information is available online but the advantage of DMC is that riders remain connected even if one rider is suddenly out of range or leaves the group, a significant technical advantage over older Bluetooth technology which required riders to stop and re-connect before continuing…..obviously a major annoyance on a long ride.

Ready to Ride on my CBR with the Packtalk Bold

Cardo communication systemsAll design, testing, operations, logistics, and marketing is managed and led by the headquarters staff in Ra’anana. Manufacturing is at their facility in Ukraine which enables them to easily manage these operations as Ukraine is only a few hours direct flight from Tel Aviv. One of the more interesting aspects of Cardo, a privately held company, is how they are using their current technology and diversifying to enter new businesses. For example, under the name, “Cardo Crew” their first new product uses DMC technology in the industrial personal protective equipment field to link users in hazardous environments, such as construction sites, requiring the use of immediate “hands-free – always on” communications.

Their slogan, “Communication In Motion,” is clearly appropriate and I’m confident that they will be expanding and moving into new fields in the near future. This is definitely a company to keep on your radar.

 

 

About the author:
After 27 years with the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Security Engineering Officer, Brian Jablon retired in 2014 and moved to Ra’anana, Israel with his family. He is a freelance travel journalist focusing on unique travel destinations as well as travel by motorcycle within and outside of Israel. You can follow him on his blog and see his other published articles at mototrippinginisrael.com or @mototripperisrael on Instagram. 

 

 

 

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