The prolific rise of a company may look like an overnight success to the outside world, but often it’s years in the making.
That’s true for Mount Pleasant air testing laboratory Prism Analytical Technologies, Inc., which after being in business for more than 20 years, skyrocketed to a national stage this month spurred by a special report on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
Prism, which runs its business and laboratory testing center at Central Michigan University Research Corp., has been inundated with orders for their Home Air Check test kit after the news program aired a special report indicating that Lumber Liquidators sold discount flooring that violated safety limits set by the California Air Resources Board.
The problem, the report said, is that the core of the laminate flooring is made up of various materials glued together with an adhesive that typically includes formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, which seeps into the air over time. One way to check for formaldehyde pollution is with an air quality test; since 2009 Prism has offered to the consumer market a test to do just that.
“Prism offers one of the few air quality tests for formaldehyde to the public, so after the 60 Minutes program, our orders were astronomical,” said Sarah Mack, Prism’s office and customer service manager.
Prism received more than 600 orders since the show aired, compared to the normal 40-50 orders in a week. Tests are packaged and shipped to customers, sent back to Prism where they are processed, analyzed and findings are reported back to customers, all from the Mount Pleasant laboratory.
“This is the best thing that’s hit us as far as recognition of our brand and orders of our product,” Mack said. “Suddenly there’s an enormous audience across the country clamoring for our product. Our years of experience and support system at CMURC have readied us to offer the public the tools they need to address their concerns.”
“Prism has been positioning for substantial growth, this just accelerated their time line,” said CMURC President/CEO Erin O’Brien. “Starting their year off with recognition as one Michigan’s Top 50 Companies to Watch by Gov. Rick Snyder, they continue to expand their portfolio of products and increased sales by 45 percent in revenue.”
Prism says they’ve been working on products to clean homes with air pollution issues, and the influx of attention has sharpened their focus on other products customers want. “We have a pending patent on an air purifier that will help reduce formaldehyde levels in homes,” said Mack. “With the new spotlight on our company and the new products in the pipeline, our opportunities are wide open. With the platform CMURC has helped us build, we are confident we can deliver.”