Stéphane Point Live on BFM Business on Thursday, May 7: Rediscover the Full Text of the Interview
President of Onet Service Network Stéphane Point was live on BFM Business on Thursday, May 7, answering Stéphanie Coleau’s questions on resuming activities. He explained how Onet, as a major player in the French cleaning sector, supports all its customers at this time of recovery.
Did you see a boom in the demand for cleaning/disinfection related to the release from lockdown?
“In effect, we felt a sharp increase in the demand related to the re-start of activity. Obviously, the need for disinfection is essential and enables employees to come back to work without any concern and to reassure customers on board public transportation, in hotels… by guaranteeing a healthy environment.”
What kind of sites do you work at, and how does one decontaminate a site?
“We are facing a significant increase, a concentration of requests. It is clear that all the requests cannot be filled at the same time. It is obvious after the recent declarations by the government and ministers that this will be accomplished gradually. So, for those who are listening to us, the word is: to anticipate.
We really think that the demand is not ad hoc but rather structural and is here to stay. Hygiene is going to become an increasing concern. The influx of passengers in public transportation, employees in offices, customers in sales locations will require these cleaning services with greater frequency and greater intensity.”
How do you manage your demand internally?
“We obviously handle it by organizing ourselves, by requiring sometimes that our teams put in additional hours, by calling at our customers’ locations more frequently, by structuring the demand with our customers… We are No. 1. In France with over 200 agencies in France and a strike force in excess of 50,000 operators.
Our teams are fully mobilized. Even if we had been affected by this epidemic like all the other companies, because some of our customers were operating in a very limited manner, i. e. in a complete shut-down, today we have the resources to manage this situation and the growing number of requests.”
Did you put special services in place?
“Absolutely. It is very different depending on the type of installation (factory, office, transportation network, etc.), and we operate on a case-by-case basis every time with recommendations customized to every client’s needs. In some cases, this involves simple disinfection tasks that we perform more frequently, such as the disinfection of touch surfaces like handles or switches, for instance.
In other cases, special disinfection tasks are required. And sometimes, there is also a technical feat that we must perform: for example, disinfecting from the air which helps treat the surfaces as well as the inside of a building. These are services that utilize fairly advanced technologies requiring special employee training.
And then, the sequence of actions will also change because everyone will have to become involved. Today, we also have many requests from our customers for personal cleaning kits because it is not just the executive that is responsible for hygiene and the cleanliness of the employees, but everyone is responsible for everything. This is demand that will grow. Cleanliness and hygiene are everyone’s business.”
What will this healthcare crisis change next for the cleaning/hygiene industry? Will it become a new strategic sector?
“Absolutely, we see perfectly that the outlook has changed completely. We were mostly an industry whose involvement was requested early, before the offices opened, not to be inconvenienced by the noise of a vacuum cleaner. Seeing our teams today is reassuring. Cleaning is no longer a job that happens in the shadow, it has really come to the fore. This is felt in the discussion that we are having with our customers.
After the start of the crisis, we did, in fact, start a dialog with our customers at a higher level, a dialog that is more strategic. These days, they design us into their locations, or consider us to be a production tool…
Today, corporations understand that if they wish to maintain their performance, they must consider the hygiene and the cleaning factors somewhere at the top of the chain, even in the design of their operations.
Onet did a survey with Ipsos last year that already showed that 98% of the workforce believe cleanliness to be essential. Given the circumstances we are in right now, this becomes even more strategic, which we are seeing in the discussions that we are having with our customers on a daily basis. Being No. 1, it is also part of our role at the time of this resumption of activity: we will have a key part to play because company executives need to reassure their employees. There is a legitimate concern that is pretty widely shared. Hygiene and cleanliness will become the means of reassuring employees and assuring their well-being. Yes, cleanliness is strategic rather than a simple convenience.”