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Thierry Ricci: “Our work is even more meaningful now during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Listed by the French Healthcare association as a French company participating in the national effort to fight the Covid-19 virus, NatéoSanté is continuing its business activity. With only three people on-site at Saint-Hilaire-de-Chaléons, the health safety rules are strictly respected. The rest of the team is working from home. Since mid-March, the demand for EOLIS Air Manager and Hygeolis air purifiers has increased fivefold, first from French hospitals, then from all over the world. Production is under strain, but the 100% made-in-France manufacturing circuit, as well as the strong commitment from employees and subcontractors, are helping to keep up pace. Here’s what Thierry Ricci, president and founder of the SME, had to say.
Three weeks after France went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 epidemic, how did NatéoSanté adapt to the situation?
Thierry Ricci: In February, when the epidemic hit China hard, we hadn’t yet recorded any major spike in activity. Then at the beginning of March, everything changed! Awareness of the situation in France and then in Europe as a whole was very high. Orders began coming in from French hospitals, then from other hospitals in Europe through our distributors abroad. By mid-March, when it was officially announced that France was in lockdown, our services were in high demand.
Right now, we have a lot of requests from Asia and the Pacific, as well as South America, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay, in the wake of the spread of the virus. In early March, we still had some of our EOLIS Air Manager and Hygeolis products in stock. Everything was shipped off. Next, we had to ramp up production to keep up the pace. We now have five times as many orders as usual!
The strength of a production line made in France
how has NatéoSanté organised maintained business continuity and production while a large part of the country is under lockdown and industrial suppliers out of stock?
Thierry Ricci: Firstly, we organised ourselves in such a way as to guarantee the team’s safety, with as many employees as possible working from home. That was our priority! We also had to reassure everyone in the face of uncertainty. Only three of us are present at the Saint-Hilaire de Chaléons site to coordinate production and logistics operations while respecting strict health precautions and social distancing. Since we have 500 m² of space, between the warehouse and the offices, it’s manageable!
Secondly, it was essential to analyse the situation with our industrial partners and also get them involved. NatéoSanté has made the strategic choice of “made in France”, and the company therefore prioritises proximity and local cooperation: 80% of the professional air purifier EOLIS Air Manager is manufactured less than 100 km from our headquarters. Hygeolis is manufactured in La Roche-sur-Yon. The first line was still operational. The second one had closed, but it was restarted. We can count on the employees of the factories involved. What they’re doing is important, because we all have a role to play in our own way
“Our fundamental values make us strong!”
Have you been able to keep up with demand in terms of shipping logistics?
Thierry Ricci: We’re always able to deliver orders in France and abroad. We’ve had some logistics issues, but we’re finding solutions to deliver to our customers.
NatéoSanté employees are 100% dedicated and involved on a daily basis to achieve our goal. This is also an illustration of the company’s strong fundamentals, its history and the values it was built on. People have always been the focus! We do things with honesty. The team takes great pride in bringing this to fruition. Our work is even more meaningful now!
Air quality and the spread of Covid-19
On 27 March 2020, the Atmo-France network published an information memo on “the interactions between Covid-19 and air quality” which deals in particular with the impact of air pollution on the current pandemic.
To the question whether “the inhabitants of polluted areas run a greater risk of contracting Covid-19”, Atmo-France responds that “several studies have come to this conclusion” and it “encourages the pursuit of research on the subject to confirm or disprove at this time that atmospheric particles act as a vector for the long-distance propagation of the Covid-19 virus in its contaminating form”.
In this context, EOLIS Air Manager remains the French professional air purifier specifically designed for complex health situations thanks to its cutting-edge technology. From January 2020, NatéoSanté started delivering these purifiers to China, particularly to hospitals in Wuhan.