The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on healthcare systems around the world, with nurses and doctors on the front lines to combat the virus. Equipping healthcare workers and helping to protect public health has been the mission of 617 associates of Anios, an Ecolab company. Their initiatives help provide the much-needed hygiene solutions as the company is gearing up to fight the coronavirus.
At the manufacturing site in northern France, 450 workers leave their families and home every day to operate the 23 production lines. Working with co-packers and rethinking planning and processes, the plant has been able to produce around-the-clock record numbers of hand gels and has increased capacity overall.
The teams are improving efficiencies with each passing day. Individual contributions are helping to better the production performance. “We brainstorm ideas to bring improvements to our ways of working,” said Bruno Lorthois, Mixing Manager, who partnered with Cédric Frelier, Filling AT2 Team Leader, to propose a new process that maximizes the mixing tank use. “It was very rewarding to see our idea implemented quickly and to have a tangible impact on our gel production capacity.”
When the general public is in lockdown at home, protecting the health and safety of workers while they continue to produce essential products has been a priority. Anios implemented a series of rigorous measures, early on, including voluntary temperature controls upon entry into the factory, use of personal protective equipment including face masks, airborne disinfections and extensive cleanings and gifts of cleaning wipes and gels for use at home. Trainings on personal hygiene behaviors is a daily occurrence.
Despite the pressure, the culture of commitment to protecting public health is palpable. Thanks to crucial collaboration with transport companies, the logistics team, led by Raoul Dovi, has been breaking records too, shipping off up to 60 percent more trucks full of products daily to deliver product to customers across the world.
“Our logistics partners are prioritizing our requests to ensure we can deliver to hospitals. They are even going above and beyond, doing taxi deliveries for urgent orders to ensure continuity of care. Everyone is stepping up and I would not want to be anywhere else than here,” said Raoul Dovi, logistics manager.
With more than 70 percent of associates still onsite daily at its control and research lab, the team is exploring ways to ensure production can continue to operate. As production increases, this could mean some raw materials run scarce. They are registering new suppliers in a matter of days and developing alternative formulas to adapt the recipe just in case.
“We use a thickening in our products to make this gel texture. Our formula team is looking at other back-up raw material that could subsidize the thickening to achieve the same rheology and safety for the user,” said Gaetan Rauwel, vice president, RD&E, Healthcare EMEA. “The priority is to ensure the manufacturing continuity for disinfectant products.
The management of customers’ requests is sensitive, in a time when demand is growing exponentially, resulting in a greater need to prioritize orders. The commercial team is working closely with authorities and key decision makers in the marketplace to identify the most pressing needs. Thanks to the insight from the sales team, the allocation of the freshly made batches of products is prioritized daily to be distributed to where it’s the most needed.
“The commercial and customer service teams continue to maintain the level of customer intimacy, despite the confinement measures, having to manage a 50 percent increase in requests.” said Pascal Sabathe, vice president of hospital care for Anios France. “Everyone is fully committed to supplying the products that are so critical in containing the spread of the virus.”
Support to customers and continuity of care have been the motto of the entire organization. The sales and customer service team that counts 49 employees has been restructured to enable homeworking as much as possible with an office permanence of five people.
„In my 20 years at Anios, I have been through many situations with customers. They are truly appreciative of the efforts we make to supply hospitals with critical products. A person I helped over the phone the other day thanked me for what I do for our nation and it made me proud of the role we play in this war against coronavirus.”