Gilles Dagusé regularly speaks in the media to defend and promote the profession of repair. President of the national STARSAV network of approved repair companies, he is also the head of Clinique du ménager 25. Faced with the Covid-19 crisis, he evokes the implementation of tangible solutions for his technical station as well as for the entire sector.
How did you react to the announcement of the crisis within your company?
I started my business 20 years ago in Besançon, today we are present in 4 departments with a team of 13 collaborators. Repair has been a family business since 1966. Therefore, I am personally committed to the human aspect of this business. So we decided to close for a month and a half in order to take the time to assess the situation and get organized. Because unfortunately, we are in the East, the area hit hardest by the epidemic. 45% of the technical stations stopped their activity the first weeks.
Then very quickly, the board of directors of the STARSAV network and myself, put in place protective measures for the profession. We oversaw the purchase and free shipment of masks and visors to network members.
What was the most difficult challenge for the repair industry to overcome?
Returning to work without protection and safety measures was not possible. Indeed, the repair profession is very exposed, because 90% of repairs take place in the homes of consumers with an average of 8 interventions per day. In addition, a technician travels an average of 250 kilometers per day in a company vehicle, which increases the risk of contamination (see the video on good reflexes to adopt). My priority was first to communicate with my teams to prepare for their return by disseminating the security protocols implemented by the STARSAV network and shared with GIFAM, a group of home appliances (see the article STARSAV: the profession of solidarity repair in the face of the crisis)
When it reopened, I prepared a safety kit for each containing masks, hydroalcoholic gel and disinfection equipment. However, we opted for a gradual restart. In the beginning with a drive system. Then, at the end of April, we organized the return to work with a reduced number of home visits.
How do you assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis?
The economic impact for my business is estimated in hundreds of thousands of euros in losses. Calls for repairs have dropped 75% since March. We also have to deal with longer delivery times for parts. It is expected to have an impact on appliance repair time over the next six months. This does not prevent me from hiring four new collaborators for my team!
I’m not worried, we are a solid sector with the advantage of being part of the STARSAV network. It brings together more agile medium-sized structures than large groups and more stable than craftsmen. That is why we were able to respond effectively and quickly to the crisis.
By keeping the sector afloat, we are continuing our mission with two major challenges: promoting the learning of young people and raising awareness among the general public.
Find advice on repairing by Gilles Dagusé on France Bleu in the program “LES EXPERTS” and replay the program on FRANCE 3 “Obsolescence programmée”