2020 was full of challenges that forced entrepreneurs, personally and professionally, to adapt to atypical situations, as a result of the spread of coronavirus worldwide. As was the case of Eugen Saulea, founder of ESSA Group, a business with a turnover of 14.3 million euros in 2019, whose main objective, from the beginning, was to ensure the safety of employees delegated in the implementation of programs in retail networks partner.
As the allocation of specific equipment for protection and prevention alone was not a sufficient measure to guarantee the health of employees, the ESSA management team sought the best options for informing and raising awareness of its staff. The field control and management structures were regularly followed by “good hygiene practices” training sessions, and the last of this type was initiated and supported by a standard in this field of safety and hygiene, respectively by DEKRA. ESSA provided the optimal framework for the transmission of DEKRA standards in the hierarchical structure, organizing and implementing local training and evaluation sessions for its own staff in the execution structure.
“An important and necessary step in the current pandemic conditions, as the safety and education of all our employees, especially the ones we lease to large retail players are essential for a healthy society,” explains the entrepreneur who, in the full pandemic, when most companies laid off their staff, he recruited almost 700 people for staff leasing.
DEKRA is an international safety standard for the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 and is granted following an audit and control process at the national level by an independent certification body. A certification obtained so far, locally, by the main retail networks, the German auditing company DEKRA being one of the most important in the world and operating in the field of safety for over 90 years, in more than 60 countries. “Thus, our employees have received complete training on the rules imposed to ensure food safety. Their information and training on food hygiene were achieved through training at regular intervals, according to a program established within the company “, explains Lucian Pavelescu, development director of ESSA Group. As a result, team coordinators, as well as supervisors of staff involved in retail today, have theoretical and practical knowledge of hygiene in order to properly assess potential hazards in order to take the necessary measures to address deficiencies.
Known especially for merchandising services in hypermarkets, supermarkets and TT networks for over 16 years, in the first quarter of the year, ESSA Group reported a decrease of over 25% of its business, considering that BTL programs and events were suspended. However, in the second quarter, ESSA’s clients recalibrated their marketing and sales targets and moved BTL budgets to services with immediate visibility at the point of sale.
“Through customized programs for implementation and maintenance of communication materials (POSMs), wrapping and packaging programs (GOP), we managed to recover that 25% of the business we’ve lost at the beginning of the year,” says Eugen Saulea.
To keep up with the evolution of consumption and demand in the recruitment market, during 2020, ESSA Group has invested in call centers, delivery and related divisions, so that it can offer an integrated chain to its customers. The first major project for call center services was obtained following an auction in August, and the results were remarkable.
“Only in the first week after the activation of the ESSA program we honored 54% more orders than in the previous week, so that in the second week we managed to fulfill 86% more orders than in the week of reference,” the entrepreneur recalls.
Also, in October, the quality management of Essa Group was certified by the well-known company TÜV Austria. This means that, based on the TÜV audit, both the services provided by ESSA and the management of the institution are of high quality, in line with international standards. “Also, this year, ESSA received the ISO 45001: 2018, ISO 9000: 2015 and ISO 14001: 2015 certifications. This means that our management system aligns with international standards in the field we operate”, confessed at that time Eugen Saulea, CEO of ESSA.
ESSA, founded in 2010, is today one of the largest players in the market for trade marketing and sales services in the country. Last year, ESSA reported a turnover of 14.3 million euros, and by the end of the year, Eugen Saulea – the company’s founder estimates that it will reach 15 million euros. The services in the company’s portfolio include recruitment and placement, BTL and events, POSM management services (communication materials), call center and merchandising. Currently, ESSA offers leasing and outsourcing services for over 30 customers, suppliers and manufacturers who are leaders in the categories in which they operate, but also for large retail chains such as Carrefour, Kaufland, Auchan, Metro Cash & Carry or Mega Image .