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News

Settimo Piano in Italy rises once again

28/05/2020

As the Coronavirus pandemic starts to ease a little in Italy, with fewer cases and far fewer deaths being reported; EFMP Italian partner, Settimo Piano, are taking to heart the words of the song of Italy’s Roby Facchinetti, “Rinascero’, Rinascerai” (I’ll be reborn, you’ll be reborn. When everything is over, we’ll see the stars again).

In other words, there is hope.  

And by taking the initiative to restart their ‘Face to Face’ (F2F) business, Settimo Piano are putting hope into action. They are, however, the first to admit that in the post-lockdown re-opening, caution will be exercised, and all recommended safety precautions will be observed. They base their rationale for resuming their business operations and their assumption that Italians will largely behave sensibly after lockdown on the statistical survey conducted by Forbes and Sole 24 Ore, outlining the post-lockdown intentions of Italians.

The answers to the question, ‘What’s the first thing you will do when the quarantine is over?’ yielded the following results:

1. I will wait several days before doing something (44.8%)

2. I will have a party (20, 5%)

3. I will go to the restaurant (19, 3%)

4. I will travel in Italy (12, 4%)

5. I will travel abroad (3%)

Settimo Piano aligned themselves with the sensible option that nearly 45% of respondents chose, which was to wait after the quarantine was lifted before doing anything. So this is what they did until such time as they could put suitable safety procedures in place for when they resumed their F2F business operations.

As expected at their restart, they encountered a lot of understandable trepidation and fear as people grappled with what has been termed, ‘the new normality’. But significantly, they also came across a deep seated desire in people to start again. In order to be able to implement restart operations, however, an obvious requirement was to provide for the safety and well-being of their staff, clients, and customers. 

Safety devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) assumed paramount importance; so all their staff; in the squares, in the shopping centers and in the temporary shops and container shops, were equipped with gloves, sanitizing gel, masks, and Plexiglas walls. In addition, each resource person was trained on the new anti-Covid directives based on social distancing; the correct use of masks, shields and gloves; hand washing; and the sanitization of the workspace.

A Code of New Behaviour was instituted by Settimo Piano.  Their aim was to be promoters of a new code of conduct with new rules of social interaction, in compliance with healthcare recommendations to ensure their own safety and that of others.  What used to be considered normal behavior, such as greeting each other using some form of physical contact, like a handshake or a hug, was reviewed.  They still greet each other, but make sure to keep a safe distance apart. And at Settimo Piano, because their work is carried out by many people who all need to engage with one another, they aspired to become promoters of new forms of social interaction. The intention was not to abandon the Italian manner of friendly social communication, but to revisit these behaviours in order to adapt them to new needs.

Furthermore, before the restart of their F2F business, all the proposed new protocols were presented to their customers, with simulations to show how the procedures would be implemented.  The new protocols were approved by each client and put into effect accordingly. As a result:

• The new measures have led to structural changes in their places of business with new investments in materials and infrastructure.

• The problem of sourcing all the anti- Covid devices required by law and by the World Health Organization to implement safe practice was resolved. 

• Re-usable masks (which only require to be washed before reuse), manufactured with the approval of the Higher Institute of Health of the Ministry of Health, have been acquired and are in use.    

• Hand- sanitizing gel dispensers have also been made available in many of their stands and shops.

 Settimo Piano are justifiably proud that their promoters are on the field every day with a desire to do the best for their customers. The promoters have found it possible to be successful and to still reach out with a professional and friendly attitude towards customers and clients, even in the difficult circumstances necessitated by Covid 19.  Furthermore, Settimo Piano have found that the results that are coming in are encouraging, even based on pre- Covid19 levels in some areas.

Therefore it is their considered opinion that it was fundamentally essential to restart their F2F business and to demonstrate that conditions are in place to enable them to carry out their operations effectively and in safety. If this proves to be true, it can only mean good news for businesses in other countries which are approaching a similar post- lockdown situation. And for the economy as a whole. 

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