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How has the travel and hospitality industry been impacted by COVID-19, and how has SGS responded to the new challenges?
Gonzalo: "The impact has been drastic in changing our cleaning and disinfection habits, cleaning and disinfection products, hygiene measures, frequency of how often we wash our hands or do other things, and in the way we relate with other people in certain situations.
"For SGS there has been a huge change on a day a day to day to basis. The way we traditionally do business is no longer going to be the only way of doing things. Technology needs to be there. Virtual assessments need to be there. So there is a big, big shift, because you need to be extremely flexible in order to ensure that you can cope with the demands of your customers."
Can you tell us a bit about your cleaning and disinfection verification service?
Gonzalo: "We came up with a new product, third party verification to monitor the disinfection and the cleanliness of an establishment. We do a desktop gap analysis to ensure that they are in compliance with the local regulations. We complement that with testing and with onsite or remote assessment. We make sure to do surveillance throughout the whole calendar year, to put pressure on them to make sure they keep their hygiene standards at the maximum level, no matter what happens."
The fact that you offer this continued monitoring is a huge perk. Would you say that this sets you apart from others?
Gonzalo: "Absolutely, the core intention from SGS is to provide a real perceived added value, and that can only be – we're a technical company – that can only be through technical assessment and technology. What is it that SGS knows how to do? We know about assessment. We know about verification. We know about testing. So let's crunch it all together to make sure that we can help the establishment demonstrate compliance with hygiene standards, and that is why we want to monitor what is happening in that establishment."
Are there other exciting programs or initiatives that SGS is working on?
"We are very much focused on remote assessment, virtual assessment, using technology to make sure that we can be more present, but not really physically present if not needed, to make sure that we can react rapidly to the demands of our customers. We're looking into various different things, such as augmented reality."
Visit Cleaning and Disinfection Monitoring and Verification to learn more.
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, we operate a network of more than 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in the modern era, posing unforeseen challenges to business continuity. At SGS, we are working hard to meet those challenges and support international efforts to beat COVID-19.