August 21, 2017 07:00
Groupe Qualinet is a long time gone against the current of the other restaurateurs after a claims asking consumers who have suffered a disaster to call them directly rather than their insurer. Things are changing, » says its CEO Eric Pichette.
Qualinet out of a difficult passage in his life. At the end of January, the company had to place themselves under the protection of the bankruptcy and insolvency act. Its restructuring was approved on 12 July, at a rate of 94 %, representing 99 % of the creditors.
«The restructuring has been a rite of passage. It has enabled us to do a big cleaning. For the past two years, Qualinet had financial difficulties since its subsidiary Qualinet Environment was far from his charge. The restructuring helped to stop the operations of this division, which caused the group’s finances down, » said Mr. Pichette in an interview in the Journal of the insurance. He was accompanied by officer Qualinet, Marc Robichaud.
The restructuring has not been as easy as expected, » says Mr. Pichette. The company is well-drawn, he said, as well as its sixty franchisees. It also considered that the perception of the public in respect of Qualinet has not changed. «The people have made the difference. The phone continued to ring «, he says.
Mr. Pichette has also made the assessment of the activities of Qualinet Environment. This division dealt with the loss of a large scale which occurred in Quebec and that were causing harm to the environment. The company had equipped a fleet of 14 trucks, with a unit value of $ 500,000 each to attack this market. This is only one of the investments that had to do Qualinet to enter. However, the competition was more fierce than anticipated.
Difficulty to recover the investments
«We rubbed it to multinational corporations that had the resources to reduce the price. We had difficulty to return on our investment. For example, we had a value of six million dollars in capital for trucks. If they were running 12 to 15 hours per day, it was impossible to make profitable. We have invested and reinvested millions of dollars. We did not see the light at the end of the tunnel, » says Mr. Pichette.
He adds that everything is settled now. «The exploitation of the registered office is perfectly profitable and viable. Our creditors have understood that the situation was out of control of Qualinet. It has been assumed. They also saw the potential, particularly for our image as a respected brand. «
Qualinet is now in a consolidation phase which should last two years. «The last six months have been a time of judgment. It has enabled us to consolidate our current business and to refine our plan marketing. Within two years, we will better target the brand Qualinet among consumers and insurers. «
Insurers will now cover a greater place in the model of Qualinet. The cleaner post-disaster develop a hybrid model. Consumers will still be able to call directly to its franchisees. Qualinet account, however, sign agreements with insurers to recommend to customers.
«It’s part of our strategy of business development. We want to be a good partner in the service of the insured «, said Mr Pichette.
It further reveals that Qualinet already had partnerships with SSQ financial Group, La Capitale financial Group and iA Group financial. Franchisees had also signed their own agreements with insurers.
Qualinet intends to keep its originality marketing, but with one caveat. «As we wish to treat further with the insurers, we will have to invest on this side. Our cost of acquiring the customer will be the same, but you will invest less by direct advertising to the consumer. It’s going to modulate progressively. The insurer is a multiplier and can we bring a larger volume, » says Mr. Pichette.