Interview with Jean-Jacques Richard*, Managing Director of Haxxom, a safety and business intelligence consultancy
The Amex CBT and ACTE Barometer, reported by Déplacements Pro in May 2017, noted that: ‘security [is] at the heart of business travellers’ concerns’.
Jean-Jacques Richard, former director of safety and business intelligence at TNT and founder of Haxxom, reminds us of your responsibilities to your travellers and suggests some simple, common-sense actions: raise awareness and anticipate. The Notilus travel and expense platform travel order is a perfect starting point for these two simple actions.
What are companies’ responsibilities?
Dimo: ‘Firstly, what distinction do you make between safety and security?’
JJ Richard: ‘Safety concerns the protection of tangible and intangible goods from any form of malicious act. Security is everything that does not fall into the category of malice, i.e. is not caused by humans.’
Dimo: ‘Can you remind us of the responsibilities of companies in terms of the security/safety of their travellers?’
JJ Richard: ‘Companies and their directors have full responsibility – see the Jolo and Karachi case law. The company has a performance obligation with regard to the protection of all its employees, which is very different from an obligation of means.’
Dimo: ‘Do you think French companies are properly informed of their responsibilities?’
JJ Richard: ‘I would say it’s not so much a problem of information as a problem of acceptance and prioritisation of this obligation. Companies of a certain size fulfil this responsibility quite well, but it is not always the case in smaller companies.’
What actions should be taken?
Dimo: ‘How can Haxxom support companies in their responsibilities?’
JJ Richard: ‘The best thing to do is to train and raise awareness among employees who will need to travel. Raising awareness means knowing the country, analysing the risks, getting a clear picture, and implementing procedures and instructions to deal with compliant and non-compliant situations. Above all, it’s about preparing employees psychologically, in terms of responsibilities, for issues they may encounter. Travelling involves a responsibility for the person who issues the travel order and the traveller.’
Dimo: ‘What simple action would you advise companies to take to reassure their travellers/improve their security?’
JJ Richard: ‘First of all, make them aware of their responsibilities as travellers. Travellers should not be paralysed by their trip but should be prepared to face various situations that may include safety or security issues: if I break my leg, which hospital should I go to? How should I react to a large-scale malicious act? Could my embassy be a place of refuge? The consulate? Will I be able to call my manager at night? Have I got an emergency number? You need to anticipate. Anticipation is primarily logical: always having your identity documents with you, taking care not to leave computers or sensitive files in the hotel safe, etc.’
Is Notilus responsible? Is it helpful?
Dimo: ‘You participated in our 2017 Notilus users club. We had organised a participatory/fun workshop with our customers: in a fictional court, we debated the responsibility of a travel and expense tool such as Notilus for the security of travellers. Customers saw Notilus as an additional information channel, but seemed to believe that it was not the responsibility of Notilus but rather the travel agency. What do you think?’
JJ Richard: ‘I don’t entirely share this analysis, since responsibility for providing information and the reliability of this information lies with the company directors. In case of an incident, the responsible party would not be the travel agency but the company director.’
Dimo: ‘Does a travel order ‘cover’ companies? Should a travel order be required for all trips?’
JJ Richard: ‘Travel orders do not provide any legal protection, but they are an essential starting point. The person responsible for the trip, the company director, must be able to say no to a trip.’
*Who is Jean-Jacques Richard?
Jean-Jacques Richard is the founder and Managing Director of Haxxom.
After 25 years of experience as both a successful company director and consultant, in fields as varied as company strategy, safety, business intelligence, risk management, auditing, quality and even purchasing, Jean-Jacques Richard created Haxxom to provide a methodology to address safety and risk management issues.