INCLEAN January-February 2024

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January / February 2024



ISSA OCEANIA MEMBER BENEFITS EVENTS & TRADE SHOWS Benefit from networking events and global trade shows, including the Australian ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo. COMPLIMENTARY RESOURCES FOR YOUR BUSINESS Enjoy complimentary tools like Product Cost & Usage Calculator, Workloading & Bidding Tool, The Value of Clean Toolkit to take your business to the next level. INDUSTRY NEWS Be on the front foot with INCLEAN and INCLEAN New Zealand magazines, international publications like ISSA Today and Cleanfax, online news and ISSA TV.

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATION & STANDARDS Take your operation to the next level with industry-leading training, education programs and accreditation, customised to the needs of Australian and New Zealand businesses. LOCAL MEMBER BENEFITS The ISSA Oceania team is working with a number of local service providers to provide members with exclusive discounts to relevant services.

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INCLEAN is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd on behalf of ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. 41 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 Australia MANAGING DIRECTOR: Simon Grover PUBLISHER: Simon Cooper MANAGING EDITOR Claire Hibbit Email: NATIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER: Samantha Ewart Email: PRODUCTION MANAGER: Jacqui Cooper GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Katy Brack & Alyssa Coundouris Print Post Approved Publication No. PP: 255003/09765 AUSTRALIAN SUBSCRIPTION RATE 12 months (6 issues) - $66 (inc. GST) Email:

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Editor’s letter


elcome to the first edition of INCLEAN for 2024 and our fifth annual Industry Leaders Forum. This year’s Industry Leaders Forum features commentary from leaders across all sectors of the industry, sharing their highs and lows of 2023 and their predictions on the year ahead. In this year’s edition, we reflect on another challenging year that once again tested the industry’s resilience. It’s evident from this year’s report that businesses must be prepared to respond to a range of opportunities and challenges in the next 12 months. Staff recruitment and retention remains an ongoing challenge, while the impact of new technology such as AI will continue to be a topic of debate. The development and deployment of AI and how businesses can leverage AI was a recurring topic of discussion in this year’s report. It’s clear AI has the potential to disrupt the industry, in a positive or negative way, depending on how it is used. AI-powered tools can help streamline cleaning processes, reduce costs, and enhance the overall quality of service. However, the technology doesn’t come without its dangers, especially around the protection and ownership of data and intellectual property. Sustainable cleaning practices also continue to be a focus as the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues. In tandem with sustainability, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are anticipated to be a major talking point in the next 12 months. In 2023, the ACCC set its sights on greenwashing and this push for increased transparency is predicted to continue into 2024. Our Industry Leaders Forum is presented alongside trend forecasts from local and international thought leaders, making this edition an essential guide of industry knowledge developed to help your business navigate what will looks like is shaping about to be another interesting year. A big thanks to those who have contributed to this year’s report. I hope there are some valuable insights to help your businesses succeed this year. Happy reading!

Claire Hibbit Managing Editor



The Intermedia Group takes its corporate and social responsibilities seriously and is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. We continuously strive to improve our environmental performance and to initiate additional CSR based projects and activities. As part of our company policy we ensure that the products and services used in the manufacture of this magazine are sourced from environmentally responsible suppliers. This magazine has been printed on paper produced from sustainably sourced wood and pulp fibre and is accredited under PEFC chain of custody. PEFC certified wood and paper products come from environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests. 5

What’s on 2024

ISSA Pavilion China Clean Expo March 26-29, 2024

The flagship exhibition returns to Shanghai in 2024

Interclean Amsterdam 14-17 May 2024

Leading manufacturers and industry professionals to gather in Amsterdam

ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo 11-12 September 2024

Australia’s premier trade event for the cleaning and hygiene industry will be held at ICC Sydney

CleanNZ Expo 6-7 November 2024

Clean NZ Expo will take place at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in Christchurch

ISSA Show North America 18-21 November 2024

The premier tradeshow exclusively for the cleaning and facility management industry returns to Las Vegas 6 INCLEAN January / February 2024


Cirka Group enters catering market with acquisition

Australian workers back-paid $500 million

New research to explore policy design to manage growing presence of robots in public spaces

Circular economy legislation passes in a first for the ACT

Australian and UK cleaning company Cirka Group acquires catering group.

Monash Universities researchers to explore how policy design can ensure robots operate safely in public space and protect public interests.

OCS announces first bolt-on acquisition under ownership of CD&R

OCS acquires UK provider of facilities management services to the education and healthcare sectors.

Fair Work Ombudsman recovered $509 million for 251,475 underpaid workers in 2022-23.

ACT Government passes legislation to support a new legal framework to create a circular economy in Canberra.

Weather-related natural disasters likely to impact sustainability initiatives, study finds Six in 10 organisations globally say recent wildfires, floods, and storms during 2023 will have a material impact on their environmental initiatives.

ON THE COVER The iconic Australian brand Oates is a brand of Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions (FHCS), a leading global supplier of branded cleaning systems as well as household and laundry care products. With more than 60 years in the business, Vileda Professional knows what needs professional users have and offers a range of solutions to help clean faster and more effectively.




18 Something is in the air –

trends to expect in 2024









Cleaning companies and facility managers must respond to a range of opportunities and challenges in the next 12 months as they seek to gain an edge in complex markets

2024 INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM 24 Industry predictions 30 Accord Australasia 32 Agar Cleaning Systems 34 Australian Pump Industries 35 Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA)





36 Central Cleaning Supplies 38 Cleanstar/XPOWER 40 Diversey ANZ 41 Freudenberg (Oates) 42 ISSA Oceania





44 Kärcher Australia 46 MotorScrubber Australia 48 Polivac International 50 Quayclean Australia 52 RapidClean Group 53 RapidClean New Zealand




54 Reckitt Pro Solutions 56 Sabco Professional 58 SEBO 60 SPITWATER 62 TEAM Software by Workwave 64 Vivid Property Services



66 Whiteley Corporation

REGULARS 05 Editor’s letter

08 Industry news 14 Cover story


67 Opinion 70 Products 7


Accord’s ‘Canberra Day’ brings government and industry together Accord recently hosted its annual Canberra Day, which brings together government and industry for updates and discussions on the policy and regulatory reform landscape affecting the hygiene, personal care, and specialty formulated products industry that Accord represents. “Collaboration and partnerships will be essential to meeting the challenges facing us all, and these can only flourish when industry and government gain a better mutual understanding of what drives the other,” said Bronwyn Capanna, Executive Director of Accord Australasia, said. “We believe Canberra Day 2023 helped achieve just that.” 8 INCLEAN January / February 2024

The event began with Accord’s Industry Leaders’ Dinner. Senator the Hon Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade and Assistant Minister for Manufacturing, joined members for the evening. The Minister’s address on the night reflected his bringing together of two important portfolios for the industry, as well as his interest in learning more about our industry. At the Canberra Day Seminar, government and industry came together for valuable updates and discussions on the policy and regulatory reform landscape affecting the industry that Accord represents. This year, Accord included an inaugural Industry Showcase. Leaders from the hygiene, personal care, and specialty products industry demonstrated to government colleagues the sector’s sustainability and innovation credentials, the value of local manufacturing and investment, as well as insights into the challenges and opportunities for the cleaning industry. From the I&I cleaning sector, Managing Director of True Brands Brad Macdougall participated on a panel to highlight some of the challenges facing businesses, and Albright & Wilson CEO Sascha Schrecker spoke on the importance of keeping chemical manufacturing in Australia. The second half of the day reverted to Accord’s traditional Canberra Day format, where attendees heard from Accord’s government colleagues on the latest policy measures and priorities for industry, trade, and the environment. Governance thought-leader Megan Motto also gave a captivating keynote presentation on the importance of good governance for effective collaboration and positive change. “It was our best-attended Canberra Day ever,” said Capanna. “A huge thank you to all our presenters, members, government colleagues, and stakeholders who joined us for an unforgettable day.”


New research to explore policy design to manage growing presence of robots in public spaces With robots increasingly appearing in public spaces in Australia, Monash University researchers have been awarded a grant of $608,385 from the Australian Research Council to explore how policy design can ensure robots operate safely in public space and protect public interests. Professor of Public Policy and Director of Better Governance and Policy at Monash University Michael Mintrom said we are on the cusp of a boom in robots operating in public spaces. “The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a large increase in new robotics applications around the world. Even though robots are already being introduced in many cities around the world, very little is known about the attitudes of urban residents towards robots in public spaces,” Professor Mintrom said. “A significant knowledge gap exists concerning the broader social impacts of the growing presence of

robots in public spaces. We need new policy design approaches that can account for the disruptive potential of robots in public spaces, while enabling their potential benefits.” The project will involve design workshops where researchers, citizens, and policy designers will together explore new means of guiding how robots impact on public spaces. Researchers hope the project’s findings generate new knowledge to inform policy design. That knowledge could assist Australian governments and regulators to better anticipate the effects of wider use of robots and plan policies to encourage good outcomes for all, as well as providing important insights for Australia’s robot industry. Researchers will hold annual symposia to share and test emerging findings, with the project culminating in an international symposium to promote project findings to academic and industry representatives. The project is jointly led by Monash University’s Professor Michael Mintrom, Professor Lisa Grocott, Associate Professor Shanti Sumartojo as well as Professor Sally Wyatt from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.


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Quayclean becomes a UNGC signatory Quayclean Australia has signed the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative launched by the United Nations which aims to motivate organisations worldwide to embrace sustainable and socially accountable policies and behaviours. It draws its foundation from 10 universal principles encompassing areas such as human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption. Entities that engage in the UNGC pledge to embed these principles into their strategies and operations have an obligation to provide annual reports detailing their progress in implementing these principles. By affiliating with the UNGC, organisations showcase their dedication to ethical business practices and contribute to the United Nations’ broader objectives of sustainable development and social responsibility. This year marks the halfway point since the 36 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were established and academics have, concerningly, reported that only two of these goals were on track to be reached by the 2030 deadline. The only goals on target are access to mobile networks and internet usage. Eight targets - reducing greenhouse gas emissions, threatened species, fossil fuel subsidies, the number of unsentenced detainees, enhancing economic growth, vaccine coverage, sustainable fishing, and food security - were deteriorating. 10 INCLEAN January / February 2024

A further 12 targets had limited or no progress, including poverty, safe drinking water and ecosystem conversation, while 14 other targets had made “fair progress” which the academics said could be reached with more effort. Quayclean CEO, Mark Piwkowski, was alarmed by the academics report and said it was the company’s mission to take steps within the business to make a positive contribution towards the 2030 deadline. “It is Quayclean’s goal for the world to be a better place because of the steps and initiatives we have introduced across the business,” said Piwkowski. “We see our role with our clients as more than just providing cleaning and waste management services. We are committed to providing an increasingly sustainable service. “As a business, we have implemented several changes in our operations in equipment, cars, chemicals, water use and waste management to support our commitment to environmental sustainability” he added. Piwkowski also said Quayclean was excited to partner with Carbon Consultancy ‘South Pole’ to assist the company on its journey towards carbon neutrality. “Our first task is measuring our carbon footprint across Scopes 1, 2 and 3, while creating and implementing an Emissions Reduction Strategy,” explained Piwkowski.


Essity joins research project on circular sensor technology Hygiene and health company Essity has joined the European research project Sustronics, which is supporting the development of circular electronic products. Companies and universities from 11 countries will, together with Essity, develop sensor-based digital solutions for self and professional care. The main purpose of Sustronics is to transform the European electronics industry and promote a more circular economy through the use of eco-design, bio-based materials and energyefficient manufacturing. As part of the project, electronic products will be redesigned to become circular, compostable and reusable products while highlighting business opportunities in sustainable electronics. The research project consists of nine pilot studies with a focus on healthcare and diagnostics. Prototypes will be developed and in parallel life cycle assessments and methods for eco-design will be applied to ensure sustainability. Essity is participating in two pilot studies. One study aims to develop a reusable sensor, integrated into incontinence products that measures temperature, humidity and enzymes to avoid incontinencerelated skin problems and enhance healthcare quality. The sensor uses data and AI algorithms to provide insights to the user or carer about issues such as skin health directly to a smartphone.

The second pilot study involves the development of a smart wound dressing fitted with sensors that measure temperature, pH and biomarkers for infection in the wound. The solution has the potential to both enhance patient well-being and reduce healthcare costs. Tuomas Yrjölä, president global brand, innovation, and sustainability, at Essity, said advances in sensor technology can drastically improve preventive care and be a game changer for large patient groups. “Through the Sustronics research project, we can further strengthen our innovative capacity while in parallel improving people’s health and well-being and contribute to a more sustainable and circular society.”





ACCC releases eight principles to guide businesses’ environmental claims


o help businesses ensure any environmental marketing and advertising claims they make about their products or services are clear and accurate, and do not mislead consumers. The principles comprise the ACCC’s final guidance on environmental claims, which sets out the ACCC’s view of good practice when making environmental claims, as well as making businesses aware of their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law. “Our final guidance helps to demonstrate how businesses can make clear, evidence-based environmental claims that consumers can understand and trust,” ACCC Acting Chair Catriona Lowe said. “Environmental claims are useful for consumers when they can easily understand what the environmental benefit is, and if there are any restrictions that can limit this benefit.” Ensuring such claims are clear and accurate not only helps consumers making purchasing choices, but also means the right incentives are in place for businesses to compete fairly and differentiate themselves based on genuine investment and innovation. “As we transition to a greener economy, we need businesses to drive market innovation by investing in and choosing products and services with the lowest environmental impact,” Ms Lowe said. “For consumers to drive change, they need to be able to trust that the products and services they are buying genuinely are sustainable, and businesses making real efforts to deliver benefits should not be disadvantaged by rivals making disingenuous claims.” The final guidance incorporates feedback from more than 150 stakeholders across consumer, business and environmental organisations on the ACCC’s draft version of the guidance. “Misleading environmental and sustainability claims continue to be an enforcement and compliance priority for the ACCC, and we have several active investigations underway,” Lowe said. 12 INCLEAN January / February 2024

“Our final guidance is intended to improve compliance by helping businesses make meaningful and truthful claims that meet their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.” The ACCC said it is aware that many businesses have genuinely changed how they operate in response to consumers’ increased environmental consciousness. “Where a business has genuinely changed how they operate to be more sustainable, we want them to have the confidence to tell their customers about these changes. We also want them to be able to legitimately market their products or services to consumers seeking a more sustainable option.” “Environmental claims are often technical and can be difficult for businesses to communicate clearly. By following the principles in our guidance, businesses can more confidently make meaningful claims that consumers can understand and trust.” “It is important for businesses to consider whether they are exaggerating the environmental benefits of their product or services and whether they have a reasonable basis to make the claims, otherwise they risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law,” Lowe said. In early 2024, the ACCC will release further guidance for businesses and consumers on emission and offset claims, as well as the use of trust marks. The eight key principles are: 1. Make accurate and truthful claims 2. Have evidence to back up your claims 3. Don’t hide or omit important information 4. Explain any conditions or qualifications on your claims 5. Avoid broad and unqualified claims 6. Use clear and easy-to-understand language 7. Visual elements should not give the wrong impression 8. Be direct and open about your sustainability transition

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Absorb safe & easy

Ing. Paul Harleman | Global Application Manager | Vileda Professional Fluids can be spilled, which is not only inconvenient but also has safety and hygiene risks. People can slip, the liquid is spread as people walk through it and in case of a body fluid, we are facing the risk of (cross) contamination. That is not what you want because it can have serious consequences. Therefore, a sufficient solution is needed. What is a sufficient solution? Asking cleaning and IPC (infection prevention & control) professionals the feedback was that a solution must be hygienically safe, convenient to use, efficient and having a good cost-benefit ratio. The solution must be suitable for different types of fluids and having a superior absorption capacity. Baring that in mind, R&D engineers of Vileda Professional | Oates started to develop a solution and came up with the innovative SpillEx absorption mat Does SpillEx do what it should do? Yes, it does. Tests in long term care facilities and hospitals showed that the product is able to absorb (body)fluids in a safe and convenient way. Absorption can be up to 500 times of the weight, 50-60 times of the volume of the absorbing medium. The absorbing medium turns the (body)fluid into a solid gel. Because of this transformation process the fluid will not drip on the surface when you pick up the mat to throw it away in the (medical) trash bin. The PE foil on top side of the mat functions as a liquid barrier to prevent that you get in touch with the liquid. Absorption capacity depends on the type of fluid and is up to a maximum with water-based fluids. I prefer mopping up, it’s cheaper. That is a misunderstanding. Calculate how much it costs to empty the bucket, clean the bucket, rinse the dirty mop, re-fill the bucket with clean water and a detergent and in case of a body fluid, dry the equipment and disinfect. Common sense will tell you that mopping up is not cheaper and very tricky in case of body fluids. Calculation will prove it. It is cheaper, much more hygienic, and safer to absorb the fluid with a high-quality disposable mat and afterwards remove the remaining spot with a damp wet disposable mop or wipe.

Is it only for healthcare? No, absolutely not. Cleaners have SpillEx absorption mats as an emergency kit on their trolleys to be able to solve “accidents” quick and safe. Like a cup of coffee that felt on the floor or a glass of soft drink. I have also seen the product being used when de-icing a refrigerator or as a spillage absorbing mat when pouring fluids into bottles. There are many applications already and more to think of. Send us an e-mail with photo if you used SpillEx for an additional application. We will love it.

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ISS releases white paper on AI and future of facility services Facilities service organisation ISS has announced the release of a white paper that delves into the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in facility services; Rising Above the Noise: What Artificial Intelligence Means for the Built Office Environment. Authored with AI scientist Inma Martinez, the white paper provides actionable insights for deploying AI in the built office environment, elevating human potential and reshaping the future of workplaces. The white papery examines key components of a workplace, including: energy, building sustainability, workplace experience, talent attraction and retention, and information security. Each chapter culminates in key takeaways, offering a strategic roadmap for intertwining AI with core operations. “The built office environment is about to enter an exponential era of AI-driven products and services that will transform how we address the challenges ahead,” said Martinez. “This includes in sustainability and energy management, designing responsive, adaptable and scalable integrated services, and, perhaps most critically, in enabling a decentralised data architecture that allows for further optimisations”. Martinez currently serves as chair of the multi-stakeholder expert group and co-chair of the steering committee at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), a G7 and G20 global agency.

16 INCLEAN January / February 2024

Small businesses to receive cyber security boost The Federal Government has announced new measures to help boost cyber awareness and resilience for small businesses. Led by the Minister for Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, the forthcoming 20232030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy will include new support for small and medium businesses that are more vulnerable to the impacts of cyber incidents. As part of the strategy the government has committed $7.2 million to establish a voluntary cyber health-check program will allow businesses to undertake a free, tailored self-assessment of their cyber security maturity. It will also invest $11 million in the Small Business Cyber Resilience Service which will provide one-on-one assistance to help small businesses navigate their cyber challenges, including walking them through the steps to recover from a cyber-attack. O’Neil said the cyber security strategy will make sure the support is available to small businesses understand and improve their own cyber security. Luke Achterstraat, CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), said the practical initiatives were welcomed at a time when cyber risk remained a high concern for small business. “43 per cent of all cyber-crimes are targeted towards small businesses, with attacks costing the small business sector an estimated $2 billion a year. The average financial loss due to business-compromised email has risen to over $50,000 per incident which itself can be terminal for many small businesses,” Achterstraat said. “Small business owners and employees are time-poor and often inadequately prepared for cyber threats. These programs open the door for small businesses to have the cyber conversation, receive a diagnosis and be referred to appropriate courses of action.”


Something is in the air –

trends to expect in 2024

Cleaning companies and facility managers must respond to a range of opportunities and challenges in the next 12 months as they seek to gain an edge in complex markets


Words Cameron Cooper

s leaders weigh up the key issues facing the cleaning industry in 2024, some familiar terms will no doubt emerge – cleaning for health, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion among them. Dr Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, senior director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, welcomes any discussion of such concepts, but hopes the nuances around them will become more sophisticated next year. Cleaning for health must go to the next level as industry players embrace best-practice cleaning protocols and procedures as a way of mitigating exposure to pathogens. Sustainability should evolve from the simple recycling of plastic packaging to true product innovations that facilitate non-toxic, safe, and low-cost practices. Likewise, diversity, equity and inclusion should be seen as a positive chance to tap into a deeper talent pool and promote workplace cultures that enhance the reputation of cleaners as essential workers, rather than creating a backlash over recruitment strategies. “Predicting the trajectory of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is challenging, but they should all be focused on growing the success of the cleaning industry and cleaning companies,” Dr Macgregor-Skinner says. Such big issues will by no means be the only talking points in 2024. Following are some of the other topics that are likely to dominate the agenda.


The time has come for less talk and more action on indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings, according to Ivi Sims, co-founder of BULCS Holdings, a distributor of IAQ, ventilation and building restoration solutions. She hopes 2024 will be a breakout year as more organisations, including smaller businesses, embrace better ventilation, airpurification, and HEPA systems to improve air quality, while also seeking out readily available tools to properly measure IAQ. 18 INCLEAN January / February 2024

“There’s been a lot of talk about air quality in the past couple of years, but responses have been quite ad hoc,” Sims says. “But now we’re seeing some more proactive implementations of better ventilation systems in indoor spaces, which is a positive.” Sims is also emboldened that a key industry player, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Advanced Building Systems Against Airborne Infection Transmission, is ramping up research with the aim of reducing airborne infection transmission. The ARC has been a strong advocate for a ventilation revolution, noting that every year acute respiratory illnesses result in more than 2.7 million deaths globally and billions of dollars in economic losses. While some businesses have expressed concerns about the costs associated with improving IAQ, Sims believes a more coordinated and proactive approach – rather than kneejerk responses to government rules – can lead to better and more cost-effective outcomes for facility managers. “There’s a lot of wasted spending with reactive measures,” she says. “If we can take proactive measures, we can actually save money in the long run.” Brant Insero, chief global education officer at ISSA, has no doubt that IAQ will “become one of the single-most important topics when it comes to cleaning for health in the built environment”. “Ensuring that everyone understands how harmful pathogens are transmitted within the air and how to mitigate that risk will become critical to showing the value of cleaning for our communities,” he says. While IAQ has in the past been an afterthought, Insero says one of the key takeaways from COVID-19 and influenza outbreaks is that most people contracted COVID-19 from airborne transmission, followed by surface transmission. He adds that the catastrophic wildfires in Canada this year also put the focus on air quality and have prompted many government agencies in North America to implement new IAQ regulations. “This should spill over to Australia and will be a long-term trend, not specific to just 2024.”



IAQ initiatives and cleaning-for-health training will be key components of momentum towards healthy buildings in 2024, according to Dr Macgregor-Skinner. “Healthy buildings, healthy people – this is the vision,” he says. “The built environment is crucial to human health. In the US, indoor pollution is estimated to cause thousands of cancer deaths and hundreds of thousands of respiratory health problems each year. In addition, hundreds of thousands of children each year experience elevated blood levels resulting from their exposure to indoor pollutants.” As custodians of safety and health in the built environment, Dr Macgregor-Skinner says cleaning businesses must understand the reservoirs for germ survival and spread. To that end, they must clean for health, not just appearance or smell, through high standards that focus on the right procedures, training, equipment and tools. He believes a sciencebased approach to cleaning and facility management is required. “Until we understand the science behind cleaning, we cannot be a sustainable industry.” Education will be crucial, therefore. Dr MacgregorSkinner says that of the participants at the 55

Cleaning for Health workshops that GBAC and ISSA ran this year, 87 per cent had not participated in any sort of training activities in the past five years. About 95 per cent could not name the active ingredients, except water, in the cleaning products they used. “I draw an analogy with electricians,” Dr Macgregor-Skinner says. “If an electrician didn’t know what fuse they were going to use in a fuse box, what would happen? It’d fail. So, if a cleaning professional doesn’t understand that a cleaning product has certain ingredients and uses something that’s dangerous to the environment, that’s a real concern.” In line with a focus on healthy buildings, Oceania manager for ISSA Lauren Micallef also expects sustainability and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues to be firmly on the agenda in 2024, with strict regulations putting the pressure on cleaning companies to avoid greenwashing. “There is no doubt that companies have to be held accountable for their claims,” Micallef says. At the same time, they will be juggling staff shortages, wellbeing and career support for employees and striking a balance between playing their part in delivering healthy buildings while keeping down facility management costs.

Cleaning for health must go to the next level as industry players embrace best-practice cleaning protocols and procedures as a way of mitigating exposure to pathogens.

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Sustainability should evolve from the simple recycling of plastic packaging to true product innovations that facilitate non-toxic, safe, and low-cost practices.

“That’s going to require higher-level conversations with clients when it comes to assessing the value of cleaning,” Micallef says. Insero agrees that cleaning for health is “a consistent trend that may increase based on customer demand”. Given the high turnover of staff in the cleaning sector, he expects front-line certification programs to be crucial in the education space. Although it is not a training program as such, Insero says the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard Certification (CIMS) Green Building standard – a designation offering cleaning organisations a certification that establishes their capability to assist customers with achieving a greener clean – will dominate the global certification market for the cleaning industry within the next few years. “Businesses should jump on this now,” he says. “It takes time to achieve the certification and being able to say that you are part of a community that represents less than 1 per cent of the leading companies in the industry is something to hang your hat on.”


Although Lorraine Rogic, managing director of Logic Business Resources, hears constantly about staffing concerns in the cleaning and hygiene sector, she wants to flip the discussion on its head in 2024 as cleaning contractors prepare to address recruitment and retention strategies. “I really think there’s a cultural issue, rather than a staffing issue,” she says. “There are enough people who will apply for jobs, but are you picking the right people for the right reasons? And what are you doing to retain them?” If businesses can get their culture right, Rogic says they have every chance of minimising staff turnover. “People rarely move for money,” she says. “People move because of other people and because of culture.”

20 INCLEAN January / February 2024

Rogic encourages cleaning and hygiene businesses to move beyond tick-a-box training and complement respected education programs with employee mentoring initiatives. “Why aren’t we coaching?” she asks. “Why aren’t we upskilling? Why are cleaners not being upskilled and mentored into roles that provide a better career path? There’s a lack of people focus.” While practical and process-based cleaning skills can easily be taught, Rogic says cleaning contractors should seek out and cherish people with soft skills, including highly trained immigrants whose professional qualifications may not be recognised in Australia. “They can bring real value to an enterprise,” Rogic says. Melissa Behrend, director of HR on Call, says businesses in the cleaning and hygiene sector will require a two-pronged approach in 2024. “If you don’t want to lose your people, you really need to look at your retention strategies,” she says. “But, if you want to recruit people, you have to make it attractive for them to come to you.” Behrend advises cleaning contractors and facility managers to address five key points. First, do not ignore the remuneration factor. “For too many businesses, they’ve only got one tangible thing to compare their offering with competitors, and that’s money. With inflationary and cost-of-living pressures, money is still very important.” Second, to offset the potential over-reliance on wages for recruitment, she encourages creating genuine career paths for workers. “Really invest in your people,” Behrend says. “Giving them the ability to grow and develop is paramount. With a lot of millennials and Gen X and Gen Y, they want a very clear direction on where they can go.” Third, with the rise and rise of hybrid work, Behrend says there are competing tensions between bosses who want administrative employees back in

2024 TRENDS the office, and staff who crave flexibility in a post-pandemic workforce. “So, it’s all about negotiation between the two sides.” Fourth, business leaders need to be conscious of employees’ wellbeing needs, especially given new SafeWork Australia regulations that prescribe how businesses must identify and manage hazards and risks to workers’ psychological health and safety, including issues related to mental illness and sexual harassment. Fifth, business leaders need to understand workplace demographics and different generations and communicate constantly with them. Younger workers often only want to communicate via text, whereas older staff may need faceto-face contact. “Each generation can be very different, so you’ve got to use a multifaceted approach to contacting people,” Behrend says.


While the growth of robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies for

improved efficiency and effectiveness will continue to be a theme in the cleaning industry, it should not come at the expense of relationships that help businesses innovate and prosper. Micallef says companies and facility managers should not be adopting “tech for tech’s sake”. Rather, the key will be to integrate systems that harness the real power of technology, as well as partnering with the right entities that can deliver the best technology and technical support. “A common fear in the industry is the complexity of technology,” she says. “Therefore, from an adoption point of view, you must ensure that you choose the right partner who is ready and willing to offer technical support when you need it.” Appropriate training and education that enables people to deploy that technology properly will also be critical. “Technology helps you win business if you know how to use it,” Micallef says. At its best, AI models can detect and inform cleaning on a needs basis

within facilities, which in turn can have benefits such as less use of chemicals, lower costs and better health and safety of workers. However, Rogic say many businesses are feeling confused about the potential role of AI and believes its use in largely physical, hands-on roles such as cleaning may be of limited use in the next few years. She advises companies to favour technology that streamlines the business, from online booking platforms and finance and contract software to digital communication tools. “You don’t have to start doing dancing videos on TikTok, but using technology to help manage complaints or pay invoices makes a lot of sense,” she says. On a positive note, Insero says there has been a clear rise in the use of tools to measure data, including IAQ monitors, ATP meters, RFID tags and more specialised tests using DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction) meters that can determine how much friction exists on wet, level floors when walked on.

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Pitch perfect Getting contract pitches right in highly competitive cleaning markets will be crucial in 2024. Robin Hastings, managing director of bid consulting service PitchThis, warns that bidding can consume significant resources, with each pitch potentially costing in the order of $10,000 for larger companies chasing major contracts. Given that many companies lodge about 10 bids per month, the annual cost of pitches could hit about $1.2 million. “It really does add up,” Hastings says. “So, everybody needs to work out the cost of an average bid and ask themselves, ‘Do we really think we’ve got a chance? Is it worth spending $10,000, or are we better off putting that $10,000 into something that we know we’ve got a great chance of winning? ” Hastings advises companies to keep asking five key questions: • Should we even pitch for a contract? • What is the offer? • Will our bid score well and get shortlisted? • Have we used document layout to support key messages? • Do we know why we won or lost? Hastings says two key elements make for a good bid – a deep knowledge of your prospect or client; and having a clear understanding of their pain points and operational needs. “These elements aren’t readily available on the internet, so you can’t just hand it over to ChatGPT.” She says the pitch should not be about “pushy sales tactics”, but rather about solving problems for clients. She likes to build pitch templates from scratch and incorporate the prospective customer’s logo and colours into the bid document, along with creating an eyecatching bid layout that portrays the bid and brand in the best light for all stakeholders. The design should create a strong first impression and contribute to readability and key message retention. Hastings advises targeting one or two major prospects with bids, or a particular sector of the cleaning and hygiene space, rather than trying to “boil the whole ocean”. “You might say, ‘We’re going to work with hospitals or with government’. Just pick one to start with and be strategic about building up relationships with the right people. The more that you can demonstrate that you understand their issues and that your solution matches their issues, the less you compete on price.” 22 INCLEAN January / February 2024

Predicting the trajectory of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is challenging, but they should all be focused on growing the success of the cleaning industry and cleaning companies

“We are becoming data driven,” Insero says. “However, while data-driven decisions are important, the market is becoming increasingly fragmented with devices. Open AI and connectivity options are increasing in popularity, but we have not seen a single-source system that is taking over the world, and many facility managers are becoming overwhelmed by the increase in software systems and tracking tools.” Insero expects market consolidation to occur. He is also excited at the potential of iris recognition scanning for security purposes in the built environment which can better control access to buildings, track traffic trends in such spaces and offer non-contact and more hygienic identification options for cleaners and other workers. “The power it can unleash to save lives and transform cleaning is amazing,” Insero says. Looking ahead, Dr Macgregor-Skinner believes cleaning contractors should also be seeking out tools that let them work faster and safer, including devices that speed up cleaning and deliver better disinfection results when used properly.


As 2024 unfolds, Micallef believes companies that embrace an “innovative mindset” with elements such as technology, product development and client engagement will have an edge. “It’s all about listening to clients and their needs,” she says. As cleaning contractors and facility managers deal with inevitable challenges, Micallef says ISSA will be there to provide education, training and support through webinars, online channels and the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo. “We want to make sure that we keep the market up to date with the latest information.” Rather than viewing post-pandemic markets as particularly challenging, Insero urges cleaning industry participants to be bold. “I see an opportunity for companies to take time, in a post-chaos period like the pandemic, to find global expansion opportunities,” he says. “There are many underserved markets that need help to create healthy environments, and which have a massive lack of resources. Expansion globally will be a huge opportunity for many.” To maximise prospects, Insero suggests engaging with “other like-minded professionals” as a means of developing personally and professionally. “We’re in an extremely supportive community and there is no better place than ISSA to get connected globally. Join councils, attend training sessions, attend trade shows, and simply plug into the global cleaning community. There is no better place to be!” ■


Industry Leaders Forum


“Artificial Intelligence will be all anybody is talking about regarding big global trends of 2024. It was almost nonexistent in most sectors in 2022, however, the end of 2023 saw many businesses embracing it to maximise the quality of their work in many parts of their respective businesses. The ability for companies to access so many data points with a click of a button allows streamlined processes in so many parts of all businesses and will fundamentally change the way many roles are conducted.”

“2024 will be a balancing act across the entire market, as the industry focuses on simultaneous challenges including labour issues, staff shortages, increased cleaning requirements, technological advancements, and a focus around ESG initiatives. As a result, higher level conversations with clients will be important when it comes to assessing the value of cleaning.” Lauren Micallef, Oceania Manager, ISSA

Lucas Paris, Managing Director – Australia, MotorScrubber

INDUSTRY LEADERS PREDICT 2024 TRENDS Some of the key trends to watch have been identified within this year’s Industry Leaders Forum

24 INCLEAN January / February 2024

“In a word, consolidation. The last two years have shifted the market and economic environments. I do not believe we will be heading back to the same conditions as before 2020 any time soon, so companies will need to learn how to operate under these new conditions. They will have to find the value in systems and technology they have now, rather than spend big on new investments. Staff will stick around for longer, so invest in their knowledge and productivity.” Mark Fermor, General Manager APAC, TEAM Software by Workwave


“Our customers are continually evolving in their needs and sophistication, and anything that will create efficiencies or benefits for them is how we see the market trending. These trends will focus on sustainability, innovation, and automation.” Wayne Hill, CEO, RapidClean

“I think we will see the market further normalise in 2024 with customers losing some of the pandemic focus on infection prevention. Staff shortages will continue with low unemployment. Increasing robotic usage with decreasing costs, automation and the introduction of AI will continue to make inroads in the industry.” Darran Leyden, Managing Director, Whiteley Corporation

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“The most significant trend is the increased use of technology, such as automation and data analytics, to improve efficiency and productivity. Also, the adoption of green cleaning practices to promote sustainability and minimise environmental impact. Another trend is a greater emphasis on compliance and ethical practices, including the use of worker-friendly cleaning products and fair labour practices.” Kim Puxty, CEO, BSCAA

“The silver lining of the Covid epidemic was that the value of the cleaning industry became very salient, as were the many complexities inherent in the industry. There has been a drift away from that with the prevalence of work from home and economic threats taking the centre stage that was abandoned by Covid. However, the opportunity now is for Vivid to play a key role in partnering with our clients to ‘earn the commute’ of their people.” Daniel Carpenter, CEO, Vivid Property Services

“2023 was all about clamping down on greenwashing by increased transparency and this will continue into 2024. We will be developing practical industry guidance on greenwashing to ensure our industry stays on the right side of consumer law. Closely related, disclosure will be another big sustainability trend. In the EU and the US, mandatory sustainability reporting is already a reality for many businesses and Australia is set to follow suit.” Bronwyn Capanna, Executive Director, Accord Australasia

26 INCLEAN January / February 2024


“More businesses and customers are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility towards environmental matters and sustainability.”

“As we look toward 2024, we anticipate resourcing to be a continual challenge in a market where unemployment rates reach unprecedented lows. Additionally, the weight of logistics costs continues to place immense pressure across the industry.”

Mark Piwkowski, CEO, Quayclean Australia

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“Thanks in part to our campaigning to the government, the Right to Repair movement is now being recognised within the cleaning industry. We hope that this will only grow and that businesses will start to realise that there is no circular economy without repair.” Lisa Michalson, Director, Cleanstar/XPOWER

“Maintaining a high standard of clean is just as important as ever, and we need to ensure that we continue to promote the value and importance of the cleaning industry.” Joe Camilleri, Managing Director, Central Cleaning Supplies

“Sustainable products that are ethically sourced will continue to be a trend in 2024. This includes the use of more recycled plastic (instead of virgin plastic) in the products we produce but also how they are packaged. Reducing unsustainable components and taking any other steps that can reduce our overall carbon footprint are no longer becoming a trend, but a necessity to meet customer and community expectations.” Gerard Searl, Sales Director, Sabco Professional

“Artificial intelligence is getting enormous coverage, especially across mainstream business and trade media. We’re still trying to comprehend all that AI can and, in the future, will allow people to do, but I can see opportunities to use it to improve operator training, whether it be through language translation or generation of specific relevant images and video.” Steve Agar, Joint Managing Director, Agar Cleaning Systems 28 INCLEAN January / February 2024

“For manufacturers in the commercial cleaning industry, I expect to see in 2024 a growing demand for the refurbishment and trade of used machines. In the current economic climate, businesses may well consider the expense of investing in new equipment prohibitive, and instead seek to extend the working life of their existing equipment, or perhaps purchase refurbished equipment.” Tony Antonious, Managing Director and Owner, Polivac International

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“The growing trend is the integration of robotic technology. Robots excel at executing routine and repetitive tasks with heightened efficiency compared to human counterparts. Operating without breaks, they can cover expansive areas in a short timeframe, thereby boosting overall productivity. While the upfront investment in cleaning robots may be substantial, the long-term financial gains can be significant. Robots have the potential to reduce labour costs, and their maintenance expenses may prove to be more economical over time compared to employing a human workforce. The trend is driven by the desire for increased efficiency, cost savings, and improved safety measures, making cleaning robots an increasingly integral part of modern cleaning operations.”

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Michelle Miles, ANZ Country Lead, Diversey ANZ 29


Bronwyn Capanna

Executive Director, Accord Australasia

How was 2023 for Accord? What were the highlights?

2023 was bustling with activity for Accord! In late 2022 our board reviewed the framework that guides our association and in 2023 we launched our refreshed strategic plan. This plan is guided by four key pillars: Industry Productivity & Innovation, Advocacy & Partnerships, Social & Environmental Sustainability, and Member Value. 2023 has been defined by the proactive implementation of this new plan to ensure we continue to be an indispensable resource for our members and to help lead our industry towards a future that is not just promising but purpose driven. This wasn’t our only launch in 2023. We released several useful resources for members including the well-received information paper, ‘Climate Change: Information Paper & the Case for Action’, resulting benchmarking survey, and four new profiling infographics including a case study on the sanitisers, disinfectants, and cleaning products sector. Face-to-face events in the post-COVID era are always a highlight. We held several successful events including our Sustainability Seminar and three industry leaders’ networking dinners with special guests ranging from the outgoing and incoming TGA Heads and the Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing, Senator Tim Ayres. Our annual Canberra Day seminar was the best attended yet. Each year, Canberra Day brings together government and industry for valuable updates on the policy-regulatory reform landscape affecting our industry. This year we also included our inaugural industry showcase, where industry leaders demonstrated to our government colleagues our sector’s sustainability and innovation credentials, the value of local manufacturing and investment, as well as insights into challenges and opportunities facing our industry. Collaboration and partnerships will be essential to meeting the challenges facing us all and these can only flourish when both industry and government gain a better mutual understanding.

What are Accord’s main priorities for 2024?

With our strategic plan as our roadmap, we have many exciting activities planned for 2024. Industry-specific training is something members can’t get enough of, so we’re bringing back our highly popular Regulatory Basics course. Staying connected with our members and delivering on our commitment to expanding services and information through events, networking and site visits are always top priorities. As is promoting the essential nature of our industry’s products and the collective achievements of our members on pressing sustainability challenges. 30 INCLEAN January / February 2024

Waste reduction remains firmly on the agenda, with Accord and our members committed to responsible action and leadership in addressing the packaging challenge for our sector. We’ll explore options to increase the reuse/recycling of I&I cleaning product packaging, as well as communicating Member achievements via a new Infographic. We will also support members to progress on climate action.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders in the cleaning industry?

During our 2023 Canberra Day Industry Leaders’ Panel, we asked, ‘What keeps you up at night?’ From the horse’s mouth, the biggest challenges facing leaders in our industry include the rising cost of doing business, distilling the relevant sustainability priorities and practical responses for their businesses, and the regulatory burden arising from unique Australian requirements. Members spend huge amounts of time, effort, and dollars to ensure they are compliant. For many leaders, the small size of the Australian market makes this difficult to justify. Related to this, noncompliant/anti-competitive products on the market was another issue raised by our panel. Accord will continue to leverage the positive working relationships we’ve cultivated with government colleagues, many of whom were in the audience for Canberra Day, to find workable solutions to address these concerns on behalf of our industry.

What do you expect to be the big sustainability trends of 2024?

2023 was all about clamping down on greenwashing by increased transparency and this will continue into 2024. We will be developing practical industry guidance on greenwashing to ensure our industry stays on the right side of consumer law. Closely related, disclosure will be another big sustainability trend. In the EU and the US, mandatory sustainability reporting is already a reality for many businesses and Australia is set to follow suit. While the proposals for mandatory reporting indicate size thresholds will apply, all businesses from SMEs to multinationals should be taking steps to track their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data. We’ve seen before with modern slavery reporting, for example, that SMEs not obligated to report have been asked by larger customers about their supply chains, as part of that customer’s obligations to mitigate risks across their value chain. The commercial reality is that it’s not enough to say ‘the requirements don’t apply to me’, particularly where ESG is concerned. We’ll provide information and guidance to our Members on these contemporary expectations of businesses. n

hygiene, personal care & specialty products industry

Executive Chairman Whiteley Corporation

I thoroughly recommend membership of Accord−the benefits for our business have been immeasurable

Chris Short

Managing Director Dominant

Fit For Food promotes the essentiality of food hygiene products and is a fantastic tool for the hospitality industry

Greg Whiteley

Accord helps lift the profile of our company and our industry as a whole

Brad Macdougall Managing Director True Brands

Membership: an invaluable business investment


• Targeted updates and alerts

• Member-only information papers

• Sustainability programs and resources

• Events, networking and industry-specific training

• Expert, specialty industry advice on regulatory, policy, media and other industry-related matters • An amplified industry voice on key issues to senior government and elected officials • Industry statistics and benchmarking to help gauge performance

Contact Steph Hollands for an obligation-free enquiry about membership for your company:


Steve Agar

Joint Managing Director, Agar Cleaning Systems

How was 2023 for Agar?

It’s been another good year of steady growth in revenue and volume. Our sales have been spread across a wide range of products, but it’s the popular ‘hero’ products that continue to do well. The things that please us most are the positive comments we get back from the market about our products and delivery fulfilment. On the new release front, our new formula CleanSave range has been added to our licence with GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia), which means we now offer concentrated products with excellent environmental credentials in convenient 2.4L bottles with closed loop inserts to prevent free pouring. We’ve maintained our accreditation to ISO9001 following our triennial audit, which means we’ve been externally certified to a quality management system for 27 years. Behind the scenes, we’ve made some important additions to our team which has injected new ideas, improved our productivity, and thereby our capacity for higher volume without needing to expand our facility.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

As satisfied as we are with our business currently, we still have plenty of scope to make it even better, including harnessing the improvements to further raise our service levels, and feed organic growth. We’re cautious about releasing new products without a strong business case, and the feedback we receive is that Agar users don’t want to see too many new products because their cleaning staff are trained in, set-up for, and accustomed to using those we have now. We don’t stand still though; a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure we maintain high and consistent quality in these products and improve them where we can. 32 INCLEAN January / February 2024

After 55 years in the game, our range is quite mature and has benefited from a lot of feedback and ideas from customers and product users. The products work well as a result. We continue to receive ideas from cleaning operators who are trying to adapt to the changing marketplace, whether it be to compliment new cleaning machinery and equipment, or to suit changing surface materials in buildings. New chemical technology is steadily coming through from our raw materials suppliers, and we actively assess the potential of these materials for use in formulations which can achieve real-world benefits over our current offering. Where a strong benefit can be seen for a broad enough audience, we’ll look carefully at the business case for a new product release.

What do you see as the most significant opportunities and challenges in the cleaning industry? How can the industry leverage or address these?

Starting with the challenges, from what I’m told, obtaining, and retaining cleaning staff is an ongoing challenge even now, well after the strict pandemic conditions have eased. With a high demand for staff and limited number of experienced cleaners available, many new cleaning hires require substantial training to be productive and to work safely. COVID has not gone away, and with the real possibility of other outbreaks, cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace remain vitally important. At the same time, tightening economic conditions are placing more emphasis on the price of cleaning contracts, so once again it’s a question of how to do more with less. Therein lies the opportunity. Addressing these challenges better than others, utilising new technology in operations and administration, to be more efficient

and demonstrate that the cleaning service is delivering on the promise, providing hygienic facilities.

Are there any key sustainability targets Agar has made for 2024?

We expect to achieve more improvements in sustainability, especially with product formulation, product systems which minimise the amount of packaging waste, and the suitability of packaging for re-use or recycling. We also continue to review our processes from a holistic perspective to find more efficiency and reduce energy consumption.

What’s your leadership philosophy?

Our people spend more time together than they do with family and friends, so that must be acknowledged, and we value the commitment with the professional part of their lives they make to our business. It’s vital that our team across production, logistics, sales, marketing, technical and admin all understand our higher purpose. This is articulated as a common goal and we highlight why what we do is important and needs to be done properly, from the helicopter view down to every single transaction. For me personally, I wouldn’t ask a team member to do something I wouldn’t do myself, and I try to set the tone morally and ethically as an example for the team. As a rule, with anything contentious that comes up, I like to focus on the issue, not the person, and ask that anyone in our team does the same. It’s important that issues don’t become personal, and that we emerge from any challenging conversation with some useful progress made and our dignity intact.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Thank you to those who support us and the Agar brand. I trust we contribute to your success. n

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Warwick Lorenz

General Manager, Australian Pump Industries (Aussie Pumps)

How was 2023 for Aussie Pumps?

and demand for shipping products. We’re already seeing results, Last year Australian Pump Industries celebrated 30 years in with the new team stimulating our dealer network and spreading business. It gave me a chance to reflect on the progress we the message about our commitment to quality. have made since starting in just a double garage at the back of a On the product development front, that never ceases here at property in the Hills district suburb of Sydney, Arcadia. Starting Aussie Pumps. We are always looking for ways to improve and from not one dollar of turnover, the aim of the original four enhance our product line up. employees was to provide the users with better outcomes from innovative products that were based on market feedback. How does Aussie Pumps plan to innovate to meet the That may seem like an obvious thing to do but at the time, we evolving needs and expectations of customers? could see there was a degree of exhaustion in some manufacturers We’ve seen a significant move to hot water pressure cleaners both of cleaning equipment in Australia. Within one and a half years electric drive and engine drive units. Many customers appreciate we had to move to a 2 ½ acre site at Castle Hill and set about that cleaning with hot water saves times, reduces the amount of developing a range of hot and cold high pressure washers that we chemicals used, and delivers a better cleaning result with faster believe are the best in the world. drying times. 28 years on our production has now grown to the point where There has been a perception that hot water machines can be our Castle Hill premises is no longer fit for purpose. 2024 will difficult to maintain. Aussie has worked hard to overcome this be a breakout year for us. As I by developing machines that are write this, we are in the process robust and designed specifically of moving to a new, purposed for the Australian market. designed facility in Norwest which Take our Sizzler Hot Wash A major accomplishment has been the will see a revolution in the way we for example. We’ve designed a build our pressure cleaners. revolutionary machine that runs launch of our pressure cleaning safety The new, larger factory with training program, “Aussie Safe Operator” on a four-pole electric motor and integrated test room and special a slow-speed 1,450 rpm pump, but many customers are calling it areas for large builds, will enable delivering 1,800 psi pressure at “Get Home Safe”. us to continue to grow and 80°C. The 80°C temperature melts improve our production efficiency. grease, removes chewing gum, The oversize warehouse and office and tackles some graffiti. All of space will enable us to increase the this is housed in a stainless-steel sales support team and house stock on the one site. We are excited cover and a steel chassis frame with four wheels with flat-free tires to take this ‘tiger by the tail’ and fully understand the challenges for easy movement. The product is now a fixture in the market, and opportunities this opens. popular because of its exceptional features that protect both the In 2023 we also saw an increase in our export sales and operator and the machine. expansion of our overseas dealer network. New dealers have been A major accomplishment has also been the launch of our set up in Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the Middle East. We’re pressure cleaning safety training program, “Aussie Safe Operator” seeing an acknowledgement of the quality of what we do from but many customers are calling it “Get Home Safe”. the market worldwide, and we’re proud that a relatively small We set out to encourage safety in the workplace when it comes manufacturing operation in Australia can take on some of the to the use of pressure cleaners. Even the lightweight machines giants of the industry and win. from hardware stores can be dangerous if used improperly. The online course also encourages routine maintenance and What are the company’s main priorities for 2024? assists the operator or service technician understand why they Aussie Pumps is setting out on a huge expansion program for are doing those simple checks. 2024. We have already brought on board an expanded sales team We encourage all cleaning operators and maintenance staff and have been really impressed with the progress the new team working with pressure cleaners, irrespective of their size and members have made. capacity, to log into our Safe Operator Training Program. It’s Obviously, we’ll also be building up our numbers of production essential for all in the industry to understand the importance and store staff to facilitate the increases in assembly of machines of safety. n

34 INCLEAN January / February 2024


Kim Puxty

CEO, Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA)

How was 2023 for BSCAA?

BSCAA had a successful year, with several highlights. One was the launch of the Prequalified Contractor Assessment, which is independently undertaken by iPRO. It ensures each cleaning contractor that undergoes the assessment complies with all industrial relations law throughout Australia, that cleaner’s remuneration and entitlements along with their work terms and conditions abide or exceed the Modern Award, as well as promote responsible industry practices. This was complemented by the HR Health Check, audited by BDO. In 2023, BSCAA’s new constitution made it possible for the association to begin the transition from a state-based organisation to a single federal entity. This move enables BSCAA to align its priorities, goals, and resources nationwide and to serve its members’ needs more efficiently. It also ensures BSCAA has a stronger, united, and unified voice when advocating for the interests of the industry. BSCAA worked with the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) to review and enhance the Code of Conduct which fosters and promotes a culture of compliance amongst cleaning contractors that provide services to shopping centres.

What are BSCAA’s main priorities for 2024?

One of BSCAA’s main priorities is increasing our advocacy work with government, both state and Commonwealth. This is important for BSCAA members so that their interests and concerns are heard and addressed at the policy level. By establishing stronger communication with government, BSCAA can advocate for programs that benefit both the cleaning industry and wider community, such as increased funding for training and development, fair competition, and compliance without burdensome regulation. The aim as always is to create a more level playing field within the industry

and promote responsible practices which ultimately benefit BSCAA members, their clients, and the public.

What are the biggest challenges facing the cleaning industry?

Arguably the most significant challenge facing the cleaning industry continues to be the constant pressure on contractors to lower their prices by clients who are often driven solely by cost considerations. This emphasis on cost-cutting leads to essential cleaning services being devalued and can foster unethical business practices. For instance, contractors are pressured to resort to substandard methods including engaging workers inappropriately, reducing the necessary time needed to undertake the work, and using inferior cleaning products and poorly maintained equipment. Unfortunately, constant cost cutting not only harms the quality of service provided but also the reputation of the industry. Instead, clients should be encouraged to seek out transparent pricing and be aware and understand exactly what they are paying for, and especially the hours cleaners are working and the full cost of their wages and legal entitlements. A price that seems too low should raise a red flag as it may indicate that the contractor is cutting corners and/or using unethical methods to offer cheap cleaning services. The issue can be addressed with the industry focusing on educating clients about the significance of quality service and the benefits of investing in reputable cleaning contractors. Clients should be made aware of what is considered an ethical contract price and how to evaluate the quality of service provided by a contractor. For their part, contractors should promote and demonstrate their ethical practices and compliance with industry standards, this can be done through the independent iPRO Prequalification Contractor Assessment.

What are the most significant opportunities for the industry?

Increasingly there are opportunities for businesses to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and improve their operations further. AI-powered tools can help streamline cleaning processes, reduce costs, and enhance the overall quality of service. For example, AI algorithms can analyse data to optimise cleaning schedules and routes, predict equipment maintenance, and provide real-time feedback on cleaning performance. To best leverage these opportunities, the cleaning industry needs to invest in AI technology and learn how to use it effectively. Businesses can start by identifying areas where AI can add significant value, such as scheduling, resource allocation, quality control, and customer service. AI has the potential to enhance service quality, reduce costs, and achieve higher customer satisfaction levels, giving them a competitive edge in the market.

Do you have a message for the industry?

In the cleaning industry, it can be difficult for clients to understand the true cost of providing high-quality, ethical cleaning services. This cost includes complying with legislative requirements and engaging cleaners ethically. Even though these practices are necessary to ensure a reputable and valued service, they come at a price. My message is to both cleaning contractors and all business that use the services of cleaning contractors. It is essential for industry professionals to educate clients on the importance of investing in reputable cleaning contractors and promoting ethical practices. Clients in turn need to invest time to learn and understand the true cost of the services they expect to receive. Only together can we ensure responsible industry practices and promote transparency and compliance. n 35


Joe Camilleri

Managing Director, Central Cleaning Supplies

How was 2023 for Central?

2023 was another hugely successful year for Central Cleaning Supplies. Off the back of a strong 2022, we reported another year of revenue growth in 2023. We also continued to expand our product range from leading local and international brands, such as LionsBot, Camill, and Willmop, and secured major contracts across the country in key sectors including retail, education, and mining. One of the highlights was the expansion of the LionsBot range. There are now more than 250 LionsBot robots in operation across the country. In 2023, we introduced the latest LionsBot machines including the R12 Rex CS, R3 Vac, R3 Scrub Pro and the MagicTag. The R12 Rex CS, R3 Vac, R3 Scrub Pro are professional-grade vacuuming and scrubbing robots, while the MagicTag enables the R3 machines to become ‘Zero Click’. Our fleet of Camill electric utility vehicles also performed very strongly in 2023. We’ve added a large range of new models and Camill electric utility vehicles were deployed at major events including the Grand Prix and the Australian Open. Camill vehicles are designed with the user in mind and a key point of difference with our fleet is the customisation we can offer our customers. Camill vehicles can be custom branded and fitted with tailored configurations and add-ons such as additional carpet cleaning equipment and pressure washers. The vehicles are available in a variety of seating capacity, as well as optional lithium battery to extend the vehicle’s run time. We have more innovations coming out within the Camill range of electric utility vehicles in 2024, so watch this space!

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline for 2024, with many new products currently in development. However, top of mind for us is our focus on sustainability and our social responsibility as a business. It’s important for us to align ourselves with organisations that share similar company values. We recently acquired an Indigenous cleaning supplies company and we are thrilled to be working alongside them in 2024. 36 INCLEAN January / February 2024

This organisation aims to deliver environmentally sustainable cleaning supplies as well as close a loop between education and the employment of Indigenous youth and we are very proud to be partnering with this company to facilitate further opportunities for Indigenous Australians. We will be sharing more about this partnership with the market in early 2024. At Central, we believe sustainability isn’t a success until it supports and adds value to your business. We ensure that our environmental responsibility remains at the core of our business approach, which is why we will also be expanding our range of sustainable and environmentally friendly products in 2024. We will also be opening new showrooms and distribution centres in 2024. It’s important to us that our customers have access to the latest products wherever they are located and our national network of sites ensures we provide greater coverage, convenience and service to all customers.

What do you see as the most significant opportunities and challenges in the cleaning industry? How can the industry leverage or address these?

While we might be living ‘post-pandemic’ it doesn’t mean that we should take our eye off the ball when it comes to cleaning and hygiene standards. Maintaining a high standard of clean is just as important as ever and we need to ensure that we continue to promote the value and importance of the cleaning industry. We are seeing greater adoption of automation and robotics in Australia and there’s a lot of talk about the use of Artificial Intelligence and how it can be implemented in the cleaning industry. Being able to verify and validate cleaning coverage has become a strategic part of business and autonomous machines are able to offer a data-driven solution for this demand from customers, however, there’s no point implementing this type of technology if users don’t understand it. New technology should not be implemented for technology’s sake, therefore it’s important to choose the right partner that will provide ongoing education, training, support, and maintenance.


Many suppliers have a ‘set and forget’ attitude when it comes to new equipment and technology, but at Central we’re very proud of the level of after-sales training, service and support that we give to our customers.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Central has made for 2024?

Sustainability will be a key focus for us in 2024. Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are wanting to align themselves with brands that share similar values and beliefs. Not only that, but consumers are seeking transparency from the brands they buy from and our customers are also expecting that same level of disclosure. In 2023, we partnered with several leading sustainable brands, which has been a great success. In 2024, we will be continuing to look for opportunities with brands that share our commitment to sustainable practices. In 2024 our focus as a business will be not only on expanding our environment friendly ranges, but also finding sustainable

alternatives to traditional materials. Last year, we launched our first 100 per cent recycled plastic janitorial cart. We have also released a range of bamboo-based products. Bamboo boasts a remarkably low environmental impact, reducing reliance on materials with higher environmental footprints. We believe that embracing more sustainable materials such as recycled plastic and bamboo can lead us towards a more sustainable future, where responsible material choices contribute to a healthier planet. While we continue to grow as a business, it’s vital for us to never lose focus on client delivery and the high level of service that our customers have come to expect from us. It can be a common pitfall of businesses to forget the basics of customers service and our level of service and support is something we are incredibly proud of at Central. As an industry, we also should not undervalue what we do. We need to continue to reinforce the value of clean and the vital role that the cleaning industry plays in everyone’s lives every day. n

We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline for 2024, with many new products currently in development. However, top of mind for us is our focus on sustainability and our social responsibility as a business. ww


Lisa Michalson

Director, Cleanstar/XPOWER

How was 2023 for Cleanstar/XPOWER?

The number one highlight of 2023 would have to be the phenomenal response that we received after we showcased our new, soon to be released battery powered floor brush called the ACTIV8 at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo. After eight years of hard work, design changes, and a significant investment, it was incredible to see everyone’s reactions to this world first product. This tool will cut down the cleaner’s time by half and revolution the industry. We will be introducing this into the Australian market early in 2024 and then the international market. Exciting times ahead! In terms of challenges, the global economy is tough, and Australia has plenty of challenges that we need to be aware of and reactive to. We must also understand that Australia is affected by global financial trends and our industry must work together to keep it strong.

What do you expect to be the big floorcare trends of 2024?

Our ACTIV8 battery powered floor brush, in our opinion, will be the most important floor care trend for 2024. This revolutionary tool has been designed in Australia for the operator to clean in a figure eight mopping motion using both hands and standing upright. This allows to the user to cover the surface area quickly and immensely improving productivity.

What do you expect to be the big sustainability trends of 2024?

Our number one priority is always our customers, servicing them well and providing them with the latest innovations, quality products, and good supply.

Cleanstar/XPOWER (along with INCLEAN) has always been an advocate for the Right to Repair in Australia. Thanks in part to our campaigning to the government, the Right to Repair movement is now being recognised within the cleaning industry. We hope that this will only grow and that businesses will start to realise that there is no circular economy without repair. Repair rather than dispose and create waste. The government is looking closely to introducing a Right to Repair Law in Australia, following Europe and America’s lead in assisting to reduce waste back into the environment.

How does Cleanstar/XPOWER plan to adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Cleanstar/XPOWER has made for 2024?

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

The cleaning industry is ever evolving and as a business we must keep up and be ahead of the trends within the sector and continue to look to cater for other industries (with our wide variety of products). With the innovation of the ACTIV8 floor brush, we are also working on some other new and exciting products set to launch in 2024.

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry?

Our industry is blessed as cleaning is required in all industries, businesses and homes and we need to make sure that we make consumers aware of what we offer and to maintain the importance of cleaning, hygiene, and good air quality (especially after the pandemic).

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

I believe companies will be looking for ways to mitigate the current global financial situation. Products such as our ACTIV8 battery powered floor brush (that significantly boost productivity and cut cleaning time down by 50 per cent) will be sought out more and more as we look for cost saving measures that won’t compromise the quality of the service provided. 38 INCLEAN January / February 2024

As a brand owner we have been working towards APCO’s packaging targets for 2025 by removing polystyrene and reducing the number of raw materials in our packaging. We will also continue our work with the Right to Repair movement are we’re hoping to see the government start to action some of the recommendations handed down in the Productivity Commission’s report on the Right to Repair. We will also continue to expand our range of compostable products with our Bonnie Bio range which currently ranges bin liners and gloves.

What is your leadership philosophy?

I am the same person in my professional and personal life. Therefore, my leadership style is the same as my personal style. Be good to people, respect them, give them opportunities, lift people up, and then you get the best out of them and it also makes me happy.

Do you have a message for the industry?

We are a strong industry, and we all need to support Australian businesses and brands. Australian innovation must always be supported and encouraged. n


Michelle Miles

ANZ Country Lead, Diversey ANZ

How was 2023 for Diversey? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

In August 2023 I was delighted to announce my appointment as the Australian and New Zealand Country Lead for Diversey. With more than 12 years of experience within the global Diversey team, working in various countries, including South Africa and New Zealand, I am eager to embrace my new role and propel the Diversey ANZ business. In Australia, we have expanded our operations with a new plant in Victoria, enhancing our ability to serve key markets. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in the last few years, our focus remains on meeting the needs of our customers with improved solutions and products that position them for success in the marketplace. Diversey ANZ also entered its second year of developing our local manufacturing facility in Victoria, and throughout 2023, we continued to broaden our locally insourced product range while maintaining the highest standards of quality. The ongoing operation of this manufacturing facility has enabled us to reduce dependence on global supply chains, offering increased security for our ANZ customers. A notable achievement has been our progress toward obtaining Eco Label Certifications in AU, an initiative that we plan to extend to many of our products in the coming year. This strategic move further fortifies our portfolio, demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and product excellence.

What are Diversey ANZ’s main priorities for 2024?

In the dynamic landscape of our business, we are not only focused on delivering outstanding products but also on fostering the development of our people. Our commitment extends beyond dayto-day operations to encompass customer engagement, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed their expectations. Recognising the importance of staying ahead, we consistently evaluate our product offerings, proactively preparing for increased tender opportunities in 2023, and actively seeking innovative solutions that set us apart. This comprehensive strategy underscores our commitment to excellence, reflected in both the quality of our products and the exceptional experiences we offer to our valued customers. Another primary focus for the ANZ team lies in ‘insourcing’ and sustainability, aimed at strengthening our supply chain capabilities. In 2023, we completed the upgrade of our new manufacturing facility. This enhancement allowed us to continue investing in innovative solutions, with infection prevention taking centre stage—a sector we foresee as consistently growing. Simultaneously, our dedication extends to advancing sustainability 40 INCLEAN January / February 2024

initiatives. The evident demand for sustainable formulations and packaging reflects not only our business strategy but also resonates with the trajectory of the market.

Will Diversey ANZ be launching any new products or entering new catergories in 2024?

In Diversey ANZ we are gearing up to launch Gausium Robotics in 2024. Partnering with TASKI, we will introduce the TASKI GS Ecobot series featuring advanced cleaning robots like the Ecobot 50 scrubber drier and Ecobot 40 vacuum sweeper. Supported by our global service infrastructure, these robots have already proven effective in diverse facilities worldwide, delivering professional and consistent cleaning services. This collaboration underscores our commitment to sustainable and intelligent cleaning solutions, aiming to enhance efficiency while prioritising environmental and health considerations. The launch anticipates a significant advancement in cutting-edge cleaning technology. We will also be introducing our ‘SURE’ professional plant-based cleaning range—ideal for customers striving for eco-friendly solutions, sustainability goals and focused on employee safety. The circular design of SURE reduces environmental impact through natural ingredients and promotes reuse. SURE offers efficacy comparable to traditional options without compromising time and costs. Our 100 per cent biodegradable products prioritise safety, free from artificial additives and formulated for the lowest hazard classifications

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Diversey ANZ has made for 2024?

Our primary environmental impact lies in our products and solutions, supporting customers in waste prevention, water conservation, energy savings, and health protection. Diversey is committed to sustainable practices, aiming to measure, and offset our consumption impact across key indicators such as energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gases. Our goals include achieving Net Positive status by 2050, ensuring all packaging contributes to a circular economy by 2030, reaching net-zero carbon emissions in operations by 2050 with a science-based target set in 2024, prioritising water stewardship, and focusing on waste reduction.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Our cleaning and hygiene customers are experiencing shifts in their needs and sophistication. As an industry, our emphasis should be on initiatives that deliver tangible benefits to our customers. Currently, the primary focus should centre around sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and ongoing safety measures for intellectual property. n


Andrea Grassini

General Manager Professional AU/NZ, Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions

How was 2023 for Freudenberg?

The Australian market is high potential for the company. We have a strong leadership position in our categories with our brands Oates, Vileda Professional, Research Products, and we foresee significant growth in the next years. During 2023 we revised the organisation and the strategy to be “Future Shaping” and disrupt our category. Our new purpose is to lead and empower a high performing team to increase the strategic partnership with our key stakeholders by offering the best innovative and sustainable cleaning solution for the end-users.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

Our main priority for next year is our people. The first step to be successful is to enable the team to execute the new 2024 strategy. We want to increase our consultative approach towards end-users focusing on offering the best cost-in-use solutions via a new sustainable range and some important innovations in the different customer groups/categories. The acquisition of Vermop in 2023 has given us the opportunity to boost our innovation plans for the years to come.

How does Freudenberg plan to adapt and innovate this year to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

The next year innovation plan will be end-user centric: solve problems and meet needs in a simple and intuitive way with a strong focus on sustainability. The long-term vision and preparation in the past years have been well managed and this has been essential to maintain our winning USP for the future. Additionally, we should always be proactive to understand emerging end-users’ needs that will pop up during the year and

react quickly to create new ad-hoc solutions to continue riding the crest of the wave.

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry? How can the industry leverage or address these?

We see a continuous growing interest from end-users to find the best cost-in-use solution to maximise results with less effort/ less time. If we focus on healthcare the key words to succeed will be the following: smarter, more specialised, greener. The main challenges for 2024 will be how to manage big data and new digital technologies to offer better solutions: this requires having the right expertise on board.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

We have detected internally many clear trends that will change the cleaning market in the next five years. On one hand, we can see how the acceleration of AI will force all industries to disrupt themselves or die; on the other hand, sustainability will play an even more crucial role in decision-making processes.

Are there any key sustainability targets Freudenberg has made for 2024?

Sustainability is in our DNA. We want to make our world cleaner and our new ‘Love it clean’ logo embodies our core belief that we have a responsibility for the environment. At a global level, around 90 per cent of our products are durable, more that 60 per cent of plastic or paper and carton packaging can be recycled and we have developed products made of 100 recycled plastic and with GECA certification. We have a strong commitment to reach our targets: reduce 25 per cent of CO² emissions by 2025 and be CO² neutral by 2045, move from 40 per cent to 60 per cent

the Green Energy used in our production sites and eliminate 50 per cent of landfill waste by 2025 on track to net zero. And in 2024 we will present a complete sustainable range with the logo ‘Love it clean’ with more than 20 products that will suit the top end users’ needs. We have also developed a calculator that tells customers how much CO² they can save with our proposal.

What is your leadership philosophy?

The fast-changing scenario of the last three years indicate that leadership styles need to adapt quickly and continuously. My approach is to become a catalyst leader able to lead by example, vision oriented, and people focused. I would like to enhance the culture of open feedback and collaboration. This will be achieved with our committed and passionate team. We’re enjoying the journey as one big team and are taking care of each other as we step-up into our Future Shaping mission.

Do you have a message for the industry?

From my point of view, our industry has a strong potential to grow, although we’re still working as separate ecosystems not able to connect properly each other. To survive and be successful in the future we need to become a networked ecosystem. This means working closer, building healthy partnerships, sharing relevant objectives, and creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency, we can therefore succeed. As we commit and execute relentlessly to our Future Shaping mission, my message for the industry is the following: let us not accept standards as they are and let us have the courage to constructively challenge existing cleaning paradigms, by showing the way forward to our end-users, so to advance the industry to new frontiers. Together we can be better than today, let’s talk! n 41


Lauren Micallef

Oceania Manager, ISSA

How was 2023 for ISSA Oceania? What were the highlights?

A major highlight for the year was the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo, which returned to Melbourne for the first time since 2019. In 2023, the expo saw a 33 per cent increase in show floor space and hit a record number of 100 stands. Many exhibitors took up bigger and grander spaces, along with a 16 per cent growth in exhibitor numbers. However, what is also exciting to see is the traction the event is making from an international perspective. It is really becoming a key show on the global map. There has been increased support locally, in addition to a rise in our international exhibitors and attendees. In 2023, we had visitors from more than 22 countries. What the show presents is the unique opportunity for the entire cleaning community to come together in one location to share industry innovation and insight. However, what the growth of the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo really highlights is the increased significance of the industry and the value it is gaining from the broader market. This year, the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo will return to the ICC in Sydney on the 11 – 12 September 2024. The show floor space will again increase in size to cater for growing and ongoing demand. Already we have seen a significant number of companies booking their key spots on the show floor and getting in fast to secure sponsorship opportunity. In 2023, innovation also took centre stage with the INCLEAN EXCELLENCE Awards. It has been great to see the growth in the awards and it really highlights the changes taking place in the market, as well the developments the industry is making. We had more than 60 submissions across six categories which included equipment (small), equipment (large), paper and dispensing, cleaning agents, janitorial as well as service and technology. A big thanks must also be given to our judges John Taylor, Geoff Thorpe, and Claire Hibbit 42 INCLEAN January / February 2024

who dedicated significant time in reviewing, analysing, and judging the product submissions. In 2024, we will be broadening the categories and look forward to launching them to the market. 2023 also marked a significant year for ISSA with the association celebrating its 100-year anniversary. We had our centennial celebration at the Sealife Melbourne Aquarium, alongside the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo. It was an opportunity for us thank our members for their continual support. Many of whom are also major industry supporters that get behind the trade publication INCLEAN and contribute towards thought leadership and advertising as well as support the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo in many different forms.

What are ISSA Oceania’s main priorities for 2024?

‘Cleaning for Health’ training was a focus for ISSA in 2023. The Oceania region released a series of workshops to the market focusing on a science-based approach to cleaning. This education will continue in 2024. ISSA’s goal is to ensure essential cleaning professionals have access to and can complete training on the knowledge, skills and abilities that are crucial to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Validating cleanliness will be a key message in our ongoing education. We should not lose the traction and focus that the cleaning industry has gained in the past few years in being viewed as a key component of the health and hygiene in the built environment. Education will also be of importance at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo as we strive to bring the latest industry trends and topics to the market aided by the insight of key thought leaders from across the entire industry. Another key element for the show will be continuing to grow increased local awareness as well as international awareness. The aim, which is on track is for the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo to be known as a leading event across the Oceania region.

INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM 2024 will also commence an exciting transition for the industry publication, INCLEAN. In 2024 the INCLEAN and INCLEAN NZ publications will merge into one INCLEAN publication. The INCLEAN brand has been a leading source of trade information for more than 35 years, bringing the market timely news and expert analysis so companies can run their business effectively, across print, digital, and social. The merging of the two publications will mean that resources can be optimised to deliver more content, time, and investment into one publication as we strive to bring even more in-depth local and international information to the forefront. Moving forward we seek to review and improve our digital offerings as we address sustainability concerns and progress with media industry trends. Our aim is to drive the publication to foster a sense of community. We want to connect cleaning contractors, facility managers, suppliers and product developers with content that connects on devices, channels and mediums utilised by the market. We understand that this will be an evolving process and are excited about the journey moving forward and the opportunities we will be able to present. From a membership perspective we will continue to ensure that the local market receives the latest updates on local business and industry related topics as well as the relevant tools to help them engage in conversations around the value of clean.

What do you expect to be the big trends and challenges of 2024?

2024 will be a balancing act across the entire market, as the industry focuses on simultaneous challenges including labour issues, staff shortages, increased cleaning requirements, technological advancements, and a focus around ESG initiatives. As a result, higher level conversations with clients will be important when it comes to assessing the value of cleaning. Facilities and contract cleaners have experienced mounting pressures and concerns surrounding health and hygiene, they have also had to adjust to the different flows of volume within buildings which have impacted cleaning schedules. Simultaneously they are needing to improve labour sustainability, manage staff shortages while keeping costs down. As a result, technology and automation will continue to be a focal point moving into 2024 and beyond. Companies will investigate ways to manage these increasing demands and improve efficiency and effectiveness. AI and data security will also continue to be an area of increased relevance moving forward, especially as we have been seeing a bigger focus across mainstream media.

ESG and sustainability will be a key topic throughout 2024. Companies should continue to work on internal proposals to ensure they are reviewing their environmental, social and governance data in attempt to not fall behind. Businesses will need to ensure transparency when it comes to sustainability claims with strict regulations putting the pressure on cleaning companies to avoid greenwashing. The reality is that customers are becoming more environmentally and socially conscious, and they want to ensure they are doing business with entities that share similar values and can help them to meet their own objectives. The market will also see a greater emphasis nationally on labour practices and compliance in the coming year and beyond. Staff development and growth will need to be top of mind, as companies seek to support and maintain their existing employees. Training programs will be a vital element as they are a key way to address staffing issues. Supporting staff, will be crucial to success, as will be the ability to examine different ways to take products to market. In addition, we see company certification becoming a large focus for 2024 and beyond as companies seek ways to highlight their professionalism and differentiate themselves in the market.

This year, the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo will return to the ICC in Sydney on the 11 – 12 September 2024. The show floor space will again increase in size to cater for growing and ongoing demand.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders in the cleaning industry?

A key focus for thought leaders will be managing the trends and demands of the broader market, while balancing internal requirements and cost pressures. While these are constant challenge, I foresee it continuing to be a focal point in 2024. Companies moving forward will need to embrace an ‘innovative mindset’. n 43


Mick Askew

Sales Director Professional, Kärcher Australia

How was 2023 for Kärcher? What were the highlights? What were the challenges? In the eventful year of 2023, Kärcher Oceania demonstrated its resilience amidst significant market shifts. While the professional sector sustained its momentum, the retail channel faced challenges due to a softening consumer market. Undeterred by these dynamics, Kärcher Oceania forged ahead with substantial investments in the professional service organisation. We expanded our Kärcher service fleet by 31 additional service vehicles, complementing an already robust network of service partners throughout the region. One standout achievement was the strategic investment in Kärcher Centers. A new location in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, will showcase the innovative Kärcher-owned Cleanpark concept. This state-of-the-art facility will not only offer automatic car washes and manual carwash bays but will also feature a dog wash and a superbay catering to larger vehicles, including caravans. By introducing this concept we will effectively meet the demands of consumers in and around this key location.

How does Kärcher plan to adapt and innovate this year to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

Kärcher remains at the forefront of innovation, dedicating up to 6 per cent of its global revenue to developing inventive, groundbreaking products. Within the Kärcher Battery Power range, a particular focus lies on innovative items that cater to the needs of both professionals and consumers, for both indoor and outdoor applications. Excitingly, Kärcher is on the verge of introducing a revolutionary pressure washer accessory that boosts cleaning efficiencies by an impressive 50 per cent. This emphasis on accessories demonstrates our commitment to providing users with tools that not only meet but exceed their expectations in terms of effectiveness and convenience.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

Sustainable cleaning practices continue to be a focus as the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues, sustainable cleaning practices take the forefront, with a growing demand for ecologically friendly solutions. Since 2021, Kärcher’s 20 factories across seven countries have proudly achieved CO2 neutrality, with a focus on sustainable production that optimises all product packaging and utilises up to 50 per cent recycled plastics for selected devices. Smart Cleaning Technology is ever evolving from the rise of robotic cleaning equipment to the ever-expanding array of products available, smart cleaning technology has transcended its role in commercial applications. This revolution has 44 INCLEAN January / February 2024

transformed the way we approach cleaning tasks, making them more effortless, efficient, and effective than ever before. Kärcher’s devotion to innovation has driven the development of smart cleaning technology, where the possibilities are limitless and the results unparalleled. The integration of technology into cleaning processes, such as robotic cleaning equipment continues to evolve with more and more products available in this space both domestic and commercial applications.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Kärcher has made for 2024? How will you measure your progress? We have three pillars in our sustainability strategy 2025: Zero Emissions; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Social Hero. To further our environmental impact, we are introducing recyclable packaging, revolutionising the industry with our dedication to minimising waste. Additionally, we engineer durable products that not only deliver exceptional performance but also have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements. But our dedication to making a difference doesn’t stop there. We believe in the power of community and are actively engaged in social and environmental initiatives. Under our cultural cleans program, we support and preserve the heritage of local communities across the globe, ensuring their legacy continues to shine. Furthermore, our environmental clean-up days are an opportunity for us to take action, actively participating in rejuvenating and restoring our planet.

What is your leadership philosophy?

Leadership, in my view, embodies qualities such as loyalty, courage, and respect for every individual. As a leader, I find it essential to maintain loyalty, both to my principles and to the well-being of my team. I aim to empower the team to make bold decisions, creating a culture where initiatives are implemented with a “fail fast” mentality, allowing us to swiftly learn and move on from setbacks. Leading by example, clear communication, and demonstrating a strong work ethic are essential components of my approach, as I believe these traits are fundamental to achieving effectiveness in my leadership role.

Do you have a message for the industry?

As an industry, there is a collective opportunity for us to collaborate more closely on matters that contribute to the common good. A notable illustration of this collaboration is Thank Your Cleaner Day, an annual occasion dedicated to appreciating all cleaners. Thank Your Cleaner Day is scheduled for October 16, 2024, and I encourage everyone to actively participate, extend appreciation to our cleaners, and enhance the visibility and recognition of the industry. n


The new CV 30/2 Bp cordless vacuum brush cleaner takes floor cleaning to a new level. Features such as the automatic floor detection, 36 V Kärcher Battery Power+ and LED display with Real Time Technology mean you can achieve a superior clean every time.



Lucas Paris

Managing Director – Australia, MotorScrubber

How was 2023 for MotorScrubber Australia?

2023 was another milestone year for the business globally and locally. MotorScrubber Australia had another record year growing well above expectations and almost tripling the total turnover of the local footprint. MotorScrubber Australia recently moved locations to larger office space to accommodate to the growing business and growing head count of the local subsidiary. SHOCK hit the market after three years of design and innovation, the feedback for this truly unique product has been amazing! SHOCK will take the Australian facilities market by storm; this truly unique cleaning innovation was presented at the 2023 ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Show and was one the true innovations of the show.

What are MotorScrubber’s main priorities for 2024?

2024 will be a year of big step change for MotorScrubber Australia. Our footprint is well and truly established our distribution network is almost complete. We will be expanding into Oceania regions with MotorScrubber Australia being the business base for increased presence in these regions. MotorScrubber will also be launching another breakthrough innovation – DRYFT this will thrust the local and global business into a space that it hasn’t been before. This product will represent a shift in thinking for facility managers and with almost 10 global patents will be very hard for any competitor to challenge the brand in the detail cleaning space.

How will MotorScrubber Australia innovate to meet customers’ evolving needs and expectations?

MotorScrubber are the global detail cleaning experts. We innovate and invest in cleaning tools and process that eliminate the risk of manual work in those hard-toreach areas. The areas often overlooked by FM providers but not by the end customers themselves, we live through 46 INCLEAN January / February 2024

customer driven innovation providing solutions to ensure customers can easily identify, assess, and address the detail cleaning needs at their locations. We invest heavily in areas where some of the larger players see opportunities to claw back cost, our stock holding is robust, our ability to work quickly to customer needs is paramount. Our distributors are always endeavouring to be as well equipped to handle customer demand as possible, however, we understand that the market often is reactionary hence we ensure that our customers can get fast response times on all topics.

new and has been in the market for over 30 years. What was new though was our SHOCK machine that gives you the power and cleaning performance of oscillation in a detail risk free cleaning machine. There is a heightened awareness on risk mitigation and ease of use for cleaning experts, however many of the machines fall short due to the heavy nature of the product both in use and in transportation. We want to ensure that our cleaning teams can go about their day with lowest possible risk of injury, that is where SHOCK is leading the market in its ability to be used all day with no risk to the cleaning teams.

What will be the most significant opportunities in 2024? How can the industry leverage these?

What is your leadership philosophy?

AI has the potential to really disrupt the industry, in a positive or negative way depending on how it is used. The ability to ask simple question to platform, analyse millions of points of data and come up with suggestive courses of action is amazing technology. The industry could use this to ensure that right cleaning process is being used in the right location, the right equipment is being specified on tenders, the right chemical is being used on unique flooring types etc. Although the ability to rely on this type of technology could reduce the amount of free innovation made by the sector. The cleaning industry is driven highly by free thinking and problem solving, many stakeholders coming together to solve challenges faced in the plethora of locations and cleaning demands we face each day, if we relay to heavily on AI for the information, we could see a significant drop in this natural market innovation.

What do you expect to be the big floorcare trends of 2024?

The ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Show in Melbourne was a sign that the trends in floorcare have an element of stagnation, oscillation technology is becoming more prevalent however this technology is hardly

I embrace the fact that it is others around us that drive the success of the individual, we should cultivate and educate people in this industry who are keen to create legacies for themselves, the people around them and the industry. In the 15+ years I have been involved in the distribution of specialist cleaning products I am excited and invigorated most when people around me succeed, when we all win together, when we celebrate a win whether it is small or large. In a world that continuous growth is a key driver of business the personal aspects sometimes get lost, we manage people, we lead people and it’s these people that drive our success.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Continue to learn, continue to innovate, and continue to change the way we do things. Embrace change, embrace new technologies, create your own technologies, try something new, lets embrace failure as it something that is necessary to excel. So often in our world we see me too innovation or business won on price rather than creating true benefit to customer let us all strive to try to do things differently, you never know what may evolve from the process. We as an industry keep our hospitals open, our aged care facilities clean, food on our tables – let’s never forget that! n

https:/ /qrstu




Tony Antonious

Managing Director and Owner, Polivac International

How was 2023 Polivac?

2023 was a steady year for Polivac, where we consolidated and built upon planned initiatives, which we fine-tuned throughout the year. We had the first full year with our upgraded manufacturing software system, which gave us a vastly improved understanding of our inventory, as well as superior sales and cost information. With the development of new products to meet the evolving demands of our customers, we aim to continually improve and expand our range to remain strong and competitive in the future.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

We are committed to looking at ways to improve our offerings to our customers, and to this end, we plan to invest in extensive research and development of new products and remain at the forefront of innovation in the industry. For example, Polivac has recently entered the expanding stick vac market, and we are seeing some promising results there. Another of our significant developments last year was the invention of the Mini Terminator, which has been designed to deliver a similar performance to a standard carpet extractor. The compact design of this machine is quite innovative, and we have high hopes for it.

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the market? How can the industry best leverage or address these?

There certainly are challenges. The economic climate in Australia is becoming increasingly difficult. Rising interest rates have made the task of reducing costs and managing cash flow much harder for manufacturers and their customers alike. Another challenge that Polivac faces, as an established Australian manufacturing organisation, is the advent of low-cost imports from overseas into the Australian market. However, both these conditions can also present opportunities for the astute organisation. With the increasing costs of both money and materials, it can motivate businesses to adopt nimble, or “just in time” manufacturing processes, to reduce inventory levels, and free up capital for more productive applications. At the same time, as we constantly do at Polivac, businesses should examine their supply chain structures and seek to streamline them as much as possible to minimise ordering times.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

Cash flow constraints are going to be a significant factor in all areas of the economy in 2024, and no less so in our industry, for suppliers, producers, and customers, and each of these groups need to devise strategies to deal with this. For manufacturers in the commercial cleaning industry, I expect 48 INCLEAN January / February 2024

to see in 2024 a growing demand for the refurbishment and trade of used machines. In the current economic climate, businesses may well consider the expense of investing in new equipment prohibitive, and instead seek to extend the working life of their existing equipment, or perhaps purchase refurbished equipment.

What do you expect to be the big floorcare trends of 2024?

New styles of floors, made from new materials and utilising new coating chemicals are constantly being developed and introduced into the market, and makers of cleaning equipment must adapt to ensure that their products are suitable for these new surfaces. It’s likely that users of commercial cleaning equipment will want more value from their machines, demanding more efficient equipment which reduces the time and cost of cleaning, either through more efficient machines, which gets the job done faster, or by reducing how many times a surface needs to be cleaned, in each period of time, such as a week or month. These commercial trends provide great incentive for makers of cleaning equipment to be innovative, and to seek to continually improve their products, to adapt to changing demands.

What is your leadership philosophy?

In almost every organisation, its number one asset is its staff. As such, leaders of organisations must ensure that their staff receive the absolute best training and support possible, to allow them to operate at their full potential. A well-trained workforce will inevitably promote high-quality output, whether the business is involved in manufacturing, or the service industry. In the case of Polivac, our workforce utilises its learned expertise to ensure that a constantly high-quality product is produced, and that we supply exactly what a customer has ordered, in the fastest possible time. As the leader of my business, I try to instil this philosophy into all my employees, so that they can develop, and in turn, either at Polivac or in a future position elsewhere, pass these principles on to people they may lead or manage.

Do you have a message for the industry?

My message is “Keep it clean”. Be open to clean, friendly competition. That should motivate businesses to continually improve, to innovate. At the same time, it’s so important to continue to build and nurture your relationships with your suppliers and customers, as your key stakeholders, to understand their requirements. And perhaps most of all, be open and supportive of your workforce, your primary asset. I’ve been involved in the cleaning industry for a long time now, and it still inspires and excites me. There is so much potential for innovation and progress to occur in the coming years. n


March / April 2023


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Mark Piwkowski

CEO, Quayclean Australia

How was 2023 for Quayclean?

Quayclean experienced another strong year of continued growth across industry sectors with the addition of new customers while, pleasingly, renewing several longterm contracts, particularly in the Aquatic and Leisure industries. We were delighted to have been awarded the Optus Stadium contract which extends our major stadia reach from Sydney to Perth. We are the chief provider of cleaning and waste management services to stadiums and public venues across Australia. We were also thrilled to have assisted the Sydney Opera House achieve a 6 Star Green Star Performance Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. This was all accomplished despite the Federal Government re-introducing restricted working hours for Student Visa Holders which placed increased pressure on service industry providers at a time of record low unemployment.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

Stability within our workforce, continued growth, and remaining focused on training and expanding our group of emerging leaders will be our priorities. Quayclean is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, and we will be aiming to motivate businesses locally and around the world to embrace sustainable and socially accountable policies and behaviours. We will also focus on Environment, Social and Governance related Sustainable Development Goals and we will also embed our Reconciliation Action Plan and our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy.

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry? How can the industry best leverage or address these? That the cleaning industry collectively should collaborate with a united voice to raise and discuss important issues with government. 50 INCLEAN January / February 2024

For too long the cleaning industry views have been overlooked and discarded by governments despite being a major employer of Australians and our work is central to the daily operations of business. Also, business procurement managers need to understand the real costs of cleaning and the value of our work. The cost of labour has risen 15 per cent over the past year and the role of cleaners is much wider than mopping a floor and emptying a bin.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

We have a responsibility to commit to undertaking sustainability initiatives that have a positive impact on the environment. This year marked the halfway point towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and academics have reported that only two of the 36 Goals were on track to be reached by 2030. More businesses and customers are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility towards environmental matters and sustainability.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Quayclean has made for 2024? How will you measure your progress?

Quayclean has a strong sustainability engagement record, producing a range of environmentally friendly products, developing site specific recycling and waste management programs. Additionally, we have adopted seven of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and our leadership group will be meeting in the New Year to review our progress. We have partnered with Carbon Consultancy ‘South Pole’ to assist us on our journey to carbon neutrality and achieve Climate Active Certification. We are measuring our carbon footprint so we can create and implement an Emissions Reduction Strategy and we will

work with our customers to continue to increase our rates of recycling and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

What’s your leadership philosophy?

We respect our responsibility to make our customers look great and our staff are our most important advocates when they are off and on site. We want to have a deep, meaningful relationship with our workers, we want them to be proud to work for Quayclean, and how they each can make the world a better place because of the work they perform. We want our workers to aspire to become leaders within Quayclean and that is a reason why we have created the Quay Academy leadership program to provide that opportunity.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Never undersell or undervalue the role we play. We must continue to educate procurement managers about the real costs of cleaning under the Modern Award. Too much of the industry sector is driven by procurement manager’s desire to drive down price when the Cleaning Award is very prescriptive on what must be paid. n

Business procurement managers need to understand the real costs of cleaning and the value of our work. The cost of labour has risen 15 per cent over the past year and the role of cleaners is much wider than mopping a floor and emptying a bin.

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Wayne Hill

CEO, RapidClean Group

How was 2023 for RapidClean?

It was a very good year indeed. The RapidClean Group’s growth trajectory continued throughout 2023. Purchases through our preferred supplier network grew by 13 per cent, while our key account program grew by 33 per cent.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

Our main priorities are to build on RapidClean’s geographical reach and breadth of product offering so we continue to offer our unique value proposition to the industry. Additionally, we are further investing in systems and processes to make purchasing from our 60 locally owned RapidClean stores in Australia as easy as possible for our customers.

How does RapidClean plan to adapt and innovate this year to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

There are several areas RapidClean intend to innovate to meet our customers changing needs. First and foremost is an increased focus on sustainability and stocking ecofriendly products to align with increasing consumer preferences for environmentally responsible solutions. Secondly, investing in advanced technologies like robotics and AI to enhance efficiency in cleaning processes and offer innovative solutions. And finally, offering tailored products and services to individual customers, by offering more flexible and personalised solutions via our vast independent network of RapidClean members.

What are the more significant opportunities and challenges in the industry?

Opportunities in the cleaning and hygiene industry lie in the growing emphasis on sustainability. Businesses can capitalise on the increasing demand for eco-friendly products and practices, reducing environmental impact. Integrating advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, presents another avenue for

Our main priorities are to build on RapidClean’s geographical reach and breadth of product offering so we continue to offer our unique value proposition to the industry.

52 INCLEAN January / February 2024

efficiency and improved service delivery. However, challenges persist. Evolving regulations, especially related to chemical usage and waste disposal, require constant adaptation. Supply chain disruptions, as experienced globally, can impact the timely availability of essential cleaning products. Additionally, the ongoing need for effective solutions against emerging pathogens, like viruses and bacteria, necessitates continuous research and development to stay ahead in maintaining public health standards. Balancing innovation, regulatory compliance, and resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges remains crucial for the industry’s sustained growth.

How can the industry best leverage or address these challenges and opportunities?

The industry can capitalise on the demand for sustainable practices by adopting eco-friendly cleaning products, reducing waste, and implementing environmentally conscious processes. Marketing these efforts can also enhance brand reputation. Investing in cutting-edge technologies, such as smart sensors, IoT devices, and robotics, can significantly improve efficiency. Automation not only enhances the precision of cleaning processes but also reduces the need for manual labour, increasing productivity. Providing targeted education and training programs for staff ensures the proper implementation of new technologies and sustainable practices. Well-trained personnel are essential for maintaining high hygiene standards and complying with regulations. By combining these strategies, companies in the cleaning and hygiene industry can position themselves to not only navigate challenges but also thrive in a market that increasingly values sustainability, efficiency, and public health.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/ targets RapidClean has made for 2024?

At RapidClean, we have targets set for product sales and new supplier additions to our group who have sustainable and unique environmental solutions. A great example of this is a recent addition to our preferred supplier portfolio, CleanLIFE wipes, who supply the Rapid group with Australian made, biodegradable, plastic free wipes, as well a as a range of certified flushable wipes.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Support Australian-owned small businesses, and the people they employ. The profits of our members stay in Australia and benefit the community. It is an important industry as it protects us all. n


Geoff Hughes

National Manager, RapidClean New Zealand

How was 2023 for RapidClean NZ?

Financial year end 2023 finished with a stable growth of slightly below 8 per cent from good member and preferred supplier engagement throughout the year. One of the main highlights was the launch of our RapidClean branded Green ECNZ Certified cleaning chemicals and RapidClean branded floor care cleaning chemicals range along with the introduction of more RC branded equipment/machinery.

What are RapidClean NZ’s main priorities for 2024?

To continue to build the RapidClean brand presence in New Zealand showcasing our many avenues of supply plus with ways that our members can help the national customer base grow in an economical and sustainable manner in our current tight economic conditions.

How does RapidClean plan to innovative to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

As we have just had a change of government this will be by continuing to monitor the ever-changing government legislation around the environment and sustainability. Working with our preferred suppliers who supply environmentally sensitive products to ensure that they are at the forefront of our offer when talking to our customer base.

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry?

There is quite a few family-owned and operated cleaning operators and franchisees in all regions of New Zealand who feel left out so to speak and as RapidClean has great geographical coverage with our member base, we are very well positioned to service and supply these customers. As our member base has experience in the industry for an average of 15 years plus, they have vast knowledge to enable them to offer options and help make choices with the customer to gain the best advantage from their purchase. There are products on offer now with prices that seem unbelievable at the time of purchase but once in use they give a bad return on investment. With the RapidClean offering there is great value and

quality with sound guarantees to back it up plus online training if required for these products is available, so customers can feel safe when making their choices.

What do you expect to the be the big trend of 2024?

Staying green. As we have seen steady and continual increased sales in our RCNZ GREEN ECNZ certified range of chemicals we would expect this to continue as people are very focused on the environment and sustainability. This translates to equipment/machinery also.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets RapidClean NZ has made for 2024?

We continually look for our members to work with preferred suppliers who have an offering that supports the environment and has the thought of sustainability front of mind.

How will you measure your progress?

Measurement is via the criteria prescribed in certifications of ISO9001-Quality; ISOEnvironmental & AS4801-OH&S standards which are monitored on a regular basis. The benefits of dealing with a certified company are many and beneficial as we as a group of members supply and engender the knowledge that they have the following objectives: • Business and customer related objectives • Embedded cycles of improvement (continuity of process improvement) • Customer complaints handling system • Customer focused process development • System and process performance monitoring • Planned and implemented staff training for both members and customers if required.

Do you have a message for the industry?

We must remember that our focus should be the interaction and involvement we have with people every day and that our communication needs to be of the highest level to achieve the desired results for all parties involved. We need to supply them with the right products and tools to complete their objectives in a timely manner without frustration. n 53


Jonathan Weiss

Commercial Director of B2B for UK, Europe, Australia & NZ, Reckitt Pro Solutions

How was 2023 for Dettol? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

One of the main priorities for us in 2024 is the rollout of a world-first, targeted hygiene campaign for Australian schools, focused on driving hand hygiene behaviour for children.

54 INCLEAN January / February 2024

2023 was a great year for Reckitt Pro Solutions and marked another year of double-digit growth for the business. We’ve seen increases across all industries, but we saw particularly strong growth in offices as recovery continues, as well as in industrial and MRO. A key focus for us in 2023 was to shift from focusing on Covid-based sanitisation initiatives to offering a broader suite of hygiene solutions for businesses that also encompasses the wider Reckitt range of products. In 2023, we launched our new value proposition, ‘Better Results For Healthy Business’, which is founded on four key pillars: efficacy of product, efficiency of product, sustainability, and health outcomes. We had improved collaboration with our key distribution throughout the year and launched new product innovations, including the BOTANICA by Air Wick Automatic Spray + Refill, which was a finalist in the 2023 INCLEAN Excellence Awards at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo and has been shortlisted in the 2024 Tomorrow’s Cleaning Awards. 2023 was also not without its challenges. One of the main challenges that all businesses continue to face as we head into 2024 is cost pressure. Not only that, but we are also facing commodity pressure from the market in terms of production and procurement for our products. Th other challenge is hygiene complacency. During Covid, everyone was hyper aware of germs in the workplace and implemented a whole raft of cleaning and disinfection measures in an effort to minimise the spread of germs and combat the risk of infection. However, post-vaccination and the re-opening of the world, we have seen significant drop in cleaning and hygiene standards. Most notably, hand sanitatisation has significantly dropped as a key measure. High touchpoint cleaning, while still very frequent in settings such as healthcare, has also dropped. Both of these measures remain necessary to fight outbreaks and infections and reduce workplace absenteeism.

In response to this hygiene complacency in the workplace, we have launched an education campaign targeted at facility managers, procurement managers, and end users in small to medium sized businesses (SMBs), highlighting the risks that exist in their workplaces and the solutions that we at Dettol Pro Solutions can provide to combat those risks.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

One of the main priorities for us in 2024 is the rollout of a world-first, targeted hygiene campaign for Australian schools, focused on driving hand hygiene behaviour for children. Launching in partnership with Winc Australia as a B2B distribution program, the initiative not only provides cleaning solutions for the classroom but also educational material for students and teachers that help demonstrate the importance of hand hygiene in engaging ways. As part of the pilot, we have launched a hybrid learning programme, Dettol Hygiene Quest, which brings together interactive play with storyled learning. Hygiene Quest is a fun, engaging, story-driven teaching curriculum that helps to embed strong, lasting hygiene practices in children aged six to eight. Hygiene Quest teaches children the importance of hand washing, as well as how to prevent the spread of germs through good personal hygiene habits and behaviours. This curriculum engages students through a combination of animations, educational games, and classroom lessons. Schools involved in the program will be provided with dispensing solutions suitable for classrooms, and hygiene kits, which include hand sanitiser bottles, disinfectant wipes, and Glen 20 Aerosol Disinfectant Spray, will be distributed to teachers to assist with touchpoint cleaning throughout the day. Engaging signage will also be placed in key areas to remind kids to wash their hands. Using behavioural science, we have identified three key signage touchpoints that have been proven to increase handwashing: on the back of toilet doors, above urinals, and at the entry of the bathroom.

INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM In fact, one study found that up to 80 per cent of all infectious diseases are transmitted via contaminated hand-to-hand or surface-to-hand contact1. Not only that, but another study also shows that up to 80 per cent of people don’t wash their hands properly when using the toilet and this statistic goes down significantly when they are prompted to use their hands2. This further emphasises why placement of this signage can do a whole lot of good in raising the bar on hygiene for kids! Another of our top priorities for next year is further strengthening awareness of the entire range of effective, efficient, and sustainable commercial hygiene solutions that Reckitt Pro Solution offers. This includes not only Dettol but other signature Reckitt Brands such as Finish, Harpic, Airwick, Vanish and much more. Apart from Reckitt Pro Solutions’ offering, another key priority for next year is solidifying Finish Professional’s equity within HORECA (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes) Industry in particular. In order to develop a long-term relationship with our partners, we would be offering them a one-stop dispenser solution along with installation and required support that they need. There is much more to come on these fronts so stay tuned.

What do you see as the most significant opportunities and challenges in the cleaning industry?

I believe there are several key trends the industry needs to adapt to as we move forward post-Covid. The first is reinforcing standards of clean and hygiene expectations. Post-pandemic, consumers expect clean and hygienic facilities, and as businesses we need to raise the bar and provide those standards. There’s a direct correlation between clean and hygienic facilities and customer experience. In fact, a UK study found that 97 per cent customers wouldn’t return to a restaurant if the restrooms were dirty and lacked a decent standard of hygiene3. Until we implement and maintain those cleaning and hygiene standards, there will also be a greater susceptibility to infection.


Additionally, the dynamic between working from home and presenteeism in the office will continue to create challenges for the industry this year. Lastly, real action on sustainability is needed by the industry. Product stewardship, the removal of harmful ingredients, the transition away from plastics, innovation to remove CO2 emissions are all necessary measures in 2024 from both a product level and from an organisational level.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/ targets Dettol has made for 2024?

At Dettol Pro Solutions, and Reckitt at large, we have an incredibly strong commitment to sustainability. In fact, by 2030 we want 50 per cent of our revenue to be from more sustainable products, and a 65 per cent reduction in our chemical footprint (2030 vs 2020). By 2025, we are aiming to have 100 per cent of our packaging to be recyclable or reusable. Where we will continue to use plastic in packaging, we will ensure that at least 25 per cent of its content is recycled plastic by 2025, where possible or allowed by regulators. We are also aiming for a 50 per cent reduction in virgin plastic by 2030 (vs 2020), a 50 per cent reduction in product carbon footprint emissions by 2030, and a 30 per cent reduction in water usage in 2025 (vs 2015). We’re proud as an organisation on the progress we have made so far on these goals. We have already achieved a 66 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 94 per cent of our factories are already zero-waste to landfill, and our net revenue from more sustainable products continues to grow and is getting closer and closer to our target.

Do you have a message for the industry?

As an industry, I believe there are two things we need to do and do well. Firstly, we need to educate on the need for higher standards of hygiene and cleaning – supported by a solution offering rather than product offering. Secondly, we need to take a stand on sustainability without comprising on product efficacy. n (CDC)

*Sultana, M.; Mohumud, R.A.; Sarker, A.R.; Hossain, S.M. Hand hygiene knowledge and among university students: Evidence from Private Universities of Bangladesh. Risk Manag. Healthc. Policy 2016, 9, 13-20.; Sturgeoner, B.V.; Chapman, B.J.; Powell, D.A. University students’ hand hygiene practice during a gastrointestinal outbreak in residences: What they say they do and what they actually do. J. Environ. Health2009, 72, 24-28.


3 (YouGov Online Survey) 55


Gerard Searl

General Manager, Sabco Professional

How was 2023 for Sabco Professional?

2023 was another growth year for our team at Sabco Professional. We have continued to refine our range by adding more key commercial products and increased our experienced account management team across the country. Our account managers are not only working directly with our strategic distributors but also in the field with end users conducting joint calls to grow both our business’. In addition to this. we also delved deeply into our customer service, dispatch, and freight management practises to ensure we are providing the best possible service. This led to us launching our platinum customer service program that provides a dedicated customer service representative to our key strategic customers that are supporting us. Freight delivery time frames can be a challenge due to issues that are often outside of our control, but we are continually assessing how we manage this and putting in place improvement measures.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

The main priorities for us are very clear. Continue striving to become the trusted partner of choice for our customers that service the commercial cleaning market and continue to focus on our corporate responsibilities in relation to reconciliation, modern slavery, sustainability & local manufacturing. We have been very active in all the above areas including ratifying our Reconciliation Plan & Modern Slavery Policy. We have also started phase one of our Made in Australia program which includes the commissioning of a state of the art, broom manufacturing machine which is now in operation at Laverton North Victoria. We are proud to once again be manufacturing Sabco brooms in Australia, 56 INCLEAN January / February 2024

continuing with the local manufacturing that Mr Hay built the company from in Adelaide in 1892. From a reconciliation perspective, we have recently launched our SABCO Jingo range of products featuring artworks by elders of the Jingo family, which the Sabco team were lucky to spend time with and learn from. A percentage of our proceeds from this range directly contributes to improved outcomes for the Central Australian Anagu community at Uluru in the Northern Territory with priority given to supporting young people.

What do you see as the most significant opportunities and challenges in the cleaning industry? How can the industry leverage or address these?

Introducing innovative, more sustainable products is a significant opportunity for our industry as the demand for such products continue to rise. In addition to this, manufacturing more traditional cleaning tools that can help reduce the chance of injury to cleaners who use them for extended periods of time is important. A significant challenge for our industry is introducing these more sustainable and user-friendly products at a competitive price and in line with existing options.

Are there any key sustainability commitments Sabco has made for 2024?

Our hard work on this important issue will only be continued into 2024. In 2023 some of our key achievements are (but not limited to) the fact that 73 per cent of our product range features at least 75 per cent recyclable packaging and 62 per cent of it has 100 per cent recyclable packaging.

In addition to this, we have optimised the way we freight products into Australia which has reduced CO2 emissions by 17.6 tonnes. We already have numerous products in our range that are made of considerable amounts of recycled plastic including our range of Brix carts and accessories, ‘Made in Italy’. This month, we are proudly launching our new recycling stations and waste bins that are made of 98 per cent postconsumer recycled plastic. Interest in these new products has been extremely high even before they have been officially launched and highlights the demand for more sustainable products.

What’s your leadership philosophy? I always strive to create a team that has a positive, highly motivated culture and encourage each team member to be an active participant by sharing their ideas, knowledge, and skills to contribute to the team’s success. I believe it is important to empower team members to get the job done, whilst being accountable for their own results.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Sabco is dedicated to support our customers that service the commercial cleaning industry. We will continue to expand our range of sustainable products and continually strive to improve our service levels in line with our customers’ requirements and expectations. Our dedicated team of experienced account managers are in the field everyday servicing not only our distributor partners but the end users to recommend the right cleaning solutions and provide expert training and ongoing support. If we can be of any assistance to help grow your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us. n


Kristine Collins

Product Manager, SEBO Australia

How was 2023 for SEBO?

SEBO products received such positive feedback at the 2023 ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo in Melbourne. It’s always great when attendees recognise the value and effectiveness of a product like the SEBO powerheads and uprights. Building strong connections with customers is essential for any business and brand experience for our loyal customers is top of mind. Our commitment to our customers has brought strong sales growth across the SEBO product range. Supply chain management can be challenging, especially with global disruptions, price rises, and market volatility. These factors can indeed create obstacles and impact the overall operations of a business. It’s important to stay adaptable and agile in such situations, seeking alternative solutions and maintaining open communication with suppliers and customers to ensure continued success.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

Cybersecurity is crucial for businesses operating in an omnichannel environment. Ensuring the safety and security of our customers’ information is essential to building trust and loyalty.

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry?

Anticipating the economy. The cost of doing business is increasing, rising interest rates, utilities, staff, freight, etc. Investing in the right equipment and providing proper training for employees can help businesses reduce unnecessary costs. By using effective and efficient products and technologies, businesses can supply sustainable cleaning solutions to consumers. It is important for this approach to start at the manufacturing plant, ensuring that products are produced in an environmentally friendly manner.

Investing in training and education for employees on the correct use of cleaning equipment is crucial for running a sustainable business. It enhances efficiency, ensures safety, improves the quality of service, promotes equipment durability, fosters adaptability, and supports environmental sustainability.

We understand the significance of education in the cleaning industry and its impact on providing efficient and effective floorcare cleaning and maintenance programs. As a result, we have made an ongoing commitment to the education of our staff and customers. We actively engage with our clients by providing access to SEBO educational resources, such as articles, videos, and blogs, which offer valuable insights and tips on choosing the correct equipment plus floorcare cleaning and maintenance. New product launches are also planned for 2024. I can’t say too much but it is uncharted territory for SEBO!

Are there any key sustainability commitments SEBO has made for 2024?

With sustainable manufacturing practices already in place for some time now SEBO focuses on product development to ensure that their products contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment from the very start of the design process. Our vacuum cleaners and powerheads are built tough and not added prematurely to landfill. SEBO takes pride in having a highly skilled and dedicated workforce. Management recognises their social responsibility and acknowledges the significant contribution that the commitment and health of their staff make to the quality of SEBO products. This understanding drives their efforts to maintain a positive work environment and ensure the well-being of their employees.

How does SEBO plan to innovate this year to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

Improving on our omni-channel platform we can better cater to the needs and preferences of our customers, providing a more convenient and personalised experience. Customers will be able to seamlessly transition between channels during their buying journey. The goal of our omni-channel platform is to create a unified and consistent brand experience, enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately drive sales and growth by leveraging the advantages of multiple channels in a coordinated manner. 58 INCLEAN January / February 2024

Do you have a message for the industry?

Investing in training and education for employees on the correct use of cleaning equipment is crucial for running a sustainable business. It enhances efficiency, ensures safety, improves the quality of service, promotes equipment durability, fosters adaptability, and supports environmental sustainability. These factors collectively contribute to the success of the business, support the workforce, and contribute to the overall recovery of the economy. n

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Prue Martinotti

There is always opportunity in knowing your customers.


How was 2023 for SPITWATER? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2023 has been a year of adjustment post-COVID where the factory and distributors have pivoted and embraced a new set of rules that seem to be changing frequently – a new ‘normal.’ Previously unpredictable supply chain has stabilised but there are still plenty of challenges with global price volatility, exchange rate fluctuations and labour and skills shortages, both in the capital cities and regional areas, affecting everyone. Despite this, we have been able to attract and add muscle power to our teams and the fresh eyes, ideas, experience, and perspectives are bringing positive results. In the product area, some of the projects we have been working on are being realised now, such as the launch of the new brand name VACSTORM for our floor cleaner product offering as shown in this edition, and others will be introduced to the market in 2024.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

Alignment and continued support and growth of our teams, release of new products into the market, increased technology, and enhancement of solutions to our customers.

How does SPITWATER plan to adapt and innovate this year to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

By listening and talking to our customers, business partners and teams. Knowing and understanding their needs, pain points and jobs to be done. Looking outside of the square and thinking and acting smart.

What are currently the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry?

There is always opportunity in knowing your customers. Identifying and discovering their jobs to be done and in the process, uncovering new markets and adopting new technologies. Adapting to the changing needs of customers. The rise of cheap, unsupported, imported product has been a challenge for our sales teams at times. People challenges and adapting to the work-life integration expectations of a new generation within our workforces has been an opportunity for us to learn and understand what is important to them. 60 INCLEAN January / February 2024

How can the industry leverage or address these opportunities and challenges?

Industry can back businesses with local investment in people, product, and infrastructure. Knowing and supporting who is contributing socially and economically. There are government initiatives to increase migration over the next five years to boost the work force in Australia, but this has significant challenges through housing shortages and other factors. It’s a complex issue. Industry can invest, as we are, in training internally and externally. Identifying and upskilling talent within our own teams. Good for our people and good for business

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

A push towards having a positive impact on the environment. Noise, emissions, pollution, safety. Robotics, self-propelled units in the floor care division especially.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/ targets SPITWATER has made for 2024?

Any designs created at the factory and subsequent new products are required to pass sustainability criteria before they are approved for production. The factory installed solar earlier this year and its upcycling and recycling programs are well developed internally, and with various business partners in our local area and beyond. Our distributors also have programs in place including breaking down and recycling of materials and components on traded or end of service life product.

What is your leadership philosophy?

I am still growing as a leader and continue to learn every day from the brilliant people and teachers I am surrounded by and have had the opportunity and good fortune to encounter along the way. My philosophy is to lead by example; to know, listen to and care for our people (our largest asset) and the business; to be proud of what we do for ourselves, society, the economy and the environment; to do, and encourage excellent work always; to be optimistic and fearless in the face of challenge; that it is okay to fail but fail fast!

Do you have a message for the industry?

Support Australian manufacturers wherever possible and to consider SPITWATER for your cleaning solutions. n

Same rugged reliability New brand name VACSTORM is a range of tough and ready vacuum cleaners, sweepers, scrubber dryers, and extraction cleaners designed for industrial and commercial applications. Providing solutions for the toughest jobs to be done. Enquire today. Call 1300 880 403


Mark Fermor

General Manager APAC, TEAM Software by Workwave

How was 2023 for TEAM Software? What were the highlights?

In hindsight, 2023 has been a year of many new things for TEAM Software APAC. Our integration with the WorkWave family is complete, and our local team is happy where we landed, as we are now part of a group that delivers solutions to FM companies across the globe. This has given us the platform to deliver more in APAC in the coming years, so watch this space! As the business has grown, so have our people. We now have an APAC Leadership Team that coordinates across departments and links us to the broader WorkWave business units. The macroeconomic climate has weighed heavily on many businesses, but we have continued with steady growth and look forward to closing the year out above target. It’s refreshing for us to know that our solutions are seen as essential parts of our clients’ businesses, saving costs, and winning new contracts. In slower years the “nice to haves” tend to fall off the radar and companies double down on what really works. Our systems clearly help, so we continue to grow.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

In 2024, we will start to offer solutions to a broader range of markets in APAC. Our focus on cleaning has always been strong, but next year we will expand this by introducing WorkWave Service, which caters to cleaning companies in emerging markets (1-100 employees). We will also expand our offering to the APAC security sector with the introduction of TEAM by WorkWave. In the UK almost 80 per cent of the 20 largest security companies use TEAM, and once the localisation is completed for APAC, we look forward to offering the system benefits to clients down-under. 62 INCLEAN January / February 2024

In another exciting step, we will look to expand into pest control with our US-based product called Pestpac. Pestpac delivers everything a company needs to be best in pest, and it’s really taken the US market by storm.

What do you see as the most significant opportunities in the cleaning industry? How can technology help leverage these?

The market has thrown a lot of new technology at the cleaning industry over the last few years. Those companies that have adopted new tech, need to make sure they are using the systems properly to realise a good ROI. Companies can be tempted to get “the next big thing,” without realising the ROI from last year’s big thing. You do not want to end up in a cycle of spending money, saying you have the latest tech but never realising business benefits! Staff retention, and hence knowledge retention, has been a big challenge since COVID-19 measures. This has and will continue to ease up, so now is the opportunity to ensure that staff know their systems and use them effectively. Review your system usage against the original criteria for selection, and make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

What do you see as the most significant challenges? How can technology help address these?

Control costs: Overspending on anything in the business will make or break you in this climate! Technology can help you track every hour and every dollar of costs, and when it comes to wages make sure you do. Ensure you use technology to track your materials and confirm that consumables are well spent. Ensure that no purchase order is sent to suppliers without knowing if the site budget allows for it. Many cleaning companies budget

around 5 per cent of the contract value for materials, and an overspend in this area can wipe out any profit earned on a site. If, as a business owner you are not 100 per cent confident what your spend is per site, then the systems you are using are not supporting your business in controlling costs. Improve productivity: The industry is offered a broad spectrum of technology to help improve productivity. As cleaning time is too expensive to add, quicker ways to achieve the same thing are a must. In my recent visit to the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo in Melbourne, I was astonished at all the new innovative products on the market. Companies need to be aware of these innovations and implement those that improve productivity. An important area that TEAM Software operates in is proof of service, or even productivity! If you invest in a new mop that cleans twice as fast as the old mop, it’s no good if the cleaner is not performing the task as they should. More and more, clients want confirmation that the work is being done, so ensure your business monitors how productive staff really are on site.

Do you have a message for the industry?

The IT industry, like most others, comes up with hypes all the time: Who can remember “Big Data”? What ever happened to “The Internet of Things (IoT)”? Or, what are you doing with “AI”? The last one being the current top trender, thanks Elon Musk! Whether these things are good or bad for your business should not be measured based on their existence. Just because it’s a hype, does not mean it offers your business any value. Make sure you look at technology through the lens of value to the business, not a must-have because it’s the current trend! n

Integrated technology for all parts of


Lighthouse streamlines operations through live tracking and mobile forms to capture tasks, incidents and audits.



Timegate effectively manages staff rosters, streamlines your payroll process and ensures your staff show up at the right time and place.

TemplaCMS provides financial control over your business by fully integrating contracts, accounts and payroll.

Get in touch and book a demo | 03 8899 6683 |


Daniel Carpenter

CEO, Vivid Property Services

How was 2023 for Vivid?

2023 saw Vivid continue to steer the business closer towards our mission of being the most respected, inclusive, and innovative company in the industry. The post covid economy has driven up the cost of doing business whilst simultaneously putting immense pressure on our clients to find cost savings, from the amount of floor space occupy, to the services they procure. Using technology, we adapted to our client needs through flexible and dynamic commercial and service delivery models. 2023 did see us say goodbye to some long-term clients. Whilst difficult, these decisions have ultimately propelled us in the direction we want to head and allowed us to bring on many wonderful new clients. Restructuring our business to be more vertically aligned to our clients has been hard. This challenge was also one of the highlights ultimately. Mobilising an entire organisation to shift old ways of doing business, without losing the secret sauce, to new ways of creating value for clients in a sustainable way is no small thing. Along the way we continued to attract some of the industry’s most talented people. Keeping retention levels high and ensuring everyone’s health and wellbeing, whilst also meeting the needs of our clients is any organisation’s most important challenge, but I am proud that 2023 saw us exceed our employee engagement targets. Being acknowledged, on a competitive basis, by the industry for the work we do in our communities and commitment to improving the education and employment levels of our First Nations People also makes me proud. Our strengths, achievements and progress excite me – we are now harnessing the best of what we were with the best of what we needed to be.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

We have six key priorities for next year. We continue to be entirely Client Focused and to a large extent we support that with being 64 INCLEAN January / February 2024

Intelligence Led. Our technology enables us to go beyond what others can offer. Like every other successful company, we will continue to Grow Our Brand and secure Profitability to enable us to prosper and importantly Empower Our People to achieve their own personal goals. Moreover, we value our extensive High Performing Supply Chain and we will continue to work with them to be the best that they can be.

What are the most significant opportunities in the industry? How can the industry best leverage these?

The silver lining of the Covid epidemic was that the value of the cleaning industry became very salient, as were the many complexities inherent in the industry. There has been a drift away from that with the prevalence of work from home and economic threats taking the centre stage that was abandoned by Covid. However, the opportunity now is for Vivid to play a key role in partnering with our clients to ‘earn the commute’ of their people. Vested outsourcing provides the framework for clients and outsourced partners to work together to achieve win-win outcomes and we aspire to play our role in that. We often say that we aren’t just a cleaning company. We are a formidable technology company, the only one in the industry in fact, to develop and maintain our own CMMS. We are also a workforce planning company, incident response team and go-to for sustainability and social inclusion outcomes and much more. Collaboration between clients and cleaning companies can garner very good holistic outcomes. The master-servant mentality really needs to be exposed and exiled from the broader industry.

Are there any key sustainability targets Vivid has made for 2024?

We are very driven to play our role, and to support our clients in meeting their objectives around sustainability. We focus on the factors that we can control like finding substitutes for chemicals or reducing the

emissions impact though our national fleet being 70 per cent hybrid. We have set targets for these environmental impacts including purchasing 80 per cent enviro friendly products and all fleet emissions coming in lower than the Australian average of 146.5 Co2 Grams per Km.

What’s your leadership philosophy?

There are many truisms that tend to guide my thinking and of course thinking is easier than putting it into practice. Peter Drucker is still the seminal source of most leadership wisdom, although probably too dated for our younger generations. He said, ‘the best way to predict the future is to create it’. I don’t like too much uncertainty and so that motivates me to really drive focus on where we want to develop our business, have robust budgets in place and continuously improve into areas that will solidify our future as a business. Although I am terribly impatient, I know from experience that actively building business maturity is hard, you carry a lot of scars, and it takes time because you are building the plane and flying it at the same time. It’s not for everyone, however I believe that it’s necessary to create the future you want for the organisation.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Work hard to ensure that where cleaning is seen to be devalued, that as an industry we work collectively to right those wrongs. Cleaning needs to be seen as of primary importance and a value proposition for attracting people back to the office. As such cleaning should be valued commercially by property owners, tenants and procurement representatives and not seen as a begrudging expenditure. It is our job as an industry to drive these value propositions and continue to lift the profile, importance and ultimately the respect given to the industry. This will have tremendously positive flow-on effects for all involved. The Vested literature talks a lot about, ‘What’s in it for WE’ and we need to consider all the stakeholders in that equation. n

About Us Now, more than ever, it’s the opportune time to support Australian businesses. 100% Australian owned and operated, Vivid Property Services and Vivid Indigenous Services is the commercial cleaning and property services specialist that has been trusted for close to 20 years by some of Australia’s most iconic brands. With a shared vision to be the most respected, inclusive and innovative business in the cleaning industry we are also creating direct employment for First Nations Peoples and are committed to providing a pathway of knowledge, empowerment and education to enable a sustainable future for Indigenous people.



Sydney Adelaide

Our Story

Vivid at-a-Glance 80

national and multi-national organisations prefer Vivid


standard cleaning services delivered every month

1300 438 848

1,500,000m2 of workspace serviced daily


sites cleaned every day


registered and vetted property services partners across Australia



cleaning work hours delivered every day

Built from the ground up, Vivid has always grown through one-on-one client relationships and trust. Many clients from Vivid’s early years are still with us and we value them greatly, as we do our many new clients. During this period of economic uncertainty, the value of vested outsourcing relationships and loyalty has never been more important. Despite our success, Vivid never sought quick gains; everything was and remains, about reinvesting in this great Australian business for long-term, sustainable growth. Dan Carpenter, Vivid CEO.


Darran Leyden

Managing Director, Whiteley Corporation

How was 2023 for Whiteley? What were the highlights? What were the challenges? 2023 has been challenging with post-pandemic fatigue causing a reduction in the use of hand hygiene products such as alcohol-based handrubs and a reduction in the focus of surface cleaning and disinfection products across the spectrum in non-healthcare markets. This has been countered by the supply issues created during the pandemic for some of our hard floor products being resolved and these products have been launched back to market better than ever!

What are the most significant opportunities and challenges in the industry? How can the industry leverage or address these?

One of the most significant current challenges in the industry is the ability to fill vacant roles and retain key staff. Economic drivers with higher inflation have added pressure to all businesses and as the national economy impacts business, cleaning and hygiene costs are often one of the target areas for reducing costs. Global economic drivers are mostly beyond the control of the industry but we can certainly advocate the benefits the cleaning industry have for society across the board to future staff.

‘Protecting lives and livelihoods’ is the core message that resonates across our business and is part of our leadership philosophy. Our team, our customers. and the community are critical elements for our innovation and continuous improvement and will remain so into the future.

66 INCLEAN January / February 2024

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

I think we will see the market further normalise in 2024 with customers losing some of the pandemic focus on infection prevention. Staff shortages will continue with low unemployment. Increasing robotic usage with decreasing costs, automation and the introduction of AI will continue to make inroads in the industry.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Whiteley has made for 2024? How will you measure your progress?

Sustainability is a key feature for Whiteley moving forward into 2024. We have seen a culture change in customers caring more about the effects on the environment. We have a dedicated team constantly working on our sustainability plan. We can measure our progress based on our Ecovadis ratings, where we see our effects on environment, ethics, labour, and human rights as well as sustainable procurement and we review based on the data to improve our circumstances.

What’s your leadership philosophy?

“Protecting lives and livelihoods” is the core message that resonates across our business and is part of our leadership philosophy. Our team, our customers. and the community are critical elements for our innovation and continuous improvement and will remain so into the future.

Do you have a message for the industry?

People are the focus of what we do, without them there wouldn’t be a cleaning industry and the community wouldn’t be safe without them. We thank everyone for their ongoing dedication and resilience to continuously improving the cleaning industry. n


Pressure cleaning safety


n conversations with our Kiwi customers, we heard recently that last year there were 700 reported pressure cleaner related injuries. If that’s the case in New Zealand, we sense there would be at least 3500 incidents in Australia, possibly more with many injuries not reported. Although high pressure injuries may only leave a small surface wound, foreign material and air can be driven deep into the underlying issue. This can lead to serious complications that require immediate medical intervention and, if not resolved, can result in eventual amputation. Pressure cleaning looks easy. DIYers do it with their big box hardware store machines every day! Many aren’t particularly conscious of the safety issues involved. Those machines are generally low pressure but if used incorrectly, they can be dangerous! At Aussie Pumps we focus on professional users and that of course includes a large part of the cleaning industry. Where would we be without cleaners? The huge range of tasks they cover needs specialised knowledge on many types of equipment. Understanding how to use all those products safely and efficiently would be a chore for anybody.


Understanding how a pressure cleaner works is fundamental to using it efficiently, and contract cleaning companies have an obligation to make sure their operators are trained. Many operators don’t read the user manual and have no clear understanding of how the piston pump generates the pressure that enables them to clean. We decided to take a completely different view on how to handle this issue. Every machine we build goes through a test procedure and is certified to have

the pressure set exactly at the machine’s specified capacity. For example, 4,000 PSI machine will have the pressure set at 4,000 PSI. We factory set the unloader, with the correct nozzle applied, to ensure the machine performs in the field. The safety valve is then set at around to 10% more than the pressure rating of the machine itself. If the machine experiences a pressure spike over the rated setting, the safety value will release that extra pressure, thus protecting both the machine from damage and the operator from injury. Yes, pressure spikes are caused by a wide range of issues. These include unloader failure due to running “too hot”, using worn out nozzles or simply adjusting the unloader pressure up to “get the job done faster”.


Class A machines have a flow/pressure combination of up to 5,600 bar/litres per minute. Operators, under the terms of the Standards, are obligated to make sure they understand the effective use of the machines and how to operate them safely. Class B machines operate over 5,600 bar/ litres per minute. These machines require RTO operator certification and that can be inconvenient and expensive. These courses are aimed at specialised users of high-end machines, say 40,000 psi, as used in shipyards, mining operations or heavyduty industry. Operators using those machines have not only the need to be RTO trained but hey must be equipped with appropriate safety clothing as well.


25 years ago, Australian Pump introduced its very first High Pressure Pump

Understanding how a pressure cleaner works is fundamental to using it efficiently.

Technology booklet. This guide is constantly evolving now includes detailed service and troubleshooting information. It is widely used not just in Australia but around the world. It’s recommended that anybody operating pressure cleaners checks out this information and takes the time to understand just how the system works. It reinforces the need to change nozzles on a regular basis to maintain the pressure of the machine and to check the unit over daily for any issues that may be developing.


There are no compromises when it comes to safety. Employers should understand they are liable for their operators being armed with proper training and equipment before attempting pressure cleaning jobs. Just because you wash your car with a DIY El cheapo machine doesn’t make you certified to use professional machines in professional chores. Here’s our list of golden rules. • Wear safety glasses • Wear gloves and long sleeve shirts • Wear long trousers • If using 5,000 PSI or above always use purpose-designed safety clothing. ■ John Hales, is chief engineer of Australian Pump Industries. 67


How to better predict the

year ahead

“ A

Rather than asking what will change in 10 years, ask what will be the same.

68 INCLEAN January / February 2024

s we embark on a new year, it’s customary to reflect on the past year and contemplate the possibilities that lie ahead. Many of us find ourselves making predictions for the upcoming year, even formulating strategies based on these predictions. Yet, if you cast your mind back to the start of 2023 and the predictions made at that time, you may find that your predictions were wrong. For example, you may not have anticipated interest rates to go up as quickly as they have, you probably did not predict war in Europe, and you may not have predicted may other economic events that occurred throughout the year. If planning for the future is such a normal part of our lives, why are we so bad at predicting it? The problem could lay in the fact that we focus too much on what is going to change, instead of what is going to stay the same. In Morgan Housel’s book, Same As Ever, he recounts a story where in 2009 he asked the famous investor, Warren Buffet, “how on earth the economy will recover?” following the GFC. Warren replied with a question; “Do you know what the best-selling candy bar was in 1962? …It was Snickers” He then continued, “Do you know what the best-selling candy bar was in 2008? …Snickers” The point being that some things don’t change or are unlikely to change. People are likely going to value the same things. Human nature is unlikely to change. So, your energy may be better placed focussing on what is not going to change instead of predicting where the economy will go.

So, with that in mind, what is unlikely to change in the year ahead. • Clean surfaces will protect against infection and disease • People and culture will be important to the cleaning industry • Those areas that are clean will attract people and therefore be valuable to businesses and government • Businesses need positive cashflow • Data and its security will be important • Time will continue to be a valuable resource • Tax intricacies will endure Once you take note of what is unlikely to change, then you can develop a strategy for the year ahead around those areas. For example, time will be important this year. That will not change. What is your strategy around maximising your time? How are you planning to better maximise your staff’s time? This is not to say that looking to anticipate market trends and economic conditions is not important but focussing on what you can control is likely to produce good results no matter the economic or political climate. Jeff Bezos famously told The Harvard Business Review “Rather than asking what will change in 10 years, ask what will be the same”. Ask yourself what things will never change? Focus your time there. If you want to get better at predicting the future, then predict the things that are true today and will continue to be true in the future. ■ Andrew Ash is Director, Accounting and Tax at HLB Mann Judd.


Thriving in 2024:

How to rise above the economic ashes


s 2024 dawns, it brings a unique set of challenges for cleaning business owners and decision-makers. Inflation is rising, costs are climbing, and interest rates threaten keep rising. The choices you make today will make or break the success of your business tomorrow.


In these turbulent economic times, every decision weighs heavier than ever. The cost of supplies, labour, and operations aren’t just numbers on a page – they’re the lifeblood of your business. With the market’s unpredictability, the “race to the bottom”, and dodgy operators, it’s like driving blindfolded on a dangerous mountain pass during a thunderstorm. Each critical decision, from finding cash to pay wages, to covering ever increasing interest rates, feels like high stakes turn along a perilous cliff’s edge, where one misstep could lead to a disastrous freefall into the economic abyss.


As costs rise and cash gets tighter, pricing becomes a critical but often disregarded tool not just to survive, but to beat your competition. All too often I hear things like “I have to drop my prices, or I won’t win business”, or “I can’t compete with X they have more scale and/or lower costs”. The argument around price is just not true. The truth is people don’t buy price; they buy value. We’ve proved this time and time again with clients and I’ll show you how you can do it too.

It’s not about setting prices; it’s about understanding customers’ needs and creating highly valuable service packages that deliver quality and create trust.


• What do your customers value? Maybe it’s your eco-friendly products or your lightning-fast response times. Start today by simply asking your five best customers what they value most about your service – their insights could be the key to your next big win. • What’s your cost story? Dive into your expenses. Understand every dollar spent, from supplies to staff wages. It’s not about cutting corners; it’s about smart spending. • How do your stand out? In a sea of competitors, what are they doing differently to you? Don’t copy but understand what you can do differently so shine above the competition.


Sometimes, gaining this insight means seeking viewpoints from outside your immediate circle. Engaging with someone completely removed from your business can offer a fresh, unbiased perspective on your pricing and service value. This isn’t about questioning your expertise; it’s about enriching it with diverse viewpoints from experienced people that can bring ideas from outside your business, or even your industry. Three key actions for unmatched success 1. Give customers a choice: Present your services as a range of compelling choices. From essential to premium, let each option speak to different customer needs, adding depth and breadth to your business.

2. R efine and elevate your value pricing strategy: Ground your pricing in a deep understanding of your costs and customer value. Ensure it reflects the exceptional service you provide. 3. O utsmart your competition: Stay informed about the market and your competitors. Use this knowledge to innovate and offer services that set you apart.


All too often business owners and leaders are afraid of pricing, the uncertainty it brings, and the fear of losing customers. Once you have the facts around costs and why customers buy from you, it becomes much easier. Don’t raise prices, come up with entirely new customer-value rich offerings that your ideal customers can’t resist. Our clients have used this exact method to achieve an average 2.29 times more profit with some as high as five or even eight times more profit. Anthony of Need-A-Skip-Now says, “I thought it was just about having the lowest price. I was wrong. By focusing on customer-value pricing, we went from just surviving in a very competitive market, to making 5 times more profit in just one year.” Survival is not enough: By embracing these strategies, you’ll not only survive the turmoil but will rise as a legend in the cleaning industry, inspiring others and carve a legacy that transcends the ordinary. ■ Brad Horan from is a business growth consultant and has been helping businesses grow for more than 25 years. 69


NEW ACTIV8 Battery Powered Vacuum Head The revolutionary ACTIV8 Battery Powered Vacuum Head is designed for the operator to clean in a figure eight mopping motion using both hands and standing upright. This allows the user to cover a surface area with maximum efficiency, saving time and delivering 50 per cent improvement in productivity. Dual counter rotating brushes and a centrally located swivel joint allows the user to move freely in any direction with a full 360˚ range of motion on both carpet and hard floors. Australia designed the ACTIV8 Battery Powered Vacuum Head is a must-have for every commercial cleaner! ` Designed for backpack vacuum cleaners (using 32mm tools/accessories) ` Robust design engineered to withstand the rigours of commercial cleaning ` Cleans 50 per cent faster than traditional vacuum heads ` Im proves posture, reduces strain, fatigue, and injury ` Long battery life - up to two hours run time ` Can also be used as a cordless sweeper without a vacuum


IPC machines exclusive to RapidClean A range of IPC machines are now available exclusively through RapidClean members in Australia and New Zealand. IPC is a leading provider of professional cleaning solutions for commercial markets, the IPC Machines are made in Italy of the highest quality and are backed by the Tennant Company. To learn more about the exclusive range of IPC machines or to find your local RapidClean member.


INOX Scour N Sponge The INOX Scour N Sponge combines the cleaning power of a stainless-steel ball with the flexibility of a sponge to clean edges of the pan. The unique INOX yarn is knitted to increase its durability and life compared to the average stainlesssteel ball. It is ideal for cleaning stainless steel pts, pans, dishes, cutlery, coffee machine steam wand etc.

Rejuven8 Rejuven8 is designed to enhance the appearance of worn floor finishes. Rejuven8 is the next generation in hard floor maintenance. Rejuven8 increases the durability of floor finishes and enhances gloss levels. Rejuven8 effectively repairs scratches and reduces the appearance of scuffing – black heel marks, grounded in dirt and surface scratches. ` Extends life of polish films

Oates Professional

` Enhances gloss levels

1300 669 686

` Easy application

` Concentrated formula makes more than 280-litres

Whiteley Corporation 1800 833 566

70 INCLEAN January / February 2024


Targeting Clean

Wipe Away

SEBO DART Series consists of a twin motor upright vacuum cleaner and ultra-high speed Polishing Head for lightweight, versatile and easy to manoeuvre commercial cleaning. The vacuum boasts a “Flex” neck, S-Class filtration, an on-board hose, a crevice nozzle, powerhead with 4-level brush height adjustment and auto shut-off, it is userfriendly and achieves superb cleaning results quickly, easily, and economically. When added to the DART 2 professional vacuum cleaner, the UHS (ultra-high speed) polisher removes fine dust particles before releasing a gloss finish, without the use of chemicals or water. This has been achieved by using diamond pad technology, ultra-high speed and a patented automatic pad adjustment system that sets the pad to the correct height for the floor surface. Using the DART polisher with diamond pads eliminates the health and safety hazard of wet floors and saves the time and cost of applying chemical treatments.

Wipe Away is a powerful spray-and-wipe detergent for cleaning hard surfaces. It has a strong grease-cutting formula and is specially designed to be non-streaking and leave no residues. It is highly economical, making up to 200 spray bottles that leave a pleasant sweet-spice fragrance that lingers. Perfect for walls, stoves, painted surfaces, tabletops, laminates, vinyl, and more. ` Powerful, grease-cutting formula ` Leaves no residues or films ` Lingering sweet spice perfume

Agar Cleaning Systems 1800 301 302

SEBO Australia 02 9678 9577 71


CCS JCR Janitor Cart – 100% recycled plastic The new CCS JCR Janitor Cart from Central Cleaning Supplies, with its many features, is not only perfect for assisting professional cleaner, it is also great for the environment and sustainability as it contains 100 per cent recycled plastic. ` Easy and efficient transportation of buckets, mops, brooms, chemicals, cloths, and all your cleaning essentials ` Complete with bag ` Tough sturdy construction ` Easy manoeuvrability with swivel front wheels ` Custom branding with black bags optional

Central Cleaning Supplies 1300 347 347

Excentr Floor Scrubber/Polishers Excentr are powerful and efficient scrubber/polishers made in The Netherlands using quality material such as stainless steel. Excentr are exceptional cleaning machines thanks to the Excentr Method, which consists of five benefits: ` Up to four times faster based on movements of 2850 rpm in small circles of 7mm ` A unique design using rectangular and special shape machines ` Ergonomic and user-friendly ` Environmentally friendly with a focus to reduce chemical consumption ` Deep cleaning using short 7mm circular movements. Free demonstration available.

Central Cleaning Supplies 1300 347 347

NEW Terminator Plus – Auto Terminator Plus - Auto is a carpet extraction machine that is designed with state-of-the-art features to optimise resource utilisation and reduce downtime. It combines a compact body with powerful vacuum and pump systems to match the performance of large carpet extractors. Weighing 49kg, it can fit into most domestic station wagons, and allows users to access tight spaces for fast, efficient cleaning without sacrificing power. Other features include: ` Suspension-mounted 2 x 1100 watt 2-stage bypass vacuum motors which operate without vibration and at low volume

PH-7 pH-7 is a neutral detergent that has a multitude of applications for cleaning your floors and hard surfaces. It has been specially formulated to be environmentally preferable and is certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia. pH-7 effectively removes dirt and oil and works on all types of floors, including sensitive surfaces like terrazzo, marble, and ceramic tiles. pH-7 eliminates spills, food stains, oils, and everyday dirt effortlessly. With a fresh citrus scent, it simplifies your cleaning process by not requiring rinsing. ` Great versatility ` Safe for alkali-sensitive surfaces ` Easy soil and spillage removal ` Concentrated for cost-effective cleaning ` Fresh citrus scent ` No rinsing required

` A working pressure of up to 600 PSI with a 2-jet wand (02 tips)

Agar Cleaning Systems

` 50-litre solution tank and a 20-litre recovery tank

` Innovative “Auto fill and empty” function

Polivac International 72 INCLEAN January / February 2024

1800 301 302


JUMA STEP 150 Escalator Cleaning Machine The JUMA STEP 150 is the newest generation of escalator cleaning machines. Juma cleaning devices are 100 per cent quality made in Germany, in the original factory that produced other escalator cleaners. With major changes incorporated into the STEP 150, you are able to clean escalators faster than you have ever experienced. ` 18 brushes for more efficient and faster cleaning ` Choose cleaning cycles between 12 and 60 seconds ` New brush geometry giving you more force on the steps to remove heavy dirt faster ` In one single step, steps and rise are cleaned, in horizontal and vertical movements ` Touch display with manuals ` Free demonstration available

Central Cleaning Supplies 1300 347 347

NEW Kärcher CV 30/2 Bp cordless upright vacuum brush cleaner The new CV 30/2 Bp cordless upright vacuum brush cleaner takes floor cleaning to a new level. Features such as automatic floor detection, 36 V Kärcher Battery Power+ and Battery with LED display with Real Time Technology means you can achieve a superior clean every time. ` Powerful - Twin motor with automatic floor detection ` Ergonomic - Built with eco!efficiency mode and LED display showing remaining run time ` Versatile - Super slim design at only 12cm in overall height when lying flat on the ground

Kärcher Australia 1800 675 714

Tempo HD Tempo HD is a multipurpose neutral detergent designed for use in commercial, institutions and industrial environments. Tempo HD rapidly emulsifies common food oils, minerals oils, and synthetic oils. Being pH neutral and solventfree Tempo HD is safe for use on most surfaces. Tempo HD can be used in any area where oil and grease are a problem, including supermarkets, commercial buildings, kitchens, factories, institutional, government and healthcare facilities.

Central Cleaning Supplies Nitrile Gloves

` No anti-foam required

Central Cleaning Supplies’ range of disposable Nitrile Gloves are ideal for use in many types of applications. They are latex free, chemical resistant, ambidextrous, and finger textured. Available powder free in packs of 100, blue or black and in sizes ranging from small, medium, large, to extra-large.

` Makes up to 800-litres

Central Cleaning Supplies

Whiteley Corporation

1300 347 347

1800 833 566

` Concentrated formula ` Neutral pH & solvent free 73


TEAM by WorkWave - Your next allin-one workforce management software Coming this year to the cleaning industry, TEAM by WorkWave is an all-in-one workforce management software that solves common business challenges, like managing a disparate workforce, supporting compliance, and supplying proof of attendance, all while streamlining and optimising business performance. TEAM by WorkWave aims to:

NEW Lasting fragrance urinal screens from Cleanstar Cleanstar’s new urinal screens provide a long-lasting fresh fragrance of up to 30 days, while also helping to reduce cleaning frequency. The screens feature a unique Draining System in every microtube leaving the screen residuefree and are formulated to contain enzymes preventing malodours. The range features five fragrances: Ocean, Lemon, Strawberry, Tangerine, and Lavender and offers great value for a box of 250. Sample packs are also available.


` Optimise scheduling ` Connect your mobile workforce and validate staff presence on site ` Ensure accuracy of payroll with in-built Award Interpretation ` Reduce redundancies and provide single source of truth data ` Provide actionable reporting and analytics ` Gain savings with streamlined, technology-driven processes

TEAM Software by WorkWave (03) 8899 6683

Vycel Electrostatic Sprayer The Vycel Electrostatic Sprayer protects against viruses and pathogens by delivering a positively charged water-based antimicrobial spray, creating a mist that evenly coats and wraps surfaces, cleaning the air it passes through and disinfecting all surfaces rapidly and with ease. Up to 99.99 per cent effective against pathogens, the Vycel Electrostatic Sprayer is easy to use, runs quietly, and leaves viruses nowhere to hide. ` Coats and wraps 100 per cent of surfaces effectively for full coverage ` Covers up to 15,000 sq ft per tank (350 sq ft per minute coverage) ` Disinfects and sanitises an area in 25 per cent of the time ` Uses up to 75 per cent less liquid chemical solutions than traditional disinfecting methods ` Dwell time of 30 seconds and no wiping required

Brilliance Sealer Brilliance is back and improved! Brilliance is a sealer finish one-step, high-gloss product that provides an amazing “wet look” finish while sealing up to 400sqm per 5L bottle. Brilliance also has a slip-resistance rating D1 classification as per AS4586:2013. ` Easy to apply ` Self-leveling properties ` Quick dry time ` Australian made Brilliance is suitable for most hard floor surfaces including terrazzo, vinyl tiles, granite, vinyl sheeting, tiles, and slate. Scan the QR code to access the floor sealer calculator.

Whiteley Corporation 1800 833 566 74 INCLEAN January / February 2024

` Cordless and battery powered


Wednesday, 11 September - Thursday, 12 September



Capitalising on both of its international and local resources, ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, will be putting together a two day industry event. The industry’s leading manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers will come together for information sharing, education, relationship building, cutting edge technology and product innovation.

Exhibition floor

Explore, Experience, Elevate

Education program Networking events INCLEAN Excellence Awards

Get in touch!

Call +61 298 904 951

ISSA Oceania


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