INCLEAN January-February 2023

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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.

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Editor’s letter

Welcome to the first issue of INCLEAN magazine for 2023 and our fourth annual Industry Leaders Forum report. Within our Leaders Forum report, you’ll read commentary from leaders across all facets of industry, discussing how they balanced the highs and lows of 2022, how the pandemic challenged their way of thinking, and how it even led some to transform the way they do business.

In this year’s edition, we reflect on another pandemic-impacted year that has once again tested the industry’s agility and resilience. While there have been many ups and downs for organisations as they continue to navigate the disruption of the past two years, overall, the cleaning industry has managed to roll with the punches and weather the COVID storm.

However, as the industry prepares for the next wave of changes and economic impacts, what’s looking like the greatest challenge this year is recruiting and retaining staff. This unintended consequence of the pandemic has hit the cleaning industry harder than others and after speaking to leaders, it’s looking like it will continue to plague the sector this year.

This shortage of labour is anticipated to drive heightened demand for regular and thorough training, and leaders agree that businesses will need to invest in their people, products, and programs in a more robust way than ever before.

What was also profoundly clear from speaking to leaders this year is that sustainability has become a paramount consideration. Businesses are setting ambitious ESG targets and following the ACCC’s recent announcement that greenwashing will be a compliance priority area in 2023, transparency around sustainability targets and practices will be critical.

Our 2023 Leaders Forum is presented alongside trend forecasts and industry predictions from local and international thought leaders in both cleaning and restoration, making this issue essential reading. But this edition wouldn’t be possible without the help of the leaders who have taken the time to share their knowledge, observations, and learnings, so thanks to all who have participated.

It’s always a personal highlight for our team putting this issue together and I hope there are some valuable insights that will help you, your staff, and your business in 2023.

Happy reading!

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.

is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd on behalf of ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. 41 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 Australia
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What’s on


The Cleaning Show

14-16 March 2023

The longest running dedicated event for the UK cleaning industry

ISSA Pulire

9-11 May 2023

The largest professional cleaning and sanitisation industry trade show in Italy

ISSA Show Canada

14-15 June 2023

Canada’s premier trade show and conference

CMS Berlin

19-22 September 2023

The international conference and trade show will be held in Berlin


Cleaning & Hygiene Expo

1-2 November 2023

The ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo will take place in Melbourne

ISSA Show North America

13-16 November 2023

Vegas will play host to ISSA North America 2023


Interclean Amsterdam

14- 17 May 2024

The world’s leading trade show for cleaning and hygiene professionals


Report finds absenteeism costing businesses billions New report reveals workplace absenteeism is costing billions in lost productivity.

Rapid Group GM steps down Rapid Group general manager Bruce Lees announces departure after 12 years.

Survey of foreign language job ads finds more than half offer illegal rates of pay Report finds thousands of job ads in Australia’s top eight industries offered illegal pay rates.

Sorbent boss warns toilet paper price set to rise

Solaris Paper director warns cost of toilet paper may increase as company’s gas prices are set to almost triple.

High court to rule on Qantas outsourcing

Qantas wins right to appeal rulings on outsourced employees.

Shoppers no longer buying the throwaway culture, study finds

Aussie consumers are rejecting throwaway culture, instead snapping up sustainable options, new research reveals.


Oates has an extensive and sustainable range of products to meet all the different demands you are confronted with in your environment. Increase productivity and efficiency in all your cleaning tasks – from floorcare to microfibre – with Oates and achieve better performance and hygiene. Read more about the latest products from Oates in this issue’s cover story on page 12.

6 INCLEAN January / February 2023
ISSUE #1 VOLUME 36 JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2023 28 36 44 50 56 30 38 45 52 58 64 62 32 40 46 54 60 34 42 48 55 61 66 68 70 71 IN THIS ISSUE 18 The 10 top trends to watch in 2023 Industry leaders identify key issues that should be on the radar for business owners, executives, and employees 22 Winning the war for talent Why a clear focus on recruitment and retention strategies will be crucial for business success in 2023 27 2023 Industry Leaders Forum 28 Accord Australasia 30 Agar Cleaning Systems 32 Australian Pump Industries 34 BIC Services 36 Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) 38 Bunzl ANZ 40 Central Cleaning Supplies 42 Cleanstar/XPOWER 44 Daniels Associates 45 Diversey ANZ 46 ISSA Oceania 48 Kärcher Australia 50 Killara Services 52 Motorscrubber Australia 54 Oates (Freudenberg) 55 Polivac International 56 Reckitt/Dettol Pro Solutions 58 RapidClean 60 SAN-AIR 61 SEBO 62 Solaris Paper 64 SPITWATER 66 TEAM Software 68 Tennant Company 70 The Robot Factory 71 Whiteley Corporation Regulars 05 Editor’s letter 08 Industry news 12 Cover story 72 Restoration 76 Opinion 77 Products 7

Cleanstar launches 2023 marketing campaign

Cleanstar has launched its 2023 marketing campaign, ‘Seeing is Believing’.

“At Cleanstar/XPOWER we pride ourselves on our creative flair,” said Lisa Michalson, director of Cleanstar.

“Each year we tap into a different theme to express and convey our message through a marketing campaign specific for that year. 2023 is the year we release our inner tiger.”

Cleanstar is a wholesaler of commercial vacuum cleaner bags, filters, spare parts and equipment, has become a market leader in the commercial sector, with an extensive portfolio of products and brands.

XPOWER, launched in 2008 to run alongside Cleanstar, is a major worldwide brand of restoration equipment including air-movers, dryers, air scrubbers and dehumidifiers.

“Cleanstar/XPOWER is a force to be reckoned with and this year we are boldly saying to our customers that ‘seeing is believing’.”

“The tiger symbolises our strength as a business and our commitment to our customers, but it is also a commemoration to our beloved Con Terpos who sadly passed away and is forever in our hearts.”

Cleanstar’s 2022 marketing campaign saw the company collaborate with artist and AFL Gold Coast Suns player, Jy Farrar.

The 2023 campaign will roll out throughout Cleanstar’s distribution, retail and service networks across multiple channels including, digital, social, and print.

Print advertising includes trade magazines, brochures, and banners. Cleanstar also produces a catalogue each year, in both print and digital versions.

Rapid Group GM Bruce Lees steps down

After 12 years at the helm of the Rapid Group, Bruce Lees has chosen to stand down from his position as general manager.

During Lees’ tenure as general manager, the RapidClean group of independently owned cleaning supply businesses has experienced a sustained period of growth, including an expansion from 20 stores to more than 70 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. RapidClean has also enjoyed double digit sales growth for 10 consecutive years.

Lees, who has purchased a cleaning supply store in Hervey Bay, Queensland, said leading RapidClean for the past 12 years has been a huge privilege.

“RapidClean members own their stores and genuinely care about their customers, and I have sincere admiration for all of them. I will miss my daily contact with our RapidClean members, our preferred suppliers, our key accounts, and I will especially miss my head office team who are passionate RapidClean people and have performed brilliantly, especially over the past few trying years,” said Lees.

David Thyne, chairman of the Rapid Group, said Lees has been an outstanding leader for RapidClean over the past 12 years.

“During his term RapidClean has grown from a few members and suppliers doing business together into a national supplier in Australia and New Zealand of cleaning and washroom products as well as machinery.

“Bruce’s passion for the RapidClean brand and supporting our members will long be remembered.

“Bruce is stepping away from the General Managers role after purchasing a RapidClean members store in Queensland which he will run with the same passion and enthusiasm,” Thyne said.

“On behalf of the RapidClean board, members and suppliers I would like to sincerely thank Bruce. He should be enormously proud of what he has achieved during his time with RapidClean and we are all delighted that he will remain part of the Rapid family. We now look to the future, and what an exciting future it is for RapidClean.”

Thyne said the Rapid Group board has moved quickly to begin a search for a leader with the experience and industry knowledge to build on the strong foundation Lees has built.

“The Rapid Group has sound financials, great geographical coverage, significant collated buying power, and strong marketing. We are in the process of seeking an extremely competent and capable leader and have employed an executive agency to ensure that our group will continue to thrive and succeed.”

INDUSTRY NEWS 8 INCLEAN January / February 2023

New report finds absenteeism costing Aussie businesses billions

A new report has revealed that workplace absenteeism is on the rise and costing Australian businesses billions in lost productivity.

The report by Frost & Sullivan found workplace absenteeism has cost businesses $14.1 billion in lost productivity so far this year, with this cost set to reach $24.2 billion by the end of 2022.

The first study of its kind, the research commissioned by Rentokil Initial, found employers are experiencing a 70 per cent increase in absenteeism compared to this time last year, negatively affecting productivity and teamwork.

“Our research highlights that at present, one in 10 employees are absent from work on any given day, which is negatively impacting businesses, not just in lost productivity, but also in less measurable effects like reduced customer service and satisfaction, reduced staff collaboration and teamwork, and lost revenue,” said Andrew Stone, managing director Pacific, Rentokil Initial Stone said the way to change this trajectory is to break the “sickness cycle” by implementing comprehensive hygiene protocols in the workplace to reassure workers that they can safely work in the office.

“With many employees spending significant parts of their days at their workplace, mixing with co-workers, customers and other workplace visitors, hygiene plays a key role in minimising infections as well as increasing their confidence to be at work,” Stone said.

All businesses surveyed in the study claimed to have a formal workplace hygiene plan already in place, however, in many cases, this equated to hand sanitiser stations and providing and mandating mask-wearing.

“The problem here is that best practice hygiene means more than providing a few bottles of hand sanitiser. Businesses need to take a 360-degree approach to hygiene to make a real difference, which means looking at hand, surface, washroom and air hygiene,” Stone said.

“Only 30 per cent of employers told us their organisations use air purifiers and given that COVID is an airborne virus, and a lot of indoor spaces don’t have natural ventilation, it’s concerning that these solutions aren’t being prioritised.

“Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, customers and visitors in the workplace environment and employees have an important role to play in putting more pressure on organisations to take action and implement the right approach.” 9

CleanNZ Expo returned to Auckland in October, offering opportunities for networking, education, and product discovery for New Zealand’s commercial cleaning industry.

Hosted by the Building Service Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ) and organised by Interpoint Events, CleanNZ Expo is New Zealand’s only dedicated trade show and conference for the commercial cleaning industry.

The free-to-attend event took place at the Ellerslie Events Centre on Tuesday 25 October and Wednesday 26 October, with more than 35 exhibitors and almost 1000 attendees.

Sarah McBride, CEO of the BSCNZ, said the aim of the event was to educate, motivate, and inspire success.

“CleanNZ Expo has been more than three years in the making and it was great to be able to reconnect with everyone and bring building service contractors, business owners, facilities managers, and suppliers, all back together again.”

Deane Rogers, national account and events manager, Kärcher New Zealand, said CleanNZ Expo provided a platform to showcase new innovative and products to the industry.

“We attained some great leads due to the thirst of the attendees who wanted innovative solutions,” said Rogers.

Nick Garrety, country manager, Tennant NZ, said: “It was great to see the industry back together again face to face, with new relationships formed and others re-connected. The positivity around the industry was good to see and our new products were welcomed by the audience.”

Richard Murray, Whiteley NZ sales manager, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for the team to see the industry again. It was

good to interact with customers who purchase and use our product range, and we were also able to speak with many BSCs that showed interest in our products.”

The event also provided free education sessions for attendees, in partnership with registered training organisation, Careerforce, with topics focused on the latest trends and solutions for cleaning, as well as employment law, health and safety, and indoor air quality. For the first time, St Johns also hosted two-hour health and safety training sessions for delegates across both days.

The BSCNZ also hosted its industry conference, Evolve, in conjunction with CleanNZ Expo. Hosted by media personality Kerre McIvor, the BSCNZ Evolve Industry Conference featured a host of high calibre speakers including Sir Richard Hadlee; Sir Ian Taylor; Kirk Hope, CEO of BusinessNZ; and ANZ chief economist, Sharon Zollner.

Ian Kebbell, managing director of Supercare, said: “The Evolve conference was an excellent event with a world-class speakesr. We had a fantastic line-up of high-profile presenters that spoke on a broad range of topics, and even though some were outside of our industry, they were still just as relevant.”

Evolve also featured dual networking event for BSCNZ and Facilities Management Association of New Zealand (FMANZ) members. CleanNZ and the Evolve conference concluded with a gala dinner held at Sky City. Sponsors of CleanNZ and Evolve included: Auckland Unlimited, Kärcher New Zealand, Bunzl, Kiwi Maintenance Group, Mobil, Filta, Tork, Qual Chem, and NZ Cleaning Supplies.

New Zealand’s cleaning industry gathers at CleanNZ Expo in Auckland
INDUSTRY NEWS 10 INCLEAN January / February 2023

Polivac International introduces QR codes to product range

Polivac International, a market leader in intelligent cleaning technology, has introduced QR codes to its full range of Polivac machines, making it easier for customers to gain instant product information.

By scanning the QR codes on the machines, end-users now have access to a vast range of additional information about their Polivac machines, including product specifications, brochures, related digital content such as videos and photos, product spare parts diagrams, related products, and other attachments to use with the machine.

“We are pleased to be able to provide our customers with even more service and support, with instant access to information about our wide range of equipment,” said Polivac managing director Tony Antonious.

First formed in 1949, Polivac International is now recognised as Australia’s leading manufacturer of commercial cleaning equipment and a major exporter of advanced cleaning technology worldwide.

Based in Melbourne, Polivac is a leading name in the manufacture and distribution of commercial cleaning equipment with more than 120 distributors in Australia and 12 internationally. The current Polivac machine range is diverse and versatile, covering hard floor maintenance, carpet cleaning, concrete grinding and finishing through to timber floor sanding, backpack, and canister vacuum cleaners.


ServiceFM announces two new executive appointments

ServiceFM has announced two new appointments as the organisation restructures ahead of future expansion.

ServiceFM has brought service delivery and operational management together, which combines hard services and soft services delivery under one reporting line.

Ben Pursche has been promoted to chief operating officer (COO), responsible for operations across the company.

Pursche has been with ServiceFM for more than 16 years, rising through the ranks from an electrical technician to national manager – eSafe and, prior to this new role, as general manager – hard services.

ServiceFM managing director, James Pollock, said the business has benefitted greatly from Pursche’s loyal work ethic.

“We highly value the way Ben genuinely cares about his clients. His leadership style is anchored in team outcomes and accolades for the greater team, not just the individual.”

As part of the restructure, Damien Doherty has been appointed to the newly created executive role of general manager services, operating in his new capacity from ServiceFM’s Sydney base.

Doherty will provide leadership to state managers, to further aid in service quality assurance and assist in the acquisition of new clients.

Doherty brings a wealth of experience in client relationship management to the role, having spent the last 12 years in national contract management in facilities services, and the 11 years prior to that working for Australia Post across blue chip banking and financial clients.

Pollock said this organisational restructure is a critical component of the business’ plans for growth.

“As part of our growth strategy, it is prudent to increase the responsibility of state managers, who are now responsible for all facilities management operations within their respective states.”

“This is an exciting time for ServiceFM, as we transform into a leading facilities services company in Australia”, said Pollock.

Honeywell and Reuters survey reveals increase in sustainability initiatives in buildings

Greater energy efficiency, better indoor air quality (IAQ) and meeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) guidelines are three objectives currently prioritised by multinational organisations as they face increasing pressure to incorporate their building operations into their sustainability plans. These are among the key findings of a report released by Honeywell and Reuters.

Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87 per cent) said achieving carbon neutrality in their building portfolio is either extremely (58 per cent) or somewhat (29 per cent) important in relation to their overall ESG goals, with only 4 per cent of respondents calling it unimportant.

Manish Sharma, vice president and general manager of Sustainable Buildings at Honeywell, echoed this sentiment based on his ongoing conversations with current and prospective customers.

“If we fast-forward to 2025, I believe carbon neutrality will be one of the top priorities for organisations, driven partly by new carbon taxation plans and decarbonising incentives,” he said.

While the surveyed organisations are feeling pressure to act, respondents seem generally optimistic in forecasting progress toward their goals.

More than 90 per cent of those surveyed expect to achieve carbon neutrality across their portfolios by 2050, while 62 per cent expect to reach that goal by 2035.

Notably, only 8 per cent of respondents say they don’t foresee carbon neutrality ever becoming a reality for their portfolios.

Respondents also noted the business benefits of ramping up sustainability efforts across building portfolios. When asked which three of these benefits they valued most, they cited the following:

• Complying with external regulations and investor demands: 90 per cent; with more than 50 per cent of those surveyed ranking it number one

• Increasing productivity and realising cost reductions: 84 per cent

• Improving brand image: 60 per cent

Despite their optimism, those surveyed noted several significant barriers that impede their efforts. When asked which three obstacles most hinder progress, respondents reported the following:

• Managing costs: 88 per cent

• Measuring sustainability or a lack of expertise: 60 per cent

• Gaining senior leadership support: 50 per cent

The survey also revealed that companies are investing strategically to accelerate decarbonisation and improve overall building performance.

While respondents note a wide range of specific efforts, a substantial majority (80 per cent) mention an on-site energy management system as one investment they’ve made to enhance the sustainability of their building operations.

14 INCLEAN January / February 2023

The 10 top trends to watch in


cleaning and hygiene sector, 2023




More and more facilities are starting to measure indoor air quality (IAQ) – and it is not before time, according to Dr Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, senior director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).

The Washington DC-based infectionprevention expert says the importance of managing IAQ for health and safety reasons is well understood as a result of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has made it an issue,” he says. “If you go back to the beginning of the pandemic it was all about filtration, but now with all the technology we have it’s more about air purification.”

Given that about 99 per cent of harmful particles in the air cannot be seen, Dr Macgregor-Skinner says measuring IAQ is crucial. Promisingly, a range of cost-effective monitors are available on this front.

“These devices are about the same size as a smoke detector. They’re very

affordable and they give you real-time data on the air quality for 10 or 12 different airquality parameters.”

As well as being ideal for facilities such as airports, schools and hotels, Dr Macgregor-Skinner is encouraged that such devices work well, too, in homes and small business settings.

“It’s doable and easy to interpret.”

He adds these devices are simple to set up and keep track of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, total volatile organic

After a dramatic three years for the
shapes as a critical and exciting year full of opportunities as the
of COVID-19 starts to ease. INCLEAN speaks with industry leaders to identify key issues that should be on the radar for business owners, executives and employees in the next 12 months.
2023 TRENDS 16 INCLEAN January / February 2023

compounds, carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde and particles such as allergens, pollen and dust.

“Particulate matter are a mix of particles and droplets in the air, and the World Health Organization considers exposure to PM2.5 or less (fine particulate matter with a diameter of two-and-one-half microns) which cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease and cancers as the world’s single biggest environmental health risk,” Macgregor-Skinner says.


For Steve Ashkin, founder of The Ashkin Group and renowned for his green-cleaning advocacy work in the United States, 2023 shapes as an important year to continue the fight for sustainability in the cleaning sector.

“I’m going to do my best to not only make sure this issue doesn’t go away, but that it really flourishes,” he says.

“Now that we’re post-COVID, this is the time to establish the sustainability agenda and go beyond all the green-cleaning stuff and the innovations that have taken place in the past few years. Sustainability

is the next issue that I hope our industry will be paying attention to.”

Ashkin says a priority for him will be to clearly articulate that sustainability is different from green cleaning.

His sustainability drive will include focusing on how organisations act and operate, the ethical treatment of employees, energy and water conservation, superior fuel efficiency for fleet vehicles, as well as social issues such as fair wages, training and diversity.

With an eye to the future, Ashkin has been appointed to lead ISSA’s Global Sustainability Initiative. He says it is critical that sustainability campaigns target and educate developing countries where sustainability efforts are in their infancy.

“If we’re serious about doing something to make our world better, those are the people I want to work with,” he says.

“We’re planning on mentoring them, helping them transform their companies and giving them a competitive advantage.”

In this role, Ashkin says he will not be afraid to call out green washing.

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“ Simply telling your clients that you are cleaning hygienically will no longer cut it. You have to prove it. ”

“A lot of people want to believe what they’re doing is perfect and they don’t want anyone saying, ‘Well, that sounds like a bit of greenwash to me. Where’s the data to support all these claims you’re making?’ So, if we want to genuinely make a difference, that’s what I’m determined to do.”


In tandem with sustainability, it is clear that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will also continue to be a major talking point in the next 12 months.

Vanessa Watson, founder of business consultancy Give and Take Co, advises clients on sustainability and ESG. She expects tougher Australian legislation around single-use plastics to result in a significant packaging and materials overhaul for the cleaning sector. This anti-plastics push will be part of the evolution of a regenerative economy that reduces landfill.

“Single-use plastics are a thing of the past,” she says. “We’re transitioning away from plastics right throughout the supply chain.”

Watson acknowledges that such changes may be a challenge for some cleaning companies and product distributors because alternatives to plastics are not yet ubiquitous. The storage of harsh chemicals could also still require reliance on more traditional packaging in the short-term.

However, she says momentum for such reforms is unstoppable and requires a change of mindset among industry leaders, even if it comes with financial imposts in the short term. “There could be a financial cost to this and that’s the biggest challenge facing industry leaders today – accepting that the changing way that we must do business may cost us some money. However, the environmental cost of not making these necessary changes is very real, and more than likely catastrophic.”

Business advisor Kathryn Groening, who is an ISSA Oceania education and training consultant, believes an embrace of ESG is crucial to future business success.

“It works, it’s proven and it’s a way for a company to be successful and still do good at the same time,” she says.

Groening encourages cleaning enterprises to partner with a social or indigenous enterprise. This engenders great spirit within a business and employees “start telling their friends about it – that my company is doing this and that”.

“Most people don’t talk a lot about the day-to-day stuff in their company, but

when they can talk about things that are meaningful to them, it improves morale, productivity and efficiencies.”


The rollout of new technology and the spectre of automation will continue to be a topic of debate in the next 12 months and beyond.

Brant Insero, ISSA senior director of education, training, certification and standards, expects two areas of tech to dominate:

• Robotics – “The labour shortage is still very real for our industry globally and will continue to be a struggle for the foreseeable future,” Insero says.

• Quality control technology – he predicts an increase in usage of inspection software, plus ATP meters that are used for detecting contamination on surfaces and in water.

Insero says validation of any services being performed will be critical in the competitive world for cleaning contractors.

“As it relates to in-house services, technology such as ATP and others will help their internal stakeholders recognise strong performance.”

Insero says the cleaning industry will continue to evolve courtesy of new methods that demonstrate to stakeholders the value of clean surfaces, clean air, and clean water.

“Invest in and embrace new technology, or technology that has been available but not utilised yet,” he advises.

“If we stand in fear, our competition will walk past us and thrive from their ability to leverage technology to their advantage.”

While organisations should take advantage of appropriate technology, it is

wise to show a degree of skepticism and commit to testing.

“Organisations can’t believe everything they hear, but they should play the role of myth-busters. Test technology with open arms and see for yourself it will fit within your organisation.”


Given that housekeeping and cleaning staff have been engaged in “life or death” work during the pandemic, the need for first-class training is obvious.

However, Smarter Skills head trainer Lesley Jones says too often cleaning employees are under-trained and under-prepared.

“It’s a systematic approach to training that’s lacking and which hasn’t been enforced in a way that it should have been,” says Jones, who has more than 30 years’ experience in health and aged care as a registered nurse, clinical educator and facility manager.

Many companies are relying on contract cleaners, but managers are so overburdened with work that they do not have the time to check if their suppliers are doing the right thing.

Jones hopes this flawed approach is rectified in 2023 and that appreciation for cleaners continues to grow.

“Generally speaking, everyone wants to do their best, but it’s about recognising housekeeping staff as some of the most valuable resources that we’ve got. We too often think of them as just cleaners and they’re not.”

She notes, for example, that cleaners in aged care settings often have to liaise with dementia patients and other people as they compete their work tasks.

2023 TRENDS 18 INCLEAN January / February 2023


There is an appetite for growth in the cleaning sector, according to Groening.

This will translate to an emphasis on a range of business fundamentals, including improving operational processes, streamlining cash flow and applying a HR lens to training, workplace safety, employee wellbeing and recruitment and retention.

“It’s critical we retain our staff and training is key to that,” Groening says. “Even the correct induction process will help you keep people and that will be one of the keys to success.”

In other areas, Groening expects supply chains to again be an issue of importance in 2023. She advises being transparent about manufacturing and distribution challenges, and aligning your business to reliable, trustworthy and ESGcompliant partners.

“If you have amazing supply-chain partners they become part of your business. But if you cherry pick partners and say, ‘Oh,

I can get this product for 10c cheaper, which could equate to a few thousand dollars over a year – you can cause overall damage to relationships and your business.”

Meeting supply-chain partners frequently is smart business, according to Groening, so you can tell them if your business’s usage rates have gone up or down and if any changes are required.

“For any effort you put in, you’ll get that back tenfold, particularly if you’re importing and make sure your supply chains and customers are okay.”


While many economists believe Australia will avoid a technical recession in 2023, accountant Brad Horan says there is a feeling among many businesses that trading conditions are tough, nevertheless.

He believes one of the big challenges for cleaning businesses will be managing pricing in an environment of soaring inflation and rising interest rates. In

September, inflation hit 7.3per cent, the highest rate since 1990.

“Prices have gone up and, even if inflation goes back to 2 per cent tomorrow, the prices are not going to go backwards,” says Horan, a director at business advisory consultancy Lucrature, which services commercial cleaning businesses among other firms.

“There’s a real challenge for people to understand when and how they can pass those costs on to their customers, or how they can optimise their business to absorb some of those costs.”

One option is to drive business efficiencies to push down costs. Another is to change pricing models to ensure they are more value-based for customers.

Horan suggests offering different services packages that come with low, mid-range and high-end service levels with corresponding rates, rather than just giving clients one take-it-or-leave-it price.

“What a lot of cleaning businesses do is come in with one quote and they don’t


really give options to customers. They’re really missing out on opportunities if they do that because you don’t always know where the customer sits.”

Businesses should be seeking to improve cash-flow through measures such as finetuning the collection of outstanding debts. “A lot of clients don’t do that well,” Horan says.


With immigration levels down substantially and COVID-19 causing ongoing sickness issues and absenteeism in the workplace, staff shortages are again expected to be a problem for the cleaning sector in 2023.

Jones says this is especially likely to be so in the aged care sector, where work requirements can be demanding, while exposure to viral infections is often high.

“The biggest challenge will be employing and retaining staff that fit into this new arena of cleaning,” she says.

Jones advises looking after your staff in ways that suit both the employer and worker. “For example, staff need flexibility and a decent take-home pay. They need a sound job role with up-to-date training. They also need some training and experience of working with elderly clients, especially those with changed behaviours.”

With regard to wages, Jones says cleaning staff are fulfilling crucial hygiene services, in addition to a social role at aged care and retirement facilities, where they often have to engage with patients in rooms.

“That’s a big role and should be paid well,” she says.

Horan agrees that there is no quick fix for the staffing crisis in the cleaning sector. He says COVID-19 has convinced many workers to switch careers, while immigration inflows are still slow.

“We’ve got a smaller workforce to support a larger economy and that’s not going to go away tomorrow.”

To woo staff, Horan suggests trying to give people a sense of purpose in their job and allow staff to be part of the business. Measuring job happiness and outcomes can also be invaluable.

What companies cannot do is be complacent and sit on their hands.

“In the past the cleaning industry has accepted a high turnover and some thought they’d pick up people who needed work, burn them out and then get more employees,” Horan says. “But there aren’t any more.”


Simply telling your clients that you are cleaning hygienically will no longer cut it. You have to prove it, says Dr Macgregor-Skinner.

“The big-ticket item on your list is validation of what you do – instead of just concentrating on the smell and the appearance of facilities after a cleaning job, it’s the metrics and measuring of the level of cleaning that’s so important.”

That means demonstrating pre-clean measurements versus post-clean results. Dr Macgregor-Skinner says there is also a

“shift towards scientific and evidence-based cleaning that can actually bring efficiencies and lead to cleaning cost-savings for facilities. For example, during COVID-19 the tendency to replace HEPA and MERV filters too often caused cost blowouts.

“2023 for me in the cleaning industry is going to be the year for metrics, the year for data, and the year for solutions that are based on information and data.”

”Ashkin agrees that data is becoming increasingly important.

“Measurement is going to become one of the big mantras going forward, whether we’re talking about greenhouse gas emissions or green STEM reports. Fundamentally, our role is to clean and sometimes we need to do a better job of making sure that’s exactly what we’re doing.”


Building on gains made during COVID-19, Ashkin hopes the cleaning industry keeps highlighting why cleaning is important in discussions with governments, businesses and people.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure we find our voice and really provide leadership to inspire and encourage people to do more and really reward companies that are committed to the future. That’s really on us.”

It also includes being up-front with clients about cleaning best-practice.

“It’s often hard in a service industry – we’re more accustomed to telling people that we’ll do whatever they ask,” Ashkin says.

“We’re not as good at saying, ‘Wait a minute – here’s what you need to be doing from a cleaning perspective.’ I hope we’ll find our voice and be willing to suffer the challenges of leadership.” ■

In tandem with sustainability, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will continue to be a major talking point in the next 12 months.
2023 TRENDS 20 INCLEAN January / February 2023
Filter water, faster
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To save
CHEMICAL -90% PIT STOP TIME -85% WASTEWATER -85% 3h a day, 5 days, with medium dirt grade, in Eco Mode. DESCRIPTION C85 NSC Base C85 BS NSC Base C85 B NSC Premium CS85 BS NSC Premium l/gal 300/79,2 300/79,2 300/79,2 300/79,2 The advantages of NSC 80% less water usage imágenes utilizadas son de simple referencia, no están vinculadas al diseño y/o al equipamiento.COD. 302534AD 12/21 Copyright © COMAC 2021 Comac C85 scrubber dryer equipped with Non Stop Cleaning Premium system,
but, above all, it saves up to 80% of water and 90%
floor cleaning operations
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This is an high
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up to (1):
not only
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of chemical. This is an high economical advantage, that minimizes the environmental impact of
without affecting the

Winning the war for talent in

Entering a watershed year in 2023 when hygiene and cleaning companies will be seeking to consign the challenges of COVID-19 to history, a clear focus on recruitment and retention strategies will be crucial for business success.

MANAGEMENT 22 INCLEAN January / February 2023

Workplace rehabilitation expert Libby Roberts has a clear warning for hygiene and cleaning sector leaders as they deal with a host of employee issues in 2023 – get ready for more cases of psychological injuries among staff.

On the back of workplace bullying, anxiety, and stress – as well as pandemic-related staff absences

be managing people as kindly as they would have if they had more time off to recuperate.”

While some staff members experienced online bullying and harassment at the height of pandemic lockdowns, Roberts says the fallout is even more serious now that “people are out of their bubbles” and back into traditional workspaces.

“People with low resilience and managers with

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Retention strategies need to be well-rounded to keep good staff and should include not only reward and recognition, but also flexibility, development opportunities, career pathways and good leadership, and a clear strategic path for the business.

to work within three months, the chances of getting them back to work at all is quite low,” Roberts says.

One of the answers for this conundrum is for leaders across all sectors, including the hygiene and cleaning space, to address mental health issues and make their workplaces “psychologically safe”.

The payoff, based on the iCare research, is that return-to-work rates improve by up to 30 per cent when employees have significant engagement with their leadership.

Roberts adds that in New South Wales new regulations require employers to take into account psychosocial risks when developing a workplace health and safety plan.

“So, if for no other reason, they now have a legislative reason to address this issue, as a well as a moral reason.”


Mental health issues notwithstanding, the big challenge facing cleaning contractors and facility managers in 2023 is likely to be a shortage of workers.

”With a strikingly low unemployment rate in Australia and a dearth of potential cleaning staff, HR On Call director Melissa Behrend says the main hope on the human resources front is for the flow of immigrant workers to resume.

“I’m hoping the overseas students come back,” she says. “I’d assume that, all things being equal, this will occur.”

Behrend says the cleaning sector’s traditional reliance on a casual workforce is not giving people job security. In response, she urges some employers to consider changing their workforce mix to include more permanent staff on their books.

Simple ways to win over employees

People and culture practitioner Amanda de Haas suggests the following ways to woo staff:

• use pop-up recruitment booths in shopping centres and other public facilities to connect with potential workers

• offer sign-on payments for new employees

• give out bonus payments at the end of a probationary period.

At the same time, de Haas says businesses need to be conscious of offering more than just money if they want their recruitment efforts to hit the mark.

“Retention strategies need to be wellrounded to keep good staff and should include not only reward and recognition, but also flexibility, development opportunities, career pathways and good leadership, and a clear strategic path for the business.”

De Haas says referral schemes whereby employees recommend and connect potential new employees are a smart way to create “a pre-screened pool of candidates”.

“Like anything though, if the sales pitch doesn’t live up to reality on the job, it is a slippery slope and retaining talent will be difficult.”

MANAGEMENT 24 INCLEAN January / February 2023

Casuals can then fill other project vacancies when applicable.

Another creative idea, according to Behrend, could be to employ casuals to work with specific clients and, if that contract is lost, the employer would not be locked into using those staff members.

People and culture practitioner Amanda de Haas agrees that every sector is finding it difficult to manage the competition for staff and talent.

“You only have to walk through your local shopping and restaurant precinct to understand that, no matter the business, the fight for employees is fierce,” she says.

In such an environment, Haas expects automation and robotics – which has become a major talking point in the cleaning sector in the past few years – to increasingly become part of the solution.

“Automation is part of every industry and, even though we may think some roles can’t be replaced, they will be. Most importantly, the impact of automation and robotics will

mean that we can’t even fathom some of the roles of the future.”

De Haas says many organisations are not looking at slashing their staff numbers due to automation. Rather, they are redeploying and retraining staff into different roles.


On the recruitment and retention front, Behrend urges cleaning companies and contractors to think beyond wages.

More than ever before, potential employees now want to get a sense of the culture of an organisation and how it treats its people.

“You have to focus on the other elements that are important to people, not just a wage rate,” she says.

“They need to see if there’s a good team of workers, or if the managers are great and the culture is good.”

Behrend notes that younger workers, in particular, are happy to switch jobs if they are not satisfied. The upshot is

that employers need to strengthen their employee value proposition, including offering greater flexibility for parent workers, as well as considering referral and sign-on bonuses. Simply expecting workers to come on board and stay for a long period is no longer feasible.

“That’s a very antiquated approach in today’s market. You’ve got to be creative in attracting people.”

Roberts adds that the reward for businesses which focus on culture is that staff will be happier and more productive at work, while employee absences will probably fall. Fostering such a happy culture could include initiatives such as putting on lunchtime talks to discuss heathy life and eating habits or paying for a regular staff lunch to promote team spirit.

“Think about the return on investment,” she says.

“If you spend $500 a week on an employee lunch, but you stop someone

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going off work for a week because they’ve been looking after their mental and physical health, you’ll actually save money.”


As cleaning businesses prepare for the year ahead, Behrend expects word-of-mouth referrals to be a key element of recruiting in tight jobs markets. Just relying on traditional recruitment platforms to target talent is not enough.

“The Seeks and Gumtrees of the world are probably not going to work all the time,” Behrend says.

Her overarching message to cleaning industry employers and facility managers is clear – look after your people and hear their voices.

“People are integral to cleaning businesses, and they need to be your focus. We need to listen.”

De Haas agrees that relying on recruitment platforms is not enough in current markets.

“Don’t underestimate the value of your network, and that of your employees,” she says.

“Rather than thinking about recruitment platforms, we need to be thinking about recruitment strategies and connections.” ■

A SMART approach

For cleaning businesses seeking to gain a recruitment edge, Workplace Rehabilitation Management’s Libby Roberts endorses the SMART work design model.

Developed by Australian Research Council professor Sharon Parker at the Future of Work Institute, the acronymic strategy is broken down in the following way:

S – stimulating (the job involves skill variety, task variety and problemsolving demands).

M – mastery (this refers to the degree to which a job provides role clarity, feedback and task identity).

A – agency (this includes factors such as the extent to which employees are able to organise their own work schedule). With regard to agency, Roberts admits that many lower-paid cleaners may not have a lot of control over what they do.

“But an employer needs to work out how to give an individual a feeling that they have some control over the way they do their job and not be too prescriptive,” she says.

R – relational (the extent to which a staff member experiences a sense of support, purpose and social contact on the job).

T – tolerable demand (which considers elements of a job such as time pressure, emotional demands and role conflict). The key here for bosses, according to Roberts, is to ensure that demands on the employee are reasonable, “not only from a physical point of view, but from a psychological point of view”.

Weighing up such SMART factors, Roberts says employers are well advised to ask a telling question that provides a guide to the welfare of their staff – “Does this person go home at the end of the day with something left in their tank, or are they completely spent? If it’s the latter, that’s no quality of life and it’s going to lead to a psychological injury for which the employer will be responsible.”

More than ever before, potential employees now want to get a sense of the culture of an organisation and how it treats its people.
MANAGEMENT 26 INCLEAN January / February 2023


Industry Leaders Forum 27

Championing sustainability

How was 2022 for Accord?

I know it’s a cliché of the last few years, but 2022 was very busy! The ongoing effects of COVID-related disruptions were still being felt by members and were exacerbated by new factors in 2022 such as the war in Ukraine. At the same time, projects and policy priorities that were put on the back burner during the height of the pandemic, such as climate change and packaging waste, were firmly back on the agenda. Pairing that with balancing the call for a return to face-to-face meetings and events with the continuing demand for online options—it’s been a very busy 12 months!

That said, when I think about the highlights, it would have to be tools that we developed for the hygiene industry such as the new FitForFood website, as well as the return to face-to-face meetings. We had several successful face-to-face events—the two most popular were our Canberra Day Seminar, featuring presentations from government and regulators, and our Packaging Workshop at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Inflation and the escalating costs of doing business are obvious ones. These are already presenting huge challenges for industry and it’s hard to say when these pressures will ease. COVID proved however that ours is a nimble and resilient industry, one that’s successfully weathered the unprecedented storms since 2020, and Accord stands ready to continue to provide information, connections, and solutions to support our members through these tough times.

Another challenge will be Australia’s tight labour market and skills shortage. On this front, in our ongoing efforts to research and source industry-focused employment solutions, Accord is delighted to announce the commencement of a unique collaboration with employment services provider, Asuria. This partnership aims to bring our industry front and centre to create strategies for demand-driven, employer-led, workforce development. We’re excited to see where this takes us in 2023.

What are Accord’s main priorities for 2023?

As if we didn’t have enough on during 2022, we also found time to review our strategic plan with our board of directors. 2023 will be all about implementing this new framework. The core benefits of our association are Access, Advocacy, Knowledge, and

Networking, so we’ll be focused on delivering on those promises to members. We’re busy working on our 2023 events calendar and first up will be a sustainability-focused event in Q1. Canberra Day will be back, as well as refreshed industry-specific training leveraging the expertise of the Accord team and our networks.

For the cleaning products sector specifically, a priority for Accord will be expanding partnerships for CSR initiatives. It’s not enough for a business to just sell products anymore, it needs to consider its social license to operate. Having more partnerships facilitated through Accord will increase a company’s capacity to give back to the community in meaningful and accessible ways, particularly for those small and family-owned businesses within our membership that simply don’t have the same resources for such projects as big companies do.

What do you expect to be the big sustainability trends of 2023?

Transparency and greenwashing. With the spate of recent negative media surrounding take-back schemes and collected materials being warehoused rather than recycled, companies need to be realistic and transparent about their sustainability targets and practices. It’s better to be upfront about where you are on your sustainability journey, and strive for improvement, than to be caught out misleading customers. Similarly, the ACCC has made greenwashing a compliance priority area, so it’s not just reputational damage that’s at stake if a business is engaged in false and misleading claims!

Third-party accreditation and certifications are a great way companies can bolster their sustainability credentials in a compliant way. Accord, for example, administers the Recognised eco-label, which identifies environmentally preferable commercial cleaning products. The scheme recently passed its probity audit again with flying colours! This is just one example of an industry led initiative, with more on the horizon for plastics and packaging circularity.

One thing we’re passionate about at Accord is international alignment, and from a sustainability point of view, harmonising local regulations with those of comparable countries, say the EU and USA, will not only allow more new and novel ingredients for environmentally preferable products to be available for the Australian cleaning industry, but it will also ensure we are able to readily access new and novel packaging presentations. This is an important work area for our association. ■

28 INCLEAN January / February 2023
As demand for sustainability and transparency grows, Accord is set to build on its partnerships and industry-led initiatives in 2023.
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Agar is committed to reducing carbon emissions and improving our use and recovery of packaging – we have added to our team so we can move forward with our plans in these areas. These plans include measurement and analysis, new initiatives and change management. ”

Future focused

After successfully navigating the disruption of the pandemic over the past two years, Agar is preparing for its next stage of growth.

Steve Agar

What are Agar’s main priorities for 2023?

Through the pandemic we enjoyed both very busy and quiet times, but overall, we were able to expand our operations. We had to adjust quickly to changing circumstances and requirements, which means we’ve been quite reactive.

Our main priorities in 2023 are to use the opportunity the pandemic has given us to strengthen our foundations, consolidate our position with our team and business partners, and improve efficiencies in the business. We will also return to a more strategic approach to product development.

With much of the world having been in a period of instability, we have reflected over these last few months on how we have successfully pushed through the worst of it all as a solid team. This helped to reinforce in our minds where our strengths lie and what we can do to continue meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations.

By drawing on those strengths and focusing our efforts on improving internal processes from production through delivery and beyond with account management, we are looking forward to taking the company to its next stage to achieve long-term, sustainable growth. Diversification is appealing for spreading risk and opening opportunities, but the challenge is to manage this and be able to still focus and apply resources with good effect.

Are there any key sustainability commitments Agar has made for 2023?

There are four focus areas in 2023 for Agar on sustainability: adding to our range of products certified as having lower environmental impact, addressing carbon emissions, improving packaging recovery, and continuing with waste minimisation

Our range of products licensed by GECA, has been well accepted by the market. We’ve proven products with lower environmental impact can be effective and affordable. We will release more products with demonstrated environmental benefits.

Agar is committed to reducing carbon emissions and improving our use and recovery of packaging – we have added to our team so we can move forward with our plans in these areas. These plans include measurement and analysis, new initiatives and change management.

Waste minimisation is just good management because waste generally represents unused or under-utilised resources. Our goal in manufacturing is zero waste, so that all raw materials end up in the finished product.

It’s important our products are concentrated and highly effective so the energy and resources that have gone into providing our products to the point of use achieves the required outcome of hygiene and appearance most productively.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023?

It’s clear that doing more with less is vital, both financially and with respect to the use of labour, energy, and resources. With the transient nature of the workforce at present, the ability to quickly train and deploy new staff will be an advantage.

I would suggest considering and adopting new work methods, automation, equipment, and products which reduce the dependence on labour, simplify tasks and training, and enable greater productivity.

It will be important to stay abreast of new developments and a good idea to have designated development sites and/or staff to explore new ideas and determine whether they deliver on the promise or are just marketing buzz talk.


What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the past 12 months?

We’ve seen how our people, and the knowhow they and the organisation possess is our business. Retaining our people is vital and allowing them to contribute their ideas and to yield the benefits of all their experience and knowledge makes the difference. We’ve also seen how we can be flexible, responsive, and open to change but also discerning when it comes to new ideas. Equally we’ve also learned how some activities can be distracting or use up resources with little or no return. These need to be identified and resolved.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?

My message is around the use of chemicals in the future, and in particular controlling waste from packaging. Well formulated cleaning chemical products

have a role in the future because they’ll perform important tasks in a way that no engineered water solution can match – particularly with disinfection, but also emulsification. I see an increasing number of chemical manufacturers are offering their commercial cleaning products as a ready-to-use diluted solution in consumerstyle trigger packs, typically 500ml to 750ml.

Sure, that makes life easier for the cleaning operator – no dispensing or diluting – but at what cost And what about the environment Aren’t these consumerstyle packs going in the wrong direction Throwing away an empty bottle and trigger after a couple of shifts makes no sense to me. The problematic issues include:

• Carbon generation in shipping RTU products which are mainly water

• Resources used in manufacturing the consumer packs

• Disposal of discarded bottles and triggers

From an environmental perspective, where practical and possible, it’s much better to purchase concentrated products in bulk, dilute on site, and dispense into reusable containers for application. The advantages of this approach include:

• Larger ‘bulk’ containers are more easily recyclable or returnable

• Using printed dispenser bottles many times over vastly reduces waste and use of resources, and cuts down on recycling

• Shipping concentrated chemicals reduces carbon emissions per usage litre of product

Not only is the purchase of concentrated chemicals for dilution/decanting into reusable dispenser bottles on site better for the environment, but it’s also much cheaper too. ■

Read more of INCLEAN’s interview with Agar Cleaning Systems at

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Homegrown innovation

Aussie Pumps continues to take an innovation-led approach to its locally made range of industry leading products.

How was 2022 for Aussie Pumps? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2022 was a breakthrough year for Aussie Pumps. COVID alerted the industry to the need for improved training and cleaning products capable of dealing with everything – from flood clean ups to health epidemics. We learnt a lot from the readers of this magazine!

When we look back at the last 12 months, we see huge gains in what we’ve accomplished. We’ve doubled our production to keep pace with the demands of the market. We’ve conceived, designed, and built revolutionary machines that are giving very positive benefits to our customers and, lastly, we’re not influenced by a board of directors or shareholders, who may be in another country. In other words, we are feeling a sense of freedom Australian manufacturing delivers to us.

When we started the company, almost 28 years ago, we had to make decisions about the type of gear we produce. The concept of high-pressure cleaners, and auxiliary items like steam cleaners and vacuum cleaners, that were built to higher performance standards was our target. Being a small company with only a handful of people, we knew one thing was for sure, we didn’t want to spend a lot of time apologising to customers for failures or breakdowns.

Rather, we would design those issues out of the machines, so that they were super reliable and able to deal with the harsh realities you find in some major cleaning projects. Our new product development program is a manifestation of a fanatical approach to high quality products that offer real advantages to the user.

Since first launching we have made a mark, not only on the Australian and New Zealand markets, but also throughout Southeast Asia and even Africa and Europe. Our machines are widely used in Japan and our export department is focusing on the other Southeast Asian ‘tiger’ economies.

What learnings has Aussie Pumps taken from the last 12 months?

We took the COVID challenge, not only with our cold-water machines, using foamers to deliver germ killing disinfectants to public facilities, outdoor BBQs in parks, and thousands of other applications.

We also turned our attention to high pressure hot water, bearing in mind, its ability to also kill germs without any chemical disinfectant or detergent. According to WHO, water at temperatures of 60°C and above will kill COVID germs.

We designed a revolutionary machine that runs a four-pole electric motor, a slow speed 1,450 rpm pump, delivers 1,800 psi pressure and does it at 80°C. 80°C melts grease, removes chewing gum, some graffiti, and we wrapped all this in a stainless-steel cover, steel chassis frame with four wheels with flat free tyres for ease of movement.

We called it the Sizzler and the sales did ‘Sizzle’. The product is now a fixture in the market, popular not only because of its capacity to perform but its reliability is extraordinary. We built into it a wide range of features to protect both the operator and the machine.

COVID also made us realise there was real demand for portable engine drive machines that could be mounted on the back of a ute, truck, or trailer for mobile steam cleaning. We called it the Aussie Heatwave. It’s a gift for the cleaning industry and for companies who run mobile cleaning units. The machine will also run cold water, operating very effectively with a turbo that gives it an impact of over 6,000 psi.

Are there new products in the pipeline for Aussie Pumps in 2023?

We’ve perfected a number of new design features over the last 12 months. The result was a 5,000 psi Class A (no operator certification required) Jetter range that can clear a blocked drain in minutes, not hours.


Key victories were the introduction of what we call the MKIII Aussie Cobra Jetter range. The compact design, strong stainless-steel frames, and user-friendly features are everything. The machines feature a unique new ‘no sharps’ design that is OH&S friendly. They produce flows up to 16 lpm for the Class A machine, matched to a 5,000 psi pressure capability that really gets the job done.

Turbos, flat surface cleaners, as well as drain cleaner nozzles can all be used with this same machine. If the cleaning contractor installs one of these on the service vehicle you can do a myriad of tasks from unblocking sewer lines to flat surface cleaning or, blasting barnacles off the side of the boat. Best of all, the machine features stainless steel reels, matched with a portable reel that could operate up to 60 metres from the unit. 2023, with the flood clean up being the first challenge, will be just as exciting. We thank all the cleaning industry for realising the value of Australian designed products, built right here in our 2.5-acre Castle Hill factory complex.

Do you have a message for the industry?

We believe 2022 was the year of the ‘executive cleaner’. By that we mean way the industry is maturing and the realisation, particularly in periods of extreme stress where every second of the day counts, the need to be mindful of the most vital commodity of the industry –time. Everybody talks about how difficult it is to get additional staff. There is loads of work to do and not enough people to do it. The ‘executive cleaner’ finds ways to achieve their goals without hiring more staff, but rather simply being more efficient.

That’s where our philosophy comes in. At Aussie Pumps, we are never focused on the low discount end of the business. We believe the professional cleaner deserves the best gear and therefore, gets the best efficiency.

Using light weight machines from a big box hardware store chains will never give the cleaner the same result in terms of efficiency or quality, that you’ll get out of a professional machine, designed for professional users. ■

When we look back at the last 12 months, we see huge gains in what we’ve accomplished. We’ve doubled our production to keep pace with the demands of the market.
2021 for feature) Product manager: Date General manager: Date Copy Approved Date for next review AUSSIE’S WAR ON CORONA We salute you! You’re our inspiration Aussie Pumps 02 8865 3500 FASTER | SMARTER | SAFER Aussie high pressure cleaners, Aussie Eco - Clean vacs, hot wash & steam cleaners, huge range of accessories INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

People power

Following a ‘watershed’ year, BIC Services is ready to embark on the next phase of its company vision.

How was 2022 for BIC?

2022 was a watershed year for BIC. Emerging from COVID with a different perspective on life, and the culmination of over 30 years in business saw us make the game-changing decision to join forces with global powerhouse Bidvest, embarking on the next phase of our vision for BIC.

Bidvest has backed BIC Services on a rock-solid foundation of service delivery, reputation, and a strong business case. What makes me so proud of my executive team and the whole BIC family is that, unlike most mergers and acquisitions, Bidvest recognised the capability and power of the BIC brand. We haven’t skipped a beat during the transition.

We are positioned for 2023 on a strong footing, with everything that BIC has always been, turbocharged with the significant backing of a global player whose values around transparency, integrity, excellence, innovation, and sustainability could not resonate any more closely with ours. They, like us, realise ultimately it is our people who create the prosperity of a service-based business, like BIC.

What have been some of the learnings from the past 12 months?

The way forward is to continue exceeding expectations and stay ahead of the curve. One of the pillars of our business is innovation. We are constantly asking ourselves “what, where and how we can improve” This mindset is something our clients view favourably and is a key driver for new business.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

The international climate is more unpredictable. We must maximise flexibility and resilience. Providing good cleaning services isn’t enough. As COVID

shows, shocks to our sector can be swift and brutal. The measure of a business now is both on quality of service and on capacity to absorb shocks and help our clients thrive in volatile times. Cost of living pressure will be exacerbated, and we have a social responsibility to assist where possible.

Sustainability has become a paramount consideration in our industry. We work collaboratively with our clients and our suppliers to implement strategies aligned with best practice methodologies. Without sustainability, we literally have nothing, and the world is rapidly waking up to this realisation. It’s something we’ve been pursuing for a very long time.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2023?

Expansion: Sadly, for some, this hypertough business environment is going to lead to decreases in contract retention rates. This is an opportunity for us, as building owners realise their current contractor may not be as capable of fulfilling requirements as they once were. Optimisation: Every moving part in our business provides opportunities to improve efficiency, service delivery and sustainability. We will continue to drive excellence, set new targets, identify opportunities, and deliver better outcomes.

Telling our story: Our industry is built on service delivery and relationships. The new partnership with Bidvest has shone a light on the great success story that we have to share. Our latest ICXP video, for example, presents a compelling case to our clients.

What do you see as the big trends for 2023?

Hybrid home/work situations, changing building use, peaks and troughs, cleaning schedules, access times, and bottlenecks.

More volatility and insecurity, forcing the industry to look carefully at every aspect of operation, to stay viable. Increasing weight placed by clients - and our own standards of excellence - on ESG deliverables. It’s become much more than about cleaning. We are now an integral part of a wholeof-system sustainability approach to managing and improving our living and working environments.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

The business model of yesterday is long gone. Cleaning is now integrated into a holistic, values-driven, complex framework. The race to the bottom is over. People and the environment are at the top of the pyramid. Leaders need to foster a mindset where everyone is committed to the same values and outcomes. This comes from first having those values baked into your DNA and then using every communication, training, and teambuilding resource to encourage buy-in and share the vision.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

The industry has always been highly competitive, but it will never be a monopoly. There is going to be business out there for companies who can deliver on their promises. Let’s all agree to commit to the highest of standards across the board.

In the same way as chefs have come out of hiding in the kitchen and positioned themselves in our living rooms as thoughtleaders and specialists to be admired, now is the time for cleaners – and the sophisticated operational and management systems that facilitate them – to take centre stage and recognise the role we play in society. We passionately accept our obligation as essential workers, to drive a clean, healthy, ethical and sustainable future. ■


Leading by example

The Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) intends to be the driving force for progress and reform in 2023.

How was 2022 for the BSCAA What were the highlights and challenges?

2022 has proven to be a very productive year for BSCAA with several highlights. One is the Cleaning Performance Standards proposal submitted to Standards Australia in June 2022.

This joint proposal from BSCAA and HPC Solutions was developed with industry consultation over two years. The Cleaning Performance Standard will offer the industry a mechanism that defines five cleaning activities and a proposed auditing method. With the prospect of a standardised cleaning performance measure, benchmarks can be established, and common terminology and definitions can be adopted in cleaning scopes. Importantly, it will assist property owners and managers along with cleaning contractors.

Another highlight was the appointment of a CEO for the organisation. The CEO will bring together the state divisions and lead the framework for the creation of a single BSCAA entity along with establishing and working on strategic objectives, long-term goals, and membership growth.

We also made great progress as an association with several initiatives gaining traction. These included advocating for lifting the restrictions on student visas in the cleaning industry, continuous updating of HR documentation to cover WHS, vaccination, mental health, and ESG, information for small businesses affected by the floods in several states, and continuous work on the compliance program.

What are your main priorities for 2023?

Restructuring the BSCAA model from a state federation style to a single national entity and embodying consistent goals and purpose, is key for 2023. The new structure will see a single membership model to better advocate and represent its members. Businesses will be joining the national BSCAA, not a state branch. Consequently, members will enjoy and have full access to all the benefits and services the national organisation offers.

Compliance remains a major priority, and we look forward to rolling out the first stages of the BSCAA compliance program in 2023. With upcoming amendments to IR legislation, BSCAA will focus on ensuring that the compliance program encapsulates these updates and that members have the resources, education, and tools to meet these changes.

What are some of the fresh challenges the marketing is facing?

BSCAA views the following as the three main challenges currently facing the industry:

• Staffing shortages and attracting workers to the cleaning industry

• Rising costs for businesses – insurance, fuel, supplies, wages, etc

• Working alongside governments on required policy and legislative changes

With unemployment being at a record low and a plentiful job market the industry is finding it harder to find cleaners and retain staff. There is a real challenge attracting workers to the cleaning industry when government drivers incentivise workers into the childcare, hospitality, and aged care industries.

Businesses are feeling the impact of the lack of workers and the struggles to retain existing staff. This has resulted in stagnated business growth, missed opportunities, an inability to deliver all contracted services, and added pressure to keep within contract budgets with aboveaward wages to retain workers.

BSCAA aims to strengthen its voice in the industry in 2023.

BSCAA aims to strengthen its voice in the industry in 2023. It will focus on campaigning to cleaning companies of all types and sizes to join so we can better support and advocate for members along with representing and promoting the industry to government, property owners and managers, and other stakeholders.

During COVID, cleaners were the frontline workers who continued working to provide safe places for essential workers. If there were incentives such as funding in training for entry-level cleaners and funding for Cert IV in specialised cleaning, this would assist in attracting and retaining staff along with providing a pathway for career development.

Inflationary pressures are hitting the cleaning industry harder than most, as contracts are often set several years in advance with no or low predetermined annual increases. The continuous rise


in the cost of all supplies is severely impacting contract budgets. Legislative increases coupled with insurance increases; it just doesn’t seem to be easing anytime soon.

Now with cybersecurity concerns, this will push businesses to assess their current cybersecurity levels. Updates and improvements may result in additional costs to ensure that intellectual data and employee data are protected. Increases are across most industries; unfortunately, these increases will result in cuts somewhere. The question is, where

What opportunities do you see for the industry in


The cleaning industry opportunities are in areas where clients are encouraging staff to return to the workplace and must give staff the assurance that the working environment is safe and hygienic. Clients are more COVID-aware, meaning they have more of an understanding of high touch

point and disinfecting. Therefore, clients are amending cleaning specifications to include these tasks more regularly.

As we face the changes in IR laws, there are opportunities to build conducive relationships between contractor, union, and facility management. With the Federal Government’s drive for “Better Wages, Secure Jobs”, it is important for transparency of costs and compliance. Facility management will be pushed to drive down costs, especially after the financial impacts of COVID, but the reality is with the drive for higher wages comes higher costs for clients – cause and effect.

What do you expect to be the big trends this year?

We predict that there will be an increase in cybersecurity within cleaning businesses. Due to the current mishaps, there will be a need to reassess the risk appetite for a cleaning business if they were to have their intellectual data, such as

tender documents, contracts and, more importantly, private information about employees, hacked. This could also bring about the need for enhancements in payroll technology, better security, and more robust software to mitigate payroll errors.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

As the cleaning industry faces the next wave of changes and economic impacts, there is something to be said about being part of an association that understands and advocates for the industry. There is so much more strength and support when a business is part of a group of businesses rather than standing alone. Being in an association such as BSCAA gives the power to act and make changes for the betterment of the industry. ■

Read more of INCLEAN’s interview with BSCAA at 37 INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

Staying ahead of the curve

Bunzl ANZ remains committed to driving innovation and fostering collaboration with staff and customers alike.

How was 2022 for Bunzl ANZ?

I think we can admit that 2022 presented some challenges we thought we had left behind in 2021, but Australia and New Zealand had to contend with a highly contagious strain of COVID in the early months of the year. To offset this issue, we worked more closely than ever with our customers to deliver a very fruitful year, with customer numbers significantly growing month on month across all our market sectors.

The tumultuous start to 2022 was just a forerunner to other challenges, including labour shortages that continue to be a headache for the industry. The rapid spread of COVID throughout Asia also resulted in stringent lockdowns, notably in China, which in turn created some testing global supply-chain difficulties.

Thankfully, our team did an amazing job of managing such turbulence, purchasing stock far in advance and managing freight pathways 24/7 for months on end to ensure a consistent and high inventory uptime that mitigated risks for our customers.

We also got to stimulate our grey matter in other ways and worked consultatively to problem solve our customers’ challenges, finding meaningful solutions to help manage their resourcing challenges.

Having worked remotely for the 24 months prior, 2022 allowed for the consequential return of face-to-face interactions with our team, suppliers and customers. We were able to reconnect and find common ground with regard to the challenges we all faced. Within the sector, the importance of offering varied solutions to help our customers keep their customers safe became front of mind.

The other highlight was the willingness of our suppliers and customers to share their problems, allowing us to pass on

some of the insights we have gleaned from other sectors we service. I hope this spirit of openness and willingness to support each other during COVID continues well past 2023.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Workforce availability will continue to be a major test in 2023, but solutions are emerging. For example, innovation in robotics has come a long way and this area now presents a viable way to complement human staffing levels while more accurately and efficiently servicing intricate and large spaces.

In the facilities management sector, in particular, leaders will be intent on using robotics and automated systems to control chemical applications – a game-changer that will ultimately require less training and overseeing of ‘people’ processes.

Outside the robotics space, new and labour-saving equipment is also giving cleaners greater freedom, with battery power paving the way for lighter and more efficient machines that are a meaningful alternative to mains-powered devices.

On the sustainability front, product innovation will help the sector deliver leaner and greener solutions to pressing environmental challenges, with more accurate and efficient equipment leaving our environment in a better place.

As we look to 2023, we can now truly say that we live in a connected world. Therefore, why should cleaning and hygiene be any different Technological solutions are available that help us connect the spaces we use with the people that clean them, allowing for real-time reporting, action and follow-up. This augurs well for 2023 and beyond.

What are Bunzl’s main priorities for 2023?

The new year will be no different for Bunzl as it continues working on meaningful initiatives related to innovation and efficiency. This commitment is perhaps the reason the company has been in business for more than 165 years. We have many exciting launches planned for 2023 and look forward to sharing some of these early in the new year, including through our Innov8 series that travels the country and provides meaningful insights for the sector and our customers.

Are there any key sustainability commitments or targets Bunzl ANZ has made for 2023?

Bunzl ANZ has released its net zero targets, which include identifying products that have less impact on the environment at the start and end of their life. Our teams across Bunzl spend a considerable amount of time assisting customers in this regard. We have a unique place in the supply chain that enables us to source the best products for particular tasks and which, in turn, minimise any fallout for the environment.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

Leaders today, more than ever before, have had to navigate a dynamic working environment that has led to a complete pivot in the way we work. This includes a greater focus on mental health support while seeking to balance individual flexibility and continuous collaboration. Combine this with the challenging supplychain environment and labour shortages, and it is clear that leaders have had to be chameleons as they move from one challenge to another.


As leaders, we need to be the ones who create, maintain and continue to drive a culture that supports diversity and allows employees to bring their best selves to work so they can ultimately contribute to our business’s overall objectives.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

Continue to challenge yourself on how and why we do things. No one could have prepared us for the major disruptions that COVID have caused since March 2020. A rapidly changing environment led to decisions being made quickly when information was not always available. I have no doubt that we didn’t get everything right, but we got through this period by making sure that all impacts were assessed and by closely managing any required changes. The message is clear –don’t wait for another major event to force you to assess the way you do things day to day. Act decisively now and stay ahead of the curve.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

The industry is inundated with lots of information, which often makes your choices difficult. Work with your suppliers to understand the full market picture, including global trends, so you can protect yourself and your business.

Gone are the days of features and benefits – now, more than ever, you must factor in the whole supplychain environment, including all the sustainability requirements for your large contracts.

Consultation generates value. Any good supplier should bring multiple solutions to the table and make sure you understand the benefits and risks of the choices you make.

Being properly informed will engender a level of comfort about the decisions you make – and give your business the best possible chance of success in 2023. ■

As leaders we need to be the ones to create, maintain, and continue to drive a culture that supports diversity and allows employees to bring their best selves to work to ultimately achieve our overall objectives.
Cleaning & Hygiene Advisory Team will make sure you are prepared. This means knowing how to manage and maintain good hygiene practices, how to respond before a situation gets critical, and how your staff and business complies with best practice guidelines and government regulations. With you, we will manage a comprehensive three-step approach. Review and Advise Execute Secure Conduct site evaluations and reviews Implement agreed recommendations Manage long term supply chain with regular updates Provide detailed recommendations Coordinate all product and system implementation Activate an on-going service and support model Develop an agreed action plan Support all training and compliance requirements Provide analytical reporting
Cleaning & Hygiene Advisory Team will help you plan, execute and achieve your cleaning and hygiene goals. Contact one of our Cleaning & Hygiene Advisory Team e: | MKT-1186 CHAT Cleaning & Hygiene Advisory Team INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

At Central Cleaning Supplies, we are taking effective measures to ensure innovations and environmental responsibility remains at the core of our business approach.

Leading with innovations

2023 will see Central Cleaning Supplies bring more innovative cleaning solutions to the Australian market.

How was 2022 for Central Cleaning Supplies?

2022 was another hugely successful year for Central Cleaning Supplies. We have been a trusted industry brand for more than 30 years and have always prided ourselves on offering our customers the latest products from around the world and we continued to do just that in 2022.

The addition of Excentr to our already extensive range of machinery, was a notable highlight. Excentr is a global leader in orbital and eccentric working cleaning machines. Unlike other machines in the market, Excentr machines are largely made of stainless steel and are developed to provide durability, solidity, and efficiency. Unique to its design, machines are also fitted with wheels on the ground, which makes it easier to operate. True to its slogan, Excentr are seriously “Badass Cleaning Equipment”.

The LionsBot Range also continued to perform strongly in 2022. LeoBots and LeoRay are specialised robots, crafted to perform specific tasks so as to achieve maximum efficiency in its cleaning or disinfecting operations. The LeoRay can be deployed to disinfect surfaces using high concentration UV-C radiation and the LeoBots are a family of four robots that are experts in their cleaning tasks and can also collaborate as a team.

The LeoBot range includes LeoScrub (a powerful scrubber that delivers 50kg of cleaning pressure), LeoMop (a quiet robot that uses significantly less water than traditional cleaning machines), LeoVac (which has an optional HEPA filter for cleaner air), LeoPull (a robotic pulling machine which can drag around a 450kg bin) and LeoRay (which disinfects surfaces through UV-C radiation).

The latest additions to the LionsBot Range are Rex and R3 Scrub. Rex is a robot designed specifically for cleaning large commercial spaces. It’s fully autonomous, built from highquality durable materials and is packed with

innovative features. The R3 Scrub is a new compact cleaning companion, designed for efficient, sweeping and scrubbing allowing it to cover a huge area on just one charge.

We also expanded our range of Camill electric utility vehicles. They can be custom branded, and custom fitted with add-ons such as additional pressure washers. We have more sustainable innovations coming out within the Camill range soon, so watch this space!

We also continued our store expansion in 2022, opening our first store in South Australia. The new store has been really well received by our South Australian customers, and we’re currently looking at more opportunities across the state, and also looking at more sites nationally.

Central Cleaning Supplies also achieved triple ISO certification: Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015), Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (ISO 45001:2018).

A personal highlight for me this year has been the efforts made by our team to help those in need. This year, we helped flood-affected communities and residents across Australia by donating essential supplies, along with some of our partners, such as disinfectant chemicals, cleaning wipes, disinfecting surface wipes, mops, buckets and sanitisers, to help with the clean-up efforts.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Central Cleaning Supplies has made for 2023?

At Central Cleaning Supplies, we are taking effective measures to ensure environmental responsibility remains at the core of our business approach. We believe sustainability isn’t a success until it supports and adds value to your business.

2023 will see us introduce more environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning solutions for the market. Leading this focus is our fleet of Camill electric utility


vehicles. Camill vehicles are environmentally friendly and helps to minimise our carbon footprint. Noise levels are also greatly reduced during operation, but what really sets this fleet apart is the extensiveness of the range, from transport vehicles, to sweepers, to garbage trucks and pressure washers. Each category also comprises of various models to fit different job requirements.

In 2023, we are also planning to introduce more green products and have a greater focus on recycling to further expand our efforts on environmental sustainability.

How do you see robotics evolving in the cleaning industry in 2023?

Innovation will continue to play a key role for Central Cleaning Supplies. Over the past few years, we have seen the steady adoption of autonomous cleaning machines by cleaning companies and facilities, and we believe this momentum will greatly increase in 2023.

The technology is now more advanced and users are much more knowledgeable and confident operating the new-generation robots. They can now access more places and the average cleaner can use the robots without as much specialised training.

Not only that, autonomous machines also offer evidence-based work in that they can provide detailed cleaning reports and data to validate the cleaning coverage and quality of their work. This means that contractors can better communicate cleaning goals with their customers and potentially gain an edge with tenders

What advice do you have for those in the industry considering robotic machines?

If you are considering investing in robotics, my advice is to get the best and most appropriate machine for your requirements. Another area to consider is the environmental footprint of the robots – namely, how much water it uses and the runtime. Look for a supplier that offers comprehensive technical support and provides around-the-clock service.

Forward-looking leaders who invest and fine-tune their operations to incorporate robotics to complement their workforce will be able to better deliver a much more competitive bid and thus gain an edge. ■


Built to last

How was 2022 for Cleanstar/XPOWER

What were the highlights What were the challenges?

2022 was a great year for Cleanstar/ XPOWER, with the successful marketing campaign “Inspired Origins” by Indigenous artist and footballer, Jy Farrar. We introduced several new and innovative products, reached new industries, and now that supply has improved again, we can continue to trade with confidence. There are always challenges, notably the drop in the dollar has resulted in increased product costs. Generally, in an economy that is marked with increasing cost inputs, such as fuel and freight, the flow-on increase in the cost of doing business is unavoidable, but certainly prevalent. In saying that, we have been in business long enough to know that we roll with whatever comes at us and we work hard to maintain our supply and customer service.

What are Cleanstar/XPOWER’s main priorities for 2023?

Our main priorities are to keep doing what we do. We will continue to grow, launch new products, reach new industries, and sell more to our existing clients. We continue to strive to be number one in customer service in the industry and we are very proud of our loyal and hardworking team. 2023 will also allow us to launch a range of new and innovative products that will streamline productivity. We have been working hard on these products for several years and are very excited to see it come to fruition soon.

What do you expect to be the big trends of


For Cleanstar/XPOWER, the main discussion is ‘right to repair’. This topic

tackles the issues in Australia about lack of training and skills and the potential introduction of a law, where goods and equipment should be able to be fixed or repaired before the decision is made to dispose of it. This is based on laws from Europe, and we wholeheartedly support it.

We have opened the discussion with INCLEAN, Griffith University, and government about this issue. As consumers and businesses, it is important to have the right to repair equipment rather than replacing product and disposing of the waste back into landfill. At Cleanstar/ XPOWER, we carry an extensive range of parts and accessories for all our electrical equipment, as we always have (for the last 17 years) and at reasonable prices.

Many businesses would prefer the user to dispose of a machine that is not working (often for simple reasons) and instead buy a new one. We would rather encourage training to repair product, which in turn helps the environment, the economy, and upskills people.

Are there any key sustainability commitments Cleanstar has made for 2023?

We have implemented the use of recycled and recyclable products and packaging. We are heavily into compostable products with our Bonnie Bio bin liners, garbage bags, and gloves.

Our focus also remains on campaigning for right to repair laws. By repairing existing equipment it creates less waste and landfill. Implementing sustainability procedures and changing our way of thinking does take time but it is at the forefront of all our minds, business and personal.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

Leadership is always difficult at the best of times but fundamentally you need to stay true to who you are. Try and not to get defocused from what you want to achieve within your business and do it with dignity and honesty. You need to trust your staff, lift them up, let them make decisions and take responsibility for the decisions they make. This breeds trust and confidence and allows for long term employees. Good staff need and want to be multi-skilled, and we need to keep rewarding those who are hardworking and loyal.

As a leader or business owner, you can’t overthink the future, or focus on the doom and gloom. As leaders, we need to stay on our mission to keep our businesses operating efficiently, keep the supply chain running smoothly, and remember why we started our businesses or got into leadership roles in the first place. In business there are significant turning points, which you may not understand at the time, but with time and gut instinct you know what is good for you and your business.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?

It’s a simple message really: Support Australian-owned brands and businesses. This way the profits stay in Australia, which benefits everyone. Our staff are all based in Australia and by supporting us, it affords them a good standard of living and stability, especially during the tough times ahead. I would like to thank all of the cleaners in Australia who work very hard to keep everything clean and hygienic and keep the country going. I am very proud to be part of this industry. ■

Cleanstar knows the value of doing the right thing by its customers and the environment, with the company focused on continuing its campaign for Australia to adopt right to repair laws.

Training on trend

Amid critical labour shortages across industry, Daniels Associates is urging building service contractors to rethink their training strategies and employment pathways in order to attract and retain quality staff in 2023.

How was 2022 for Daniels Associates What were the highlights What were the challenges?

2022 was a stable year for Daniels Associates as a registered training organisation. We have focused on the building service contractors market and are coming off the back of the largest government funding the VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector has ever seen.

What have been some of the learnings from t the past 12 months?

For many training organisations the last 12-24 months have been good for business on the back of generous government wages subsidies for employers engaged in new worker traineeships.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2023?

2023 will be a challenging year in parts of our business, particularly in relation to traineeships with government funding returning to normal.

We will be seeking to engage more employers with our other services including low cost online cleaning courses through the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA), Rapid Cleaning Supplies, National Police Checks, and possible entry into the pre-employment sector.

We understand industry is struggling with critical labour shortages and we need to convince building service contractors of the advantages in using training strategies and employment pathways to attract and keep quality staff.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023, and what do you see as the solution to address those issues?

Our priorities for next year align with our challenges and opportunities. Training BSC staff using a combination of pathways including traineeships and low-cost, readily accessible, nonaccredited training courses. This will include new innovations in mobile phone-based training materials.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

At the moment it is all about the BSC’s finding labour to fill workforce shortages. We understand there are ongoing delays in granting visas to people entering Australia and there is strong competition for labour from other industries with labour shortages. Unfortunately, staff training is not essential and sometimes takes a backseat to more immediate issues.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023? Skills shortages and labour shortages are plaguing most services industries and will continue to do so in 2023; and this is not just an Australian problem with many western countries experiencing similar labour shortages. It may surprise some people to know even countries such as Thailand are experiencing labours shortages and have been experiencing labour shortages for some years.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today? Personally, I think running a small business has always been about managing challenges, spotting opportunities, recruiting and retaining staff. The challenges may change from year to year but the processes of running a successful business remain the same.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

From my perspective as a registered training organisation, I will always push the banner of investing in and upskilling staff. Investing in staff training will always have long-term positive benefits for employers. Top of the list being improved staff morale and improved staff retention. When talking to front line supervisors’, number one on their wish list is a team of motivated cleaners, number two being a distant second.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

Think about your front-line supervisors and investing in staff training. Daniels Associates have a great range of cost-effective courses, from pre-employment courses and staff cleaning inductions, upskilling frontline staff, and a great new range of supervisory courses with the flexibility to complete these courses as either non-accredited or accredited courses. ■

” INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM 44 INCLEAN January / February 2023
Investing in staff training will always have long-term positive benefits for employers. Top of the list being improved staff morale and improved staff retention.

Embracing change

Diversey has set its focus to building its supply chain capabilities in 2023, with the upgrade of its manufacturing facility upgrade set for completion in February.

How was 2022 for Diversey?

Despite coming to the tail end of the pandemic and everything re-opening there still exists ongoing supply chain challenges, some COVID legacy and some new. For example, the war in the Ukraine, raw material shortages, increased energy costs due to China constraints, transportation, and even limited dangerous goods containers to name a few. Thus, to say we are moving back into a ‘prior to the pandemic’ status I feel is a little premature.

We are also journeying with customers on what their ‘new normal’ ordering patterns will be. In 2020 customers purchased and stored large amounts of hand sanitiser, disinfectants, and disinfectant wipes which consequently lowered 2021/22 sales as these stockpiles depleted.

However, as we move into 2023 and customers are looking to replenish stock. We are finding instead of moving back to pre-COVID purchasing patterns, they may still be in the cycle of wanting to place large orders (to be prepared for any future lockdowns). Therefore, in cases where our valued customers are not too sure of how to communicate their stock needs it has been difficult to forecast.

One of the highlights was our Oxivir Excel Wipes gaining ARTG registration for Class IIb: Cleaning and disinfectant wipe for non-critical medical devices and surfaces (Low level instrument grade disinfectant). Offering our healthcare customers in particular greater protection and further strengthening our infection prevention portfolio.

What have been some of the learnings from the past 12 months? We realised very quickly despite the fact we are a global company, during COVID international supply was difficult, with each country facing their own local supply

chain challenges. In response Diversey ANZ purchased a local manufacturing facility in September 2021.

We are now working tirelessly to expand our local insourced range whilst providing the highest level of quality. This purchase has allowed us to move away from our reliance on global supply chains and provided more security for our ANZ customers.

Nevertheless, you can’t build local manufacture with all that is required overnight and 2022 has been a great learning curve as we work towards insourcing as many products as possible to avoid future spikes and troughs in supply and to protect our customers.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

As suppliers we need to be flexible enough to adapt and change with our customers’ needs. Conversely, given the last couple of years it is not easy to predict what next year is going to look like. After three years of unpredictable ebbs and flows the only thing we can say is, next year will different from the last few years, and what that will look like, only time will tell.

What are Diversey’s main priorities for 2023?

In a word for the ANZ team our priority is ‘insourcing’ and working to build our supply chain capabilities. In February 2023, we will have completed the upgrade of our new manufacturing facility. This will allow us to continue our investment in innovative solutions with infection prevention (IP) at its core, which we still view as a growing opportunity. In parallel we will be working on our sustainability offerings. Sustainable solutions are what everyone is looking for, whether that is sustainable formulations

or sustainable packaging, this is where the future lays, not only for our business, but where the market is heading.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

Our cleaning and hygiene customers are evolving in their needs and sophistication, thus anything that will create a benefit for the customer is how we see market trends evolve. At the moment these trends continue to focus on sustainability, cost in use and safety to name a few.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023?

The real key is being flexible and working to improve and move forward with customers’ developing needs. That said, with all evolution it is just step wise changes that move us towards our ultimate goal.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

Have patience and be flexible.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

Given the last couple of years it is important to remember infection prevention in everything we do. Everyone has experienced first-hand how quickly viruses can spread in the community thus it’s critical we continue to innovate and develop solutions to keep customers’ facilities safe and ultimately, protect their brand. ■

As suppliers we need to be flexible enough to adapt and change with our customers’ needs.

Changing the way the world views cleaning

Supporting members will be the focus again this year for ISSA, along with the association’s overarching purpose of promoting the cleaning and hygiene sector, as the organisation celebrates its 100-year anniversary.

What were the highlights for 2022?

A stand-out moment for the industry was the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo. After two years of postponements, it was great to see the show go ahead in Sydney. The event brought people together again, with attendees wanting to meet face to face with industry peers and view new market products and services from our largest number of exhibitors to date.

The show saw a 25 per cent increase in attendees, with companies bringing more staff than normal to the event so these employees could sit in on workshops and see and hear from industry experts. These learning opportunities will be crucial as part of efforts in 2023 to strengthen teams and drive companies forward.

The expo also coincided with the INCLEAN Excellence Awards, which showcased innovative and progressive products within the cleaning and hygiene space. A record number of registrations for the awards underlined just how much research and developments was invested into products and services during the pandemic.

The ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo will return this 1-2 November 2023 to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This will be our first show in the state of Victoria since 2019. Already more than 60 per cent of exhibitor space has been sold and we believe this show will be the biggest Expo to date. The INCLEAN Excellence Awards will once again return and coincide with the event.

This year, ISSA Oceania had our first company in Australia, residential and commercial property cleaning services provider, Sebastian Property Services,

achieve the highest level of Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification – CIMS Green Building (CIMS-GB) with Honours.

Through third party validation CIMS GB offers a company the ability to distinguish themselves from the market, demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to cleaning excellence.

In 2022 ISSA Oceania also launched our Member Benefits program, powered by Supply Clusters, which offers benefits regardless of a company’s size or sector of the industry.

The program offers our members significant rewards, savings and strategic assistance across 30 common expense categories. It was established to support members in streamlining their operation, boosting profits and managing spend across their business. We will continue to promote this initiative in 2023.

What are ISSA’s priorities for 2023? Supporting our members will be the focus again this year, along with ISSA’s overarching purpose of promoting the cleaning and hygiene sector, as the association celebrates our 100-year anniversary.

Throughout the year the association will be highlighting people, products and brands from around the world who have helped us reach this important milestone, and those moving ISSA and the industry forward into the next hundred years. The association is looking forward to hearing back from their members on industry icons within their organisations, past or present as well as innovative products and

brands that have helped to transform the industry.

As the cleaning industry emerges from COVID-19 there is still a significant desire and need to embrace knowledge development and training. ISSA Oceania’s online webinars and workshops continued to remain very popular during 2022, and we expect that to again be the case in 2023. Sessions on costings, pricing and tenders have been in high demand, with businesses seeking to be more profitable, competitive and efficient.

The desire to remain abreast of the latest trends and developments was also felt across both our international and local media. ISSA Oceania’s INCLEAN publication experienced a 55 per cent increase in digital subscribers in 2022, highlighting the growing significance of the cleaning industry and the broader markets’ desire to remain informed about the sector.

A key theme that has been present across the publications and has gained traction throughout the pandemic is how we need to clean for health and the vital role our industry plays in infection prevention and management. We need to continue the momentum gained during this unique period into 2023 and beyond.

This will be a key message focus for ISSA and GBAC (Global Biorisk & Advisory Council – a division of ISSA). Both online training and certification as well as GBACtv global updates will continue to address the latest human health, infection prevention and control topics. Last year leading professionals updated our audience on the latest COVID variants, monkeypox, indoor air quality, tripledemic: flu, R.S.V & COVID and more.


Locally our association will also need to balance global trends and local needs. We will ensure that local membership continue to have updates and support material on issues like government budget review summaries, minimum wage and superannuation updates and other local business and industry related topics.

What are some of the challenges the market is facing, and what do you see as the solutions to address those issues?

A number of challenges from the past few years are likely to be on the radar again in 2023. Chief among them is the shortage of workers in an indutry that has been heavily afftected over the last couple of years. Hopefully, we will start to see an improvement in this area as workers return to Australia and the industry in greater numbers.

The truth is that many domestic workers are exhausted after a gruelling period during COVID-19, and high turnover rates are an ongoing issue. Bringing on new staff requires an investment, but it’s a positive investment, and I would encourage business leaders to make a commitment to staff training because it is a proven way of improving operational performance and keeping staff.

Managing costs and budgets is a perennial challenge, and that will be no different in the year ahead. In this sense, ISSA’s Value of Clean tools will be more important than ever. They include infographics and return-on-investment calculators that allow cleaning contractors to justify their cleaning budgets in an easy-to-follow way. These tools have been highly valued by our members during the past 18 months, in particular, and enable cleaning businesses to move conversations with their customers beyond pricing.

Looking to 2023, I would also urge companies to be dynamic, and by this, I mean embracing innovation and any new ways of doing business in an effort to get a competitive edge. However, while at the same time ensuring they maintain company security and data protection.

Falling behind industry trends and competitors is not an option, and welltrained employees give companies greater capacity to succeed. Training is also one way to address staffing issues – if you have great people in great positions, it helps the individuals, the team and the company.

What opportunities do you see for the cleaning industry in 2023?

COVID-19 has put the spotlight on the industry and created enormous opportunities for smart players and people in the sector.

One area that is sure to be a big talking point is environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, which ties in closely with sustainability. The INCLEAN Excellence Awards highlighted the emergence of new environmentally friendly products, while the social and governance elements of ESG will also be increasingly important as cleaning companies and facility managers commit to ethical and community-focused projects and practices. All companies need to review their ESG approach and make sure it is up to speed.

More broadly, the cleaning industry should ensure that it continues to build on the branding and reputational gains that it has made during COVID-19. Cleaning has clearly been identified as an essential industry in the health and hygiene space and the gains of the past few years should not be lost.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

Inflationary pressures will continue to be an issue in 2023 as geopolitical and economic forces drive up power, fuel and

general running costs. Responding to such budgetary challenges is essential, along with managing ongoing supplychain bottlenecks. Companies will need to continue to reassess budgets and review costings.

On the ESG and sustainability front, sourcing alternatives to plastics and more sustainable packaging options will be a critical differentiator for cleaning businesses and facility managers.

As mentioned, training programs will be a vital element as companies prepare themselves for the future. Falling behind industry trends and competitors is not an option, and well-trained employees give companies greater capacity to succeed. Training is also one way to address staffing issues – if you have great people in great positions, it helps the individuals, the team and the company.

”In addition to aiding companies in keeping staff informed, companies will also look at other methods to highlight their professionalism and differentiate themselves in the market. Company certification like CIMS-GB will become increasingly important.

What factors loom as the keys to success in 2023?

This cleaning and hygiene industry is very passionate. Over the past 24 months, leaders have been able to draw on that passion to support their internal staff and keep them motivated and productive.

Moving forward, they must be able to maintain that drive among a cohort of staff who may be tired and burnt out as a result of COVID-19. Supporting staff, therefore, will be crucial to success, as will be the ability to examine different ways to go to market with products while generating strong tenders.

At the same time, businesses will have to diversify and distinguish their offering from the competition. All eyes will be on business leaders as they try do this while simultaneously addressing pricing scenarios in a highly complex trading environment. ■


Leading the charge

After another record year, Kärcher Australia is set for further growth in 2023.

How was 2022 for Kärcher? What were the highlights?

What were the challenges?

2022 will be another record year for Kärcher Oceania. We have seen the market in both professional and retail channels continue to grow, maintaining the momentum from the previous two years. We have seen significant growth across our strategic market segments, allowing significant investment in our professional sales and service business to support this growth.

Some of the key highlights have been our continued investments of our Kärcher Centers opening two new locations in Newcastle and Gold Coast. The Kärcher presence in these two locations ensures we can meet the needs of Kärcher consumers in these regions.

We have seen key relationships with international and local key accounts thrive where we have provided large national and local machine roll outs throughout 2022. This has been extremely important in allowing for further investment within our professional service organisation.

The challenges throughout 2022 were largely felt off the back of supply and logistics delays which were consistent from the previous two years. These challenges allowed the business to further develop a robust supply and operations process which meant we are able to plan and communicate both internally and externally to ensure we give our best chance of keeping our customers cleaning.

ensuring we continue to meet the current needs of our customers but keep the business driving for its 2025 vision.

Kärcher’s other main focus in 2023 is to really define the recent regional Oceania approach across Australia and New Zealand. It is exciting to be able to align the two countries which will create significant opportunities for collaboration and set the region up for future success.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

I would expect to see more opportunities to improve cleaning efficiencies with the key focus on sustainable cleaning practices. Kärcher is excited to be continually innovating as a business and being an active partner in trials in this focus area.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Kärcher has made for 2023?

We have three pillars in our sustainability strategy 2025: Zero Emissions; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Social Hero.

Our production plants across the globe are carbon neutral and have been since 2021. We are continuing to reduce our CO2 emissions across the business, introducing recyclable packaging and ensuring we produce durable products that last longer.

As well as this, we will continue to develop our social and community activity with grassroots support, cultural cleans, and environmental clean-up days.

I am so proud of the way the Kärcher business has embraced chaos throughout this period of significant growth. Without each and every function within the business collaborating and looking for continual improvement, we would not have been able to achieve this success whilst maintaining our high performance and people centric culture.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

I would see resourcing as a continual challenge in the market in 2023 whilst unemployment is at very low rates. We are also expecting logistics cost to continue placing additional pressures across the market.

What are Kärcher’s main priorities for 2023?

One of the key priorities for Kärcher is to continually improve its sales and service offers. With significant growth we have encountered some positive growing pains, this has allowed the business to build robust plans including structural changes

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

In today’s fast paced evolving world, business culture and its people should be one of the highest priorities. The importance and focus on workplace culture, employee engagement, and wellbeing can mitigate some of the market challenges around resourcing. More than ever, keeping your staff motivated, challenged, and involved will lead to long-term employee retention. This is applicable to any business in any industry, small or large.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

As an industry we all have an opportunity to work more closely together on topics that benefit all. A great example of this is Thank Your Cleaner Day, a special day once a year dedicated to all cleaners. This is an opportunity for the cleaning industry to thank the people who keep workplaces and public buildings clean, safe and hygienic. The next Thank Your Cleaner Day is 18 October 2023, and I would like to encourage everybody to embrace this day, show recognition to our cleaners, and raise the profile of the industry. n

What have been some of the learnings from the past 12 months?
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A force to be reckoned with

Having cemented itself in the marketplace under its own brand identity in 2022, Killara Services is firmly focused on its people and working to overcome barriers to employment for Indigenous Australians.

How was 2022 for Killara Services What were the highlights What were the challenges?

2022 was a real foundation year for the growth journey of Killara Services. We undertook a full rebrand to create our own Indigenous identity, our industry came out of one the largest global epidemics, which resulted in substantial labour and resourcing strains, and lastly, we were recognised across the industry via a number of award wins. This included being awarded Telstra’s Best of Business ‘National Indigenous Excellence’ Award, NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Indigenous Business of the Year award at the Infrastructure and Construction awards, and I was luckily enough to be awarded the ‘Indigenous Businesswoman of the Year’ award by Supply Nation which is our governing body for the Indigenous business sector.

What have been some of the learnings has the company taken from the challenges faced over the past 12 months? With the year-on-year rapid growth we’ve experienced, it’s been particularly hard to ensure we managed our new contract transitions whilst not burning out our people in trying to sustain the growth.

We have also started to compete with the larger commercial cleaning companies through various invite only tender processes, with my executives and management team working tirelessly to ensure we are a cleaning force to be reckoned with and are demonstrating our capability to compete with them.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Each business has their own stressors and challenges, but for me and Killara, we are working to overcome barriers to employment for Indigenous Australians, particularly within the incarceration space and how we can help Indigenous mob get back into normalised life and employment.

Cleaning companies are fighting each other over cleaning workforce, I’m not. I am upskilling and training my mob into cleaning roles all over the country to put ‘bread and butter’ on the table of their homes.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2023?

Sustain our growth trajectory, keep our amazing people in secure employment, and ensure we stay true to being the largest employer of Indigenous mob all over the country.

Are there any key sustainability commitments Killara has made for 2023 How will you measure your progress?

We are currently working very hard to meet our client sustainability targets and also working towards a net zero target ourselves as a company.

This involves ensuring we continue to utilise ‘green’ chemicals across all our service delivery, educating our cleaners on water and electricity minimisation and waste segregation when working in our client sites and choosing the best equipment and products that not only deliver a high-quality, fit for purpose solution but also have a measure of environmental benefit included.

We are also working on a more practical waste solution for our customers that will see technology becoming more involved rather cleaners tracking waste contamination with a pen and paper in hand.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today? Quiet quitting – people giving up inside your business and saying nothing to see if their concerns can be resolved and fixed. As a leader, I have ensured I am being more accessible to all our team members throughout the entire business. I have increased my WIP calls to weekly for the team members I don’t see every day to ensure I am on point with my people, my finger is on the pulse and I am working to support them as they support my business.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

Cleaning customers if you’re after a deadly cleaning company reach out to Killara Services. Killara is a Dhurug word for ‘always there’ which relates to my team always being there for our people, communities and customers. ■

” INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM 50 INCLEAN January / February 2023
Killara is a Dhurug word for ‘always there’ which relates to my team always being there for our people, communities, and customers.

Acceleration ahead

Since first launching in Australia two years ago, Motorscrubber Australia has firmly established itself as a player to watch, with the company showing no signs of slowing in 2023.

How was 2022 for Motorscrubber Australia?

Motorscrubber Australia had so many highlights throughout 2022, being a new standalone player in the market we had a lot to prove to our customers, end users, and the competition that the Motorscrubber brand was here to stay for many years to come.

We could talk about the successful launch of the new products to our distribution network, or our successful warehouse 3PL integration in a very challenging freight landscape toward the end of 2021, but I think the most important thing to discuss when we talk about highlights was the willingness and enthusiasm of the existing Motorscrubber distribution partners to come with us on the journey.

Time and time again our team is receiving praise that we make things easy, whether it’s our communications, ability to go outside of the norm to ensure seamless transactions, or our commitment to them and our machines with spares and accessories.

What learnings has the company taken from the past 12 months?

The key learning for us is we made the right decision launching the local business. Australian customers have a thirst for innovation and

products that are easy to use and highly effective. Previously, Australia has been starved of many of the highly successful Motorscrubber products that the rest of the world has had the luxury of integrating into their cleaning portfolios.

Since we launched the Jet3, STORM, and Blade just to name a few, our distributors and end customers have embraced them in volume we could have only hoped for. Motorscrubber has won numerous awards for its innovations over many years and previous business models haven’t exposed Australia to the true breadth of the global range. However, this is no longer a hurdle and with two of our biggest innovations to come in 2023 the Australian market is going to be blown away with what we have to offer in the future.

The key learning for us from this increase in demand is to ensure we are well ahead of the game in regard to stock management. We constantly invest and hold a high volume of stock locally and internationally to support our network with minimal delays and disruptions.

What are Motorscrubber Australia’s main priorities for 2023?

Our main priority is to launch our two new game changing products SHOCK and DRYFT through our key partner program. These products have been years in the making and been the focus of a soft launch at several shows over the past 12 months. Once the markets sees both machines in action, the small scrubbing market will be changed forever.

Australian customers have a thirst for innovation and products that are easy to use and highly effective. Previously, Australia has been starved of many of the highly successful Motorscrubber products that the rest of the world has had the luxury of integrating into their cleaning portfolios.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

If trade shows have taught us anything recently it is that robotics, AI, and smart device integration are driving a large chunk of innovation investment. At Motorscrubber we are investing in a similar manner, however, contrary to many other brands our desire is not always be first but

” INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM 52 INCLEAN January / February 2023

to ensure that we are the best and that our machines are the highest quality fit-forpurpose machines. I feel that we may see a redirection in the marketplace to ensure that machinery/equipment is lasting longer than ever.

Our disposable society is having major impacts on supply chain raw materials, disposal of equipment in an environmentally conscious manner and adding pressure to an already exhausted freight landscape. Longer warranties, better machines, and higher quality cleaning results will be become more important than ever.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing

in 2023?

A major challenge for the industry now and for the foreseeable future is staff consistency/shortages, this unintended consequence of the pandemic has hit our industry harder than others. This will drive heightened demand for regular and

thorough training ensuring newcomers to the industry are being educated to a cleaning level never seen before. Requiring businesses to invest in their people, products, and programs in a more robust way than previous.

Leaders will have to show teams they are committed to upskilling their workforce, otherwise team members will simply find these opportunities elsewhere. We need to continue to keep our industry full of passionate professionals that strive for incredible outcomes for all tiers of our industry network.

What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

For me, the most important thing we can do for our teams and industry is to stay relevant. Once you are irrelevant you and your business have a monumental task in getting back into relevance. Your business, your people, and your product need to provide relevance to everyone everyday whether that is through the effectiveness of

your product, the ability to provide backup service and support, being seen as a true advisor to your people and your industry is one of the most important and difficult tasks facing leaders of the industry.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

Value your people. They make you successful, they are the ones when given the right guidance, direction, and support make your business successful. We often put our name in lights with results when we should be putting praise on those in the engine room that make our business successful. A leader’s responsibility is to ensure our teams are given the right tools to be more successful than us. There is nothing more satisfying as a leader is to be a part of someone else’s success. ■

Read more of INCLEAN’s interview with Motorscrubber Australia at

+61 459 269 988 TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU CLEAN With the market leader in compact scrubbing machines. Our cleaning machines focus on performance and speed so you can deliver a five-star cleaning standard in the shortest possible time. Every building needs a MotorScrubber. INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

Always moving

Oates (Freudenberg) has proved its agility and adaptability over the past 12 months.

How was 2022 for Oates (Freudenberg)?

2022 was another great year for Freudenberg. We still had to deal with challenges related to the pandemic, with the first months seeing people in their own self-imposed ‘shadow lockdown’. We learnt a lot from the previous years and our professional team was well prepared to face the challenge.

Highlights were many. All our professional team completed the ISSA Oceania Accredited Auditing Professional (AAP) certification. The launch of new innovative solutions was another highlight of 2022. Vileda Professional is increasingly becoming a brand leader for the healthcare sector.

What have been some of the learnings from the past 12 months?

The main learning for us was not only to be agile in reacting to what was happening but also to have a great ability to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and take actions to seize opportunities. The pandemic has greatly accelerated smart working and the companies that have been able to plan it correctly have gained an advantage, not only in terms of productivity, but also in terms of motivation and commitment from employees. Today our team is stronger than before because we managed to reorganise and make territorial barriers an element related to the past.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Supply chain is still the biggest challenge, at least the first part of 2023. Businesses will need to build protective measures into supply chains to deal with shortages and rising logistical costs. Freudenberg is in a

good position thanks to global agreements that guarantee synergies and opportunity to mitigate risks of disruption.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

Digital transformation is one of the big trends. The right technology implemented throughout internal processes can generate positive impact on business and the wider industry. After launching the Vileda Professional Australia website in 2021, we have successfully launched an upgraded version of the Oates Professional website. Our digital communication channels are constantly updated to offer the best possible experience to our customers.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023?

One of the effects of the pandemic has been an increased public concern over health. The demand for ‘hygienic’ cleaning has grown and higher standards are mandatory. The choice of the right products and not the cheap products is also crucial to achieve high quality results. The industry has always focused to spend less money in the short term and not on the long-term return on investment. The choice of efficient and effective products makes a huge difference in any cleaning contract.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets the company has made for 2023?

We are facing an increase in the demand for raw materials and at the same time limited essential resources. The world population continues to grow, consequently so does the demand for these finite resources. The processes of

extraction and use of raw materials have a great impact on the environment and increase energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. A more rational use of raw materials can help reduce CO2 emissions. This is where the concept of circular economy comes into play, in which Freudenberg strongly believes. it is a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, borrowing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. This extends the life cycle of products, helping to reduce waste to a minimum. Once the product has finished its function, the materials of which it is made are in fact reintroduced, where possible, into the economic cycle. Therefore, they can be continuously reused within the production cycle, generating further value.

Our commitment is strong towards sustainability. We have recently launched products made from 100 per cent recycled material that can be recycled into new products. We have developed a CO2 calculator, that can tell how much CO2 can be saved, by using products made from recycled material compared to virgin. The calculator is available on our websites. Any product we will launch in the future will always take sustainability into consideration.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry

The focus has to be on the workplace. Company culture can impact employee’s engagement and performance. This is not something abstract. Everyone is asked to contribute to make his workplace a better place. Lead by example, be humble and go to work every day thinking on how you can make things better. ■


All in this together

Competition is a key driver of innovation and should be welcomed in 2023, according to Polivac.

How was 2022 for Polivac What were the highlights What were the challenges?

2022 was another good year for Polivac. Many of the challenges we have faced as an industry since the beginning of the pandemic remained throughout 2022, such as increased product and freight costs and staff shortages, but despite these challenges we managed to have a strong sales year and I’m proud of how our team continues to adapt. Another challenge was keeping up with increased in product demand, however, our supply and production strategy ensures that we always hold a high volume of local stock so that we can deliver for our customers without any delays or disruptions. During the year we also upgraded our manufacturing software to a more streamlined system, and we implemented QR codes across our entire product range, giving customers instant access to more in-depth, product information.

What are Polivac’s main priorities for 2023?

Our new product launches will be our main priority for 2023. We’re currently developing several new products, including a batteryoperated carpet machine, which we’re aiming to launch in the middle of next year. We’re also developing a new, high speed burnisher. We’re always looking at ways to improve our offering for our customers, whether it’s new features to existing equipment or launching new products. We will also increase our office space in Melbourne this year to keep up with demand.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

Product manufacturers need to be willing to innovative. At Polivac, our focus is on building safe, operator-friendly, environmentally friendly, and recyclable machines. Customers are now demanding speed and efficiency

from their products. They are moving towards battery-operated equipment and quieter machines. Because of these product trends, we are always looking at ways to make our machines more ergonomic, efficient, and easy for operators to use. Our customers have also been asking us for other products outside of our current lines so we’re currently looking into new products such as stick vacuums.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Every company must maintain and deliver high quality customer service. Manufacturers need to focus on using machines incorporated with advanced technology and provide employees with continuous training to provide top-quality results and help save time, energy, and money. I think it’s also important to remember that competition in the industry is healthy – it keeps everyone on their toes and prepared for whatever is thrown at you.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

Manufacturers need to focus on innovation. Innovation is the key to surviving and succeeding. So, invest time and money in research and development, and remember it is a continuous process. We also need to work together as an industry. We welcome competition in the industry and believe that it is a key driver for innovation. We always try to have good relationships with our competitors, and we believe that competition keeps up always innovating and wanting to do better.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?

Keep it clean – be open to friendly competition. And remember to continue to build and nurture your relationships with your suppliers and customers. ■


A targeted approach to hygiene


How was 2022 for Dettol Pro Solutions?

The last year was an exciting one for us at Dettol Pro Solutions. Combining Reckitt’s long-standing expertise in research, we continued to equip our partners such as Cricket Australia, Mirvac, Accor, MCG, and the Sydney Opera House with products, hygiene protocols, and expertise to help instil consumer confidence as Australia moved out of lockdowns and into the new normal. We also focused on expanding access to the same Dettol products, now for businesses, with key distribution partners across the region.

On a global scale, the two major standout highlights of 2022 were our partnership with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Jubilee. It was a crowning achievement to be trusted as the official hygiene partner at two of the year’s biggest events for the Commonwealth.

There will never not be a need for good hygiene, so preparing businesses to help encourage employees and patrons to remain vigilant has been a key focus for us.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Across the globe, largely due to depleted factory inventories and ocean freight disruptions, supply chain delays and cost inflation have been tough. These are issues which we do expect to continue through 2023. Fortunately, Reckitt has been able to maintain the supply chain to service our partners against this challenging backdrop.

Delivery logistics for fast and reliable deployment across the country, ensuring businesses have sufficient quantities of Dettol products to meet the standards set forth by the enhanced protocols and

customers’ expectations, is paramount to our program’s success.

Working closely with distributors has been central in driving access to our products right across Australia. We are proud of the new relationships we have fostered and will continue to focus on how we can work more closely with our distribution network in 2023.

Another challenge we anticipate is hygiene complacency. We are very focused on providing businesses with accurate and tailored information to help ensure they are doing all they can to help protect their employees and customers.

What are Dettol Pro Solutions’ main priorities for 2023?

It’s our priority to support businesses in any way we can, and be their go-to efficacious, commercial solution for all hygiene and cleaning needs to assist in maintaining productive, hygienic, and more environmentally conscious workplaces.

Studies have shown workplace absenteeism cost Australian businesses $24.2 billion in 2022, which can impact business’s bottom line. Programs like Dettol Pro Solutions are designed to help arm businesses with efficacious products and hygiene advice to enable businesses to create clean and hygienic environments which can help to limit the spread of germs in the workplace.

We will also continue our work in consumer behaviour and how it can help counteract complacency. For example, through our work with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we’ve uncovered insights around hand sanitiser placement to encourage compliance – an approach we will continue with next year.

Our research has shown that if a hand sanitiser station is placed on the right-hand side of a door, usage will typically increase, as opposed to if it is placed on the left . It is these exact insights and techniques Dettol Pro Solutions implemented at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

With uncertainty surrounding the Australian economy coupled with the rising cost of living and inflation, a big trend I think we will see across all industries is simply cutting costs. Yet, for businesses, the need to protect staff and customers from the spread of germs when outside of the home is paramount. In order to combat these potential financial concerns, creating cost efficient cleaning and hygiene solutions allow businesses to ensure that routine cleaning is happening in an effective and efficient manner –particularly as we return to the office.

Another trend we anticipate seeing more of in 2023 is the emergence of new technologies within the hygiene and cleaning industry such as Autonomous Robots and Artificial Intelligence. Leaning into technology offers many opportunities, from predicting trade demand, and to engage with the general public as well.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023?

One of the most notable shifts we’ve seen is in sustainability as it’s no longer seen by consumers as a box to check, but rather something that should be baked into your business strategy. It is one thing to commit to change in the future, but you need to show what actions your business is making today to make your sustainability goals

Solutions continues to support businesses maintain productive, hygienic, and more environmentally conscious workplaces.

actually possible. How you communicate that to the public is really important and will become even more so in the future. If you don’t have a sustainability strategy or have yet to set goals to work towards, I encourage you to do so as a priority in 2023.

Are there any key sustainability commitments Dettol Pro Solutions has made for 2023?

Sustainability is incredibly important to Dettol Pro Solutions, and Reckitt at large, as is innovation. Combining the two is something we’re really honing in on. We have made a number of commitments, such as a setting the target to move 100 per cent of packaging being reusable or recyclable by 2025 , and the goal to power our operations with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 to help create a cleaner, healthier world. A great example of these commitments coming to life are the new Dettol Tru Clean Biodegradable* disinfectant

wipes which kill 99.9 per cent of germs with a plant based active ingredient and is able to be used on food preparation surfaces. Greater than 90 per cent of the wipes biodegrade in 60 days in active landfill conditions according to ASTM D5511. By making small choices like using a product such as this, each of us can help to make our businesses and collectively the world a cleaner place.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?

As an industry, it is very important that we move away from supplying businesses with product and blanket advice, and then leaving it at that. Businesses, and consumers, expect more from us all, and we need to ensure that we are supporting organisations from start to finish. I encourage all business leaders to ensure they have a 360° comprehensive hygiene solution in place and to not let their guard down. ■

*Always read the label and follow the directions for use.

We are very focused on providing businesses with accurate and tailored information to help ensure they are doing all they can to help protect their employees and customers. ”

Delivering the goods

Following a highly successful year for RapidClean and its members, the buying group anticipates continued growth in 2023.

How was 2022 for RapidClean?

2022 was another strong year for RapidClean members and we felt very lucky to be in the cleaning supply industry that was able to ride through COVID with demand for product relatively undiminished across many sectors and heightened in others.

The highlight of the year was the ability to renew our face-to-face relationships with our customers throughout Australia. We were also able to hold our RapidClean conference for the first time in three years which gave us the opportunity to recognise the success and hard work of our people.

The year generated new challenges for us to maintain consistency of supply for our customers and presented opportunities to improve our processes.

We were able to use our collective buying power to moderate the frequent price increases from our suppliers which were driven by international freight costs and reduced manufacturing capacity.

Through the period of uncertain supply and price hikes we held our position of looking after our customers best interests.

What are some of the learnings from the past 12 months?

Most of us are tired of hearing excuses around delays and out of stocks. One of the principal learnings of the year for RapidClean was to improve our capacity to source from multiple suppliers in each sector to offset reliance on single supply channels.

Additionally, we have moved away from the just-in-time warehousing model as we recognise the most important element for our customers is that their order is supplied on time. This learning has resulted in our stores improved capacity to supply customers rapidly with quality products, allowing them time to focus on their business.

This year, the sustainable and environmental requirements of our customers has been more prevalent and is fast becoming a standard in the cleaning industry across all sectors. This progression combined with recognising and supporting locally-owned business is now a powerful movement.

The largest increase in sales this year from RapidClean stores was our environmentally friendly cleaning products and biodegradable packaging. It is very pleasing to see buyers supporting these product types in huge numbers and our learning is that our customers are looking for guidance in this area. All of our stores now have increased stock of these products and strong product knowledge to be able to provide advise at both a local and national level.

Our priorities in 2023 continue to be improvement of our offering through a wider availability of sustainable products, increase our local stock holdings, and to make purchasing from our 60 locally-owned RapidClean stores as easy as possible for our customers

What are your main priorities for 2023?

Our priorities in 2023 continue to be improvement of our offering through a wider availability of sustainable products, increase our local stock holdings, and to make purchasing from our 60 locally owned RapidClean stores as easy as possible for our customers through streamlining and improving our system processes.


A further priority of RapidClean is to partner with our customers and have vast stocks of the best quality cleaning products in the market, combined with locally accessible product knowledge. We will continue to merge those characteristics with a tangible urgency in our responsiveness to our customers’ needs whilst maintaining an ease of purchasing culture.

Are there any key sustainability commitments the Rapid Group has made for 2023?

The Rapid Group challenges itself on every sustainability front to achieve continuous improvement. The most effective change that we can facilitate is to make sustainable and environmentally friendly products widely available throughout Australia and New Zealand for our clients, at prices that allow them to stay competitive in their markets while

delivering on their customers’ expectations.

To help us achieve that goal we have collated a complete range of cost-effective cleaning solutions available with Accord’s Recognised approvals and we also offer a wide range of GECA, ECNZ, PEFC and FSC approved products. We are very pleased ASIC is clamping down on green-washing and that only products with valid claims will be able to promote their environmental credentials. We encourage and enable our customers to measure the validity of environmental claims through respected third-party accreditation.

To measure our progress related to achieving our sustainability goals, we commissioned an external audit of our business through Ecovadis and achieved Bronze status. Our goal this year is to upgrade to Silver and then pursue Gold through genuine minimisation of our carbon footprint and helping our customer to transition into environmentally

preferable products while maintaining or improving on their cleaning quality and efficiency.

Do you have any advice for fellow leaders in the industry?

The cleaning industry has grown in importance exponentially in recent years and it will continue to be central in allowing society to function and for people to live safely within close proximity. One of the principal responsibilities of being a leader in our industry is to provide a platform for our people to excel.

We need to celebrate the cleaning industry with our achievements and publicly demonstrate our pride in its growing status. Through growth in our industries status, we will be able to secure investment and support our people with increased training facilitating increased professionalism and potential remuneration. ■

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Clearing the air

As more emphasis is placed on keeping buildings hygienic and safe post-pandemic, SAN-AIR plans to continue to raise awareness and educate the industry on the importance of indoor air quality.

How was 2022 for SAN-AIR What were the highlights What were the challenges?

2022 was a momentous year for SAN-AIR. Third party (university and private business testing laboratories) found our product could control SARSCoV-2 virus infection in the air as well as on surfaces, leading SAN-AIR’s reputation to soar.

Together, with more than a thousand reports from the field, users who testified being prevented from becoming ill with COVID-19, it became a constant effort to try and keep up with demand, constantly challenged by the overwhelmed logistics industry.

What are SAN-AIR’s main priorities for 2023?

Our main priority for 2023 is expanding on our indoor air quality (IAQ) range and continuing to build awareness that our products are here not just for viruses, but for indoor air spaces.

Prior to the pandemic, indoor air quality was a topic that was largely ignored, however, COVID has brought home the importance of indoor air

quality and has given chemists and other infectious disease experts an opportunity to explain the importance of indoor air quality. A focus for us this year is to continue to educate the industry.

Our goal is to provide the highest quality and the most effective products for the removal of mould, bacteria, and other microorganisms in indoor air spaces while only using natural sustainable ingredients. We will also continue to complete third-party tests on more germs.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

One of the main challenges is overcoming the media driven threat of a looming recession. Yes, there are major companies going under, but it is not different to most other years. Another challenge is educating the industry and the wider public about the importance of mould control as a primary means to achieve better indoor air quality. This will be achieved by better advertising methods.

Our goal is to provide the highest quality and the most effective products for the removal of mould, bacteria, and other microorganisms in indoor air spaces while only using natural sustainable ingredients.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

Greater understanding of indoor air quality and health, and the arrival of regulatory framework to achieve indoor air quality. The goal must be to provide air-purification and surface-cleaning systems that reduce the impact of germs and viruses and deliver better health outcomes. To that end, SAN-AIR has conducted research that indicates its products are dramatically driving down sickness rates in workplaces.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets SAN-AIR has made for 2023?

We meet four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations. Our goal is to have more manufacturing sites outside of Australia, so hopefully do our part on creating jobs wherever we go.

We use natural, sustainable, highquality Australian ingredients to produce our products. Everything we use is derived from plants and we do not intend changing that approach, it makes for the creation of a natural product which is also effective yet very safe to use. So, we think we are in a good space now.

“What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

We are here with a natural set of products to add to the service that the cleaning industry can offer facilities and building occupants so come and speak with us about our solutions.


Opportunity awaits

2023 is set to be a year of innovation for SEBO, with a strong focus on quality, sustainability, and efficiency.

How was 2022 for SEBO What were the highlights What were the challenges?

We enjoyed showcasing the SEBO products at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo in Sydney. Attendees reinforced with us that the SEBO Powerheads are a staple in any cleaning contractors’ fleet and the SEBO Uprights are regarded as a key piece of equipment in any carpet maintenance plan. Volume sales were good with improved B2C contact through our evolving omni-channel platform. Supply chain management was challenging with global disruptions, price rises, and market volatility.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2023?

Expanding our skill set and building a bigger and better team to service our customers. We have outgrown our current location and tailored premises are on the plans. Our ongoing commitment to the education of the cleaning industry and gold standard of floorcare cleaning and maintenance programs and equipment.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Anticipating the economy. The cost of doing business is increasing, rising interest rates, utilities, staff, freight, etc. Reducing unnecessary costs where possible and one way for businesses to achieve this is by investing in the right equipment for the job and educate or skill the people employed to operate the equipment correctly.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023?

The industry must lead by example and consistently maintain a high-level cleaning standard. Using correct cleaning equipment to suit the application and operator is instrumental to protecting society and supporting the workforce and the economy back to recovery. Best

practice and sustainability efforts are an opportunity to increase margins. Some consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably and ethically sourced products.

Are there any key sustainability commitments SEBO has made for 2023?

We are committed to maintaining best practices industry standards by supplying effective and efficient products and technologies to the consumer. Sustainable cleaning is a key component, but this must all begin at the origin. SEBO’s manufacturing plant in Germany was designed all those years ago with the environment in mind.

Wooden pallets are reused in the distribution system as well as supplied to other companies for use within their distribution system. Paper and cardboard are either shredded and used for packaging or recycled. Plastic including soft plastic is recycled and cartridges and batteries deposited at collection points. Even deliveries are carefully planned to ensure our vehicles are filled to their maximum capacity and are running as economically as possible.

Manufactured in Germany, using locally sourced materials and components, which already ensures a smaller carbon footprint, every SEBO vacuum cleaner is made to last. This not only reduces waste and uses fewer resources, it saves customers money. What is impressive is the lengths the company will go to ensure every single element of a vacuum’s construction makes a minimal impact on the environment.

Not only is plastic recycled into new components, but the factory is completely self-sustaining with regards to electricity – and even makes contributions to the national grid when supply exceeds demand. A combined heat and power system recovers virtually 100 per cent of its primary energy source; as well as producing the electricity required to run

machinery, the warm air created by its generator is used to heat the warehouse while engine coolant is pumped through the office radiators.

Water resources are also conserved at the SEBO factory. Rainwater is collected from the roof, then filtered and stored to be used in production and within the factory washrooms, saving the unnecessary use of treated drinking water. The factory and offices are designed to use natural light as much as possible, avoiding artificial lighting and the associated power consumption and working hours are scheduled to make use of daylight hours. This also creates a much better working environment.

SEBO has a highly skilled and dedicated workforce and management are very aware of their social responsibility and the huge contribution the commitment and health of their staff make to the quality of SEBO products.

For SEBO, reducing the carbon footprint of a product starts in the initial design process. Part of the design brief is to ensure that they will pack into the smallest possible cartons and that the carton sizes ensure the maximum number of machines will fit onto a pallet. Most packaging is made from unbleached recycled cardboard with wastepaper from the offices being shredded and re-used for packing.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

The biggest issue is attracting and retaining the right staff. Businesses need to encourage staff back into the workplace by establishing a modern and engaging environment where employees have the right tools and training, automated workflows, and flexible working conditions (where applicable). Understanding the new situations, you and your staff face as a result of the pressures of increased costs of living, the ongoing pandemic, etc. should be taken just as seriously as businessrelated considerations. ■


Spotlight on sustainability

Solaris Paper has turned challenges into opportunities over the past 12 months, with the company now preparing to expand on its sustainability commitments.

How was 2022 for Solaris Paper What were the highlights What were the challenges?

For us, 2022 was full of significant highlights. The away from home market returned to its ‘new normal’ as people returned to workplaces, with the segment reporting year-on-year growth. 2022 also marked a full year of our new Sorbent Professional brand roll out, and after completing rigorous testing, we introduced the official Australian Made logo on our Sorbent Professional TAD hand towel range.

Using similar TAD paper technology to Handee Ultra, the TAD hand paper making and conversion to interleave towel is done in Australia. This supports Australian jobs as well as providing certainty and flexibility of supply for this important product, critical in hand hygiene, particularly in healthcare. Finally, another highlight was winning the INCLEAN Excellence Award at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo for our Sorbent Professional Jumbo toilet paper.

However, the year was not without its many challenges. The global supply chain crisis, as well as the availability and cost of containers, hit a peak in 2022, causing out of stocks and price rises on all imported products, however this has thankfully started to right size.

Pallet shortages was also another critical issue. Multiple factors caused this, including difficulty in importing wood to make pallets due the shipping crisis, combined with businesses stockpiling stock and pallets as a buffer to what may come. Other challenges also included staff shortages, both due to illness as well as a

tight labour market, as well as significant cost increases in raw materials, packaging, fuel, and energy which are all set to continue in 2023.

What are Solaris Paper’s main priorities for 2023?

Now we have full supply and hopefully, a more ‘normal’ year, we are looking forward to significant growth for our customers. Our priority is to continue to grow the Sorbent Professional range with new product development, and we are happy to say we will continue the development of Australian-made products in our significant production facility in Melbourne.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

Hybrid working from home and office is the new normal, particularly with a tight employment market, which is likely to continue for the next few years. On the one hand that will mean less usage of consumables than previously, however, on the other hand, businesses continue to focus on hygiene, so the increased need for cleaning products remains.

We are also seeing a shift from air dryers to hand towel for increased hand hygiene compliance, combined with more sanitiser, sanitising wipes, and facial tissue as more people come back to the office. With hand hygiene continuing to be a priority for all, particularly in healthcare, we see a continuing switch to the more absorbent and therefore effective TAD hand towel which is softer on frequently washed hands.

What steps is Solaris Paper taking to create a more sustainable supply chain in 2023?

Solaris Paper is uniquely part of a vertically integrated company, owning from seed to finished goods which compared to our competitors, gives us more visibility and control over our supply chain.

Over the past 10 years, Solaris Paper and our supply partner APP have worked hard to ensure a sustainable and responsibly sourced supply chain and our independently audited commitments include no deforestation and no illegal logging.

Our sustainable plantations in Indonesia grow a combination of rapidly renewable Acacia and Eucalyptus which, in a tropical environment, reach full maturity in five years (vs old growth forest that take up to 25 years). As a result, we plant 1 million trees a day, every day – that is true sustainability in action!

Our goal is to demonstrate responsible business practices throughout our global operations and supply chain – working in harmony with local communities, as well as protecting forests, peatlands, and biodiversity. To be successful, we know that we need to demonstrate the clear links between our products and production processes, and the needs of our customers.

We are independently audited annually across the supply chain by PEFC and SEDEX.

PEFC is the largest certifier in the world, certifying two-thirds of the world’s sustainable forests. All Solaris Paper tissue paper products are 100 per cent PEFC certified, exclusively sourced from


plantations (no mix). SEDEX certifies our responsible sourcing

In Australia, with Solaris Paper’s Away from Home range, most of our products are made from sustainable virgin fibre and are packaged in sustainable and recyclable packaging (wrapped in paper and in recycled cartons).

We are working towards removing plastic packaging. For example, our Australian made Sorbent Professional hand towel wrap will move to paper in the new year. That leaves the window in the tissue boxes that performs an important hygiene seal, and some jumbo toilet rolls that come in plastic bales. The challenge is the extra cost of changing to cartons, so we are exploring how to move forward.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets Solaris Paper has made for 2023 How will you measure your progress?

In 2012, APP established a Sustainability

Roadmap Vision (SRV), our comprehensive strategy for sustainability. While the vast majority of our targets in SRV 2020 have been achieved, with the recent developments, we have realised that we need to expand the scope of our commitments to sustainability.

With that in mind, we created the SRV 2030 through an extensive review from our internal team and external resource. Compared to SRV 2020, this evolution covers an increased range of issues and aligned well with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

We are committed to transparently disclosing our sustainability journey through our Sustainability Dashboard and annual Sustainability Reports, aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. We work with a number of partners including EcoVadis, CDP, Sustainalytics and Spott. In order to be part of the solution to the global issues and to

keep track of global trends and updates, we are part of several global platforms including the UN Compact.

What learnings has the company taken from the challenges faced over the past 12 months?

These last three years have taught us to be flexible and to ‘pivot’ (an overused but still very relevant word!) to quickly find work arounds for unexpected problems. We have also become even more integrated – we know so much more about supply chain than we ever did. The solutions we have established over the past couple of years have set us up with more flexibility for what the future may hold.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

Keep your customers happy with quality as it’s the little touches that leave a lasting impression and continue to work closely with suppliers to optimise your business. ■


Generation next

After celebrating its 40th anniversary last year, SPITWATER continues to build on its legacy for future generations.

How was 2022 for SPITWATER?

2022 was a demanding but successful year for SPITWATER. As COVID challenges including higher than normal absenteeism, continued supply chain disruption, shipping complexity and unprecedented price rises increased, we became stronger in our ability to be agile and flexible across all areas of the businesses.

We became increasingly open to change that included the successful renaming and rebranding of the factory in Albury, as well as rebranding of the distributors in each of the states and their dealers spread across Australia.

Throughout the year we were reminded of the importance of being close and listening to our people and giving them the tools, support and space to thrive in challenging times. The importance of understanding and nurturing relationships with key customers and suppliers was also a focus for us and our teams.

What were the highlights?

Highlights included embedding the rebrand that was launched nationally in September 2021. The new name for the factory is OTTICO Equipment. OTTI comes from the courage and tenacity of the founding Martinotti family and CO from the collaborative and innovative company culture they created in setting up the factory in Albury, NSW and building the brand and businesses in Australia.

Having the new name, we are able to leverage our brands SPITWATER (high pressure cleaners), JETFIRE (space heaters) and the newly created VACSTORM (floor cleaning products), as well as create space for future new brands.

The 40th anniversary of manufacturing SPITWATER high pressure cleaners in Australia was another highlight, as was the relocation of SPITWATER NSW to impressive new premises in Wetherill Park. This office is the new benchmark for sales, service, hire, and training nationally. We also opened a new sales and service centre on the Gold Coast.

What have been some of the learnings the company taken from the past 12 months?

We have been reminded of the importance of a strong and well-balanced culture within the businesses, as well as of the importance of communications – communicating openly with our teams internally and with our strategic partners externally. We were reminded of the importance of valuing our partners and of being valued by them. We have learned the strength of the company legacy as a building block to an exciting and strong future of opportunity for our people, our partners and our brands.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2023?

Our main priorities for 2023 include increasing production at the factory to meet market demand through various investments, engagements and initiatives, looking after and investing in our people, and creating better solutions for our customers.

What do you see as the main challenges for the market in 2023?

Rising energy costs will continue to be a challenge to the market hence a shift to renewable energy sources in some industry sectors. Floor care is one area where this will be seen. Supply chain and logistics will continue to be a challenge. Managing procurement, improving forecasting, managing inventory, and nurturing key partnerships will all continue to contribute to successful outcomes. Economic downturn is always a possibility of course. It’s our job to continue to manufacture and provide quality products and to be the best at what we do whereby giving ourselves the greatest chance of success.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023?

We see the cleaning industry evolve towards improved safety and efficiency for the jobs that need to be performed. This will be achieved through innovation in smart customer focused solutions and in some cases, the incorporation of renewable energy sources.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?

As an Australian manufacturer we have been innovating and providing opportunity to and supporting people and the economy locally and nationally for 40 years. We are passionate about continuing this legacy for future generations. We encourage all business owners and decision makers to support Australian manufacturers wherever possible and of course to consider us for their cleaning solutions!

Our new brand promise to customers of Tough + Ready embodies who we are and what we do. Tough identifies the passion and persistence we bring to everything we do and every product we manufacture. Like us, our products are resilient. They are made from the ground up to be tough. Ready speaks to our commitment to building connections that will build confidence in others. Like us, our products are always ready to step up. When you need us, we are always at the ready.

SPITWATER is passionate, proud, and persistent and we are looking forward with optimism to 2023 and beyond. ■


Tech trailblazer

TEAM Software eyes further expansion and innovation in 2023, as more cleaning companies realise the strategic benefits technology can deliver.

How was 2022 for TEAM Software?

2022 was a standout year for TEAM Software in the ANZ region. First and foremost, we joined the WorkWave family via acquisition. We’re looking forward to further integrating the businesses in 2023 and are working on the requirements to launch the first WorkWave product in the market to drive value for small business service providers.

The region continued to experience rapid growth, with many new customers joining the TEAM Software family and existing customers demonstrating their satisfaction with our products and services through adopting our other solutions. Alongside this growth, we’ve continued to build out our local team to ensure that we meet the growing demands of the market and, more importantly, our customers.

One of the most exciting developments of 2022 has been the continued integration of our solutions: TemplaCMS, Timegate, and Lighthouse. We now offer a fully integrated technology platform that helps consolidate solutions, drive efficiencies and act as a single source of truth for our customers — a distinct advantage when compared to the largely siloed solutions that are on offer in this market.

What are your main priorities

for 2023?

One of our biggest priorities for 2023 is the launch of Timegate, our flagship workforce management solution. Timegate is used by 20 of the top 25 facilities management companies in the UK, and we are excited to be able to bring the market leader in workforce management to the ANZ market.

What tech trends do you anticipate for 2023?

I don’t expect many new technology trends to emerge in 2023, but rather

a continuation of existing technology trends impacting the cleaning industry. These include:

Client transparency: More than ever, cleaning companies are offering a transparent service delivery model underpinned by technology. Technology is unlocking more granular data on service delivery which is then shared with clients. Market demand for a transparent service delivery model is high and we expect this trend to continue in 2023.

Data & analytics: The best cleaning companies are using technology to drive strategic and operational insights into performance. Generally, cleaning companies are good at collecting data but often have trouble centralising the information in a meaningful, actionable way. In 2023, we expect more companies to invest in data and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions to make sense of their financial, HR, operational, and compliance data.

IoT & demand-based service: IoT has been a buzzword for a long time now. Only now are we finally seeing sensor-based solutions for the cleaning industry come of age.

How is the use of data transforming the cleaning industry?

When used effectively, technology and data drive a much deeper understanding of business performance and profitability at a granular level. The right technology and data can help managers understand profitability at a business level, contract level, and even site level. It can help managers understand compliance with the agreed scope.

For example, is the cleaning company delivering what was agreed upon based on the contract at every site It can help identify areas of risk for a cleaning company, such as compliance with agreed rotation times or do our employees have

the right skills and qualifications to work at a site. Additionally, automating reporting through technology can eliminate the need to extract data from each system and manually analyse it to drive insights, saving valuable time and investment.

How can cleaning organisations best prepare themselves for the future?

When I started working in the industry almost 10 years ago, cleaning companies often overlooked the benefits of technology. It was less common to find companies making significant technology investments to help scale their business, automate functions, and drive efficiencies. Today, cleaning companies have realised the strategic benefits that technology can deliver, and there is a growing appetite to invest and innovate. The cleaning industry is finally catching up with other more mature service-based sectors. With that in mind, cleaning companies must invest in technology and a team of skilled professionals to help build and execute strategy. Those with a clear plan and who make the right investments in technology will be the winners in the future.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?

Invest in technology and people to support it. Make sure the solutions you choose are fit for purpose and integrated. Make sure you capture data that can drive meaningful insights into the performance of your business. Remember the right investments into technology will help you scale your business, consolidate solutions, and save costs, drive efficiency through automation, and generate data and reports that inform decision-making. ■

Read more of INCLEAN’s interview with TEAM Software at


The Only Tech Your Cleaning Team Needs

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

Get in touch and book a demo teamso | 03 9417 1272 | sales.apac@teamso

Recharged for growth

The elevated importance of supply chain resiliency has led to a more data-driven and localised approach for Tennant Company in 2023.

What are Tennant Company’s main priorities for 2023?

• Reducing lead-times to the benefit of our customers remains the definitive number one priority. We’re encouraged by the progress we’ve seen across the most challenged product categories. We’re optimistic and confident that through active management the vast majority of our product lines will return to normal lead times in 2023.

• Partnering with customers to leverage AMR to address the issue of labour availability, cost, and consistency in their cleaning operations. The pandemic has accelerated a global trend in constrained labour availability. The result has been challenges in hiring and retaining enough employees to maintain clean facilities. We are working with customers to help them understand the benefits of robotic cleaning and the profound changes necessary to be successful in its deployment.

• The continued expansion of our Tennant product portfolio to offer more floorcare solutions that deliver the value customers need at price points that suit their budgets.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is currently facing?

We see labour availability, labour cost, and labour consistency as being one of the largest challenges faces the overall cleaning market in 2023 (and beyond). We can work to overcome this challenge by helping our customers convert more manual cleaning to mechanised cleaning. We’ll seek to leverage our expanding portfolio of solutions that are well-suited to replace manual cleaning and combine that with a consultative sales process to help our customers make this transition.

New and non-traditional competitors are also entering the market, primarily through AMR, which is leading to a level of disruption of challenging traditional competitors. The entrance of new competitors can be good for the market, however, there is a risk that technologies get deployed before they are ready and with insufficient support. We see an opportunity to deploy proven technologies and combine that with knowledgeable and dependable support across the life cycle of the solution.

What opportunities do you see for the industry?

The cleaning industry has the opportunity to deploy productivity-enhancing solutions that fundamentally address the world’s challenges with labour availability. There has never been a better opportunity to further automate and enhance productivity and effectiveness of cleaning – and never has it been more important.

We believe the industry can be a leader towards a more sustainable and lower carbon emission future. Our data highlights our biggest opportunity to address climate change is with the “use-phase” of our products. Thus, the continued development and deployment of more energy-efficient cleaning solutions will be key enablers for our customers in achieving their sustainability and emission objectives.

Similarly, a significant amount of cleaning equipment continues to be powered by fossil fuels. The cleaning industry has the opportunity to work towards the electrification of our solutions and thus enable our customers in achieving their emissions and sustainability objectives.

What have been some of the learnings from the past 12 months?

As a company we’ve learned of the importance of supply chain resilience. Historically, supply chains have been measured more on the traditional metrics of cost, quality, delivery, and inventory. The challenges of the past few years have led to the addition of supply chain resilience to that traditional set of metrics and the elevation of it as one of the most critical considerations given the expectation of continued supply chain challenges moving forward. The elevated importance of supply chain resiliency has led us to focus in on different strategies such as supply chain localisation and designing products that optimise for supply chain resiliency.

The past year has increased our focus on the importance of data across the supply chain and through to our customers. The dynamic lead times and component availability have made the demand for real-time information on part availability and delivery expectations critical to our manufacturing plants. Similarly, our customers have told us that one of the most important things we can do to help them is to communicate accurate information on the timing of delivery of parts, service, and equipment. We expect to use this learning to continue to optimise our internal operations as well as to make investments to ensure we have the tools and processes to provide accurate and timely information to our customers on the status of their deliveries from us.

Finally, the challenges of the past year and the heroics necessary to navigate them while delivering on customer commitments has highlighted the importance of a talented, agile, and resilient team. We are incredibly grateful to all our employees worldwide for the exceptional work and commitment they have demonstrated through these challenging times. ■

Read INCLEAN’s full interview with Tennant Company at


Robots to the rescue

After inking a new agreement with Armaguard/Linfox Group in 2022, The Robot Factory is ready to take on the market, aiming to be the number one service robot company in Australia.

How was 2022 for The Robot Factory? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2022 was a challenging but terrific year and we finished the year very strong. The highlight of the year was inking our agreement with Armaguard/Linfox Group. This agreement gives The Robot Factory and Gausium Robotics the unique ability to service, support, repair, and deploy cleaning robots in every city in Australia.

We are very excited to be a part of this unique relationship that will help pivot the nationwide experience of the Armguardowned integrated technology services business into a robotic support business.

This ‘bank grade’ technical team currently supporting the nations ATM network will now turn their support towards robots with cleaning and security robots the first to be supported.

The other highlight of course was the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo. We really enjoyed meeting the other attendees and received some fabulous new business from the show. Our biggest challenges now seem small and for the most part involved some fine tuning of our robots to fit in some very challenging environments that would challenge any piece of cleaning equipment.

What have been some of the learnings the company has taken from the past 12 months?

Our number one learning has been to carefully scope out our robotic opportunities and be very straightforward about what robots can and cannot do. The Australian market for cleaning robots is littered with a past of broken promises and poor performing robots. We spend a lot of time ensuring our robots can solve the cleaning opportunities we are presented with. We also do not sell a million other cleaning products; we only sell robots and take great pride in the fact that we also only sell the world’s best robots.

What do you see as the main challenges the market is facing in 2023?

The main challenge facing this industry in 2023 is the extreme challenge of finding and retaining good cleaning staff and of course the high costs associated with this. Robots go a long way to solving these issues.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2023?

Our number one priority is the same as 2022. We want to be the number one service robot company in Australia.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2023?

Robots of course and AI. There are some very interesting new technologies we are implementing and testing that harness the data already being collected to make better use of both human and machine resources. You will see cleaning robots that function as security robots when not cleaning. You will see robot, camera, and sensor technology that will automatically deploy assets to clean up litter and spills. You will also see more robust software tools that allow your business to manage both people and robots from a central dashboard. These dashboards will also easily track all your assets providing detailed information on such critical items as preventive maintenance. The Robot Factory itself has some new robots we will introduce in early 2023. One robot, another Gausium robot, built especially for office environments that cleans both hard and carpeted floors, maps itself, and can even clean under desks and table. The other is an industrial sweeper with a voracious appetite for anything in its way.

How do you see the cleaning industry evolving in 2023? As I mentioned in my panel session at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo, I think organisations just need to jump in and embrace technology. It’s amazing how much a company can learn by deploying just one robot or new technology as it opens a whole new world of cleaning potential.

Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

I would like to Australian industry to help me put Australia on the map as one of the world’s most innovate cleaning countries. ■

“ Organisations just need to jump in and embrace technology.

Raising the bar

Whiteley Corporation remains committed to education in 2023.

How was 2022 for Whiteley?

Whiteley had a successful year in 2022. The year provided more challenges that allowed us to continue to strengthen our relationships with customers, suppliers and teams across Australia and New Zealand.

For Whiteley, 2022 allowed us to maintain our market position in the industry and focus on continuing to provide our customers with quality products they can trust. It continued a flow-on effect that provided new opportunities and new industries to help expand our product offering.

One challenge for Whiteley and all of the major manufacturers supplying hard floor products, was the supply of raw materials for hard floor industry which had a flow-on effect to customers.

Some raw materials have current lead times of 12+ months which disrupts everyone in the market. Becoming adaptable to find sources of materials around the country and making sure it could be delivered on impacted the cost of manufacturing, this had led to some setbacks, lead-times and of course included costs.

What are Whiteley’s main priorities for 2023?

Our main focus in 2023 will be our research and development of new innovative products. We are lucky enough to collaborate with local universities and access their technology which has excelled us in researching product development.

Whiteley is excited to start building our new manufacturing facility in 2023. This will see our footprint increase in the healthcare space with a licensed human therapeutic plant. The new facility also enables us to start manufacturing products that have been created through years of collaborative research and ensure we maintain our premium products, that are backed by science.

What are some of the fresh challenges the market is facing?

The ‘unknown’ was previous a point of concern for most, however, businesses that have survived through COVID have developed a level of resilience they should be proud of. We believe the key challenges of 2023 will be establishing a new state of normality.

Now is the time to build off our successes and leverage from our resilience. Currently, we are facing challenges with freight and logistics. This affects the global supply chain, which can lead to delays and setbacks across businesses.

Whiteley’s solution is to increase national warehousing for our Asia-Pacific customer base. The build of our new plant will also allow us to manufacture more products internally and keep up with demand of our growing customer base. We will focus on providing our customers with quality products while ensuring the products are always safe to use.

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

There are two main challenges facing the cleaning industry, the first one is maintaining value for customers. Customers are no longer just looking for a product that does the job, they are seeking quality, value and benefits to their everyday cleaning roles.

The second challenge is to retain customers’ infection-prevention cleaning habits. Now more than ever it is crucial to upkeep our cleaning vigilance. We should still be focussed on minimising every risk of infection. Bacteria and bugs are still present in the environment, and we should not stop our high standard of cleaning because COVID-19 focus is slowing. Whiteley remains committed to protecting lives and livelihoods.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the past 12 months?

Most businesses have learned their capability to adapt and respond to any situation that arises. This year Whiteley has had to adapt to the delays and challenges with freight, logistics and shortages in raw materials. However, with a dedicated team we were able to find solutions and overcome the challenges in meeting the needs of our customers.

The biggest lesson from the past 12 months is continuing our focus for education. It is important to learn the processes, but also understand how a product is used. It is also important to refresh the knowledge regarding how the product is being used to ensure maximum safety and correct usage.

Education is a big factor of how to use each product properly, as well as learning how to manually handle the product and overall safety precautions. Ensuring education is undertaken will create best practices for the customer.

Is there a message you would like to share with the industry?Always remember people are the focus of everything we do. We need to support them in their roles and cleaning needs, whether this is new development, new products, or new methods.

They have had a hard few years with the pandemic and we need to supply them with the right tools they need to complete the services they provide. We also need to note although we make the products for the industry, it is the employees in the industry that deliver the results.

Their ongoing commitment to keep all of us safe and dedication to their roles allows us to continue our lives with less risk of contamination, infection and illness. They do the hard work and deserve credit for their contributions. Without them the cleaning industry wouldn’t survive. ■ 71 INDUSTRY LEADERS FORUM

Clean start for restorers

At a time when floods, hurricanes, and fallout from COVID-19 are creating enormous workloads for restoration experts, Chuck Violand admits these “tragic” events have been a driver of growth for the industry.

However, he urges his peers to apply financial rigour in 2023 as they respond to opportunities stemming from climate change and the pandemic.

“This market is creating a tonne of opportunities, but it’s not a piggybank and too often inexperienced or undisciplined restorers view it that way, thinking they

can reach in and just pull-out cash,” says Violand, a respected US-based business consultant for the restoration industry and principal of Violand Management Associates.

“This can end up coming back to bite them and may cause a lot of financial trouble.”

The key to sustainable success for restorers, he believes, will be to run their business judiciously and understand the decision-making mindset of insurers who determine payouts.

In the wake of devastating hurricanes that hit south-east America in 2022, Violand says

“it feels like everyone east of the Mississippi River decided they wanted to go down and be a restorer in Florida”, even if they did not have the relevant local knowledge and experience. His advice? “Stay home and take care of the customers you have.”

Such counsel should resonate in an Australian market where a spate of floods across multiple states has created significant demand for restoration experts in the past 12 months.

Lex Moir, CEO of NLR Restoration, experienced a busy year in 2022 courtesy of floods in Brisbane and northern New South Wales, in particular.

The climate crisis and COVID-19 has created demand for the services of restorers. However, getting business strategies right and taking the chance to promote an often-underrated sector will be the key to ensuring that such gains are sustainable in 2023 and beyond.
RESTORATION 72 INCLEAN January / February 2023

“There is nothing to indicate that the severity of the weather conditions is going to reduce,” Moir says.

“So, I think it’s going to be busy for a while, but a diversified business still produces less risk.”

For NLR Restoration, that means spreading resources across its Brisbane and Sydney bases, as well as running an equipment hire and supply business.


Given the enormity of the recent flood damage in eastern Australia, the modelling of insurance coverage may come under scrutiny.

Ross Riek, director of Carpet Care Services and treasurer of the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) Australasia, says in years past insurers switched from a restoration model focused on saving property and money to one whereby they went directly to builders and prioritised rebuilding damaged properties.

“The difference now is that the budgets and projections have totally blown out because there’s so much damage, so we’re looking at ways for the

insurance companies to get better value from the claims process,” he says.

“The reinsurers are forking out money all over the place to try to fund the response to all this damage. It’s the perfect time for the reinsurers to re-evaluate and look at ways of getting value for spend.”

Owen Boak, RIA director at large and managing director of Elements Specialty Cleaning & Restoration, says insurers are starting to look at problems more holistically.

He adds that there needs to be greater understanding that cleaning and restoring is often a more environmentally desirable solution than rebuilding properties.

“By cleaning and restoring we actually avoid replacement,” he says.

“Over time, we need to start to focus on the total life picture, rather than just how much someone costs per hour.”

Within the industry, discussions about resilience and healthy buildings are “very much starting to become the norm”, according to Boak.

That includes greater attention to the choice of building materials, which can have a big impact on

“ Climate change is going to force a rethink about the importance of damage repair. ”

Extreme weather events of the past few years have been a double-edged sword for the restoration industry. While it has created enormous new volumes of work, it has also drained resources. ”

cleaning costs. For example, the selection of one tile over another may significantly affect cleaning outcomes and budgets.

“This choice of finishes is going to become more important from a resilience point of view, both in terms of maintenance and insurability, as well as from a green perspective,” Boak says.

“There are a lot of drivers pushing in that direction.”


As the restoration industry weighs up its key challenges for 2023, recruitment and retention will be top of mind.

Riek says getting good staff, and keeping them, is a problem for most businesses. However, he argues that the industry should take advantage of its growing volume of work to promote employment and career opportunities and win over a new generation of talent. “It’s just a matter of connecting the dots and making it attractive to people.”

For members who are recruiting staff, the RIA encourages them to reposition the sector and promote the fact that restoring is an important and multifaceted job.

“We’re telling people it’s not just about pulling dirty carpet out of a building,” Riek says. “Yes, that’s


part of the job, but we’re promoting the fact that we’re helping the environment, helping people and putting lives back in order.”

In addition to giving entrepreneurial people a chance to run their own restoration businesses, Riek says the employment prospects can cover the gamut from technical restoration work for engineers to tasks for lower-skilled school-leavers who want manual work.

“The industry offers a full range of opportunities.”

At NLR Restoration, Moir leads a team of more than 30 fulltime workers. He says whereas in the past a job posting might have attracted

weather events of the past few years have been a double-edged sword for the restoration industry
74 INCLEAN January / February 2023

Floods across multiple states has created significant demand for restoration experts in the past 12 months

IoT and data to be industry game-changers

Owen Boak has no doubt that technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are set to fundamentally change the restoration business in the future. Whether it is through informing contract negotiations or providing real-time jobsite communications and data to head office and insurers, the IoT shapes as a transformative tool.

“I think it’s also going to make it much easier to validate things on a site,” says Boak, managing director of Elements Specialty Cleaning & Restoration. He expects the industry to also become much more data driven in terms of cleaning and hygiene performance. For example, it will be easier to test the air quality in a building, or to gauge how well a damaged or compromised building has been restored.

“We’re increasingly seeing an increasing role for hygienists in our world, especially in contaminated structures. They may be cost-prohibitive for a lot of daily maintenance tasks, but things such as ATP testing can be very easily used as a hygiene check and that’s becoming cheaper and easier to do.”

Chuck Violand, principal of Violand Management Associates in the United States, agrees that data will be increasingly crucial as more “numbers people” come into the restoration industry. “Not just financial numbers, but data numbers, are important to them,” Violand says. “More and more people are running their businesses based on data.” Indeed, he believes those who shun data risk becoming “a dinosaur”. “You need to be able to make good business decisions based on data.”

50 responses, he is now lucky to get about five applications.

With an eye to 2023, Moir says restoration should be using a range of strategies to lure and keep staff, including empowering HR teams, using recruiters for some specialised positions and drawing from labour hire firms where required.

“It’s all the typical things,” he says. “You’ve just got to do more of it.”

Boak says COVID-19 and the extreme weather events of the past few years have been a doubleedged sword for the restoration industry. While it has created enormous new volumes of work, it has also drained resources.

“The extended nature and the scale of the events are stretching resources and manpower, not only for us as restorers but also for insurers, loss adjusters, builders and the whole damage-repair sector,” Boak says.

Dealing with this conundrum will require a rethink about the allocation of resources and the demand for restoration services in the community.

“COVID-19 has led to a rethink about the importance of cleaning,” Boak says. “And climate change is going to force a rethink about the importance of damage repair.”


As much as the restoration industry is transforming itself through technology advances and other transformative trends, Violand believes that sticking to tried-and-true business principles will be as important as ever this year.

That will put the spotlight on robust finance and accounting strategies, smart HR policies, forward-thinking branding and marketing, and strong leadership.

At a more granular level business leaders should not forget to be responsible with their money, collect their receivables, make sure billing is accurate, manage cash-flow, and work on their culture.

“That’s all we can control,” Violand says.

“We can’t control the environment. We can’t control unemployment rates, but we can control the culture of the company.”

As 2023 unfolds, Violand also advises smaller and medium-sized restoration enterprises “to build a business that suits your lifestyle”.

“Before you indiscriminately go after just any sale, you really need to answer the question, ‘What is it that I want out of the business?’ and then choose those customers who will help you achieve that. Don’t try to build somebody else’s business.”

For Boak, the key this year is to focus on staff training, to embrace a level of professionalism that promotes pride and respect, and to be innovative and agile.

“Those who want to move with the times will reap the rewards, and those who don’t might find themselves out of the market or becoming secondtier players.” ■


Cleaning times

for modern business demands

Consider five components when building standard cleaning schedules

As the world continues to address the challenges associated with rapidly changing business demands, cleaning organisations desperately need viable information to respond to the daily rollercoaster of change.

These modifications range from staffing challenges and reductions to cleaning frequency increases and new levels of service.

Published cleaning tasks, tools, and times are in demand now more than ever. With labour representing a larger piece of a cleaning organisation’s budget, knowing how long specific tasks take to properly complete drives correct staffing.


Cleaning times are the starting point for preparing bids and estimates, as well as for budgeting labour and workloads based on specific cleaning tasks.

Cleaning times identify efficiencies for increased productivity through the utilization of equipment and technology.

Cleaning professionals build standard cleaning schedules using five common components: tasks, tools, times, total units, and training.

Traditionally, there are five main methods to calculate how long a cleaning job will take:

1. By task and time

2. By square footage to be cleaned per hour or day

3. By the area assigned to be cleaned

4. By each fixture – which includes an inventory of toilets, urinals, and sinks

5. By adopting benchmarked data from other businesses of similar type and size.

Although an experienced workloader might be able to calculate the time and costs of cleaning an area, those with less experience will need a reference base from which to start.


As an industry, cleaning professionals are typically not standardised in how they determine staffing levels.

Many organisations are reactionary in their custodial operations and lack a dedicated investment in workloading.

Some adapt readily to the concept due to economic pressures and a focus on a financial bottom line.

Others do not have the resources to invest in work loading and need a trusted resource to validate cleaning times.

This is where an end-user validation program comes into play. Focus on the following five primary activities while working with end users on work loading assessments:

• Collecting and analysing current program documentation

• Conducting a site visit and physically verifying cleanable assets

• Determining necessary staffing levels

• Comparing current staffing to the industry standard

• Making recommendations including upgrades for a best-in-class program.

Using information gathered from the steps above, create a work loading chart that lists the optimal amount of time (or labour) that it takes to perform specific cleaning tasks in your facility based on its square footage and the number of fixtures it contains.

Make sure to include non-cleaning tasks, such as breaks and equipment setup. List tasks competed every day, such as garbage pickup and floor cleaning, as well as tasks that are performed less frequently, such as floor stripping and refinishing.

The goal of workloading is to provide a mathematical and factual base for custodial staffing levels in relation to customer and management expectations of cleanliness.

Validated cleaning times specific to your facility’s unique features will take away the guesswork regarding resources needed to ensure your business keeps up with changing demands. ■

Tim Poskin is director of ISSA Consulting, providing systems integration and consulting solutions for the cleaning industry. Poskin is one of the world’s leading authorities on custodial workloading. He currently serves as chair of the ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) workloading and benchmarking committee. He can be reached at

OPINION 76 INCLEAN January / February 2023

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Peach Disinfectant is a commercial grade disinfectant and multipurpose cleaner designed for use in healthcare, institutional and commercial facilities. Being pH neutral and solvent free, Peach Disinfectant is safe for use on most surfaces including plastics, metals, stainless steel, ceramics, glass, enamels, and painted surfaces. Peach Disinfectant can be used in any area where soiling is a problem, including floors, walls, bench tops, doors, etc. Peach Disinfectant passes TGA option C at 50mL/L water. Peach Disinfectant is available in a 5-litre bottle and has a refillable 500ml trigger spray bottle. Whiteley Corporation 1800 833 566

Kärcher Battery Power+ BVL 5/1 BP Bacpack Vacuum

The lightest backpack vac in its class weighing just 4.6kg, the battery operated BVL 5/1 Bp Backpack Vacuum from Kärcher is taking the cleaning industry by storm. Part of Kärcher’s Battery Power+ range, the ergonomic BVL 5/1Bp allows you to work with limitless mobility and flexibility without compromising on power. This award-winning backpack vac is made from an extremely robust and ultra-light innovative expanded polypropylene (EPP) material, perfect for the demands of a working environment.

` 220
5-litre capacity
64 min runtime
eco!efficiency mode
40 l/s airflow
mbar suction
65 dB
Professional 03 9765 2322
Turn Lighthouse data into powerful custom dashboards using Amazon QuickSight. Choose the data that matters most to your business and build custom views that align perfectly with contract KPIs. ` Automate customer reporting
Uncover deeper insights to improve service delivery
Share insights easily with automatic scheduled reporting
Backed by Amazon’s industry-leading security protocols and features TEAM Software (03) 9417 1272


13-Litre Dry Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

Available from Cleanstar and winner of the 2022 INCLEAN Excellence Award Innovation Equipment (Large), the ERA PRO dry vacuum cleaner by SPRiNTUS is made in Europe and sets a new benchmark in professional cleaning. The ERA PRO is the world’s first digital dry vacuum cleaner with integrated Bluetooth connection and a cloud-based fleet management system. The SPRiNTUS browser-based fleet management system allows you to centrally manage all ERA PRO dry vacuum cleaners. The ERA PRO 13-Litre Dry Commercial Vacuum Cleaner features:

` Powerful and energy saving 700watt motor

` H13 HEPA filtration

` Quiet operation - 49-54 LpA (dB)

weight at 5.7kg


STORM & M-Wipes

STORM and M-Wipes, the world’s only spray applicator with a wearable and disposable wipe system specifically invented for fast, targeted disinfection of common touch points. There are two important factors to effective disinfection with the STORM and M-Wipes:

1. Perfect liquid layer of disinfectant must be created with no gaps between the disinfectant droplets – See gaps, think risk

2. The surface must stay wet for the contact time stated for your chosen disinfectant STORM delivers targeted, touch point disinfection for proactive virus control. The patent pending M-Wipe system allows disinfectant to be applied to reverse sides of 3D touch points, which are often missed by other spraying machines. M-Wipes are a special non-absorbent PP material designed to apply disinfectant and not dry the surface ensuring the specified contact/dwell time is achieved. Contact Motorscrubber for a demonstration.


Camill Electric Utility Vehicles

Meet the fleet of Camill Electric Utility Vehicles. They are environmentally friendly and helps to minimise our carbon footprint. Noise levels are also greatly reduced during operation. What really sets this fleet apart is the extensiveness of the range, from transport vehicles, to sweepers, to garbage trucks and pressure washers. Each category also comprises of various models to fit different job requirements.

No matter the job or the size, there’s bound to be a Camill Electric Utility Vehicle that can help make heavy work easy on your site.

Free demonstration and custom branding available. Central Cleaning

Sanitol Jade

Sanitol Jade is a is a uniquely formulated antibacterial hand sanitiser designed to prevent the spread of harmful germs. Sanitol Jade has a rapidly acting formula that kills 99.99 per cent of germs – protecting you against a range of potentially unsafe microorganisms. Sanitol Jade is an effective component of a personal hygiene program and its scientifically advanced formula is gentle on all skin types.


` Contains natural emollients to replenish the skin’s lipids – leaves hands feeling soft, smooth, and revitalised

` Natural skin conditioners and light pleasant fragrance – ideal for all ages to use

` A refreshing gel that kills germs without the need for water

Whiteley Corporation 1800 833 566

Supplies 1300 347 347
Cleanstar (03) 94605655
` Light
Contact Cleanstar for nearest in-store or online distributor.
82 INCLEAN January / February 2023 PRODUCTS Subscribe NOW Stay up to date with the latest news and events in the cleaning industry National Supply Solutions DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE HYGIENE INFORMATION March / April 2022

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