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February 2018




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Events Calendar 2018 The Manchester Cleaning Show

April 11 - 12 The Manchester Cleaning Show is a spin-off of the Cleaning Show, the UK’s biennial flagship cleaning event.

Total Facilities

April 18 - 19 Melbourne will play host to Total Facilities, Australia’s dedicated facilities management event.

Contents 08 12 14 26 28 30 37 41

Industry Contracting IT Carpet & Restoration International Management Marketing Products


May 9 - 10 New Zealand’s only dedicated cleaning and hygiene expo will be at ASB Showgrounds, Auckland.


May 15 - 18 INTERCLEAN Amsterdam is set to bring together cleaning and hygiene professionals and exhibitors from around the world.

page 14

RIA Restoration Conference and Tradeshow June 6 - 8 The inaugural RIA event will be held at the Novotel Twin Waters, Queensland.

ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo Australia

August 29 - 30 The 2018 ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo Australia is at ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour.

Forum Pulire

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October 10 - 11 The Forum Pulire will take place at the UniCredit Pavilion in Milano, Italy.

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Editor’s note The year ahead The start of the New Year is always a good time to reset, reinvigorate and reevaluate your business. For some, that’s considering how new technologies can assist in maximising efficiencies and productivity. The cleaning sector has been relatively uninterrupted by digital in comparison to other industries but it looks like that is beginning to change. And while technologies like autonomous machines are still in its infancy in NZ – automation and equipment connectivity is starting become more prevalent and widely adopted. Many would also agree that clients are seeking more data and transparency such as realtime updates and tracking which software programs are now allowing for. But more importantly, these systems need to add value and should not be implemented solely for technology’s sake. As Mark Jones writes on page 20, “IT should be your savior, but it can be a curse if you get it wrong”. Continuing on the topic of tech in this issue, Lizzie Hunter delves into mobile’s growing role in cleaning (page 14) and Kaivac’s Ron Segura examines some of the emerging technologies beginning to make waves. You might have also noticed that we’ve had some digital developments of our own recently, with the launch of the INCLEAN NZ website ( and e:clean digital newsletter, which offers a monthly roundup of the industry’s biggest news stories. Also in the issue, we share highlights from OCS’s national conference in Napier where frontline staff took centre stage; Environmental Choice New Zealand’s Francesca Lipscombe looks at local companies who have taken the bold step of eliminating disinfectants; and Labour Inspectorate regional manager Natalie Gardiner asks, what do your labour practices say about you? The INCLEAN team and I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming CleanNZ Expo, the only dedicated trade show for the NZ cleaning and hygiene markets, at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland on May 9 and 10. For more information about the two-day event or to register to attend visit: Happy reading!

Claire Hibbit Editor

Next issue May INCLEAN NZ 2018

Focus: • Training Investing in people is crucial for business growth and success. Keeping staff up to date and informed on the latest industry practices, standards and information is vital in the commercial cleaning industry. In the upcoming issue of INCLEAN NZ we explore what’s on offer and how some of the leading organisations are training and upskilling staff. The May issue of INCLEAN NZ will also be distributed at CleanNZ Expo, New Zealand’s only dedicated trade show for the cleaning and hygiene market. Published: 2 May 2018 Editorial deadline: 23 March 2018 Advertising booking deadline: 9 April 2018 Advertising material deadline: 9 April 2018

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OfficeMax acquires Waiwhetu Distributors OfficeMax New Zealand has acquired Waiwhetu Distributors Ltd, with the sale effective from 1 February. Established in 1964, Wellington-based Waiwhetu Distributors has been owned by Savage Group Ltd for the past 10 years and operates branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Masterton and Christchurch. OfficeMax is a major supplier of cleaning and hygiene products, as well as furniture, safety goods, packaging and café supplies across NZ. OfficeMax New Zealand managing director, Kevin Obern, said the company’s inclusion into the OfficeMax fold “made perfect business sense and would offer a real benefit to customers”. “OfficeMax acquiring Waiwhetu Distributors Ltd is a natural fit, because cleaning and hygiene products are already a substantial part of our rapidly evolving business, in a market that we have been focussed on growing. “They have a significant number of customers in the corporate, education and hospitality markets, and a long history in providing great service to customers. We are excited to be able to purchase an established and well-known player,” Obern said. “It’s business as usual for both companies, and we’re looking forward to providing great continued service nationally.”

Parliament cleaners to receive living wage Parliament cleaners and caterers are expected to receive the living wage by the end of 2019. Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard announced wages for Parliament’s cleaning and catering staff will rise from around $16 an hour to the living wage rate of $20.20 an hour. The changes will take effect for caterers from 1 July 2019, while it is understood cleaners will begin to receive the living wage by the end of 2019. According to Radio NZ, Mallard said the cleaning and catering contracts at Parliament came up for renegotiation shortly after the new government was elected, and that allowed the living wage to be introduced. “We feel Parliament should be a leader in this area. The gap between those well paid and those not well paid is getting bigger and bigger. That’s not fair,” he said. The Living Wage Movement campaigned for the introduction of the living wage at Parliament in August, one month after Wellington City Council introduced the living for its workers, including cleaners. 8 INCLEANNZ February 2018

Careerforce receives tops NZQA review

Careerforce has received the highest possible ratings in its latest NZQA External Evaluation and Review (EER). All non-university tertiary education organisations (TEOs) are subject to periodic EERs, the purpose of which is to provide an independent judgement of their educational performance and capability in self-assessment. Careerforce received overall ratings of ‘Highly Confident’ in both its educational performance, and its capability in self-assessment, having rated as ‘Confident’ in its previous review in 2013. The 2017 review included a specific focus on the Certificate in Cleaning (Level 2), and resulting in an overall rating improvement of ‘good’ to ‘excellent’, with the final report noting that the “relevance of the certificate is confirmed by the growth in cleaning trainee numbers – from 129 in 2013 to 914 trainees in 2016.” Ray Lind Careerforce CEO said: “This report is the result of a huge team effort by staff, with the guidance of a superb board, but also the active support and contribution of our 1100 employer partners, and our 17,000 trainees currently enrolled with us”. Careerforce has experienced significant growth since the last review, with an associated increase in Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding of 30 per cent, but has also achieved an increased cash contribution from employers, from 27 per cent in 2015 to 37 per cent in 2016. It expects to experience continued solid growth in trainee volumes, as a result of increasing sector recognition of the value of a more qualified workforce, but also reflecting the huge demand for service workers, with a recent BERL report highlighting a shortfall of 200,000 service workers by 2020. As a result of the Highly Confident rating, Careerforce will not require a further EER for four years, the maximum possible under the current legislation.

New role for OCS NZ boss

OCS NZ boss Gareth Marriott has been appointed to the newly created role of managing director for New Zealand and Australia. The company said the move will bring greater integration to [its] Australian and New Zealand businesses. Commenting on the announcement, OCS Group CEO Peter Slator said the appointment will allow OCS to develop its Pacific operations. “Gareth has a wealth of experience, strong relationships, and a good knowledge of OCS across Australia and New Zealand, having worked in both territories since he joined us in 2012,” Slator said. Marriott will be spending the coming months meeting with customers, employees and suppliers. He will split his time between Sydney, Perth and New Zealand. Marriott said he is looking forward to getting reacquainted with the Australian business.


Fresh Desk expands to Auckland Wellington-based commercial cleaning company Fresh Desk has set up operations in Auckland after securing funding from the Akina Foundation. Fresh Desk, founded by Caroline de Castro and Nicole Oxenbridge in 2015, was one of four companies that received $18,000 as part of the Akina Foundation’s accelerator program, after being shortlisted from around 40 candidates. The company has 11 staff in Wellington, with clients across healthcare, council, aged card and commercial offices. De Castro and Oxenbrudge told INCLEAN NZ the funding will be put towards start-up costs, with the coowners confirming Oxfam head office as the company’s first Auckland-based contract. Fresh Desk is aiming to increase its Auckland team to up to four team members this year. Fresh Desk is the only fully accredited living wage cleaning company in New Zealand. It has been paying the living wage (set at $20.20 per hour) to its cleaners since setting up shop in 2015. “We’ve found that by doing the right thing by our team, they do the right thing by our customers,” the co-owners said. “We want to encourage large cleaning companies to come on board with the living wage because it makes business sense and helps to build a fairer community.”

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BSCNZ strengthened by employment law compliance audit National president of the Building Services Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ) Paul Emery farewells long-serving CEO Lillian Small and provides an update on the industry body. The BSCNZ is set to see some changes in the New Year. Our hardworking and effective CEO Lillian Small has moved on from the BSCNZ, taking up an employment opportunity overseas. Lillian has been the driving force in reshaping our industry body over the last four years. She was a key player, along with Karcher, in the establishment of Thank Your Cleaner Day, an annual event dedicated to cleaners to show they are valued and appreciated. Last year’s event was celebrated by 13 countries including Canada, UK, US, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Australia. Another five are set to join the campaign in 2018. Through the biennial CleanSweep Awards and the BSCNZ’s inaugural Cleaning for a Brighter Future conference held in Rotorua last year, Lillian provided stakeholders the opportunity to gain access to industry issues, innovation and trends, as well as network. The two-day BSCNZ conference last year was a great success and is now a must-attend on the calendar for members, suppliers and FM industry members alike. Lillian will be missed and on behalf of our members we wish her well in her new endeavours. Over the past few years the BSCNZ has worked on improving the integrity and professionalism within our industry. One of the key elements in promoting this has been the introduction of an internal 10 INCLEANNZ February 2018

audit process to ensure compliance with New Zealand employment laws as well as the BSCNZ Code of Practice. This audit process is now required to gain and/or retain BSCNZ membership. Overall, the Code of Practice has been well received by members, the vast majority of whom have been found compliant, giving industry stakeholders confidence in the integrity the BSCNZ brings. A number of organisations consider membership of BSCNZ a prerequisite when engaging in the tender process, thereby reducing risk they will be named by association with contractors who are noncompliant with employment law. There are a few companies that have chosen either not to participate in the audit process, or are unable to comply with the current employment legislation, and have resigned as members. While this is regrettable, in a way the BSCNZ has become stronger for the process. As the Labour Inspectorate continues its own audit programme and we see the new Labour Government strengthen legislation around employment law, I’m sure we will see the BSCNZ continue to grow its membership with companies that comply and offer a viable option for their customers in the cleaning industry.

“Over the past few years the BSCNZ has worked on improving the integrity and professionalism within our industry.”


What do your labour practices say about you? By: Natalie Gardiner, Labour Inspectorate regional manager Amid a global rise in consumer and government expectations for businesses to have transparency in their supply chains, Australia is looking to follow the lead of the United Kingdom by introducing a Modern Slavery Act. This would compel ‘large’ companies, with total revenue of more than $A50 million to report on their supply chains and actions to combat modern slavery at home and abroad. For both sides of the Tasman this is a significant development, as not only would this affect companies based in Australia, but the many New Zealand companies which do business with them. As a result businesses which are unable to demonstrate their compliance with employment, workplace safety, and immigration law may in the future find themselves shut out of the market. This is part of why it’s been good to see Building Service Contractors (BSC) join a growing number of industry bodies, such as those related to labour hire and horticulture, in helping ensure abuses of these laws are a thing of the past, by introducing forms of auditing. Not only does this help ensure fair working conditions, but helps manage risk and future proof your business. The Labour Inspectorate is supportive of industry taking these kinds of leadership roles, and will be closely watching these developments, while making sure they are up to scratch. We will not be the only ones taking an interest either, with consumers increasingly wanting to be assured that when they buy a product or service they are not by proxy endorsing any forms of modern slavery. This is apparent in the New Zealand National Consumer Survey 2016, conducted by Consumer Protection, which found that knowing whether a business treats its workers fairly regularly affects consumers’ purchasing decisions.

“The question businesses face now in this global movement is which side of history they want to find themselves on, and what actions they will take to ensure they swim, rather than sink, in a rising tide of transparency in labour practices and standards.” To help consumers and businesses make these kinds of informed choices, the Labour Inspectorate takes a transparent approach to regulation. Through strengthened penalties and additional tools, restricting non-compliant employers’ access to migrant labour, and publically naming those who commit breaches, anti-competitive businesses which fail to pay minimum wage, holiday pay, or provide employment agreements, can face serious damage to their brand. The question businesses face now in this global movement is which side of history they want to find themselves on, and what actions they will take to ensure they swim, rather than sink, in a rising tide of transparency in labour practices and standards. Find more information at or by calling 0800 20 90 20, where any concerns or queries you may have regarding employment can be handled in a safe environment. INCLEANNZ February 2018 11


Simply the best OCS New Zealand’s frontline staff took centre stage at the service group’s threeday national conference in picturesque Napier. INCLEAN NZ editor Claire Hibbit reports. Recognising talent was one of the key themes of OCS New Zealand’s three-day national conference in Napier, where the service group outlined its strategy for the year ahead. UK-based OCS employs around 4200 staff in New Zealand, with some of its major clients including The Warehouse Group, Westfield, Christchurch Council, Auckland Airport and Air New Zealand. In 2017 OCS NZ opened two new branches, taking the company’s total network to 24. Keeping in line with the event’s theme, ‘Stepping Up’, frontline staff and management were recognised throughout the conference. Among those was two of OCS NZ’s longest serving team members; Elva Brown and Carole Bale, who have worked as cleaners for 38 and 33 years respectively. Brown has worked at Auckland Airport, OCS NZ’s highest profile site, since 1979, and received a standing ovation from delegates for her “sensational” tenure when presented with her 35-year service pin. 12 INCLEANNZ February 2018

Bale also received a standing ovation from the conference’s 200 attendees, having started with the company in 1984. In his opening address, OCS NZ and Australia managing director Gareth Marriott said a simplified business approach in 2018 “will make the business better for the next generation”. Off the back of solid growth

“Our message is very simple, we want to make this business better for the next generations to come.” in 2016, initiatives within its strategic framework include further investment in staff development such as online training; greater focus on cross selling and bundled services, and increasing the branch footprint. “Our message is very simple, we want to make this business better for the next generations to come. “We want to employ more people and most of all, we want to be sustainable. Sustainability is about profit, wellbeing,

adding value and most of all, making New Zealand the best.” The conference’s keynote speakers included Sir John Key; Abbie Reynolds, executive director of the Sustainable Business Council; business coach Bruce Cotterill and Dr Tom Mulholland, founder of the Healthy Thinking Institute. The event concluded with OCS NZ’s annual Gala Awards ceremony, held at Church Road Winery, Award categories included Branch of the Year, Supplier of the Year and OCS’er of the Year. Also in attendance at the awards was Sir John Key and former British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Jonathan Sinclair. Marriott thanked staff and suppliers for their continued support of the business throughout the year. “Without you [OCS] New Zealand would not have achieved what is has achieved over the last two years. With that, I personally want to say thank you and behalf of the leadership team and the 4200 employees, we say thank you.” The highly coveted people choice’s award, OCS’er of the Year, was presented by Sir John Key to Beckett Yang. Yang, who said he was grateful to work at OCS NZ, first started with the company


Congratulations to all the winners: Support Person of the Year: Teena Lee Sang Operations Person of the Year: Mo Yang Sales Person of the Year: Stephen Winn OCS’er of the Year: Beckett Yang Health & Safety Branch of the Year: Rotorua Branch of the Year: Nelson/Marlborough Region of the Year: Northern Supplier of the Year – Support: 2Degrees Supplier of the Year – Operational: Kärcher

12 years ago as a cleaner, climbing the ranks to the senior management team over the past decade. Lillian Small, former CEO of the BSCNZ, was also recognised for her contribution to the New Zealand cleaning industry through her initiative Thank Your Cleaner Day. “I am truly honoured and grateful that [the industry] has acknowledged this day. This day is to recognise our industry and our industry globally,” Small said. OCS NZ and Marriott were also presented with awards from the Salvation Army as a valued partner for its ongoing support and commitment to the charity, having raised more than $21,000 in 2017 and participated in events such as the CEO Sleep Out and Cans for Goods. INCLEANNZ February 2018 13


A new age of clean INCLEAN’s Lizzie Hunter examines how mobile technology is transforming the traditional cleaning industry.

14 INCLEANNZ February 2018


Mobile technology continues to find new ways to disrupt and challenge traditional industries around the world. Moreover, the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets in our personal lives is finding its way into the workforce, with more and more companies realising the operational benefits of mobile technology. Like many markets around the world the increasing demand for transparency, facilitated by low-cost mobile devices and data plans, has driven the uptake of mobile devices in New Zealand’s commercial cleaning industry, with software programs today enabling contractors to monitor staff and provide real-time data to clients. According to ISS Facility Services CIO IT, Luke O’Brien, mobile software is beneficial from both a client’s perspective – providing evidence cleaning has been performed – and an employer’s perspective in regards to insurance and compliance if trips, slips or falls occur. “Clients increasingly want more information about where their cleaning resources go and we’re interested from a compliance point of view.” Another major recent change is the type of software available in the market. Michael Brown, CEO of Swept, a Canadian janitorial software company, says software today is now designed with the user front of mind. “Software 10 years ago meant something very different to what it is today. Before, you could build a piece of software that was better than an excel spreadsheet, but it didn’t offer much to the user. Today’s software is all about the user. “The bar has ultimately been raised. Cleaning is all about attention to detail, but quite often, the details aren’t communicated to the cleaner who is expected to carry out the work,” explains Brown. “Some companies hire and fire cleaners so quickly the new teams of cleaners don’t even know what is expected of them. Technology is guiding cleaners as to what to do.”

Accountability and transparency Virtual Manager director Anil Patel says there is a lot more discipline, rigour and accountability for cleaners and equipment as clients seek more transparency. “The demand for this kind of technology comes from clients wanting to see value for money; they want to insure that the work is completed efficiently. From an insurance point of view as well, with accidents like trips, slips and falls, businesses require evidence that these activities are occurring.” “[Mobile] is allowing for a lot more efficiency with the cleaners because you can benchmark performance individually on tasks, but the main thing is it’s really trying to drive costs down so there is a reduction in labour.” Patel says timesheet fraud, which was previously a common problem felt among his clients, is less of an issue today thanks to more advanced data systems. “Owners now have more money to invest in technology that allows them to check whether the cleaner started cleaning at 9am, or whether he was turning up to the job late.” According to O’Brien automation has improved the level of service and efficiency for delivery of that by ISS to clients. In January 2017 the company launched its custom-built app which gives all field-based employees mobile access to their payroll, rosters, annual leave data and company information. Built in partnership with Mumba Cloud, the app allows team members to apply for leave electronically and access previous pay slips. Managers are able to approve leave electronically. ISS’ Australian cleaning division was the first to trial the app, which has been rolled out across sites including regional airports in Tasmania and a multitude of cleaning contracts across Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

“Technology is an investment throughout the entire team and a lot of people miss that. They buy it to solve one issue and move on. Businesses need to assess what their challenges are… Knowing that will drive the right IT outcome.” “Information that could never be accessed before is now sent to us almost instantly. The devices we use notify us immediately whether or not someone has attended a site so we can ensure the job gets done. It’s helping us deploy more efficiently and effectively, as well as assist with the administration side of things.”

On-the-go training Mobile learning has also become a common training method by cleaning companies, which Patel believes is helping to empower and engage staff. “In the past, training was very much classroom focused whereas now, we see cleaners with training videos, data safety sheets and other electronic material on their phone. They don’t need to come into the office or pick up laminated cards; all their training and learning is readily available to them. “I think cleaners have been asking for this training method for a while, but are almost treated like second-class citizens. Giving a cleaner a mobile phone with all their training on there is like saying, ‘here is your opportunity to learn more – and if you learn more, you can move up to a higher pay grade’. “The technology can help cleaners feel engaged with the company whereas before I think they sometimes felt a bit isolated and that no one valued what they did.” While smartphones are simplifying the training process, helping employees understand how to use their mobile device correctly remains a challenge. O’Brien says ISS is “fine tuning” its digital training methods. “Cleaners are now expected to be mobile phone savvy, and for some cleaners, that can be quite challenging. We have to merge new technology with old school employees. There is a bit of a generational change taking place as our cleaners adapt and we find the right way to ease them into that space. “We started with face-to-face group training sessions, which included video content, with 15 to 30 people but found that needed to be supplemented into smaller group sessions of around five. “Eighteen months ago we didn’t see there being any chance we could get all our cleaners to use mobile phones. But since the use of smart phones is increasing at such a rapid rate, we think we can be in a position within the next few years where our cleaners can use their own phones, or we put phones into the hands of every cleaner without thinking twice.”

Digital barriers While technology is simplifying operations and training, there are still barriers, with offline capabilities and roll out costs among some of the major hindrances felt by the industry. “Offline capabilities have been a huge issue for cleaners working in remote sites, like a basement for example, where there is no phone INCLEANNZ February 2018 15

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“Cleaners are expected to be mobile phone savvy and for some that can be quite challenging. We have to merge new technology with old school employees. There is a bit of a generational change taking place as our cleaners adapt and we find the right way to ease them into that space.” connection. When problems like these occur, cleaners lose faith very quickly if the product doesn’t work. “Some cleaners also feel uncomfortable by the fact that they’re being watched; that every element of their day is essentially being monitored and tracked. To overcome this we’ve started working with unions and the cleaning teams and reassured them it’s an empowerment tool and not a monitoring tool – and they’ve embraced that quite well.” Patel also notes a reluctance from some Australian and NZ business owners to provide hardware to staff. “Some can be a bit gun-shy about giving a mobile device to staff. There’s also an inertia of ‘we’ve always done it this way, why would we change it?’ From an international perspective, Patel, who is US-based, says while NZ is receptive to new technologies, the sector is still behind industry leaders like the US, who he says focus on the positives the technology brings, including staff empowerment, better labour efficiency, saving on costs and time, and being able to repurpose cleaning staff to engage in value-added tasks. “Our Kiwi clients are a lot more embracing of technology than Australians. They are definitely more innovative and see the value in what we offer.” Implementing mobile technologies in a cost-economic way is also a major challenge for many cleaning firms, with many in management reluctant to change, according to O’Brien. “Cleaning is not a high-margin business and some businesses may not be able to afford to give phones to their employees. Therefore we have to find cost-economic ways to overcome this, whether that means purchasing cheaper handsets or to ask cleaners to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Brown believes it is commonly the business owner who is more resistant to implementing new technology. 18 INCLEANNZ February 2018

“A lot of businesses out there are run by an older generation who are not comfortable using technology, whereas their cleaning staff are constantly using apps and are on social media. I’ve spoken to people who are actually scared of losing control of their business because people on the frontline are more proficient at using technology. “Supervisors have also expressed concerns about the use of technology. They ask ‘are they going to be replaced?’ Middle management can view technology as a threat.”

More to come Looking ahead, O’Brien anticipates features such as facial recognition and biometrics to come into play “to help make the use of all these devices faster and easier”. ISS is also set to introduce Bluetooth technology. “We’re seeing the use of Bluetooth more and more and we’re deploying that too. Bluetooth beacons are being used to help with locational proof and areas where there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection.” Patel says the use of mobile applications is moving beyond client management into areas such as infection control. “An example would be if there was an outbreak in a hospital. The technology could be used as evidence to track back to where the outbreak took place and if it was due to a cleaning issue or something else.” Brown predicts mobile technology to soon become the industry norm, but advises there is no one size fits all approach. “We’re still pinpointing what works and what doesn’t, but technology is resonating more. In the next couple of years, I think you’re going to see companies discovering better ways to solve challenges through technology and technology becoming a standard that you must use. “But, there’s no silver bullet. Technology is an investment throughout the entire team and a lot of people miss that. They buy it to solve one issue and move on and forget about it. Businesses need to assess what their challenges are – is it time sheet fraud? Staff training? Staff accountability? Knowing that will drive the right IT outcome. I wouldn’t suggest they choose technology just for technology’s sake.” Despite the influx of mobile technology, Brown says there will always be a need for traditional cleaning methods and high quality customer service. “The traditional methods of cleaning from the basics of mopping a floor to washing windows are still very much there. Cleaning will always be needed; the rise of technology is ultimately enhancing how this cleaning is being carried out. Technology simply allows people to provide a better service.”


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Take your business to new highs in 2018 The start of a new calendar is always a good time to reset and reinvigorate your goals for the year ahead. Mark Jones* proposes three areas to examine: direction, operations and scale.

20 INCLEANNZ February 2018

Have clear direction It is very easy to take new clients for granted. But are you stopping to review the sort of customers you have now, the clients you are winning (and losing) and if your clients are profitable? Why you win new business will be related to how you are positioned in the market. What are the main claims you make? How do you differentiate from your competitors? And, is this clear to prospects?

You might also consider if your services really are value for money. Review your website and proposals with a clear head and ask, what can you do to make your proposition stronger?

Enhance operations Many companies now offer visit and task verification with software that is improving


all the time. Managing staff in the field requires us to know where staff are, what task they are completing and when it was completed. If you are not providing this real-time information you are falling behind the leaders in this industry. Leading cleaning companies are now able to prove to customers that staff were on site and doing the work as required. And they can do this 24/7 and in real-time. This enables you to demonstrate to clients when and where work was completed. As you continue to build trust with clients you can make commitments to them that your competitors can’t.

“Digital marketing is now the biggest marketing tool, having become larger than TV, print, outdoor and radio. It is time to look at your website with fresh eyes and ensure it is working to raise the profile of your business.”

Scaling your business To scale your business you need to be taking on customers faster than you lose them, and you need to do the work for each and every customer profitably. As you grow, inefficiencies creep in, such as more supervisors for larger teams. To beat this you need digital marketing, IT and software to help you do more with the same team. Digital marketing is now the largest marketing tool having become larger than TV, print, outdoor and radio. It is time to look at your website with fresh eyes and ensure it is working to raise the profile of your business. With 70 per cent of marketing for all new businesses being online, of which 65 per cent is spent on Google and Facebook, you must be exploring both of these platforms to learn what works for your business in generating new leads. IT should be your savior, but it can be a curse if you get it wrong. As you get larger this year you must be sure your IT will scale, you can

add more of your team to your business software and your hosting and other infrastructure maintains privacy and security of your records and your customers. Consider getting an IT audit so you know where the cracks are going to appear as you grow. Hopefully these few tips give you some inspiration to get under the covers of your business and see if you can break it before your staff or your customers do! All the best for 2018 and as always we hope that at we are building the sort of tool that helps you tick all the boxes above and squeeze more out of your business. * Mark Jones is director of,au, an Australian made mobile workforce application and management portal built for cleaners by cleaners. He can be reached at

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IT and cleaning: What’s here and what’s next Ron Segura* examines some of the new technologies making waves in the industry. A US mega-retailer recently announced it has begun conducting tests of an autonomous floor scrubber. The system is being tested in five stores in the late evening hours when the stores are either closed or have the fewest customers and staff members. While the tests will continue for a while before a final decision is reached whether to invest in more machines or not, initial reports indicate the systems are working out well. So how does this thing work? According to the report, an employee first drives the machine over the floor areas to be cleaned. The machine is equipped with cameras, sensors, a navigational mapping system, and a storage device, similar to what we have in our smartphones and computers. These all help tell the machine what floor areas are to be cleaned, but even more crucial, they help the machine remember them. In most cases, what the machine is to remember are “repeatable” cleaning tasks, performing the same cleaning tasks in the same areas every time the machine is used. Should there be an unexpected change in the pathway, for instance, a person is in the path or an unknown object is now on the floor, the machine stops and adjusts course. Being able 22 INCLEANNZ February 2018

to remember these repeatable tasks is all the result of what is known as IT.

Enter IT At one time, IT referred mostly to mainframe computers operated by some giant bank or airline. But today, the term has a much broader reference; IT is now used to describe computers, networks, and computer-related systems and equipment. It also encompasses the hardware, operating systems, software, and storage devices used in these computer and computer-related systems. Without information technology, the scrubber we just discussed would have no idea which floors are to be cleaned. In fact, without IT, it would not even know where the floor is. IT is just beginning to find its way into the professional cleaning industry. A decade or more ago, IT was probably not even considered. But things have changed a lot in the past few years, and the success of this floor machine has undoubtedly caught the eye of other manufacturers in the industry, also making floorcare equipment. So, not only are we likely to find more of these manufacturers introducing floor machines that can think, remember, and work autonomously, we can expect other types of cleaning equipment and devices made for the professional cleaning industry to enter the market, all equipped with IT.

Future-gazing The following are examples of some of the cleaning systems now available or

coming online in the next three to five years specifically designed for the professional cleaning industry: Devices are being introduced for restrooms that monitor the cleanliness of toilets and other restroom fixtures and can send real-time alerts, either by email or text to smartphones, to notify cleaning professionals or managers when the restroom needs attention. These systems are also designed to check for restroom odors and if floors or counters are wet. And it keeps a count of how many people use the restroom and when the restroom is used the most. All of this information helps cleaning professionals keep restrooms cleaner, healthier, and ensure they are appropriately supplied throughout the day, especially before busy periods. Also for restrooms, devices are being developed that tell cleaning workers and managers, by again sending real-time alerts, when paper supplies are running low in restrooms. Designed for many types of commercial spaces, from schools to offices, these devices can be instructed at what point supplies are needed for different restrooms. For a busy restroom, for instance, once a toilet paper roll is half used, it can be set to call an attendant. In a less frequently used restroom, it may be configured to wait until only a quarter of the roll is left. Systems that monitor cleaning workers are also available or coming online. These systems can tell when a cleaning worker enters a room to clean, how long they are in the room, and when they leave. It can also monitor what surfaces and which areas of


the room were cleaned. And not only can cleaning workers be monitored, so can cleaning equipment. Equipment tracking devices help locate any cleaning equipment used in a facility, when it was used, how long it was used, as well as monitor the system to see if service or repairs are necessary. What if a light needs to be changed or there are fixture problems in a restroom? Systems are being introduced that help custodial workers and managers conduct audits of their facilities. Data, along with pictures of any room or any area of a room to be cleaned, are stored. The cleanliness of the room can be rated at any time. The device reminds cleaning workers when to check specific areas for cleaning such as HVAC registers, light fixtures, etc., and provides them with information as to how many and where these registers or lamp fixtures are located, so none are overlooked. We can also expect more robots developed specifically for the professional cleaning industry. Some, for instance robots that vacuum floors, are already available for

residential cleaning. Expect more to be introduced for commercial cleaning along with robots designed to perform other types of tasks that are repeatable, such as the automatic scrubber discussed earlier.

Drawbacks While all these technologies appear promising, and many will certainly help cleaning professionals and building managers ensure their facilities are better cleaned and maintained, there are some drawbacks we need to explore. For instance, the IT-powered floor machine we discussed may be able to repeat the same floor cleaning tasks every day, but it may not be able to tell if the floor needs to be refinished or if there are marks, spills, chewing gum, or soiling in corners and edges of the floor that are not being removed with cleaning. In most cases, it takes the human eye to see this and decide what further steps are necessary. Another drawback is cost. IT does not come cheap, at least when it is first introduced. While these technologies will

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likely be able to lower labor costs over time, providing a significant return on the investment, it’s that initial ‘sticker shock’ that may take many contractors a little time to overcome and jump on the IT bandwagon. And finally, there may be worker morale issues. For instance, the mega-store mentioned earlier admitted some employees are already concerned the IT-powered floor machines will replace them. However, the retailer said these machines are designed not to replace workers, but give their staff “more time to focus on higher-value work like customer service and selling.” My advice to cleaning contractors and building managers is to make sure you convey a similar message to your cleaning crew as well. They likely will be concerned about their jobs. Getting them involved with the new equipment from the start helps them own the machines and feel less threatened by them. We need to keep morale up all the time in the cleaning industry, and especially when IT systems are being introduced. *Ron Segura is president of Segura Associates

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Be seen at CleanNZ Stands for the largest professional cleaning & hygiene trade show in New Zealand are selling fast. For more information phone: 0800 451 590 or +61 2 8586 6106 (International) or email Samantha Ewart at Confirmed exhibitors include: 3M, Bio-Zyme NZ Ltd, CareerForce, Cleaning Systems, Clorox NZ Ltd, Cottonsoft, Diversey, Ecopack, Filta Cleaning Products, Genesis Energy, Glomesh New Zealand, GreenEarth Solutions, I Chem Ltd NZ, IICRC, Jasol, Karcher New Zealand, Kemsol, Makita, Megall Industries, Nilfisk, NZ Cleaning Supplies, P Lab Cleaning Solutions, Pacific Hygiene Ltd, Premier Hygiene & Packaging, R & J Batteries, RapidClean, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Tennant, The Service Company, Tork Professional Hygiene, Whiteley Corporation and Zero Impact Limited.

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Network with like minded property professionals, contractors, new and existing suppliers. Attend the networking function on the expo floor

Venue ASB Showgrounds is only minutes from Auckland’s CBD, and just 15 minutes from Auckland International Airport. The venue is accessed directly from the Southern and Northern motorways via the Greenlane off-ramp. It has ample on-site parking for over 2,000 vehicles and more nearby when needed. Award winning accommodation and restaurants are available within minutes of the showgrounds.

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How poor management negates good training Most upholstery damage claims are caused by trained, certified technicians. We used to believe it was a result of overconfidence, especially on the part of owner/ operators. However, most employees, out of fear of losing their jobs, if nothing else, rarely get caught up in the “superman cleaner” mentality. So why do so many trained technicians damage upholstery? Poor management. Here are the reasons management failure causes damage claims and complaints: 26 INCLEANNZ February 2018

Lack of follow through: Whether employees are trained in a classroom or by the employer, or even on the job, most managers do not ‘inspect what they expect’, that is, follow up with inspection, reviews and discussion to see that jobs are being performed in the way that was prescribed. Lack of proper cleaning agents: If a technician is trained to use special cleaning and treatment agents on delicate fabrics, but such products are not on the truck, what is a technician to do? If


the products are in stock, they must be on the truck assigned for the job to be of any use. If management is unwilling to invest in the proper materials, don’t offer to service furniture that requires special care. Lack of proper equipment and tools: As with the cleaning agents, asking an employee to use improper or malfunctioning equipment is demoralising at best, risky at worst. Lack of money or time: Technicians are often told to get the work done in a time frame far too short to allow for complete testing and inspection and rarely enough time to use proper cleaning, finishing and drying techniques. Lack of commitment: A sad double standard exists in our industry: Cleaning services advertise for ‘trained, certified technicians’ and make other positive statements regarding quality and satisfaction guarantees. However, they all too frequently make a mockery of these claims by poor organisation, sloppy work, and no insistence that ‘everything promised’ gets delivered!

“Commit to excellence in management and your staff will produce excellence in cleaning.” Solutions:

Start at the top: Don’t complain that you can’t get good help. Make your company a good place to work, first. Then by example and by direction, insist that your people perform all work excellently. Remember, ‘inspect what you expect’. Give staff what they need: If you want to clean all fabrics safely and effectively, then train and equip your staff with the most up to date technology available. If you give them ineffective or improper products, and/or improper or malfunctioning equipment, the demoralising effect will spread far beyond the occasional damage claim. Price it right: Do not say, “If this is all they will pay, this is all we will do”. Say instead, “For what we charge, we give our customers the very best job available anywhere, at any price”. Then establish the price and maintain it.

Commit to excellence in every aspect: Clean trucks, equipment and uniforms for employees are not just window dressing. These create an environment of pride, and reminds your people that you expect them to excel at their job. It is true, most damage claims are caused by over wetting, over agitation, or improper cleaning solutions. However, those are the easily seen causes; the real reason these claims occur is because too many owners or managers just don’t deliver what they promise their customers, because they don’t deliver what the employee needs to do their job! Commit to excellence in management and your staff will produce excellence in cleaning. * This article was written by Jim Pemberton and supplied by the Carpet Cleaners Association of New Zealand (CCANZ)

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ISSA and RAI announce trade show restructure agreement

UK firm makes a splash with toilet pledge

ISSA and Interclean event organiser RAI Amsterdam have announced a new restructure agreement. In November RAI announced the upcoming ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam trade show had been renamed to Interclean Amsterdam following the decision by both organisations “to end their alliance and pursue separate ventures”. ISSA initially refuted claims the alliance with Interclean had been terminated, labelling the allegations as “unprofessional and untrue”. In December the two companies announced they had reached an agreement to divide and rebrand their portfolio of shows. The Amsterdam event, will remain part of the RAI portfolio, along with Istanbul; while the trade shows in America and Mexico will remain ISSA events. As part of the restructured strategy, ISSA will rebrand its family of shows, starting with the ISSA Show in Dallas, TX, US, and including all other ISSA shows in Mexico and South Africa. RAI has indicated that the Amsterdam and Istanbul events will also be renamed Interclean. In a joint statement ISSA and RAI said they “look forward to a productive future, supporting each other’s events and working together to develop and improve the global industry, while ensuring they create value for the future of the global cleaning industry”.

A UK cleaning company is committing to give every new toilet it maintains this year a thorough cleanse – and a toilet twin. Axis Cleaning and Support Services is to ‘twin’ every toilet in every new contract it wins this year with a latrine overseas – through the charity campaign Toilet Twinning. Its support will sponsor the building of household toilets in some of the poorest countries in the world, as well as helping to fund clean water and hygiene education. Simon Giles, group finance director and COO, Axis Cleaning and Support Services, said: “People are at the heart of our business, so we are delighted to have committed to twin every toilet we will be contracted to clean from the beginning of 2018 to support the Toilet Twinning cause and help improve the lives of others around the globe.” Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley said she was extremely grateful for Axis’s support. ‘It’s shocking to think that 2.3 billion people worldwide still don’t have access to a safe, clean toilet – while here, in the UK, we tend to take our toilets for granted.”

SC Johnson partners with National Service Alliance SC Johnson Professional has announced a new strategic partnership with the National Service Alliance (NSA), a group purchasing organisation (GPO) located in North Carolina, US. This agreement includes all of Deb Group’s skin care products (Deb Group was acquired by SC Johnson in 2015) and the newest line of SC Johnson Professional floor care and surface care products. “We are excited to bring essential floor, surface and skin care products, best practices and innovation to National Service Alliance

28 INCLEANNZ February 2018

members,” said Mike Flagg, chief executive, Deb North America. “This partnership will help NSA members strengthen customer relationships and bring innovative solutions to their customers.” Founded in 1996, the NSA represents more than $2.7 billion in member revenues, giving NSA significant leverage when negotiating national contracts with product manufacturers and service providers.


Jet air dryers carry more germs than paper towel, study finds A UK study has suggested hospital washrooms with jet air dryers may be at risk of spreading more germs than those using single-use paper towels. The study, funded by the European Tissue Symposium (ETS), was carried out over seven days during a three-month period by Professor Mark Wilcox from the Microbiology department at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leeds. The experts examined the number of microbes in the air and on the surfaces in two men’s washrooms in the same hospital: one had paper hand towels to dry hands after hand washing and the other had a jet air dryer. The washrooms were used by hospital staff, patients and visitors. Professor Wilcox, who led the study, explained: “We found the paper towel washroom generally had fewer microorganisms than the washroom with the jet air dryer. The number and variety of bacteria found in the jet air dryer washroom was higher, with the floor and the dryer unit more heavily contaminated. On average the bacteria recovered from the air in the jet air dryer room was 1.6 times higher than in the paper towel washroom.” In particular the jet air dryer washroom carried higher levels of Enterococcus faecalis bacteria which can spread infection in hospitals and cause sickness in people with underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system.

The study suggests microbe levels may be higher in hospital washrooms with jet air dryers than in those with paper towels. The findings could be important for hospitals where preventing and limiting the spread of infection is crucial and where patients have a lower resistance to infection.

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Finding alternatives to disinfectants New Zealand cleaning companies are taking the bold step of eliminating disinfectants from cleaning regimes and developing ecofriendly alternatives, explains Environmental Choice New Zealand’s Francesca Lipscombe*.

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Disinfectants enjoy a fairly benign reputation among the public – here, as in most countries. For generations, ‘sensible’, organised households have had a bottle of disinfectant in the cupboard – the ubiquitous Dettol being the classic example. And disinfectants were commonly used to bathe wounds, while a capful or two went in the bucket to clean floors. More recently, we’ve seen the emergence and proliferation of “sanitisers”, firstly

in hospitals, dental clinics and other medical environments but latterly in offices and as an item around the home. This development went relatively unquestioned. But there are some serious issues about whether disinfectants and sanitisers should be promoted and sold for general hygiene or cleaning use. Both disinfectants and sanitisers contain biocides – chemicals that kill some microbes and bacteria – and


there is a growing body of opinion that their use is unnecessary, may promote the build-up of biocidal resistance (including to antibiotics) and is toxic to the environment. Our ecolabel, Environmental Choice New Zealand, covers a range of cleaning products but not disinfectants or sanitisers. We reviewed this in 2014 and decided not to include them for very sound reasons: New Zealand has no national efficacy standards for sanitisers or disinfectants used in home or office environments. Our Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) regulations identify the hazards associated with a substance but don’t identify its fitness for purpose. The use of biocides in cleaning is unnecessary, since proper hygiene and cleaning practices have been shown to be sufficient to remove problem bacteria. There’s strong evidence to suggest, for example, that the simple, physical act of wiping a surface with a cloth removes most of the bacteria, and that biocides aren’t needed. On that basis, the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust, which administers Environmental Choice on behalf of the New Zealand Government, couldn’t establish a fitness-for-purpose specification for disinfectants or sanitisers. Nor would we wish to, given the increasing evidence to suggest disinfectants and sanitisers should actually be removed from commercial and household cleaning regimes. We find it alarming to see increasingly in the media claims that biocidal products can remove high percentages of bacteria from areas they’re being used on. But more alarmingly the proliferation of products with high-levels of biocide being excessively used in work and home spaces increases the amount of such chemicals entering the ecosystem and harming it. As with excessive unnecessarily overuse of antibiotics in medicine, which is raising the spectre of super-resistant strains of bacteria developing that can’t be treated by current antibiotics, extensive use of biocides inevitably leads to the development of resistance within bacteria to the biocide – and possibly back to antibiotics themselves. Refreshingly, we are seeing moves within the cleaning industry and

local government to remedy these sorts of issues. We applaud the leadership shown by Auckland Council in requiring its maintenance contractors (including cleaning companies) to operate more sustainably and with greater regard for the environment. Some of our licensees are also leading the way, including CrestClean which has taken the bold step of eliminating disinfectants from its cleaning regimes and developing an eco-friendly, hydrogen peroxidebased replacement option. CrestClean spokesman James Smith says the company felt disinfectants were bad for the environment and had “had their day” given the green alternatives now available. He says CrestClean’s hydrogen peroxide alternative has proved very effective. “It has no solvents, volatile organic compounds or carcinogenic additives, and, in use, it just does the job, then degrades into water and oxygen leaving no noxious residues.” GreenEarth Solutions managing director David Blackwell, whose company provides a range of cleaning products, says a move away from disinfectants would be good for the environment. “While the common disinfectants are great germ-killers, they are also very eco-toxic and long-term use can see a build-up of bacterial resistance to the disinfectant. “The simplest alternative to disinfectants is a clean surface – if a benchtop is clean bacteria can’t exist.” At present, however, for some applications such as the use of disinfectants to control bacteria like Legionella in water cooling towers there are no alternatives, says David. “Ceasing the use of disinfectants would be a good development, but will take time as less harmful options are identified, developed and tested.” * Francesca Lipscombe is the general manager of the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust, which administers the Environmental Choice New Zealand ecolabel on behalf of the Government. Environmental Choice is New Zealand’s only Type 1 ecolabel, which means products and services bearing the ecolabel have been independently verified as environmentally preferable against multiple criteria for the life-cycle of the product/service.

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Applying the Pareto principle to cleaning The Pareto principle, widely known as the 80/20 rule, states that on many occasions, 80 per cent of effects come from 20 per cent of causes. The literature suggests that workers compensation is not an exception to this rule and that this rule may apply to workers compensation in a more exaggerated form. For example, with some self-insured policies it has been identified that 80 per cent of workers compensation claim costs arise from just 5 per cent of claims. As such, a relatively small number of high cost claims can result in a disproportionate premium payable cost to the employer. Despite this obvious cost relationship such injuries have adverse impacts upon the injured worker, loss of organisational productivity and adverse effects upon morale and workplace culture. For around 15 years now I have managed workers compensation and injury management within the cleaning industry. I have experienced a number of different workers compensation schemes throughout Australia whereby the most effective way to reduce workers compensation premium is by return to work of injured employees. I had always wondered how the Pareto rule would apply to the cleaning industry and set upon a study of available incident statistics to establish if any Pereto relationship exists. With no fault workers compensation provisions in place then one incident could easily occur and result in a high cost claim particularly as 32 INCLEANNZ February 2018

Dr Denis Boulais* examines the Pareto principle, widely known as the 80/20 rule, to the cleaning industry.

research is indicating that 75 per cent of incidents are due to human error. My own research in this area indicated that 65.5 per cent of incidents in the cleaning industry are due to human error and 51.5 per cent of those incidents are a result of cleaners not looking before moving. My initial thoughts that 20 per cent of incidents resulted in 80 per cent of workers compensation costs were realised when I calculated that 15.3 per cent of incidents resulted in greater than 80 per cent of claims costs using the cleaning industry data I had available.

Pareto situations in cleaning Vincent Pareto (1848-1923) made the observation that 20 per cent of people in Italy owned 80 per cent of the country’s wealth and realised this disproportionate concept applied to many different areas. A main idea behind the Pareto rule is that a disproportionately small group can have a supersized influence over one’s business. If this group can be properly identified and managed (their impacts minimised) then the profitability of the business may dramatically increase. Observing the Pareto may allow one to think outside the square and work smarter by focusing upon the right things. Let’s examine some Pareto situations that may apply within the cleaning industry. • 80 per cent of dust is found in 20 per cent of a building (e.g. foyers and meeting rooms) • 80 per cent of feedback comes from 20 per cent of cleaners • 80 per cent of workers compensation costs derive from 20 per cent of claims


• 80 per cent of contract revenue is derived from 20 per cent of clients • 80 per cent of injuries derive from 20 per cent of hazards (e.g. manual handling) • 80 per cent of complaints come from 20 per cent of clients • 80 per cent of the traffic involves 20 per cent of the streets (e.g. intersite travels). • 80 per cent of sales result from 20 per cent of marketing strategies • 80 per cent of website traffic lands on 20 per cent of website pages As earlier mentioned I am calculating from my workers compensation data that 15.3 per cent of claims account for greater than 80 per cent of workers compensation premium costs – hence these workers compensation claims follow a rule more dramatic than the 80/20 rule. Pareto-based observations can be effective in establishing management strategies. For example an examination of those 15.3 per cent of claims may indicate they are originating from one or a few contracts. This may result in further training of cleaners within a particular contract or a decision about future participation in that contract particularly where a positive safety culture within that contact is difficult to establish. It may for example involve drilling down into the specific injury mechanisms within those 15.3 per cent of claims. I recall a cleaning contract which involved a significant amount of manual handling in order to keep a particular production line moving. Analysis of the incident statistics indicated that all the injuries were frank in nature as opposed to nature and conditions. From

“Pareto-based observations can be effective in establishing management strategies.” a cleaning perspective a frank incident may result from a single lift of a bin and straining ones lower back where as a nature and conditions injury may result from swinging a mop for many years and developing a sore elbow. Further analysis indicated that greater than 80 per cent of the injuries involved the lower back and occurred within the first two hours (20 per cent) of a shift which in itself is a Pareto-based observation. The strategy here was to periodically refresh manual handling training and place a specific emphasis upon pre task warm up exercises during that training. As a result of this approach then a dramatic reduction in manual handling injuries at that site was observed. In conclusion the Pareto principle will not completely eliminate the non-critical elements of any situation, it is however a simple tool that encourages us to shift focus into areas that may have the most significant impact and yield the best results. It may also assist one in identifying what areas of the business are not performing as required and hence focus ones attention to rectifying the situation. *Dr Denis Boulais is national risk manager at Broadlex Services

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The hidden cost of scented cleaning products The hidden cost of scented cleaning products poses a real dilemma for the cleaning industry, writes Bridget Gardner. A carpet cleaning company was recently engaged to clean the carpets and upholstery of a small office. Next morning the stains were gone, the colours were vibrant again and everyone was happy. Everyone that is, except one employee. When this person entered the room, they were smacked with a wall of fragrance so strong, that their throat swelled up, their eyes itched and their head throbbed. Struggling to think through an intense ‘brain fog’, their productivity levels plummeted for the next few days. So, what went wrong?

The true cost of fragranced products Recent research conducted by Professor Steinemann from Melbourne University1 found 33 per cent of 1098 people randomly surveyed, reported health problems when exposed to fragranced products. Reactions to fragrances can include migraine headaches, dizziness, feeling tired or weak, breathlessness and nausea. The cost to business, and well as the human cost, is quite staggering. Apart from absenteeism, being subjected to strong fragrances can cause confusion and difficulty with concentration. Air fresheners and scented cleaning products are known to 34 INCLEANNZ February 2018

contribute significantly to indoor pollution. It is also well established that poor indoor air quality (IAQ) results in decreased productivity and may reduce work performance by up to 9 per cent2. Way back in 1998, a CSIRO report put the annual cost of poor IAQ to Australian business at $12 billion. So even if workers are not grabbing for the tissue box or Panadol, their ability to think clearly and stay on task could be diminished by constant exposure to scented products. Fragrances used in cleaning products and air-fresheners are also linked to some pretty serious health hazards: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): VOCs are organic chemicals that can evaporate into the air under normal indoor conditions – allowing them to be easily inhaled and potentially causing a range of respiratory and neurological health problems. In 2011, Steinemann carried out tests on 25 scented cleaning products and found a total of 133 different VOCs in them. Of these, 24 were classified as toxic or hazardous (USA) and only two were listed on the MSDS3. Chemical sensitivity: For people with chemical sensitivities, negotiating public spaces, such as shopping centres, schools, airports, restaurants and restrooms, is like a minefield. Because of the widespread use of automated air-freshener mists, plug-in vaporisers and scented hand-soaps, it can virtually be impossible to avoid them. Chemical-sensitivity in a scented world can be totally debilitating. For those of us with mild chemical sensitivity, it can just be frustrating and embarrassing trying to pull our brain out of the abyss when meeting where scented cleaning products have been used. Because yes – that ‘office worker’ in the introduction is me. Long term effects: Most people are surprised to learn that some synthetic fragrances (including perfume and aftershave) contain


IARC listed carcinogens. However, consumers are kept in the dark because fragrances do not need to be declared on the label or SDS. Steinemann found 44 per cent of the products tested generated at least one of four carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants (acetaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, and methylene chloride). While fragrances may only be a small proportion of a product, when considering the daily cocktail of scents we are exposed to in (air-fresheners, cleaning agents, disinfectants, laundry detergents, hand-soap, deodorant, perfumes and aftershave etc) we really have no idea what the long-term effect will be on our own health, or that of young or unborn children.

Cleaning industry dilemma The hidden cost of scented cleaning products poses a real dilemma for the cleaning industry. Most people understand the hazards associated with solvents, stain removers, strippers and bleach. But fragrance is usually viewed as a safe and added benefit. In fact, the use of fragranced cleaners and air-fresheners is often demanded by the building users. There is a persistent belief that if they can’t smell a cleaning agent, it hasn’t been cleaned. A bathroom without an airfreshener is considered ‘unhygienic’. 1. Yet there is a growing international movement for scent-free environments especially in Canada and the US. Providing scent-free areas if requested by workers with Fragrance Sensitivity, is now a requirement under the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’ (ADA)4. While there is no such legislation in Australia or New Zealand, a growing awareness about

indoor air pollutants, and the adoption of building ratings systems with IAQ criteria such as Green-Star Performance and WELL, means this is a smelly issue that the cleaning industry can no longer ignore.

What you can do about it Offer a scent-free choice for routine services: a. Fragrance-free cleaning agents* b. Altered water technology c. Microfibre with tap water only Use a cleaning consultant to helpyou write a cleaning protocol that meets the WELL Criteria. Get educated so you can help your facility manager address the occupant’s belief that fragrance = clean. As I’ve said many times before – clean doesn’t have smell. Bridget Gardner is Principal Director of Fresh Green Clean and can be contacted at 1 Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products, Steinemann A. 2 The effects of indoor air quality on performance and productivity, Wyon DP 3 Fragranced consumer products: chemicals emitted, ingredients unlisted, 2010, Steinemann AC, et 4 * Note that GECA and Global Green Tag Standards only prohibit certain fragrances and restrict VOCs to 3%.

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INCLEANNZ February 2018 35


Training journey helps cleaner move towards management Haley Taylor has worked for Laura Fergusson Trust (Wellington) as a facilities cleaner for more than 10 years and loves it. She enjoys the environment and the flexibility suits her lifestyle. Ten years ago, Haley would never have dreamt she would be qualified to supervise a team of five cleaners and be on a mission to take her studies further. The Laura Fergusson Trust (Wellington) is very proactive in encouraging training. Thanks to a Careerforce work-based training programme supported by the Trust, Haley was the first in the organisation to complete a New Zealand Certificate in cleaning (Level 3) Supervision Strand. Now she is embarking on a New Zealand Diploma in Business (Levels 5) Leadership and Management qualification that could take her one step closer to management. Haley’s employer, Laura Fergusson Trust (Wellington) is an independent, charitable trust that provides opportunities for people with disabilities to pursue a supported and independent lifestyle. “A full clean once a week includes general housecleaning: dusting, polishing, vacuuming, mopping. Then I also do some carpet cleaning using the specialist carpet cleaning skills I learnt in the qualification strand I did last year. “Part of the role almost borders on caregiving or supporting as we try to help some of the clients clean for themselves. I work alongside some of them and encourage them to dust their own room or vacuum their own room, while I’m doing other areas that they might not be able to do. You get to know the residents very well. “When you say you’re a cleaner, a lot of people say, ‘why do you want to do that?’ But I think there is more to it that just cleaning as such. “When thinking about the training, I didn’t need a lot of encouragement. For me it was more about getting back into study without jumping right in. So, Level 3 was a nice place to begin. So that’s what brought me to do the qualification in my mind. But I jumped at it when they put the proposal to me. “Sometimes I found it a little challenging – being the first and not having a go-to person. A lot of it was gathering the evidence and getting the observations. It’s made me more aware of things that have just become a habit for me. So, it was good to just reiterate that 36 INCLEANNZ February 2018

I’m doing the correct things and following the correct processes. “It’s nice to be recognised for being more than just a cleaner – to have that qualification and for people to realise that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. As a cleaner, you sometimes feel that you’re at the bottom of the hierarchy. Sometimes it’s nice to have that formal qualification to give you a boost. The Laura Fergusson Trust (Wellington) has recognised Haley’s capability and suggested that she embark on the Level 5 Business qualification. Careerforce business development consultant, Mark Wootton, looked at what Haley was doing and going to be doing, and

the Level 5 fitted well. He felt that it might help her to grow and develop her role. “Moving from Level 3 to Level 5 did scare me to start with, but after having my initial catch up meeting with Mark, he took away my nerves. It’s going to take me further into a team leader role. I’m looking after a team of cleaners, who don’t have the qualifications and I’ll be encouraging them to do the Level 2 Cleaning. Having me as a support person/coach or ‘go to’ person will help them join the dots. “Careerforce have been very supportive and encouraging about everything; I was feeling nervous about jumping from 3 to 5, but my Careerforce contact took away my nerves so now I feel quite at ease about it.”


Subscribe to INCLEAN NZ for your chance to win a Kärcher T 9/1 battery-powered vacuum Kärcher NZ is offering INCLEAN NZ readers the chance to win a Kärcher T 9/1 batterypowered vacuum, valued at $1263 (RRP). The cordless battery-operated T 9/1 Bp dry vacuum cleaner is powered by a 36 V, 7.5 Ah lithium-ion battery and has a standard run time of 24 minutes. When used in eco!efficiency mode, the working time is increased to 46 minutes, thanks to reduced energy consumption. The machine is extremely quiet, with a noise level of only 62 dB(A), making it ideally suited for use in noise-sensitive areas or for cleaning during business hours. “Kärcher’s two cordless vacuums are just the beginning of a range of 36V lithiumion powered machinery. We have a compact scrubber drier coming to market soon, utilising the same batteries. These are great reasons to connect with this new platform now,” said Mark Robinson, national business manager, Kärcher NZ. For your chance to win, subscribe to INCLEAN NZ’s digital newsletter e:clean, which offers a roundup of the month’s news stories, at by 12 March 2018.

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Kerrick celebrates 80 year milestone Commercial cleaning equipment supplier Kerrick is celebrating its 80 year anniversary this year. Founded in 1937, Kerrick specialises in commercial and industrial cleaning equipment including vacuum cleaners, extractors, water blasters, drain cleaners, sewer cameras, high pressure pumps and accessories. Kerrick also custom designs and creates solutions to meet customer needs. In 1972, Kerrick began developing its own NZ-based designs, and commenced fabrication of both hot and cold water pressure cleaners specifically devised for the NZ and Australian markets. Kerrick’s NZ and Australian customer bases were both developed through strategically-placed agents who provided full distribution and service capability. By 1989, Australia was operating as an independent subsidiary, being less dependent on NZ and importing

CrestClean switches to eco-friendly solution

CrestClean has replaced disinfectants in its cleaning regimes with an eco-friendly multipurpose product called HyperClean. Developed by Chemical Solutions, HyperClean contains hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down into oxygen and water. Unlike disinfectants and other strong cleaning products, it leaves no potentially-harmful chemical residues on surfaces. CrestClean’s decision to ban disinfectant use has been praised by Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ). “We’re thrilled to see CrestClean take this initiative to develop and use a viable alternative option, and completely cease their use of disinfectants,” said Francesca Lipscombe, ECNZ general manager. “We hope other organisations will follow suit.” CrestClean managing director Grant McLauchlan said HyperClean was developed after research highlighted innovation in the cleaning industry across the globe. “We saw that on a worldwide level there is trend towards the use of hydrogen peroxide. HyperClean has been developed and trialled in New Zealand and is a highly effective cleaner.” He said as well as HyperClean having no detrimental effect on the environment, it was also a safer product for the user. “In the cleaning industry there are products that have been used liberally that were potentially injurious to the health of cleaners and also to the users of buildings.” Hydrogen peroxide is widely used in the food industry as a steriliser and cleaner. When it oxidises it lifts dirt from the surfaces it comes into contact with. HyperClean can be used in a concentrated form for bathrooms and toilets or in a diluted form as a spray-and-wipe. 38 INCLEANNZ February 2018

directly from Europe. Meanwhile in New Zealand, demand for products led to branches opening in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and later Hamilton. Fast forward to 2018, the most popular Kerrick products are mid-sized commercial petrol pressure washers and mid-sized commercial vacuums. Today, approximately 50 per cent of the business is endproduct, while the remaining 50 per cent is locally designed and manufactured bespoke pressure cleaners for pipe cleaning and maintenance, general pressure washers, special large-unit builds and hydro cutting. This year will see Kerrick focusing on providing solutions for contract cleaners, schools and third party logistics warehouse.

Filta moves to new premises Filta Cleaning Products is set to move this year to Waitakere City to accommodate the business’s growth initiative. Opening on Monday 19 March, the new environment includes an extra-large showroom presenting Filta’s extensive range of products, a training space where the use of products can be demonstrated and a customer meeting hub. “We simply outgrew our previous premise with the broadening of our product range,” said Filta sales manager Liz Nichols. “This will be the first time we have owned our own building.” Filta has also launched a new range of professional tea towels for the commercial market. “Following several requests from customers, we partnered with a leading New Zealand textile expert with more than 20 years’ experience to create a new range of tea towels,” explained Nichols. “The tea-towels are professional, functional, hard wearing and more than tough enough for use in commercial applications, without losing the look good factor.” Following the company’s move and launch of its tea towel range, Nichols said the Filta team is excited for what the future holds. “Creating a new home for Filta and the team will enhance growth and customer relationships. Moving to bigger premises means more of what Filta is good at – delivering goods superfast and no out of stocks.”

Filta’s new warehouse


Coastal Products launches rubbish bag range in NZ Coastal Products’ range of d2w oxo-degradable rubbish bags are a costeffective, high quality alternative to using normal plastic bags, according to the company. Launched in September 2017, the bags are available across New Zealand and are suitable for use in hotels, councils, food preparation areas, meat works, camps and schools. “Our main distribution hub is based in Auckland, however we have flexibility to move this between our warehouses in Wellington and Christchurch should the volume dictate this,” said Coastal Products’ Matt Dixon. Dixon explains the range was introduced in an effort to bridge the gap between standard plastic bags and fully biodegradable options. “Plastic litter is found in most parts of the world, but there is a move now to go ‘bag-less’ or ban and tax plastic bags. This doesn’t need to be the case when d2w is included at the manufacturing stage of production. “The d2w converts everyday plastic products made from PE, PP or PS into materials which are biodegradable in the environment. No residual is left behind whatsoever.” The range of d2w oxo-degradable rubbish bags includes 30L, 60L, 80L, 120L, 240L and coffee dump d2w oxo-degradable bags. “We have an 82L bag in box coming out soon which will provide our customers with an effective dispensing option,” said Dixon. “We expect it to be one of our fast movers. “We want to provide our customers with the option to help the environment without impacting their bottom line. Our range offers clients a high-quality, cost-effective product that comes at a very minimal cost.”

New technical support specialist at Kärcher NZ Kärcher NZ has appointed Ross Jones as the company’s technical support specialist. Jones has extensive knowledge in the field, having worked in the Auckland Kärcher Center for more than five years, dealing with customers, staff training, technical assistance and liaising with technicians. “My passion for Kärcher is driven by how the company continually strives to lead the market in innovative technologies, whilst always Ross Jones focussing on customer centricity,” said Jones. “I am thrilled to take on the role and continue to drive and grow business in the BSC sector.” Jones is looking forward to educating internal staff and end users on how to best utilise Kärcher’s technology and products. “When the right machine is matched up to the right job, Kärcher really does make a difference,” he said. “Cleaning can sometimes be needlessly difficult, and, in my new role I hope to improve the cleaning processes for our clients, to maximise efficiency by saving time, energy and as a result - money.” The d2w oxo-degradable rubbish bags are costeffective and eco-friendly

INCLEANNZ February 2018 39


R&J Batteries enters NZ market

Rubbermaid introduces high absorbency spill mop Rubbermaid Commercial Products has released a high absorbency spill mop for busy healthcare, hospitality and retail environments where liquid spills are a common health and slip hazard. Developed at the Newell Brands Design Centre, the high absorbency spill mop (kit and accessories) is designed for accidental liquid spills and incidents that occur on a daily basis, presenting a serious slip hazard for staff, patients or customers if not dealt with immediately. This spill management solution features a no-touch quickrelease design so the user can dispose of the mop pad after use without coming into contact with any liquid or contaminated substance. The single-use, disposable pad is made of highlyabsorbent non-drip materials that lock liquid inside to contain mess during disposal. “It is common for busy hospitality or food service venues to have to deal with one or more spills every service. In a hospital or healthcare setting, staff can deal with more than 10 liquid spills or biohazard incidents every day,” said Chris Davis at Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “When liquid is on the floor in any high-traffic, potentiallyslippery area, time is of the essence. Using this new, highly absorbent spill mop, the spill is gone and the floor is dry in 30 seconds – usually the time it takes to get a slip hazard sign.” “We’re proud to have developed a solution to this serious, daily challenge in a faster, more effective way, “added Davis. The spill mop dries the floor up to 50 per cent faster than a traditional string mop and the mop pad can absorb approximately one litre of water or 400ml of high-density fluid (saline or similar) in 30 seconds. Both the retractable mop handle and spill pads are ultracompact so can be stored close to service areas, ready for use in seconds. A wall mounted cabinet that holds 20 pads provides a convenient storage solution.

40 INCLEANNZ February 2018

R&J Batteries has opened a distributions warehouse in Onehunga, Auckland to better support its growing partners in the New Zealand cleaning industry. The warehouse has been operational since January from a temporary location and will expand into an adjacent customised site during February. “Our goal is to provide our valued customers with the right battery and battery charger solution for scrubbers and sweepers,” said R&J Batteries industrial sales manager, Mark Ray. “The demanding use inherent in floor machine applications requires deep cycle power solutions that can provide maximum runtime and minimum downtime for maintenance. “R&J offer a complete line of 6-volt and 12-volt flooded deep cycle, advanced VRLA/AGM and lithium iron phosphate battery solutions.” R&J Batteries has appointed Warrik Skulve to head up the R&J Battery NZ operations. “We have been incredibly fortunate in recruiting Warrik. He has long experience at a top level in the NZ battery industry in sales, marketing and technical training. “Warrik holds a trade certificate in automotive electrical engineering and a diploma in sales management and has been involved in the battery industry for more than 10 years.” R&J Batteries will be exhibiting at both CleanNZ Expo on 9 and 10 May at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland and the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo on 29 and 30 August at ICC Sydney.

Entries open for FMANZ Awards Nominations are open for the 2018 Facilities Management Association of New Zealand (FMANZ) Awards. The annual FMANZ Awards aim to recognise the achievement of those in the facilities management industry, and this year will include a new award category – Service Provider of the Year. The Brian Happy Award for Facilities Manager of the Year is awarded for outstanding performance by an individual working in the FM profession. The judges are looking for nominees who have applied their experience and knowledge to produce exceptional results within their facility and/or organisation, as well as demonstrating excellent personal qualities. The Young Achiever of the Year Award is presented to an FM professional under 35 years of age who has shown a strong and on-going commitment to their personal development and that of the wider industry. The Service Provider of the Year acknowledges outstanding provision of contracted-out facilities management services. The services can be provided to any sector of the New Zealand FM market. Nominations close 29 March, with finalists to be announced in April. The awards will be presented at the FMANZ Gala Awards dinner in Auckland on 23 May.

Have a news story for INCLEAN NZ? Call Claire Hibbit on +61 2 8586 6140 or email


Battery powered ride-on scrubber drier Kärcher’s compact disc scrubber BD 50/70 R Bp Pack Classic is extremely easy to manoeuvre and transport. This affordable entry level model provides the essential functions and offers an excellent price to performance ratio. Fuelled using powerful 105 Ah batteries, it is an ideal option for midsized job sites. Simple, yellow colour-coded control elements make the machine very easy to use.

All-in-one waterless urinal deodoriser Bio Tabs are an all-in-one waterless urinal deodoriser, drain maintainer and air freshener system. The biologically advanced formula in the Bio Tabs breaks down organic waste, preventing odours from forming and keeping drains blockage-free. Easily installed, Bio Tabs are suitable for use with the majority of urinal bowls and urinal trough models. Each Bio Tab lasts for up to 10,000 flushes. Pristine Bioclean 021 949 640

Versatile wet dry vacuum range Pacvac’s Hydropro series is capable of handling both wet and dry vacuuming. With three convenient sizes to choose from, the wet and dry range offers a versatile machine suitable for the toughest cleaning jobs, big or small. Featuring waterproof switches and non-marking wheels to protect all floor surfaces, these machines are both powerful and robust. Filta Cleaning Products 0800 345 828

Long-lasting power sponge The Scotch-Brite power sponge 3000 features a high strength ScotchBrite power pad attached on one side and a durable sponge on the other. The scouring side of the sponge cleans 2-4 times faster than other medium/heavy duty commercial scourers. The sponge side utilises antimicrobial technology that resists the growth of odour-causing bacteria within the sponge. Open weave construction and evenly distributed soil-removing particles make the Scotch-Brite power sponge 3000 easy to clean and reuse.

Kärcher 0800 527 2437

Heavy duty cleaner and degreaser Tile Plus is an alkaline detergent designed for use as a heavy duty cleaner and degreaser. The water soluble cleaner emulsifies, suspends and removes all types of animal, vegetable and petroleum oils. It is also efficient at removing grease and grime in industrial, commercial and food processing areas. Tile Plus does not impart any cleaning odours and is a suitable replacement for solvent based cleaners and degreasers. Whiteley Corporation 0800 257 352

Premium soft touch dispenser range Livi’s premium range of European soft touch dispensers is now available in NZ. The dispensers can be paired with a range of Livi paper products, and help control usage, keep facilities tidy and are lockable to avoid loss and wastage. The stylish matte black coloured dispensers offer a sophisticated washroom solution, which includes a single jumbo, a slimfold towel and a 500ml foaming soap. Cottonsoft 0800 223 411

3M 1300 363 565 INCLEANNZ February 2018 41


Dry surface biofilm remover Surfex is a dry surface biofilm remover that reduces bacterial loading within a dry surface under clean and dirty conditions. Approved for use on environmental surfaces and non-critical medical devices, Surfex features an in-built detergent system that allows ‘all in one’ cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces. Its superior disinfection performance reduces MDROs in healthcare environments and its patented colour coded indicator system shows when Surfex’s biocidally active concentrate is safe to use. Whiteley Corporation 0800 257 352

Environmentally friendly surface prep pads 3M’s Scotch-Brite surface prep pads reduce the need for chemical strippers and leave a fresh surface ready for recoating. Scotch-Brite surface prep pads require only neutral cleaner or water to remove floor finish and prepare the floor for finish application, leaving behind no chemical contamination on skin, clothes, and shoes. The pads can be used with standard cleaning machines on vinyl tile, marble, terrazzo, concrete and other floor types. 3M 1300 363 565

Municipal vacuum sweeper The MIC 34 C is a compact, multi-function machine that provides ultimate versatility and user comfort. The quick-change system enables implements such as a sweeping head, scrubbing head or mower blade to be changed within minutes, without tools. The machine is equipped with a powerful Kubota turbo-diesel engine. All-wheel drive ensures optimal grip and propulsion on wet and slippery surfaces. Kärcher 0800 527 2437

Commercial dehumidifiers for water damage restoration The XPower V-65L and VD-85L are commercial dehumidifiers designed to maximise water extraction. Their rugged and compact design allows for easy storage of the units, while the durable housing construction withstands rough handling. Semipneumatic wheels also improve the units’ transport and manoeuvre on job sites. Ideal for water damage restoration jobs and multiple industrial applications where maximum performance in airdrying is needed. Filta Cleaning Products 0800 345 828

Long lasting air freshener range The Florogen range of concentrated alcohol based air fresheners may be used as space or surface deodorants. Lasting for up to 24 hours, Florogen may be used on toilets, under sinks, behind desks and furniture and into waste bins after cleaning. The pleasant perfumes of the alcohol based products include original, strawberry, lavender and frangipani. Florogen has been proven to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria. Whiteley Corporation 0800 257 352

Light and quiet air mover The XPower X-600AC air mover and dryer is one of the lightest and quietest air movers in the market. Built with a fully integrated motor and housing design, the X-600AC is designed for use in multiple angle positions for different drying and ventilating applications. The powerful yet energy efficient air mover and dryer has a compact, durable and rugged plastic housing model, and comes with international safety certifications. Filta Cleaning Products 0800 345 828

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INCLEAN - New Zealand February 2018  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...

INCLEAN - New Zealand February 2018  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...