Leaders Forum: Cleaning Systems

Read our interview with Rosemary Pritchard, managing director, Cleaning Systems.

How was 2019 for Cleaning Systems? What were the highlights?

The major highlight for Cleaning Systems in 2019 was the relocation of the business from Penrose to East Tamaki. Our new premises have given us increased warehousing and office space, a larger service workshop along with a number of training rooms including a demonstration room for practical training.

We now have ample onsite parking for hosting bigger events. Another highlight was commissioning a service vehicle which is based full time in the South Island. Customers have embraced this service and can now schedule a regular maintenance service on their truck mounts when the service vehicle is in their area.

What were the challenges?

The biggest challenge we faced. which also impacted our customers. was the tightening in the economy. A number of our customers reported a period of downturn in business. In addition, for ourselves the uncertainty due to the dispute with the US and China trade deals, increased production costs and a metal surcharge tax imposed by the US along with the lower exchange rate have all impacted negatively on the cost of our imported goods. Adding to that, the brown marmorated stink bug issue added further costs and time delays in receiving shipments due to fumigation requirements.

What will be the immediate focus for Cleaning Systems in 2020?

Our immediate focus is on our training division. We are broadening our training suite to better educate and support the industry. A recent survey has given us a clear direction for the need for more practical hands on training.

We are excited to be delivering the very first of these new courses in February. During this practical half-day course, you will ‘live a day in the life’ of a carpet cleaning technician. I’m a firm believer that you are never too old to stop learning and that there is always room for improvement.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for Cleaning Systems looking ahead to 2020?

Our biggest challenge this year is also our biggest opportunity. We want to be more engaged with our customers. This means we need to be proactive rather than reactive to customer needs. One of our strengths is assisting customers to solve problems they are facing in the field.

We endeavour to help our customers be the best service providers whether they are a carpet cleaning technician, a pest control technician or a restoration technician. As a company we need to bridge the gap between manufacturers and end users. We embrace this opportunity as a challenge.

How do you see the cleaning and restoration landscape evolving into 2020?

2019 saw the release of two legal documents which will impact our industry. The 10th edition of the Standard Sale and Purchase Agreement and the Healthy Homes Standards released by Tenancy Services.

The Healthy Homes Standards will play a significant role in improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families. There are obligations on property managers, landlords and real estate agents within these documents around moisture, indoor air quality and toxicology matters which will have a significant impact on the landscaping of the cleaning and restoration industry.

What is one issue you think the industry should be urgently discussing in 2020?

Sustainability and legislation will always be on top of the list. I feel in addition we need to be looking at whom will be leading our industry in the future. How do we make our industry appealing to attract a younger market?

As a cleaning restoration industry part of our responsibility is improving both living conditions and working environments. More and more challenges will be placed on our industry so we need future leaders who can take on this responsibility.

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

To be a success in your own right, you need to be responsible for keeping yourself fully informed of changes that are happening in your scope of work. As a PCBU you are responsible for everything related to your business and the best way to keep on top of these changes is to attend seminars that are available in your specialist field. Read newsletters and information articles supplied by those in the know, attend training and support those who support you.

This article first appeared in INCLEAN NZ magazine 

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