Industry Leaders Forum: Joe Taylor, CEO, NXP

How was 2020 for NXP? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

NXP had an extremely rewarding 2020. The year pushed our staff and customers to the limit. Looking in the rear-view mirror we can say 2020 was a success and will be a moment that defines NXP for years to come.

We were able to help NZ businesses, take care of business unlike ever before. NXP shipped more PPE volume than any other B2B business in NZ; helped by two acquisitions, New Zealand Office Supplies, and The Service Company.

The single largest challenge relates to supply chain disruptions. We have seen spikes and dips in demand unlike any other year, this coupled with disruptions in supply have meant major changes in SKU availability, customer experience and brand presence.

International brands let New Zealand down, particularly North American manufacturers. They retreated back to the US and Canada markets. Manufacturing distributions from China and NZ shipping port congestion has added to the turmoil. Fortunately, we have seen the kiwi market understand this and be open to new brands and alternatives.

How did NXP adjust to the impact of the pandemic?

The NXP team showed they truly live up their mission of ‘helping NZ take care of business’. We showed we can pivot better than any B2B provider in NZ. Surveying our top 100 customers showed that NXP had an 80 per cent customer service rating during the pandemic, something we are proud of.

We thought ahead across multiple categories, for example we anticipated the need for sanitiser and in March NXP formed a partnership with Gull who was able to provide ethanol the key ingredient or sanitiser manufacturing.

NXP passed this raw material direct to our chemical manufactures at cost; our intention here was not to profit but help our customers take care of their business. Similar anticipation was placed on SKUs such as masks and gloves. NXP chartered more than 10 aircraft into NZ in April 2020 full of product to help kiwi’s stay safe.

Since then, NXP has continued to increase our security of supply and invest ahead of time in cleaning and hygiene products, particularly gloves exported from China and Malaysia. Our investment strategy and planning ahead with inventory has been a corner stone of NXPs success and which is why we continue to attract interest from new customers and thanks from our existing ones.

What will be the immediate focus for NXP in 2021?

Whilst we had provided some ‘remarkable’ customer experiences last year, these global disruptions meant NXP’s service was ‘inconsistent’ at times. In 2021 we will be looking to getting back to our ‘remarkably consistent’ service in which our brand is known for.

We will also launch several e-commerce initiatives directly focused on the contract cleaning market; a cleaning focused version of NXPortal, click and collect, same day delivery and unique visibility into our stock holdings improving service for Wellington and Christchurch regions.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for NXP over the next 12 months?

In 2020, NXP purchased The Service Company and in 2021 we are looking to leverage The Service Company’s strength’s which will be core to NXP’s facilities and cleaning strategy in 2021.

I have not seen an organisation in either Australia or NZ that can match the customer intimacy with the contract cleaning market. The combination of the additional facilities services, with NXP’s scale, e-commerce solution and distribution network will build the largest B2B janitorial provider in NZ.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2021?

We now have several cleaning, hygiene, and PPE stockpiles under management. NZ businesses understand a level 4 lockdown is still a real possibility in 2021, I anticipate this need will continue as virus and economic protection becomes part of a disaster recovery team’s mandate equal to IT disaster recovery and asset protection.

With regards to workers that will stay remote on a more permanent basis, I am expecting large corporates to start thinking about those remote workers and their productivity. Are they set up ergonomically at home? How do they get the tools they need at home to be successful? What does safe, clean, productive at home look like?

Looking at the future what do you see, as far as changes and adjustments, the global cleaning industry must embrace?

Environmentally friendly products. Our research has shown in customer’s value hierarchy, this value has jumped significantly and is extremely more important. Unlike post the GFC where sustainability takes a back seat to cost, we are seeing the opposite reaction here. Customers are willing to pay for value and sustainable alternatives that make a greater impact to broader outcomes.

What is one issue you think the industry should urgently address in 2021?

Source local brands. Businesses are looking to buy Kiwi-made and customers are wanting to know their product or service is supporting Kiwi Jobs. This is not only due to a sense of moral obligation but as a risk mitigation of continuity of supply. NXP and our customers have moved to many locally sourced and manufactured brands, however, there is a large opportunity here.

What additional advice or guidance do you have for the cleaning community now and after the pandemic?

Don’t waste this opportunity. New Zealand businesses are more open to change than ever before. Cleaning and hygiene for too long have been seen as a cost to run a business. There is now a window to demonstrate value.

COVID will still be part of the social fabric of 2021. Winter will see flu season. Businesses will want staff to return to the office. Keeping Kiwi staff healthy, safe, and productive will be a key driver for businesses. Decision makers will listen more than ever to innovations in hygiene solutions and facility management.

This article first appeared in the February issue of INCLEAN NZ magazine

Read the original article here

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