INCLEAN NZ assistant editor Lizzie Hunter speaks to Waiwhetu Distributors national sales manager Nick Garrety about becoming the sole distributor for the iRange in New Zealand, and what the company has planned for the New Year.
Waiwhetu Distributors has been providing cleaning supplies and equipment to clients around New Zealand since 1978. Established in Wellington, the distributor has grown over the years into a nationwide organisation with branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Masterton and Christchurch.
Twelve months ago, the company – which is already a major distributor for Tennant in New Zealand – secured the exclusive distribution rights to the iRange after inking a partnership deal with Abco Products.
“We first discovered the iRange in Europe and were very keen to get on board to bring these products to the NZ market,” said Waiwhetu Distributors national sales manager, Nick Garrety. “Quite a few suppliers in NZ applied for the tender pitched by Abco to supply the iRange in NZ and we were successful.
According to Garrety, the iRange has been key for the company, which plans to launch another three to four products from the range in the next 12 months.
“The iRange is a truly innovative range of products; we think it’s a real game changer globally, and don’t know of any other products out there that are similar to this range. The creators have introduced technology no one else has seen before. For example, all the floor cleaning machines in this range use the same battery. That’s unheard of.
“The NZ industry so far has been very enthusiastic about the range, in particular, the iMop, which has been well received in many sectors, including contract cleaning, hospitality and aged care.”
Waiwhetu Distributors has also recently revamped its online presence and capability to cater to client demands and online trends.
“Our previous website was pretty average if I’m honest,” admitted Garrety. “But now we have added an online ordering system for clients. People can now visit our website, log in and place an order with us from either their computer or phone.
The distributor’s 40th year anniversary is just around the corner, and though nothing has been planned just yet, Garrety says the company will be organising some kind of celebration to recognise the milestone.
Continuing to look to the New Year, Garrety says Waiwhetu Distributors is looking forward to exhibiting at Clean NZ, which is taking place in Auckland from 9 to 10 May.
“We’ll be there with the iRange,” confirmed Garrety. “Next year, our focus will be on taking over the hard floor care market from a cleaning perspective with the iRange.
“We’re looking at targeting the franchisee, aged care and building service contractors market with the range, because equipped with this technology, I think we can help them become more proficient and provide a better service to their clients.
“At the end of the day, people want innovation. And we believe that our company provides the very best in the New Zealand cleaning market today.”