Industry Leaders Forum: Wayne Hill, MD, Diversey ANZ

How was 2020 for Diversey?

As with everyone 2020 was challenging, but also rewarding. Our top priority was the health and safety of our team and customers as we partnered to protect Australia and New Zealand against the COVID-19 pandemic. Like so many we faced the disruption of remote working, however, from day one I can proudly say the entire Diversey team rose up.

When gaps appeared (that at times surprised us) the immediate and intrinsic response from our team members ensured nothing fell through, we covered off and even excelled. It was rewarding to have 11 disinfectants approved by ARTG to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) enabling us to provide solutions for not only the healthcare industry but also many other sectors.

What were the highlights?

Two areas stand out as highlights during 2020.

Due to our global footprint we were able to quickly reach out and launch solutions based on our extensive global range. We journeyed with local and international suppliers to submit testing and data to support a swift approval process as we worked to meet our customers growing demands. Diversey are currently leading the way in Australia with 11 disinfectants approved with the ARTG to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) further helping in the fight against COVID-19.

The second highlight was our customer feedback. Throughout the year I received dozens of emails from both our own team and customers of `personal stories’. Stories which reported our Diversey team providing time critical COVID-19 solutions and when demand exceeded supply they worked tirelessly to offer alternatives to maintain momentum during the height of the pandemic.

What were the challenges?

Keeping up with demand in the market was one of our greatest challenges. Customers required disinfectants and the demand escalated quickly. But just like the famous ‘toilet paper’ situation, demand was difficult to predict for both for ourselves and for our customers. However, our COVID-19 taskforce team worked hard to ensure we met customer demand wherever possible, at times with extreme measures to ensure customer satisfaction.

How did Diversey respond to the impact of the pandemic?

Our response was immediate with alternative sources and formulations being reviewed daily. Our COVID-19 taskforce team had to be flexible enough to pivot between multiple local and international supply sources to deliver approved COVID-19 products to the market.

An example of this pivot included the chartering of 747 commercial planes full of stock to meet the rising customer demand. With the added advantage of having a global footprint and being part of a global company, we were able to reach out and devise immediate solutions to meet the demands of the AU market.

What will be the immediate focus in 2021?

On the back of the pandemic there is a continued need to invest in solutions for healthcare, that will remain one of our main focus areas. That said, as we see demand normalise there is also now an increased awareness of hygiene levels required in all facilities and businesses.

Thus, our immediate focus on the healthcare sector and new solutions generated for this sector will inevitably work hand in hand to sustain other sectors in the hygiene and disinfecting space.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for the industry looking ahead to 2021?

Of course, after such a huge change it will not be a matter of snapping back to the way it was before, introducing and maintaining heightened cleaning processes will be a challenge. However, alongside this challenge comes the opportunity for growth in the area of infection prevention. This growth will drive our industry into new innovations and solutions in 2021.

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

Globally there is now a greater understanding and appreciation of how important good cleaning practices are to a facility, business image and the safety of people. This has bought with it new cleaning processes and systems which our industry must continue to embrace in order to meet customer satisfaction.

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

Despite dramatic improvements in cleaning practices during the pandemic there still remains some complacency or lack of understanding about the right kind of disinfection and approved practices.

We see many settling for disinfectants that may not be the correct grade or not have required approvals for individual facilities.

With the threat of COVID-19 still active the industry needs to plan carefully and intentionally provide guidelines to ensure education and awareness is implemented in this space in order to avoid further outbreaks.

What additional advice do you have for the industry now and after the pandemic?

My advice is that infection prevention is not just for healthcare facilities (where it has generally been regarded as essential in the past).

We now understand based on the pandemic how easily viruses and bacteria spread and therefore just how important infection prevention is, not just for healthcare, but all sectors of business.

Diversey along with our cleaning community needs to be collaborative as we all play a critical role in providing hygiene for the fight against COVID-19 both now and in the future.

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

Read the original article here

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