Wayne Hill , Managing Director, Diversey ANZ
How was 2021 for Diversey ANZ?
As with everyone 2021 remained a challenge for various reasons. Our top priority was the health and safety of our team and customers as we supplied products to protect Australia against COVID-19.
We also, (like so many) laboured through the internal disruption of remote working and global supply/freight shortages and delays.
Nevertheless, in response to these challenges we worked hard to strategically acquire Tasman Chemicals to protect our future and open the door to local manufacturing, offering our customers best in class, Australian made products.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without our dedicated Diversey ANZ team who rose at every challenge throughout the year.
What were the highlights?
Three areas stand out as highlights during 2021.
- It was rewarding to have 20 disinfectants approved by ARTG to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) enabling us to provide solutions for not only the healthcare industry but many other sectors.
- Positive customer feedback. One example was from a well-known quick food restaurant with more than 690 stores, who named Diversey Supplier of the Year. Given the challenges of supply in the last two years this was a major achievement. The award recognised our innovation and tireless support as we continued to supply products to assist customers to keep their stores open!
- Finally, we were thrilled to announce the acquisition of Tasman Chemicals. This allows us to determine our own destiny as we move into the future. A strategic decision, implemented in response to the ongoing global supply and freight challenges. Owning our own local manufacturing site will assist in safeguarding supply of our products and therefore customers, which is our goal.
What were the challenges?
There were quite a few challenges in 2021, one which was addressed frequently was forecasting customer demand. Orders were erratic due to stockpiled products in 2020.
In terms of hand sanitisers and disinfectants it become difficult to forecast exact requirements, as even our valued customers had no way of predicting the length or level of shutdowns.
Another challenge was navigating and supporting the ups and downs of our customers in the hospitality sector, as many states either remain in lockdown or are moving in and out of lockdown.
Is there an achievement you’re particularly proud of?
Our COVID-19 taskforce team worked hard to stabilise supply through multiple channels.
For example, Oxivir disinfectant wipes, the team validated multiple supply sources, substrates, and pack formats in order to deliver our approved COVID-19 wipes.
In addition, the acquisition and integration of Tasman Chemicals in September 2021, which provides the ability to manufacture inhouse, aiding in the stability of supply for many products should demand escalate again.
What are the major opportunities you foresee for Diversey ANZ in 2022?
We are hoping to see ongoing demand of infection prevention products such as hand sanitisers and disinfectants as customers deplete their stockpiled products, update processes, and acknowledge the increased requirements of hygiene levels for facilities and businesses.
This demand will provide opportunity for us to develop innovative solutions to meet these increased needs. As part of these new solutions, we will be developing and integrating our legacy Tasman product offering to expand the Diversey portfolio even further.
How has the public’s expectations of ‘clean’ changed because of the pandemic?
The COVID pandemic has proven to the public how critical cleaning and disinfection are in stopping the spread of disease. That said, the public now want to ‘see’ what an ‘invisible’ resource was once – cleaning.
Their expectation of ‘clean’ has heightened and opinions differ from person to person on what is important.
It is our role to not only educate the public on best practices of cleaning/hygiene and high touch disinfection, but we also need to provide products in facilities.
For their own peace of mind, the public require products available to undertake their own personal cleaning/hygiene themselves (should they feel so inclined).
That way they can confidently stay or play and feel ‘safe’ in terms of cleaning, hygiene, social distancing and meeting all COVID requirements.
What impact will these new expectations have on the industry in 2022?
The second COVID wave has bought with it a greater appreciation of how important good cleaning practices are to a facility, business image, and the safety of people.
In the past infection prevention was only considered when a breakout occurred, however, now we understand how easily viruses spread and therefore just how important infection prevention is for all sectors.
Many facilities have now introduced new cleaning processes and systems which our industry must continue to embrace and follow to meet customer satisfaction.
What is one issue in the cleaning industry that you would like to see addressed?
With so many sectors opening up around us, our industry needs to plan carefully and intentionally how we will provide guidelines for infection prevention as we learn to live with the virus.
Despite dramatic improvements in cleaning practices over the last two years there remains a lack of understanding about the right kind of disinfection and approved practices.
As an industry, we can work together to educate customers on the correct grade of disinfectants (with required approvals) for individual facilities and the increased disinfection required.
I recognise the new standards will come at an added cost to our customers, however, if we do not continue to educate, we are in danger of slipping back into old habits and being exposed to what could be fatal risks.
This first appeared in the February issue of INCLEAN NZ
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