On the 11th and 12th April, a couple of the Squeegee team attended the Manchester Cleaning show as visitors, to get the vibes, see what products were about for our customers and enjoy the experience.
Firstly, upon arrive at Event City, which is just on the edge of Manchester on the same site as the Trafford Centre, there was an air of excitement as the event was officially opened. We were scanned in, handed a show guide and entered a busy hall, filled with exciting, innovative products and great smells! - yes, smells, read more on our featured article on Oxygen-Pro on our Stuff we think is cool for our customers page - LINK
On our first lap, we took in the different types of companies exhibiting, whilst browsing the seminar programme, pouring over what to try and catch and when.
The first seminar we listened to was an inspirational talk from the British Institute of Cleaning Science on ‘Creating a Career in Cleaning’ focusing on the progression route from operative to manager. Ensuring standards are high in any line of work is a common aim, but in cleaning it is essential. The Key Speaker, Denise, detailed how accredited training at all levels can create a clear pathway for those individuals and companies who want to excel.
Following this, we were interested in speaking to Stephen Goodall from Uhub about their paperless, flexible training app for cleaners. Read more about this amazing product in our featured blog on '
UhUb - A Training revolution@
We think it’s cool, fun, innovative and meeting the needs of the modern day cleaning companies extremely well.
As a great deal of our valued customers are window cleaners, we have heard the brand name ‘moerman’ a few times and couldn’t resist taking a closer look when we passed their stand at the show.
We witnessed Moerman’s newest product being demoed by a pro - the ‘Ultimate Squeegee’ - the Excelerator handle, liquidator 2.0 channel and F*liq microfibre sleeve that clips on and off demoed by Bob. We were in awe of the product, what it achieved with one tool and hooked on the brand from there on in. Read more about Moerman tools and products in our full feature blog.
We wouldn’t normally mention our own coffee breaks, as being part of a tech company, we drink a fair amount of coffee!...But wow! - the coffee created by the skilled barista at Bean and Bubble was utterly fantastic. Created using beans lovingly roasted at the Heart and Craft Coffee roastery in the Greengate area, on the border of Salford and Manchester. Coffee lovers, you should really check them out!
Do any of you non-window cleaners think window cleaning looks easy? Think again! There is a real art to being fast and effective, as demonstrated by the Guinness World record holder, Terry ‘Turbo’ Burrows.
A crowd gathered in anticipation of his record being broken, but it was all too much for some, who silently backed out when their names were called out! With strict rules on how the competition has to be run and judged using the Guinness guidelines, we could see why! The competitors were faced with fully cleaning three 4ft (1.2m) high windows and wiping the sills with 0.5 second penalties for any streaks left on the glass. The time to beat was just 9.14 seconds!
We were hugely impressed with all the competitors, firstly for being brave enough to give it a go, and secondly, with their craft.
Terry’s record wasn’t broken on either day, but the winner on day one, Daniel Keate, managed an impressive 16.28 seconds, and Tony Burley, with an equally impressive 19.43 seconds on day two.
We couldn’t help but notice the Floorbrite stand, with their smartly dressed team and awesome looking ‘crystal maze style’ competitive game drawing huge crowds, so nearing the end of the show, when things were a little quieter, we approached the team who were all so friendly and chatty, clearly having a blast!
We spoke to Nina Wyers, the company’s marketing director about Floorbrite to find out what there was to know about easily the most appealing stand exhibiting at the show:
Nina exuded an obvious passion for her business, which was founded and built initially by her dad, Martin Wyers, in 1972. The business was family run from the start, and remains that way to this day, with clear personal values driving the ethos of the whole team. Martin Wyers started his one-man-band cleaning company, as many do, at a tender young age of 21. He was presented with a problem that the father of a girl he met was having with his cleaners at the branch of Tesco he was managing in Sale, Manchester, and after looking through the figures, provided the solution - himself (and a lot of hard work.)
He spent his days suited and booted looking for contract work, and his nights cleaning, falling into bed at around 4am. The business grew quickly after employing three cleaning ladies and meeting his wife, who later became a very successful saleswoman for the company. The company moved from premises to premises after outgrowing each in turn, with employee numbers getting into the hundreds before Nina and her two brothers Alex and Nik were born.
The three of them were a part of the business from an early age as children whilst the company grew exponentially and broke out into different sectors of the industry across the North-West of England. Nina, Alex and Nik all moved away to gain university degrees and re-joined at later dates, all from the bottom, working their way up through earning it, not through family links! Nina now heading up marketing, and her brothers as joint managing directors have taken up the reigns from their dad after his sad death in 2010, through the help of the previously appointed managing director, John Perkins who mentored them and headed up the board of directors as instructed by Martin before he was too poorly to manage it himself. They have since grown the company by over 100% diversifying into new vertical markets and expanding across the country and into Ireland, becoming a facilities company, whilst maintaining their values and ethos as a family business with responsibilities to their 1500 staff.
As a fully tailored facilities management solution in the retail, office, healthcare, education, manufacturing, industrial, entertainment, distribution and logistics and leisure sectors, Floorbrite deliver what companies need - services in all areas with one contract and one invoice to pay. Oh how I wish I’d come across them in my previous life as a head teacher - it would’ve been so much easier to calculate budgets for and have ease of contact with one company managing them all, than what seemed like the hundreds of different companies and contacts we had in place!
The services covered are:
The newest service that Floorbrite offers, is Waste and Environmental Management. With a focus on our collective responsibility for environmental issues regarding reducing waste, Nina eagerly told us about their bespoke waste management packages that are carefully put together by their own Environmental consultant, ensuring not only basic compliancy, but a reduction in carbon footprint and environmental impact as a business, as well as that all important reduction in cost.
We loved chatting with Nina, and hope that we will bump into the Floorbrite team again. Great vibes from a team who have an obvious love for their vocation.
Check out Floorbrite for yourselves: https://www.floorbrite.co.uk
Another seminar we were interested in, was Paul Ridden speaking on increasing efficiencies in your business as cleaning contractors. He started by engaging the audience with all of our common goals - growth: winning more contracts, diversifying contract base, employing more staff, offering more services and ultimately, increasing profit.
The barriers to this rosy view of exponential growth were detailed as: more paper, more problems, dealing with customer complaints on a larger scale, more hours, more stress and how hard it is to actually find the new business and new skilled workers - something that all businesses can relate with, no matter what size!
Paul went on to describe how having a systematic approach to overcoming these hurdles, using an automated system can hugely benefit the growing business, giving real-time management views and reports to managers, whilst the day-today operational level work is completed faster and more efficiently.
We couldn’t agree more!
We spent most of our time at the show, talking to anyone and everyone who would let us, in order to seek out the most exciting, most innovative, most useful and most ultimately cool products we could to tell you about!
We came away from the show heavily laden with swag bags from the wonderful people manning the stands, handfuls of business cards for getting in touch with our ‘show favourites’ and a vow to attend as many of these kind of events as possible in the future - starting with Interclean in Amsterdam in May 2018.
Our huge thanks go out to the organisers for putting on a great show for everyone in the cleaning industry, and for making it so accessible to network with like-minded businesses. We will definitely be returning - we’re looking forward to the London show in 2019 with great anticipation.