By Keith Watts
Based in the Melbourne bay side suburb of St Kilda, Geco Cleaning has grown from strength to strength in the last 10 years, focused on providing quality, value priced eco-cleaning services.
Ivi Sims, Geco’s owner and director ensures that the most up-to-date environmentally friendly products are used by her company to create ‘Spaces ready for living’ (seen on Geco’s logo). “It’s for the mutual benefit of customers and staff that we do exhaustive research and training on cleaning products and processes,” Sims said.
“We’re proud of our ‘Clean Smart’ concept that has been our philosophy and business driver from day one,” Sims added.
Geco Cleaning business consultant, Melissa Marot explained, “the prime imperative is to provide quality, safe, efficient, eco-friendly cleaning methods. We found that many of our clients were demanding eco-friendly cleaning solutions that were safe for the family, did no harm to the environment and were also effective.”
The initial marketing initiative for Sims’s cleaning venture 10 years ago was an organised pamphlet drop in the Port Melbourne area. “Since then, our growth has mainly been generated by word-of-mouth, and we have grown steadily from working out of the back of a van to our current premises. Equipment and training were our priorities, so every time we grew we injected money back into the business,” Sims explained.
Initial jobs were domestic and office cleaning, but an early breakthrough came with referrals to serviced apartments where Geco provided full housekeeping services including linen, consumables, and maintenance. “Basically, Geco became a one-stop shop for everything,” Sims noted. “Our services included carpets, floors and windows, so if anything was needed it could be dealt with immediately and with no fuss.”
Geco now offers a wide range of services covering commercial cleaning and facility management; serviced apartments; builders clean; property vacate and pre-sale; residential cleaning; carpet cleaning; and water damage restoration.
Geco has a 15 strong team and that number expands as and when required. “Because we do builders’ cleans, we may have up to 40 people working on a project alone. We have a broad base of people we can draw from for multiple projects,” Marot pointed out. “This is a capability that we have built over the years. We are adaptable and flexible and can provide a service in a prompt and well-managed way. With our breadth and depth of experience we know of specific industry requirements for each type of project.”
Geco places a very high importance on training. “We spend a lot of effort training our people. All new team members initially receive specific training and then regular on-going training. We have trained people as specialist technicians for specific services such as carpet cleaning, and send our team on accreditation courses such as Certificates II, III, and IV in both Asset Maintenance for Cleaning and Carpet Cleaning. Our supervisors are looking at Certificate V. It’s very important for us to keep up to date with current training methods,” Sims emphasised.
“We have strict quality control regimes in place. This is particularly important for serviced apartments as they all are unique and have different requirements. We check and guarantee our work,” she added.
Sims is a great believer in industry associations and Geco is a member of BSCAA and NUCCRA, while its training body for carpet cleaning is Jena Dyco International. “Being involved in industry bodies is great for keeping up to date and networking. It’s vital that we have industry associations and trained people out there to give our industry a good name. I want our team at Geco Cleaning to know that the associations are here to support them.”
Geco has enjoyed strong growth annually for the last few years and expects to continue its growth this year. The business mainly covers Melbourne and its suburbs while interstate expansion is planned within the next five years.
In conclusion, Sims said, “Geco has an established reputation for handling a wide variety of cleaning work. We use state of the art equipment across all our services, with a focus on quality, service, and eco-friendly products and methods. Our professional supervisors and cleaners are fully trained and accredited with recognised industry programs. With this foundation, we are proud to continue to provide quality and sustainable solutions to our clients”.