Industry Leaders Forum: Tony Gorgovski, BIC Services

Tony Gorgovski CEO, BIC Services

How was 2021 for BIC Services? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2021 was a watershed year for BIC. It showed us that we must be prepared for virtually anything whilst simultaneously doubling down on our commitment to our purpose, values, and mission, if we are to remain resilient and thrive, regardless of any challenges we might face.

We took the opportunity early in 2021, while lockdowns were eased, to undertake a major strategic review of our entire business in the face of the global shocks affecting us all.

Our executive team set about developing a clear pathway for our organisation that would take everything we have learned over 30+ years of operation and position ourselves not just for commercial success but to make sure we took our people and our clients with us.

We reconnected strongly with why we all get up every day and do what we do. 2021 has reignited our passion and drive. We are more committed than ever to take our business to the next level and use everything we have at our disposal to do that.

How did BIC Services respond and adapt to the impact of the pandemic in 2021?

We had already set up a Pandemic Action Committee during 2020 and continue to hold weekly meetings to stay agile and responsive to the rapidly changing realities we all faced.

Being a national company, we had the complex challenges of the lack of harmony between states around rules and restrictions, compounded with increased confusion as specific LGAs became hotspots. We faced the real impacts of our workers confronting heavy restrictions of movement just to get to work.

We soldiered on the best way we knew how – to trust our business instincts, stick to best practice and stay streets ahead of government policy. Keeping our people safe and delivering the highest level of service to our clients became paramount.

We embraced the national immunisation effort with our own very successful voluntary Employee COVID Vaccination Incentive Program.

At the time of writing this, our staff have achieved 100 per cent double vax rate in NSW and Victoria and 98 per cent double vax across the entire country.

This demonstrates how business can get things done despite the politics. It also shows how strong our company culture is, that we were able to engage our entire workforce in this way.

What will be the immediate focus for in 2022?

Regroup, refocus, and reinvigorate. The last two years have been one big rollercoaster ride and 2022 is the year to emerge stronger, wiser, and more committed to our purpose. We have become so much more than a cleaning company.

We will continue to evolve our proprietary technology platforms, including our ICXP, double down on our sustainability, reconciliation, and CSR goals.

We will pull together as a national force to acquire new business, retain, and expand existing client services, develop new and exciting partnerships and bring it all together under our strong BIC brand, with exciting new marketing initiatives.

What long-term changes do you think will be implemented to business processes because of the pandemic?

Everything needs to be ratcheted up a few notches. Clients are looking at us to instill trust and rebuild everything that the pandemic undermined.

Our BIC Training Academy will continue to see increased focus on upskilling around infection control and enhancing the quality of the personal interactions between our team members and the people they encounter each day. We must continue to see our clients more as partners in the same enterprise of creating engaging, safe, and inspiring spaces.

What trends do you expect to see in 2022?

With cleaning so much in the spotlight now, it is becoming more and more important to deliver far beyond expectations, in order to instill confidence in our clients and their tenants, customers, and general public.

This will drive innovation across the industry and may see some less capable operators weeded out, as the bar gets increasingly higher. Investment in technology, training, sustainability, and communications must expand in line with client demands.

What is one issue you think the industry should urgently address in 2022?

Standards, standards, standards. BIC recently celebrated having our ISO certifications renewed. In an industry that deals with issues like waste, hygiene, and public safety it is critical that we continue lifting our game, driving the industry forward and making best practice even better – across all aspects of our operations, especially when it comes to staff training.

Our people are the foundation of our entire business, and we owe it to them to give them every opportunity to upskill and prosper.

What additional advice do you have for the cleaning community?

The pandemic clearly established that cleaners are frontline workers and cleaning is an essential service. We need to own it as an honour and a blessing, to play the role that we do in the world.

We are creating the future we want to see materialise in this post-pandemic world; sustainable, prosperous, healthy, and clean, where all workers, clients and partners can experience the quality of life we deserve. Let’s continue this journey together.

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

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