Industry Leaders Forum: Wayne Hill, CEO, RapidClean Group

Our main priorities are to build on RapidClean’s geographical reach and breadth of product offering so we continue to offer our unique value proposition to the industry.

How was 2023 for RapidClean?

It was a very good year indeed. The RapidClean Group’s growth trajectory continued throughout 2023. Purchases through our preferred supplier network grew by 13 per cent, while our key account program grew by 33 per cent.

What were the highlights?

The main highlight for myself, was the opportunity to join this unique and remarkable group, and to assist our membership to support this essential industry and its customers. In addition to our strong growth metrics, we added three new members to the group and three new preferred suppliers further enhancing our reach and range. We introduced our Rapid Safety range of gloves, as well as our own branded upright ergonomic battery scrubber, the RC1. Both have taken off as soon as they hit the market.

What were the challenges?

As a leading industry one stop supplier we need to be flexible and responsive to adapt to the changing needs of the market and our customers. Whether it is holding more stock to counteract the supply chain constraints of the past, or additional ranges focused on sustainability or Indigenous supply, it’s important we are prepared.

What are the company’s main priorities for 2024?

Our main priorities are to build on RapidClean’s geographical reach and breadth of product offering so we continue to offer our unique value proposition to the industry. Additionally, we are further investing in systems and processes to make purchasing from our 60 locally owned RapidClean stores in Australia as easy as possible for our customers.

How does RapidClean plan to adapt and innovate this year to meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers?

There are several areas RapidClean intend to innovate to meet our customers changing needs. First and foremost is an increased focus on sustainability and stocking eco-friendly products to align with increasing consumer preferences for environmentally responsible solutions.

Secondly, investing in advanced technologies like robotics and AI to enhance efficiency in cleaning processes and offer innovative solutions. And finally, offering tailored products and services to individual customers, by offering more flexible and personalised solutions via our vast independent network or RapidClean members.

What are the more significant opportunities and challenges in the industry?

Opportunities in the cleaning and hygiene industry lie in the growing emphasis on sustainability. Businesses can capitalise on the increasing demand for eco-friendly products and practices, reducing environmental impact. Integrating advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, presents another avenue for efficiency and improved service delivery. However, challenges persist. Evolving regulations, especially related to chemical usage and waste disposal, require constant adaptation. Supply chain disruptions, as experienced globally, can impact the timely availability of essential cleaning products.

Additionally, the ongoing need for effective solutions against emerging pathogens, like viruses and bacteria, necessitates continuous research and development to stay ahead in maintaining public health standards. Balancing innovation, regulatory compliance, and resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges remains crucial for the industry’s sustained growth.

How can the industry best leverage of address these challenges and opportunities?

The industry can capitalise on the demand for sustainable practices by adopting eco-friendly cleaning products, reducing waste, and implementing environmentally conscious processes. Marketing these efforts can also enhance brand reputation. Investing in cutting-edge technologies, such as smart sensors, IoT devices, and robotics, can significantly improve efficiency. Automation not only enhances the precision of cleaning processes but also reduces the need for manual labour, increasing productivity.

Providing targeted education and training programs for staff ensures the proper implementation of new technologies and sustainable practices. Well-trained personnel are essential for maintaining high hygiene standards and complying with regulations.

By combining these strategies, companies in the cleaning and hygiene industry can position themselves to not only navigate challenges but also thrive in a market that increasingly values sustainability, efficiency, and public health.

What do you expect to be the big trends of 2024?

Our customers are continually evolving in their needs and sophistication, and anything that will create efficiencies or benefits for them is how we see the market trending. These trends will focus on sustainability, innovation, and automation.

Are there any key sustainability commitments/targets RapidClean has made for 2024?

At RapidClean, we have targets set for product sales and new supplier additions to our group who have sustainable and unique environmental solutions. A great example of this is a recent addition to our preferred supplier portfolio, CleanLIFE wipes, who supply the Rapid group with Australian made, biodegradable, plastic free wipes, as well a as a range of certified flushable wipes.

How will you measure your progress?

Progress will be measured by our growth in environmental and sustainable product sales from existing and new preferred suppliers against the targets we have set for our group.

What is your leadership philosophy?

I am not one to be quiet, and I like to roll up my sleeves, so for me it’s all about encouraging open communication, setting a positive example, and adapting to change. It is also very important to inspire trust, motivate your team, and contribute to a positive and productive work environment.

Do you have a message for the industry?

Support Australian-owned small businesses, and the people they employ. The profits of our members stay in Australia and benefit the community. It is an important industry as it protects us all.

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One thought on “Industry Leaders Forum: Wayne Hill, CEO, RapidClean Group

  1. Great focus Wayne & true in all categories. RC has an amazing past & future. Its members have skin in the game and are all passionate about their business that’s what separated RC from others the care factor. I would promote that and let all know RC are individual owners within a major corporation.

    Cheers mate & good to see you continue. Gary Oskay.

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