In his ‘pioneering’ mission for a cleaner future, Bill Bassett of Interclean Australasia hosted the inaugural Healthcare Cleaning Managers & Contractors Conference on 18 and 19 March at the Novotel, Norwest (Sydney). The conference catered to those certified distributors, cleaning managers, cleaning contractors, cleaning service professionals and auditors and trainers who have completed Bassett’s C.H.I.P course, which teaches best practice healthcare cleaning systems. INCLEAN’s editor Kim Taranto reports.
“Hopefully by the end of this conference, because we have some of the best people in the industry in this room, we can come up with something quite significant that all of us can move forward with. This is the opportunity for our key C.H.I.P distributors, contractors, managers and end-users to work together,” implored Bassett. “It’s the people in the room that will make this conference brilliant for you, bring out the best in each other. We want competition; and we want opposition, because if everyone else does better, we all do better.”
Keynote speaker Thom Winninger addressed the room with a whirlwind performance about how he “helps companies figure out where they’re going” and part of this reason, Winninger stated, is because they think they’re product is going to take them there. “It’s only what you do with your product that takes you somewhere – it’s about the application, not the specification.
“You don’t sell a product; you sell a concept, an outcome or a result – making people’s lives easier. I believe leaders don’t compete and competitors don’t lead. If you can’t help the individual look better, act better or get more out of what their doing then you can’t help them.”
Winninger moved on to talk about distinctive value. “How much of your business does your best customer control?” he asked and shared his experience of absolute truths in business: proliferation, polarisation, increase in price sensitivity, lack of differentiation, customer confusion, and increased costs.
“What are you doing in your business to attach truths to what you do? Truths not ideas,” he reiterated. “It’s not what you sell, it’s what your customer values in your product, and when your customers’ values change, your product should change, evolve, and improve with them.”
Winninger likened many businesses to the story of Alice in Wonderland; she chases a rabbit down a hole, becomes lost and asks everyone where should she go? And when the Cheshire cat asks Alice where she wants to go, she doesn’t know – ‘then any road will take you there,’ was the Cheshire cat’s response. ”The message is; you need to know where you’re going, you need to commit and quality your objective,” stated Winninger. “Strategy without purpose is only tactical. Profit comes from purpose.
“So what’s the purpose of your business? To engage your customers at a level where we can reduce costs, increase their value and give them clean safe environments. The minute you want to be pioneering rather than just functional, your outcomes will start to improve,” claimed Winninger. “Why are we all in this room? Because you can’t pioneer by yourself. You have to combine every dynamic in the industry – manufacturers, distributors, consultants working together.”
Bassett had also arranged for a panel of industry experts to discuss the topic of Innovation Facilitation – lifting the lid on healthcare cleaning standard. The panel consisted of Francis Cochrane, hospitality & healthcare support services solutions consultant; David Armstrong, director of Majestic Cleaning Services; Bridget Gardner, director of Fresh Green Clean; and John Taylor, owner of The Cleaning Supply Shop.
During this session, an interactive discussion took place about the current definition of ‘clean’ and was redefined to support the important inclusions of infection control, odour elimination and process frequency. “The problem with cleaning is that we don’t have a suitable definition and everyone has a different standard of ‘clean’, which forces work to be redone and drives margins up and costs down,” stated Cochrane.
“Standards are perception vs. reality,” he continued. “Do we really clean or do we just perceive it by moving the dirt and germs around and mask it with a nice smell?” It was agreed the definition of clean should include the element of time, a definition of the expected outcome and needs to be conducive to the patient’s standard of care.
After lunch, Winninger addressed the group about price wars and branding with some helpful advice on how to sell value rather than defend price, how to sell the application rather than the specification, and how to build three levels of relationship with customers. This was followed by Doug Brown from Fresh who spoke about restroom hygiene to coincide with the modern working environment – a perfect example of a product evolving to meet the needs of its intended customers.
The afternoon saw the conference divide into a distributors’ breakout with Steve Hipp from Athea Laboratories who spoke about Using your brand to build your business, and an end users’ breakout with Russell Brown from Safety Firm presenting on Making your cleaning safer. Day one of the conference finished with a final address from Bridget Gradner of Fresh Green Clean about standardised hygiene tests and measures of cleaning standards in healthcare.
For more photos visit INCLEAN’s photo albums.