Industry Leaders Forum: Joe Camilleri, Central Cleaning Supplies

How was 2021 for Central Cleaning Supplies? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2021 was a great year for Central Cleaning Supplies, despite the pandemic and the subsequent challenges of lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales.

We reported strong growth and expanded our network of outlets across the country – opening three new sites in Victoria including Footscray, Ballarat and Campbellfield.

We made several key appointments of senior managers, and also grew our sales and support team in response to customer demand.

Some of the highlights of 2021 were further expansion of leading brands, including the addition of Rex to the LionsBot range of cleaning robots and introduction of more models of Camill Electric Utility Vehicles to the Australian market.

Is there an achievement that you’re particularly proud of from the past 12 months?

I am particularly proud of our staff and their resilience shown during these challenging periods. They continued to work hard and deliver exceptional service to our customers throughout lockdowns. I’m also appreciative of the support our customers have shown us over the past years.

What will be the immediate focus for Central Cleaning Supplies in 2022?

The immediate focus for Central Cleaning Supplies is to continue to meet and exceed our customers’ expectation.

This includes more store expansion, more sites and team members on the ground means we can be closer to our customers to deliver more services and innovative products faster.

We opened three new sites in 2021 and we plan to open more sites across the country in 2022, including Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia.

Another focus for us this year will also be our online presence. We’re currently in the process of updating our online ordering platform.

What are the major opportunities you foresee for Central Cleaning Supplies in 2022?

We have a few acquisitions in the pipeline that we believe will help further strengthen the Central Cleaning Supplies brand. We also have a suite of new and innovative products that we’re excited to bring to the market in 2022.

In 2021, we further expanded the deployment of the LionsBot range. Each cleaning robot in the range is made to perform a specific task so as to achieve maximum efficiency in its cleaning operation: LeoScrub for floor scrubbing, LeoMop for mopping, LeoVac for vacuuming, and LeoPull which pulls a 450kg bin, suitable for rubbish collection.

The LionsBot machines have all been really well received by the industry and we are extending the range. We will be presenting LionsBot’s first autonomous cleaning robot for large commercial spaces, Rex.

Rex has been engineered specifically for commercial and industrial settings like airports, shopping centres, warehouses, convention centres, and carparks.

It delivers incredibly accurate cleaning and localisation while being able to effectively avoid dangers with advanced active obstacle tracking.

We will also continue to expand our range of Camill Electric Utility Vehicles. Facilities are increasingly seeking more environmentally friendly options, which is why our fleet has become such a strong market performer.

Within the Camill range, we have introduced purpose-built units, which include add-ons such as pressure washers and we have more sustainable innovations coming out soon.

I think what also sets the Camill fleet apart is the extensiveness of the range, from transport vehicles, to sweepers, to garbage trucks and pressure washers.

Continuing our focus on sustainability, Central Cleaning Supplies has the vision to become an environmentally sustainable business. Our organisation is taking effective measures to ensure environmental responsibility remains at the core of our business approach.

What role will innovation play for Central Cleaning Supplies in 2022?

Innovation will continue to play a key role for Central Cleaning Supplies this year. From the products that we offer through to our online ordering platform, we are always looking at new ways to enhance our product offering and provide our customers with market leading cleaning solutions.

What the challenges and opportunities do you see for the market in 2022?

While the pandemic has presented challenges, it has also presented a lot of opportunities for the industry. The last couple of years has put a spotlight on the cleaning industry and cleaning practices. Because of this, there’s now a greater need for contactless cleaning as well as data-driven cleaning.

We believe at Central that we are well positioned to help cleaning companies tackle these challenges with the LionsBot range. The LionsBot range offers not only autonomous cleaning reducing foot traffic on-site, but also provides measurable cleaning results.

What is one issue in the cleaning industry that you would like to see addressed?

There’s a major staff shortage around the country at the moment and I believe that this will continue throughout 2022.  The industry needs to look at new ways to not only attract staff to the cleaning industry but also retain them.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?

Be willing to embrace innovation. We remain a market leader because of the innovative cleaning technologies that we offer our customers.

This article first appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of INCLEAN magazine. 

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