Leaders Forum: Lauren Micallef, ISSA Oceania

Industry leaders share their plans and predictions for the year ahead.

 How was 2019 for ISSA?

2019 was a busy year for the ISSA Oceania region. The office relocated at the beginning of the year to Parramatta, the geographical centre of Sydney in order to accommodate current and future growth.

Throughout the year the team also experienced internal expansion, with the appointment of two additional full-time staff committed to growing and managing memberships and marketing.

Throughout the year the local team continued to build our portfolio of member benefits, including the expansion of our networking and education platforms in order to support our large spectrum of members and both their universal and specific needs.

In 2019 we engaged more with our members with industry updates and alerts. Two member services that were popular this year included our Industrial Relations/Human Resources and Work Health Safety Hotlines, funded by ISSA.

Our annual ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo once again experienced year-on year growth and success. In 2019 the event saw a 49 per cent growth in attendees on prior year with visitors stemming from more than 25 countries.

The show will be returning in 2020 to the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 26 and 27 August and is already expected to be bigger and better, with more than 60 per cent of the floorspace booked.

What will be the focus for ISSA in Australia for 2020?

2020 will be a year focused on engagement and development. We have an exciting line up for the market in relation to education, training and certification. The foundation for these projects commenced in 2019, with the association liaising with volunteer working groups and committees to ensure we are meeting both local needs and requirements.

In 2019 we launched the CMI Accredited Auditing Professional Course, which was completed by our ISSA member, Winc. We received extremely positive feedback and as a result have additional courses with members planned in the pipeline for 2020.

This year we also intend to expand on ISSA’s global commitment to advocate on behalf of the cleaning industry. ISSA Oceania has been formulating key and driving relationships with government bodies and membership partners in order to proactively keep our members informed with industry updates and provide support documentation. We will continue to develop and grow this area of the local arm of the association in 2020.

What have been some of the international trends for 2019?

Globally, there has been a focus on robotics and automation and how it can be used to work ‘smarter’ and improve productivity. There has also been an increase in demand for data analysis in order to aid businesses in being wiser with how they deploy tools and manage work loading.

We are also seeing more research and investment into areas such as nanotechnology and natural, bio-based materials. Companies are looking at how natural substances can aid in breaking down materials, eliminating odours and more.

Another innovative development is the use of drone technology. Although it is in a prototype phase, it is being examined in relation to external building care.

However, innovation doesn’t just relate to products, there are also examples of internal ingenuity that have led to savvy cost-effective systems. ISSA launched ISSA Engage, a digital-based publication that presents relevant thought-provoking articles. The focus is primarily on innovative and unique product ideas and business solutions.

At ISSA we feel sharing best practices can be beneficial for companies as they uncover solutions that can be more effective as well as cost efficient. It can lead to change management and innovation implementation.

 What have been some of the trends in the local market in 2019?

Oceania is a performing region! There has been an increased market acceptance for new environmentally friendly products and a drive for ‘tech savvy’ products and services.

While our local region is influenced by similar global trends, there have also been a number of steps forward in relation to state and national regulations and requirements that have had a direct impact on the cleaning industry.

From single touch payroll, amendments to the Fair Work Act and the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act. Not to mention the lending implications that have stemmed from the Banking Royal Commission and what will follow for third parties due to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Royal Commission.

A big area of change and development over the past three years has also been state-based Labour Hire Licensing regimes, which have occurred in Queensland, and more recently implemented this year in South Australia and Victoria.

What is one issue the industry should urgently address in 2020?

‘Sham contracting’ and the effects of the ‘gig’ economy on small business and the overall industry.

A focus for ISSA Global is taking advocacy to the next level. We are excited about the impact ISSA and our members can have on issues that matter most to the cleaning industry.

From our regional perspective we feel that industry verification and certification are a way forward that will keep the industry accountable and support our members and the overall market in a positive direction.

Read INCLEAN’s inaugural Industry Leaders Forum Report in the January/February issue of INCLEAN magazine. 

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