“It’s gratifying to give back to an industry that’s supported me and my business,” states Lindsey’s Cleaning Supplies’ (LCS) principal Lindsey Burgoyne. And give back she has done in spades, both on the supply and service sides.
Since establishing LCS in early 1994, Burgoyne has gone on to build her Bowen Hills (Brisbane) business into one of the industries’ most respected distributors while increasingly involving herself in cleaning industry bodies including the National Cleaning Suppliers’ Association, Building Service Contractors’ Association of Australia and RapidClean.
In past years Burgoyne has served on the NCSA board; she is presently on a BSCAA Queensland committee; and she is a RapidClean board member.
When asked why LCS has become a success, particularly in its core contractor client base, Burgoyne simply answers, “I can’t answer that, I really don’t know. Perhaps it’s word-of-mouth referrals, perhaps it’s our reputation. It could be the personal loyalties we have developed with our client friends.”
It was logical that with LCS’s strong core contract cleaner client base Burgoyne involve herself in the BSCAA Queensland, notably its environmental committee. LCS has been a consistent sponsor of the BSCAA Queensland and its various activities for many years.
“We have always looked to diversify our customer base into other segments and while we have achieved some success, it’s been the BSC market that has driven our business,” Burgoyne emphasises.
Those supporting Burgoyne in her quest to meet client needs include customer service and sales executive Ruth Allnutt, store manager Ken Lister and sales executive Glenn Powell. “We really don’t go for titles and positions around here as we all multi-task and we all help each other out daily. It is true to say we work as a family should,” Burgoyne says.
However, as with all businesses, it isn’t always smooth sailing and challenges are a constant. Burgoyne was pragmatic enough some years ago to employ the services of a business coach to guide her through the organisation’s expansion.
“It was an excellent investment because it was just 18 months before the global financial crisis. Having embraced the coach’s ideas we were well prepared for those tough post-GFC trading months,” explained Burgoyne.
It should be noted that unlike many others managing SMEs, Burgoyne does have a background in book-keeping and accounting and those skills have greatly helped her in the day-to-day running of LCS.
“I am very conscious of the need to generate profit margins, not only to stay in business but also to provide ongoing quality service. Yes, our revenues have increased year-on-year but our margins remain relatively tight. That means we have to work hard at ensuring there is enough profit across all product lines,” stresses Burgoyne.
Those lines include an increasing array of equipment, which demands capital. Machinery has become a very important part of LCS’s business and a close relationship with Hako Australia has enhanced the distributor’s performance in that sector.
Burgoyne notes the industry’s changes, in particular the green movement and its proliferation of more environmentally-friendly products and systems such as microfibre, sophisticated chemical dispensing, water and energy saving devices.
“Fortunately, pricing of green products is not the issue it once was with suppliers today providing very competitively priced, quality, products,” Burgoyne observes.
On the marketing front, LCS was an early adopter of the internet and has always had a strong web site presence. That is now being furthered developed with a buy-on-line option.
“We have a presence in the Yellow Pages and do some direct mailing,” Burgoyne adds. “However, it’s the chance to get our name out there at industry events that we always take.”
LCS has been most supportive of the industry’s service-side. “I have sponsored, in some form, nearly all BSCAA Queensland events over the last 15 or so years. They have included members’ meetings, award dinners, golf days and other social events. Last year I was recognised with an award for the continuing assistance LCS has given the industry. Of course, being involved in these ways means we can stay abreast of the industry and better understand our clients’ needs,” Lindsey points out.
While LCS is very typical of many independent, family-owned, distributors, it has its own set of values that allow it to compete effectively locally and nationally.
“We pride ourselves on having long time, experienced, people who can give the right advice on practically all cleaning and hygiene issues. If we don’t have the answers, we aren’t too proud to get our suppliers involved.
“Through our membership with RapidClean we are able to work with fellow group members to offer national supply arrangements for larger clients.
“By giving back what we can to the industry we build loyalty and you can’t put a price on that,” concludes Burgoyne.