Strength in numbers

Australasia’s strongest cleaning and hygiene partnership starts here.

The Collective Australasia (TCA) is a new collective of Australia’s strongest independent cleaning, packaging, and hygiene distributors.

Working together with national reach, TCA provides supply partners and end users with a unique opportunity to work with an elite group of companies, providing end-to-end product solutions, backed by genuine local service and support.

A Collective approach  

Launched in July 2022, TCA currently has 10 members, with a collective turnover of $77 million and the organisation is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, since its inception, TCA members have acquired 11 other similar businesses across the country.

“We are 100 per cent Australian-owned and operated and provide a genuine alternative to multi-national companies who treat suppliers and customers as ‘just a number’,” says TCA Chairman, John Beach, of the organisation’s ethos.

TCA’s members are made up of some of the industry’s leading, independent distributors including Salute, TBC Distribution, Harcher, Fletchers Supplies, CleaniQ, and Tensens, as well as most recent members Hannafords, Northwest Chemicals, PacPlus, and Coffs Cleaner World.

“We are a group who are passionate about growth and working together to drive better outcomes for our members and suppliers – we also might give our industry a small shake up along the way.”

TCA was founded in early 2021 when Beach brought together the organisation’s founding members including Josh Sherlock, Executive Director, Harcher; Marcia Rodgers, Founder, Tensen; Ryan Macdougall, Managing Director, CleaniQ; Bronte Hough, Managing Director, Salute; Shane Leigh, Managing Director, TBC Distribution; and Shaun Fletcher, General Manager, Fletchers Supplies, to create TCA’s vision and strategy.

As Marcia Rodgers explains: “Having been part of a tightly knit community of cleaning suppliers many who we have known for more than 20 years, it was a natural progression to establish our group, made up of independent companies with aligned values and go to market strategies.

“As independent suppliers, we recognised the benefits of consolidating our purchasing power to maximise our collective expenditures. Our aim was to endorse the primary suppliers who have assisted us and compete with established industry leaders while simultaneously expanding our reach nationwide.”

Buying power  

TCA’s goal is to attract the strongest independent distributors across the country.

“We believe in real partnerships that mean something,” says Beach.

“Our goal is to create genuine value for end users who want to enjoy all the benefits of dealing with Australian-owned, service orientated businesses, and who also want a national ordering and delivery platform.

“Our mantra is ‘supplier first’ and we mean it. Sure, we want to ensure the best deal for our members and a level playing field in the market, but we also know that our partners have to make money and enjoy the relationship – this might be considered ‘old school’ in 2023 but it’s what we believe in.”

This year, the organisation is aiming to double its membership base to between 20 and 25 members in total, and circa $150 million in group turnover. TCA is also seeking suppliers, however, it’s a case of quality over quantity when it comes to TCA’s partnerships.

“Our members and supply partners are chosen very carefully,” explains Beach.

“National reach and vertical coverage is critical to our future, but we only have the supply partners we need in each category. We only want two or three supply partners in each category to ensure we deliver the kind of support and commitment our partners are looking for in a group. As a partner, you won’t find yourself one of five or six suppliers in your field!

“We also promise our supply partners 80 per cent purchasing compliance across the category for all members, which we believe is a first for the Australasian market.”

Current supply partners include True Blue, ESG Asia Pacific, Stella Products, Verla, BioPak, GoJo, Freundenberg, Huhtamaki, Pacific National Industries, Bastion and Nilfisk.

“We want only quality suppliers with quality products – and that’s a key difference about us in the industry,” says Josh Sherlock, Executive Director of Harcher.

TCA’s corporate and national accounts include Victoria Police, SA Health, Mars Petcare, Adelaide Oval, Hurley Hotel Group, Pirate Life, Australian Green Clean, Simplot, 1834 Hotels, Feros Group, and more.

Personalised service

The group’s industry coverage currently includes hospitality, aged care, healthcare, education, childcare, government, industrial, facilities management, and accommodation. However, the group is open to expand as more members join and share their experience.

Shane Leigh, Managing Director of TBC Distribution, believes TCA’s value is unmatched in the industry.

“TCA is a national supply group which can offer way more than kicking a box around and taking an order. Our combined turnover now makes us one of the big boys who can bring way more to the table than just another supplier.

“The values and business etiquette we expect from our members and suppliers is unparalleled. Our products, service, and prices will be the benchmark in our industry, and we know our competition cannot compete at this level.”

Rodgers agrees: “At TCA, we take pride in our status as an independent business. However, we are also pleased to offer industry-leading prices and exceptional support from our suppliers, which is crucial to our success.”

Bronte Hough, Managing Director of South Australia-based Salute, says TCA aims grow its member base with likeminded, progressive, and ethical companies from across the country.

“We not only pride ourselves on our level of personalised service, but our focus on compliance. As a member you get a seat at the table in decision making and will join a group of like-minded people who are looking to build their own businesses as well help support the wider cleaning and hygiene industry.”

Collaborate to innovate  

Idea sharing is also a key pillar of the organisation.

“Our board is made up of a very high calibre of members discussing and sharing in ideas, which is really helpful,” notes Sherlock. “There’s respect amongst members and suppliers, which is a breath of fresh air for the industry.”

For Ryan Macdougall, Managing Director, CleaniQ, one of TCA’s key benefits is the group’s collaborative approach to decision making.

“All our members have a strong representation in the cleaning and hygiene space and are very aligned in their thinking. The fact that we’re selective and we’re not just about getting members at mass enables us to work more closely together and towards creating a national business that supports local suppliers.

“Our board structure also ensures that it’s not just one person making the decisions. It’s a collaborative approach and a two-way relationship with our suppliers.”

From a personal standpoint, Rodgers says the implementation of TCA guarantees the long-term sustainability of Tensens.

“Being in the company of individuals who share similar values, aspirations, and maintain a grounded personality and attitude, all striving towards achieving success, is an indescribable sensation.”

Looking ahead, phase two of TCA’s expansion strategy will see it aim to grow its national footprint and then become largest cleaning and hygiene group in Australasia (by turnover), which it is planning to achieve by the end of July this year.

“Our aim is to continue to be ourselves, execute our plans with integrity, and attract the very best supply partners to our group, both global brands and the leading Australian manufacturers across all our categories,” says Beach.

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