By Lorraine Day
Munno Para Shopping City’s operations manager, Robert Spicer, attributes the centre’s recent award success to teamwork and good communication between centre management and its cleaning contractor ISS Australia and its staff.
The shopping centre at Smithfield, north-east of Adelaide, won the 2010 Property Council of Australia’s South Australian division Award for Presentation in the category of 20,000 to 35,000 square metres. It also received the Gold Award and overall title of Shopping Centre of the Year.
ISS has the responsibility for cleaning all the public areas, including about 6000 square metres of mall space, including a food court and entry foyers, as well as windows and car parking areas for about 1800 cars spread around three sides of the building.
According to Spicer, the judges made special comment on how clean and well-maintained the car parks were.
“Communication is important,” he said. “Each cleaner has a two-way radio for prompt response to any spills, in any area of the building or car park, working together with the security staff who immediately alerts us of any incidents.
“Our key focus is teamwork, and our aim is to have the core group passionate about their job. We all work as a team,” he emphasised.
Trina Sykes has been part of the cleaning team at Munno Para for the past nine years, initially as a supervisor, and now as ISS client service manager. She said about 22 staff are employed at the site for about 17 hours a day. Most of the cleaning is done during the day, with only about five or six staff working at night, cleaning the mall floor, wash rooms, and detailing, including stainless steel.
“Part of the tender process includes periodical maintenance and other detailing programs besides the day-to-day cleaning of all the common areas,” Sykes explained. “For the Presentation Award, the judges are very particular. It even comes down to the quality of polish on the stainless steel. Every hour we check that the toilets are clean,” she said, “and every alternate night they are scrubbed mechanically.
‘We have been cleaning the Munno Para centre since 2002 and have won the Presentation Award six times and have been runner-up once.”
The centre also won the Gold Award in 1999, the first year of its inception.
Also in the 2010 PCA awards, ISS was runner up in three site categories – Adelaide Airport, Newton Shopping Centre and Hollywood Plaza.
Munno Para Shopping City’s retail manager Sara Gobell said some customers have even gone to the trouble of visiting the centre management office to comment that the toilets were the cleanest they had seen in a shopping centre.
“The biggest challenge,” Gobell noted, “is maintaining the standard during busy times. School holidays, especially, add another dimension.”
Munno Para Shopping City was one of only three shopping centres in Adelaide selected to participate in a litter survey as part of KESAB. “As part of the process we do litter counts near the fast-food outlets and interview focus groups,” Gobell said, “and it was interesting that the perception of young people about throwing their litter on the ground was that they thought they were giving someone a job!”
In environmental and hygiene interests, the Munno Para centre has waterless urinals and, more than two years ago, three large rainwater tanks were installed for all external watering of lawns, gardens and car park washdowns when needed.
Munno Para Shopping City owners John and Nicholas Chapley were awarded the prestigious WJ McCallum Award for their personal achievements and service to the South Australian shopping centre industry. The Property Council of Australia SA Division introduced the award in recognition of the late William McCallum who was renowned for professionalising the retail industry through introducing and mentoring young people in the business.
In 2008, the Greek-born Chapley brothers were inducted into the Dr Thomas S Haggai Hall of Fame (named after Dr Thomas Haggai, IGA chairman and CEO), recognising their contribution to IGA and the grocery industry for nearly 60 years. The Chapleys, who founded Pasadena Foodland IGA in South Australia, also operate the Sefton, Norwood, Frewville and Munno Para Foodland supermarkets, and Fairview Green and Flaxmill Road shopping centres.
The Chapley Retail Group’s Fairview Green Shopping Centre, which in 2007 was a pilot project for the Green Building Council of Australia in further developing Green Star rating tools for shopping centres, won the PCA Presentation Award 2010 for a site up to 10,000 square metres.