This extraordinary year marks the 20th anniversary of Supercare Property Services. Its founder and managing director Mark Andre reflects’ on the last 20 years with how Supercare and the cleaning industry has evolved, and playing in his gyroplane in semi-retirement.
The cleaning industry requires a multitude of skills, how has Supercare achieved its longevity?
People are number one in any business and for us that means employees and clients. Supercare’s Area Managers are focused on providing clients with expert service with a personal touch. It’s always important to us that Area Managers have the capacity to go above and beyond for our clients.
How has Supercare grown in the last 20 years?
I immigrated to Australia in 2000 after managing a successful cleaning business in South Africa with 500 staff. I registered Supercare later that year despite having no contacts in the industry, knowledge of the market, competitors or pricing! But I was very determined and happy to start at the bottom cleaning video Ezy stores in Dee Why and Warriewood once or twice a week, as well as a book distributor in Terrey Hills. With my experience from South Africa, a focus on delivering personal service and commitment, in 12 months I employed my first supervisor and the rest is history!
How has the commercial cleaning industry changed in the last 20 years?
Immeasurably! While the basic concept of cleaning, wiping down surfaces, mopping of floors or cleaning a toilet has remained the same over many decades, in the last 10 years the use of technology in cleaning operations, equipment and in compliance has completely changed the industry. Today we have auto scrubbers that are robotic and operator free, and software that can determine areas not meeting the desired standards. Microfibre technology is also taking centre stage for dusting, mopping and wiping down of surfaces. All these changes have brought with them a welcome level of professionalism for the industry.
Cleaning and environmental efficiency has also come to the forefront with environmentally responsible products that are safe for the cleaners and the surfaces they are applied to. The advent of energised water Stabilised Aqueous Ozone (SOA), for example, is looking after our planet and effectively cleaning surfaces in offices, with essentially only water.
What has COVID-19 meant for commercial cleaning?
In my 40 years in the cleaning industry the thought of experiencing a pandemic such as COVID-19 was unimaginable. The impact has been significant and as with so many industries, some cleaning companies have unfortunately disappeared forever. The industry will never be the same again with social distancing here to stay. The pandemic has helped identify those cleaning organisations that are professional with virus outbreak plans in place and from now on we can expect businesses to require more detailed scopes with hygiene practices playing a major role in cleaning a workplace.
You have semi-retired. How are you spending your time now?
I am fortunate to have a wonderful team at Supercare who have allowed me to take up other interests and pursue my dream of flying, motorcycle riding and other hobbies that I enjoy. I also enjoy the opportunity to spend time with the Supercare team and keep tabs on an industry that for over 40 years has been good to me.