Jonathan Weiss, Commercial Director of B2B for Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, Reckitt
How was 2021 for Dettol Pro Solutions/Reckitt?
The year 2021 was a very exciting time for Dettol Pro Solutions as it was the first full year of the program. We started Dettol Pro Solutions to help businesses protect their spaces in the new normal.
It combines Reckitt’s expertise in hygiene, the same trusted Dettol products, and the power of the 100+ year-old brand to equip businesses to protect customers and staff from germs to a higher standard with the aim of renewing consumer confidence.
Since launching, we’ve been focusing on bringing the program to life with a series of great partners and expanding our footprint across markets.
In Australia we’ve had a tough time trying to track the many reopenings and then shutdowns, however, our trusted products and relationships with our partners has helped us go from strength to strength.
We picked up a number of partners such as Hilton Hotels, and Cricket Australia who we had our first full season with in 2021. More recently, we have partnered with the Sydney Opera House.
In mid-2021, we found ourselves needing to respond to a scenario in Australia where everyone thought the challenges of 2020 were over.
People started going back to old habits and didn’t understand the importance of targeted hygiene and the need to keep up with newly established good hygiene practices. As a result, many businesses and people in Australia were caught by surprise when it became apparent that this wasn’t over.
We are very proud of the resilience of our supply-chain during that time as we were able to ramp up production to cope with some significant spikes.
When things heated up again in 2021, we were well equipped to remain in full supply and were able to support all our business partners for their needs amid a demand for higher standards of hygiene outside the home.
Is there an achievement that you’re particularly proud of from the past 12 months?
The crowning achievement to showcase what Dettol Pro Solutions is capable of is the work we did in Glasgow with Her Majesty’s government for COP26.
As the UN Climate Conference’s official hygiene partner, we were responsible for protecting 26,000 people from germs with a series of targeted hygiene interventions.
We provided 8,000 litres of Dettol hand sanitiser and more than 600 sanitising stations to encourage good hand hygiene with Dettol products. Rigorous measures at the conference demonstrated that people can get back together for important business such as addressing climate change when an environment is protected with the right protocols in place and products in use.
I’m also proud of the team in Australia as they have galvanised around our partners to help protect their spaces. We rolled out the Hilton partnership in Australia in January 2021 reaching all of their hotels nationwide.
Through that partnership we have seen strong compliance and use of Dettol products in hotel rooms as well as use of our hand sanitiser dispensers in common areas like Hilton hotel lobbies. Our distributor partners also deserve some recognition too.
We are partners with Winc who are the leading office supplies provider. They have done a great job of providing information to those interested in learning more about the Dettol Pro Solutions program as well as granting access to the same Dettol products which are now available to businesses.
What changes in customer behaviour did you see in 2021?
The biggest shift we’ve seen is the desire to find the balance for good hygiene but also to ensure that sustainable solutions are being put in place.
It is possible to do good by your employees, your patrons, and to also keep sustainability in mind.
At Dettol Pro Solutions, we are addressing this by ensuring our cleaning protocols don’t involve broad brush stroke cleaning for full site cleans in the morning and the evening.
Rather our expert-developed protocols encourage businesses to use products sparingly but in places that need it most such as on elevator buttons and door handles at regular intervals to ensure people stay protected. This means you are using less products, but still protecting people.
While we know there is still more work to do, we are focusing a lot on sustainability within our products at Dettol. For example, our biodegradable disinfectant wipes use plant-based substrates and are tested against biodegradability standards.
What is one issue in the industry that you would like to see addressed?
The hygiene product industry needs to do better than just expect that providing product is enough, because it isn’t. At Dettol Pro Solutions we are a 360 solution. Our partners have access to the same trusted Dettol products which are efficacious in killing 99.9 per cent of germs, as well as cleaning protocols and guides to better protect their space.
We encourage good hand hygiene at point of sale when we activate with our partners and encourage people to get back to business by ensuring people understand that the space has been sanitised and disinfected by Dettol, so they feel confident to re-engage with the space.
Knowing how important it is that good hygiene habits are taught from a young age, we also invest heavily in good hygiene behaviour and education programs at schools.
We recently launched our Catch a Habit campaign and announced our Hygiene Quest program to teach children the importance of hygiene in a fun and engaging way. Hygiene Quest will be available to classrooms across Australia in 2022 and will be accessible to parents from home.
What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry?
As an industry, we need to move away from finding it acceptable to just provide products and leave it at that. Businesses and consumers expect more so we need to ensure we are supporting organisations with more comprehensive solutions to meet their needs.
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