Leaders Forum: Frank Cupido, Hako Australia

INCLEAN speaks to Frank Cupido, managing director of Hako Australia.

How was 2019 for Hako? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2019 has been the most successful year in Hako Australia history. The implementation of a strategic growth plan in 2018 has yielded unprecedented market share growth in city cleaning and the contract cleaning segments. Personally, the highlight for me was watching our team evolve, grow and succeed in their roles across all our departments.

Growth with existing accounts was also very satisfying.  The launch of our key product, the Scrubmaster B175 R also had a significant impact. It closed a gap in our offering and has secured a number of opportunities with existing and new accounts.

However, the tight employment market across the board limited our growth to higher levels, off an already successful year. This will continue to be a challenge and one that I know all businesses face. Cheap, non-compliant machines being imported and sold, which diminish the professionalism of the cleaning equipment industry, is another challenge faced by the industry.

What will be the immediate focus for Hako in 2020?

Our immediate focus will be to consolidate our 2018/2019 efforts and continue to build on our strategic growth plan for 2020.

We will also launch to the Australian market our robotic autonomous scrubber, the Minuteman Roboscrub 20 as well as continue to focus on serving our customers to high standards.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for Hako looking ahead to 2020?

We have some exciting initiatives for 2020 and beyond. One of which is the launch of the Minuteman Roboscrub 20 Autonomous Scrubber. This is such an exciting segment for us and the market. It isn’t the answer to all things, but it will find its place.

There is also significant opportunity for quality manufacturers like Hako to drive their value proposition. The ‘cheaper end’ market seems to be coming to the realisation that ‘cheap’ comes at a cost in so many ways.

The challenge is finding good personnel who can add value and contribute to our continued success, as well as keeping up with the fast paced, ever changing needs and expectations of the marketplace.

Have you noticed any trends in 2019? Do you expect those trends to continue into 2020?

Demand for robotic scrubbers continues to grow and evolve. Sustainable solutions in floor cleaning equipment is also gaining more momentum and given less lip service. Quality solutions are being sought more than previous years and I believe this will continue.

The Modern Slavery Act will also start to bring to the surface higher standards of cleaning and higher expectations of quality cleaning equipment.

Are there any international trends you think will make their way to Australia in 2020?

  • Sustainable equipment design and cleaning processes continue to evolve bringing genuine sustainable solutions to the market.
  • Day time cleaning processes to reduce energy consumption at night.
  • Chemical free or reducing technologies getting the balance to provide clean floor environments. Technologies that clean with less water, less chemicals. faster and easier.
  • Investing in quality equipment with longer term thinking. Europe values quality in equipment and cleaning processes
  • Energy efficient motors and engines to reduce emissions and energy consumption will continue to evolve
  • Battery powered equipment solutions in the outdoor segment for cleaning municipalities.

What is one issue the industry should urgently address in 2020?

Equipment importers need to stop importing and selling ‘cheap’ non-compliant/approved equipment.  Buying “cheap” comes at a cost financially and environmentally.

What is your message to the industry?

We work in an industry that makes a difference every day to the environments that people live, work and play in. Be proud of the work we do and know that it counts.

Read INCLEAN’s inaugural Industry Leaders Forum Report in the January/February issue of INCLEAN magazine. 

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