Leaders Forum: Jonas Cruz, Rubbermaid Commercial Products ANZ

Industry leaders share their plans and predictions on the year ahead.

How was 2019 for Rubbermaid Commercial Products? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2019 was a transitional year with for us at RCP. With a major restructure in how we operate it was an initial challenge on ensuring we kept externally focused to support our customers and end users.

A significant highlight for RCP in 2019 was that we were able to establish new and solidify legacy end-user partnerships in the marketplace. Crucial to this highlight, is the strong team we have here in Australia and New Zealand to drive those relationships.

What will be the immediate focus for Rubbermaid Commercial Products in 2020?

A collaborative approach with our distributors and end users, working on joint business plans with our customers. Also supporting our large end user base in delivering quality solutions for our partners.

What do you see as major opportunities for Rubbermaid Commercial Products over the next 12 months? What challenges do you expect to face?

The challenge we face is the ever-changing landscape in the verticals we focus on. Data and technology will be a major focus on how we integrate into our business, as it will ultimately help drive efficiencies in what we offer to our partners and end users. I see this as our biggest opportunity.

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

Sustainability! Albeit a trend which has surfaced over the past few years, the trend has accelerated in 2019. Ensuring we as individuals, households and corporations leave less of an environmental footprint is an ever-increasing topic in our world.

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

Recycling has been a major part of Australian and the wider global community of recent years. We are seeing an extension of that with household and corporate composting as a trend globally. I see that really coming into Australia in a big way.

How do you see the cleaning landscape evolving into 2020?

With the Internet of Things (IOT) and having access to real-time data the industry is evolving into using smarter solutions. A key example of that is static cleaning versus scheduled cleaning and the use of technology such as mobile apps to best provide an efficient solution and help bring down costs.

What is one issue you think the industry should be urgently discussing in 2020?

Outside of sustainability, which should be a topic of discussion the industry continues in a much more meaningful way, I feel the industry should focus on making it more attractive to the younger market.

We have an aging population and much of the people with our industry are aging also and have migrated specifically within our region (Australia/New Zealand).

With tightening migration laws, we are having a shortage of people entering the industry, especially front-line staff. Making the sector more appealing to the younger market will help inject new life into the industry.

Is there one key message you would like to share with the industry?

The importance of all individual roles within the industry, from front line staff to line managers and executives. Also, it is important to not devalue the solution across all verticals and not just healthcare. A clean and sustainable environment helps with more productive work and an increased general well-being.

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

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