Leaders Forum: Robert Diaz, Krystalshield & Shield Chemicals

INCLEAN chats to Robert Diaz, managing director of Krystalshield & Shield Chemicals.

How was 2019 for Krystalshield & Shield Chemicals? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2019 has been a great year for Krystalshield & Shield Chemicals. Our brand recognition has continued to grow within the cleaning, maintenance, and facilities sector and we are slowly making progress towards our goal as being one of the leading players in the sustainable chemical market.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing though as there is still a resistance towards change in the industry, the market is full of cheap and nasties that have false claims and unfortunately the end-users who are driven by price choose to believe the claims and end up with an inferior product which is not only “not green” but also could be dangerous on surfaces and themselves.

What will be the immediate focus for Krystalshield & Shield Chemicals in 2020?

Our focus for 2020 will be to continue to do what we do best, continue our research and development to make products that help make the cleaners jobs easier and most importantly safer, continue to help educate our customers on being sustainable by supplying them the right products to do so and continue to grow our brand by working with new and existing distributors around Australia to get our products on their shelves which in turn in front of the eyes that matter, the end-user.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for Krystalshield & Shield Chemicals? looking ahead to 2020?

The challenge is that many manufacturers have different understandings of what being “environmentally sustainable” is, there are many conflicting messages from many sources which confuse the market. One manufacturer view on been sustainable is different from another’s.

Then if you do an internet search for environmentally sustainable chemicals, the results are overwhelming which confuses, in turn, makes it hard for the end-user to change as they don’t know which information to believe.

Our approach is to make “environmentally sustainable” accessible and straightforward. We developed a simple way for the end-user to differentiate between “what is” and “what isn’t”. This method gives us an advantage which in turn creates opportunities.

We see 2020 as a year for change, as the customer will be more educated, and manufacturers will have to align together to give the one message. The best way is to be part of an eco-label standard that is globally recognised and conforms to all Australian and international standards. Krystalshield chose GECA.

Have you noticed any changes in customer behaviour in 2019? How have you adapted the offering to meet these changes?

Customers are more informed today than they were five years ago. In 2019 we have seen their views change as there is now a higher demand for “green cleaning”.

The same customer that was totally against change then is now an advocate for sustainability. They have their views on what green cleaning is. Krystalshield embraces their beliefs and works with the customer to give them the results they are looking for by adapting to their needs.

What do you expect will be the big trends of 2020?

2020 will be a year for change in the industry as customers are expecting more from the products they use. They are fed up with the amount of clutter in the cleaners’ room and the amount of product they use.

The cleaning contracts are so tight these days that for them to come out in front, they need a real concentrate that has multiple uses. Single-use products are a thing of the past as cleaners’ rooms are full of so many of them.

Real concentrates are also in high demand, and manufacturers can no longer say “concentrate” on the label without the ingredients backing it up.

Products that protect the surface will also be in high demand as customers don’t just want a product that cleans, they want a product that protects the surface, which makes cleaning easier next time.

They want a product that allows them to work “smarter not harder”. Working smarter makes their job easier, which in turn comes back to reward them by their client being happier and them getting better value for money.

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

The industry needs to all be consistent with the message they give the end-user. We all need to have the one clear message on safety, quality and accountability.

We all had to conform to the GHS standards that came into effect in 2017, but some choose to play down the danger of their product by not being 100 per cent truthful in their Safety Data Sheets.

Unfortunately, the GHS is not policed by any governing body. There needs to be an organisation, either government or privately-run that polices the manufacturers and random spot checks done on their Safety Data Sheet and labelling to make sure that they are all being compliant. Krystalshield would welcome such an organisation with open arms as it would make the end users life safer.

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

The leading players need to set the standards and lead by example. Help push the right buttons, so the government police our industry. If we are all doing the right thing, then there is nothing to worry.

We make products that are used by people that sometimes are under pressure and have time restrictions. Let’s make it simple, safe and effective.

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

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at info@incleanmag.com.au

Sign up to INCLEAN’s newsletter.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required