Off the back of surpassing the €1 billion mark in total revenue for the first time in 2016, 111-year old professional cleaning equipment manufacturer Nilfisk is entering a new era both globally and here in Australia. INCLEAN editor Claire Hibbit attended Nilfisk Australia’s two-day Dealer Conference in Sydney, where the latest product innovations and technologies gave insight into the future of floor care.
Addressing attendees at the opening of the 2017 Nilfisk Dealer Conference Quintus Strydom, Managing Director of Nilfisk Australia, said the theme of the conference was “accelerate growth”.
“This conference is really about looking at how we can accelerate growth and how we can work together with our dealers,” Strydom said. “We have numerous initiatives being implemented to help us grow, and there’s also been a lot of changes within Nilfisk globally.”
At the end of last year Nilfisk officially launched its Horizon program, which included the release of its first autonomous cleaning model the Liberty A50 – currently being trialed in Europe and the US.
The start of 2017 also marked a changing of the guard, with the company announcing Hans Henrik Lund as Nilfisk’s new global CEO, effective from early August.
But at this year’s conference all eyes were on Nilfisk’s product innovations. “The [new] products that we have are from the voice of the customer – listening to what they want and seeing how we can deliver them the right products,” Strydom said.
Commercial and industrial vacuums
Among the highlights of the two-day conference included the new version of Nilfisk’s VP300, one of its top selling commercial vacuum cleaners.
The VP300 ECO is HEPA certified (due to new European legislation) and uses only recyclable components. The VP300 ECO is the latest member of the VP300 series of basic commercial vacuum cleaners, suitable for everyday cleaning of light to medium duty applications.
The showcase product presented was the new dust extractor vacuum cleaner platform – the VHS 40/42 & ATTIX 33/44 – which was recently launched. The latest battery vacuum models were also demonstrated and are due to be launched later this year.
“We’ve been out of the battery market for a little while but we’re now ready to return,” Anthony Evans, Director, Product Management Nilfisk Global – Denmark, said.
“Whilst away, we’ve been developing our own unique battery management system and fast charger and we believe that what we have created will be a standout market leader,” Evans said.
Floorcare and high pressure washers
Presenting the latest in floor care, Eric Schroeder, Group Product Manager Nilfisk Global – USA, demonstrated Nilfisk’s self-contained carpet extractors – the ES300 and ES400.
Schroeder also discussed Nilfisk’s compact scrubbers – the SC100, SC250 and SC351.Compact scrubbers remain a relatively new market for Nilfisk, however, Schroeder said the equipment manufacturer has been a “fast follower”.
“We only started competing [in compact scrubbers] two years ago but they’ve done extremely well. We’re the ones to be rivaled.”
Andrew Caddick, Director, Product Management, professional high pressure washers, Nilfisk Denmark, promoted the new MH series – a new generation of Nilfisk hot water machines launched at the end of the 2016. Caddick said a “price aggressive” model was also in the pipeline for 2018.
David Miller, General Manager of Kerrick Australia, also provided an update on Kerrick’s local operations.
Kerrick, which was acquired by Nilfisk Australia two and half years ago, is currently working on a website redesign, with plans to set up an online store longer term.
The website redesign follows Kerrick’s recent brand refresh including new look catalogues, brochures and EDMs, which has been led by newly appointed marketing manager, Marian Wright.
Dealer of the Year awards
Sydney-based Capital Equipment Hire was awarded National Dealer of the Year – recognised for their outstanding performance in 2016, growing share across all Nilfisk product categories.
Capital Equipment was also acknowledged for their professional presence, having recently invested in a modern refurbishment of its office and showroom, building a state-of-the-art workshop and implementing a contemporary, easy to use website.
Accepting the award, Damon Couper, managing director of Capital Equipment Hire, said: “We are proud of the Nilfisk heritage and the quality of Nilfisk, Viper and Gerni products. We also value our strong relationship and enjoy working with an established and respected brand.”
Congratulations to all the state winners:
2016 QLD Dealer of the Year: Croft & Co Direct Cleaning Supplies
2016 NSW/ACT Dealer of the Year: Capital Cleaning Hire
2016 VIC Dealer of the Year: Cleanquip
2016 SA Dealer of the Year: Alltech Scrubbers & Sweepers
2016 WA Dealer of the Year: Powervac
This first appeared in the May/June issue of INCLEAN Magazine. To subscribe, click here.
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