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Face to Face We are constantly looking for new oppor-

tunities with new companies. AsMAC In- ternational is still a relatively new business within the industry, we are always looking tomarket the company to new and long es- tablished customers. Themessage is al- ways that we are easy to work with and our range of equipment is significant. Certainly on the floorcare side we have

seen the introduction of Chinesemachines fromcompetitors as a problemin terms of price, however our GECO range has com- peted extremely well, particularly in the in- dustrial vacuumcleanermarket. Having to do business in Italy has always

been interesting and we have seen our suppliers improve hugely over the last number of years. The ability to communi- cate in Italian and write contracts has al- ways been good fun and we have recently appointed a new helpdeskmanager from Milan, called Francesco Di Bartolo, to as- sist in all these areas.

How important is the ‘green’ agenda, and what have you done to meet the environmental targets of your customers?

The green agenda is absolutely huge. At the Cleaning Show 2013 we were awarded the Pressure Washer Innovation Award for our new MAC Permahot all electric hot pressure washer. This is a unique machine with a patented heating system, generating 90o

C at 150bar on a standard 32amp, 415v

power supply. We have had major success with this machine within the food industry and in early 2014 we plan to launch the up- graded 10 litre and 15 litre versions. Our new website - www.macinterna- - has details of this machine and the development of this range is cru- cially important to provide a green alterna- tive to standard diesel fired machines.

What are your predictions for the future of the cleaning industry in general?

I predict there will be huge changes to the way certain companies distribute their products in the future. It is impossible to ignore promotional offers designed to cap- ture end user names and addresses and the move towards manufacturer service centres can only point, in my opinion, to one thing - a direct sales organisation. MAC International strongly believes in a

long term strategy of regional distributors, supported by a loyal supplier providing long term security for the distributor and a strong geographical area. Highly profes-

Simon Ruck: “We offer well built and supported pressure washers - the MAC Avant is a superb example of this. From an initial single machine we now have a full range of MAC Avants.”

sional, well supported local distributors will always provide a better and more cost ef- fective service to their local area. We are determined to continue on this

path and as a result we have invested in better support for our clients, enabling us to help in their marketing, web design and advertising.

What plans do you have for your business in the future?

Without a doubt we plan to extend and con- tinually improve our cleaning equipment range, together with improving our national advertising for the benefit of our network. We also intend to increase the production

of our MAC Sitemaster and MAC Plantmas- ter machines, which have proved a great success.

Approved contractors needed for online success

A new service that enables the end user to compare cleaning quotes from approved providers is proving very successful. Approved Cleaning Services has quickly gained traction in the market place and is currently generating more leads in some re- gions than it has approved contrac- tors. The business model pivots on the

website’s success in the search en- gines. The end user finds the site in the top search results and realises the benefits of using a free service to source a reputable contractor. The market likes the concept, locat-

ing professional contractors to com- pare quotes is time consuming and it can be difficult to judge a company from its marketing materials. Secu- rity is key when considering an alter- native cleaning service provider so how do you know who to trust?

Compare cleaning quotes

To gain database approval all contrac- tors must verify their accreditations including public & employers liability insurance and health and safety certi- fication. Additionally, a minimum of one reference from an existing client is verified. All details are supplied to the end user providing reassurance and support every step of the way. Approved Cleaning Services has been set up by an industry experi-

enced professional. Karen James spent nine years with Nilfisk UK as the company’s sales and marketing director and also manages Lilac- James, a marketing & SEO agency. Karen commented on the aspira-

tions behind the new service and the success to date: “There is undoubt- edly a need for this type of facility for busy clients. Trust plays a big part in provider selection and with so many players, regionally and nationally, it can be difficult to know where to start. We are delighted with the level of enquiries at this early stage, and end users are confirming they love the concept. Our problem currently is a lack of professional contractors.”

No lead = no fee

Leads are provided on a ‘no lead, no fee’ basis. The cleaning company may choose to select the lead in hand or turn it down with no penalty. There is no cost associated with approval and no monthly fees. All leads are imme- diately qualified by direct contact and under no circumstances are leads provided to more than three contrac- tors. The end user is therefore able to compare market priced quotations from three providers operating suc- cessfully in their region. As a result, only three contractors

are approved per sector and per re- gion - thereafter a ‘waiting list’ sys-

Karen James, owner of Approved Cleaning Services: “Trust plays a big part in provider selection and with so many players, regionally

and nationally, it can be difficult to know where to start.”

• Are you approved? • ‘No lead, no fee’

• Where are you on Google?

tem is operated to accommodate those leads not taken by the initial three approved companies.

Serious Internet enquiries

Reticence has been met in some areas where contractors have previ- ously used similar services with poor results. Alternative services are not run by individuals with industry expe- rience and they are not exclusive to the cleaning business. As a result they fail to understand the market place and sell poor quality leads often at low cost. The majority of these leads are generated by high volume email campaigns - effectively they are selling a luke warm response to an email. The Internet is where we all go to

source information today and when an end user commits to an enquiry on the web he or she is serious about the requirement. Most contractors are unaware of the massive number of searches made on Google each month for some keywords. ‘Business cleaning company’, for example, is searched for 74,000 times a month in the UK. The Internet is where it is happening! Professional contractors can apply

online at: or call a member of the customer services team on 01480 475500. l SEPTEMBER 2013 l C&M l 25

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