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 IndustryNews Eyes on the prize

Stan Atkins, group chief executive officer of BICSc, reports.

British Institute of Cleaning Science People

The award season is with us, and it is time to reflect on whether we are gaining an award or taking part in a com- petition. The definition of award is ‘a prize or other mark of recognition given in honour of an achievement’. There- fore, an award recognises an achievement but is not nec- essarily the result of competition. It can be bestowed upon an individual for his or her contribution to an industry or profession without the individual taking part in a competition. A competition is the activity or condition of striving to

gain or win something by defeating or establishing superi- ority over others. Therefore, the very definition of a com- petition means there can only be one winner (unless you have a tie for first place). All competitions have rules and the rules are established prior to the opening of the con- test, be they written or otherwise. The purpose of a com- petition is to establish an outright winner. An outright winner is preferable as multiple winners can dilute the re- wards of success. To ensure a level of consistency, com- petitions are often broken down into sub-categories. Often the deployment of judges is required to make a decision on the merits of each submission. As we have already es- tablished, the rules are available to inform both the judges and the participants. Transparency is difficult to achieve in a competition

where judging takes place over time. At an awards cere- mony the highest calibre entries are featured, but as pre- viously stated there can only be one overall winner. Finalists have often been whittled down from hundreds of entries, as representative of the best in class. If, as in the case of many competitions, the judging process has taken place over time the exact nature of the entries is only known to the judges. Although you could draw compar- isons between such long running contests and Formula 1 (it is a team effort with individuals contributing to an over- all outcome), it must be remembered, however, that un- like Formula 1 only the judges see the race, and there are no other spectators. Also, the other competitors are not seen - in fact every year new teams compete in different categories. Site judging provides a snapshot of the entrant at that moment in time, therefore it is imposable for com- petitors to know the strengths and weakness of their op- ponents. I once saw a sign in the United States at a local diner

which read 'The best cup of coffee in the world served here'. I would lay money on the fact that the owner had never been to Italy or drunk a double espresso in Rome! In the modern age we are all encouraged to think we are winners and therefore when our cup of coffee is not judged the best, we take the decision personally. However, we have not drunk from the competitor’s cup or been to their facility. It is not the winning, it is the taking part that improves standards and prevents us from becoming parochial. Whether it is an award or a competition, there will be or

should be disappointment if one has not triumphed. This is the point at which 'stickability' comes into play and one says 'next year'. There are countless examples of success achieved by individuals and companies who did not retire hurt and defeated but came back and won. It is these peo- ple who make our industry what it is with the ability to step up to the plate when it matters - even if it hurts.

8 l C&M l NOVEMBER 2013 l

Julian Kelly has joined Axis Cleaning and Support Serv- ices as senior business de- velopment manager covering London and the south, bring- ing with him over 25 years of knowledge and experience within the cleaning and sup- port services industry. His career started in the aviation industry and moved into facil- ities management in 2000. He also has direct experience with Axis, having worked for LPM Cleaning and Support Services as a business devel- opment manager before it was re-launched and re- branded as Axis Cleaning and Support Services. “The success of the re-

brand was one the key rea- sons that I was attracted back to the company,” said Kelly. “The company has nurtured a reputation as a dynamic and sophisticated

Julian Kelly.

solutions provider, but with the relaunch of the business comes ambitious plans to expand its client base and become an industry leader. Coming back to a business that continues to grow and develop is exciting, and the welcome I have received from the strong managerial team has assured me of the strength of the relaunched company and the wider Axis Group.” Kelly will be based out of

the Kings Cross office and will report to Stuart Buswell, managing director. He will also be working closely with the business development team at Axis Security to pro- mote and deliver tailored so- lutions that combine both security and cleaning serv- ices. Stuart Buswell said: “Julian’s wealth of experi- ence means he understands the cleaning and facilities management industry inside and out. His appointment puts us in an ideal position to develop the business in our areas of focus.”

MJF Cleaning Services, which provides a range of commercial cleaning serv- ices, has taken on two ap- prentices to assist with its growth over the coming months. Nicole Minnes from Darlington, and Ben Jones from Hetton-le-Hole, join MJF’s industrial team, work- ing on administrative and in- dustrial projects as part of their apprenticeships at MJF. Following a 12 month

BCC’s annual conference 2013: ‘Future proofing the cleaning industry’

Join the cleaning industry’s movers and shakers at the British Cleaning Council’s annual conference at the CBI Conference Centre in London’s Centre Point Tower on Thursday 28 No- vember 2013 - from 9:00 until 3:30pm. The confer- ence will focus on ‘Future proofing the cleaning indus- try’ and will once again in- clude a high profile speaker line up. As the cleaning industry

has shown great flexibility, diversity and innovation over the last 12 months, interim chief executive of the CSSA, Steven Proudfoot, believes the industry can reap the rewards and look forward to growth in the industry as the recession fades. To spearhead this growth,

the British Cleaning Council conference will examine trends and changes in the industry, new entrants to the market, big ideas and

must-have tools to ensure businesses remain at the cutting edge. The conference includes:

• MC and moderator of in- dustry question time: Oliver Kamm, chief economics lead writer and columnist for The Times. • Pulling the rug out from under us - start-ups and new entrants: Alex De- pledge, co-founder of Ted- dle. Breakout Sessions: • Growth health check: Mark Jennings, Action- Coach. • Does your voice have im- pact?: Priscilla Morris, Loud & Clear Voice Coaching. Early Bird Tickets cost

£99.00. Standard tickets (from the beginning of No- vember), will cost £149.00. To purchase, sim- ply register online at: www.britishcleaning cleaningconference.

Nicole Minnes.

apprenticeship programme, which includes on site train- ing and studying for a range of industry qualifications, it’s hoped the young people will stay with MJF in permanent roles. Managers plan to re- cruit more apprentices in the coming months as part of its commitment to providing long term opportunities for local young people. Managing director of MJF

Cleaning Services, Martin Ferguson, said: “I know from personal experience how dif- ficult it can be to break into the job market these days. There aren’t as many oppor- tunities for young people and apprenticeships are vital. We’re offering long-term po- sitions within the company, giving people the chance to work their way up and gain important qualifications and experience. We always nur- ture our staff as they’re what make us successful and our clients are always impressed with our consistent, high- quality team.”

Calling all specialist cleaners

New TV series seeks contributors

Do you offer a unique or specialist cleaning service? Do you work as a cleaner in an unusual, unexpected or surprising location, or in a particularly challenging environment? Does your work require you to have specialist knowledge or bespoke cleaning skills? The Garden Productions,

producers of the BBC2 series Inside Claridge’s, is developing a new documentary series for BBC2 about Britain’s specialist cleaning industry. To find outmore

information, or to get involved, please call Becky Lomax on 020 7261 1252 or email becky.lomax@

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