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with Örs Kovacs, international marketing manager, Kennedy Hygiene Products Ltd

viding businessmodel is dominant when it comes to washroomhygiene. This includes countries such a the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Germany. But recent trends and a strong will to de-

velop new business avenues have led Kennedy to indentify new customer seg- ments such as consumablesmanufactur- ers and successfully utilise our in-house engineering skill-set and expertise to help larger customers by designing bespoke washroomsystems for them.

What trends do you see in the washroom hygiene industry, and how have you aligned your product offering to reflect this? We are generally seeing threemain trends in the washroom hygiene industry. The first is a direct result of the economic environ- ment as we see customers - small and large - becoming extremely cost aware. They are looking for washroomsolutions that can save them money but this without compromising quality or reliability of the systems. Kennedy has found several ways to address this trend. Firstly, through cleverly engineered

What is the history of your company, and how has evolved in recent years? Kennedy’s history started over a century ago with the establishment of the Kennedy Engineering Company, first manufacturing automotive parts then later in the 1940s and 1950s designing photographic equip- ment. Few people know, but Kennedy pro- duced the first English 35mm colour camera in 1952, and it is in fact using the ‘roll control’ expertise gained fromthe pho- tographic field that Kennedy designed its first cotton roller towel cabinet in 1961. The ‘standard cabinet’ followed by ‘Rondo’, the firstmechanical retractable towel cabinet, defined the company’s offer up until the late 1980s when it undertook an ambitious strategy of product diversification. This has resulted in today offering over 40 different main products, each available inmultiple finishes encompassing hand drying, hand washing, air freshening, sanitising, femi- nine hygiene, toilet tissue dispensing, and baby hygiene. Kennedy is today located in East Sussex, a site housing the research and development team, manufacturing and the commercial divisions.

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Örs Kovacs, international marketing manager, Kennedy Hygiene Products Ltd: “We are planning to expand our activities into newterritories and newsegments as well as to keep investing a significant percentage of our turnover in our product development plan, since it is by investing today that we can provide our customerswith newproducts tomorrow.”

What geographical areas does Kennedy cover? Kennedy is proud to supply products to more than 60 countries worldwide, with most of the sales going to overseas desti- nations. We have strong business partners in most European countries, the USA, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East, but you could also find Kennedy products in Barbados or Mauritius. Our export sales department is constantly working on open- ing up new territories.

What have been themain drivers for growth in your business? Kennedy’s products are always designed with the service specialist in mind and are prized for reliability, quality, cost control, ease of service, and hygiene and this has also been recently confirmed by a survey we conducted with our top 500 customers. It is not surprising that, traditionally, the

main drivers for growth for Kennedy have been the product segments that incorpo- rate a high element of service - feminine hygiene, cotton towel dispensers, air fresh- ening - and in areas where the service pro-

products that help optimise overall run- ning costs of the washrooms. One exam- ple is the new POD auto cut paper hand towel dispenser that is available with the ‘reserve system’ - a built-in patented stub roll loadingmechanism that can help re- duce paper consumption by up to 20%. Thanks to this feature, a new roll can be loaded into the dispenser before the previ- ous roll has been fully used. When the stub roll has been fully used the mecha- nism transfers to the new full size roll. This systemprevents the paper from run- ning out at the end of the roll, and ensures that no unused paper remains on the stub roll. Another example of this ‘engineered- to-save’ approach is the new Ellipse auto- matic soap dispenser range for which Kennedy has developed an ultra-efficient electronic module delivering best-in-class battery life so that you don’t have to change the batteries so often - servicing up to 96 one litre soap bottles with a set of D-cell batteries. Another way to achieve savings for our

customers is to give them the option to control the consumables they wish to use. All our generic paper dispensers are non proprietary and have been designed to ac- commodate a large variety of paper types. For our soap solution as well, we have now extended the bulk fill option to all our dis- pensers - liquid soap, foam soap, manual and automatic - which means that we have a comprehensive line up of 10 direct fill soap dispensers that the customer can fill with soap sourced in bulk fromtheir own

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