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As his family-run company celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, we caught up with Max Adam, Sales and Marketing Director at RP Adam, to find out what the Scottish chemical manufacturers have in store for this banner year and how their strong family ties have helped the company reach this impressive landmark.

2016 will be a year of particular significance for RP Adam Ltd.

The next 12 months will witness a series of anniversaries for the Scottish-based family business which recognise its gradual evolution in becoming one of the most respected names in the cleaning industry, both at home and abroad.

In February 2016, the company celebrates 125 years since Robert Purves Adam first decided to diversify as the manager of the gas works of the Scottish Borders town of Galashiels to supply ammonia and bleaching agents to the local textile industry.

Later this year, Robert’s grandson Geoffrey celebrates his 50th anniversary with the company, a fitting testament to the strong family bonds that have held this fourth-generation family business together during the last 125 years.

Reflecting RP Adam’s international expansion, this annus mirablis also sees the 40th anniversary of the company’s ambitious launch in Saudi Arabia, a result of a chance meeting at a trade show which led to the support of Prince Mohammed Al Faisal Al Saud. This spawned a successful offshoot in Dubai, which also celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016.

With so many anniversaries happening, you might expect Sales and Marketing Director Max Adam, the fourth-generation of the Adam family to be involved with the business, to be in a reflective mood. Indeed, it is in RP Adam’s unique heritage that its core values have been forged, which have been translated into an exemplary level of professional service that has become the company’s trademark.

“RP Adam’s Scottish history has played a large part in shaping the company and its personality as it stands today,” Max explained.

24 | Tomorrow’s Cleaning February 2016r

“We have come a long way in the last 125 years and the business has faced many challenges along the way. But our core ‘Borders’ values of dedicated customer service, commercial transparency and honesty forged in a changing and often volatile business environment are the reason we are still around today – and looking forward to an exciting future.

“We can confidently say our record for integrity is spotlessly clean, which means we have been able to nurture and maintain consistent relationships with our clients, customers and staff.”

During the last 125 years, Max’s great grandfather Robert, grandfather Forbes and father Geoffrey have all added their personal stamp on the business, contributing to a Borders business dynasty which has maintained its headquarters in the Scottish Borders whilst expanding overseas in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In that time, the company has survived fires and floods, completed deals with Saudi princes and created its ARPAL product brand which is now one of the most recognised and respected names in the industry.

Max added: “The growth and expansion of RP Adam is in large part down to our ability to diversify and provide flexible customer solutions, as well as the length of experience in the field. Our Scottish family roots are also a key selling point – especially across the Middle East – providing a trusted platform to expand relationships with other regions and large organisations which value RP Adam’s heritage and ethical standpoint.”

Indeed, RP Adam’s 125 years of operation and experience is reaping rewards based on more up-to-date peer and industry recognition. In December 2015 the

company was recognised as Best Supplier in the Catering Supplies & Equipment category by Brakes, the largest food service company in the UK, for the third time in five years. And the company’s recently launched Ecopax chemical dilution system and associated Arpax SC super concentrates has also been nominated for the 2016 Tomorrow’s Cleaning Awards.

For Max Adam, this celebratory year is as much about looking to the future as reflecting on the past, taking the best of the last 125 years and using it to forge a modern, forward-thinking organisation that can take advantage of changing market requirements.

Central to this is a question of identity. This year, RP Adam is unveiling its new corporate identity with a new company logo to reflect Group ambitions and reach. The brand message has been enhanced to reinforce a total commitment to outstanding levels of customer service, defined by its new strapline and company standpoint – where service matters most.

The company is now driving forward this rationale behind this enhanced commitment to customer service. Max said: “We want to be regarded by our customers as the outstanding provider of service in the cleaning industry across UK overseas markets. It’s in our family DNA.

“Some customers don’t need this level of support, but the ones that do absolutely rely on it. The busy restaurant and hotel chains, the 24/7 UK care home market, in-flight catering companies and building services cleaning contractors all demand this type of service. Our aim is to be within reach of our end-user customers and distributor partners at all times, irrespective of their size, location and market sector.”

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