Jan/san Industry Unites in Amsterdam

Nearly 25,000 attendees gather to do business at world’s largest cleaning show

With the threat of terrorism and world conflict on the minds of many Americans, Amsterdam RAI demonstrated the positive side of international business. The attendees Sanitary Maintenance interviewed said ISSA/Interclean 2002 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, allowed access to new product lines and business contacts that extended well beyond the borders of the United States.

“It’s just a totally different experience,” said Ron Ingber of the grand European cleaning show experience. Ingber is owner and vice president of American Cleaning Solutions, a manufacturer of cleaning chemicals in Long Island, N.Y. “I wasn’t sure what to expect because it was our company’s first time attending, but at times it was like a giant festival. People were very sociable — even singing and dancing at the booths.”

The trade show attracted 24,686 attendees, according to the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA). Attendance was slightly lower than expected, according to ISSA officials, but was still impressive to many jan/san executives.

A survey of all participants was conducted during the event and showed that this year’s show attracted mostly decision-makers — 85 percent said they were responsible for purchasing for their companies. More than 35 percent actually purchased product or requested a quotation. Four out of 10 visitors came to Amsterdam with the intention to buy, and 85 percent of visitors said they plan to attend the show next year. Eighty-seven percent of exhibitors said they would exhibit again in 2003.

Participants rated the show 7.5 out of a possible 10 — the highest rating in the history of ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam RAI.

The atmosphere of the trade show was conducive for making new business contacts, according to Ingber. Even with constant reports of hostility in various parts of the world, there was a diverse representation of manufacturers, distributors and end users.

“At one point, we had Arabs and Israelis talking to us at our booth, side by side,” he said. “It was a neat thing to see.”

The survey also showed that the average person spent 4.5 hours each day on the trade show floor, significantly more than other industry trade shows.

Unlike other large-scale business events that commonly lose steam (and people) near the end, Amsterdam RAI seemed to grow with enthusiasm and companies were able to make good contacts even during the last days, said Ingber. “This was really different — people didn’t want to leave.”

Attempting to do business in an international venue has its challenges as well. Companies must consider foreign language translation, cultural differences and differing perceptions of the cleaning industry. “The companies who have been there before usually learn to do things pretty well, but there are definitely differences,” said Jack Hill, vice president of sales for Minuteman International, Addison, Ill. “Exhibitors have a big adjustment because all the booths take extra work to set up and maintain. At U.S. trade shows, there’s usually a union that takes care of garbage removal or lighting, but in Europe a company is responsible for taking care of all those details.”

Actual cleaning methods and measurements can also differ from country to country, said Ingber. “I had to get used to explaining everything using the metric system, and Europeans also use more color-coded cleaning products that have different meanings. If an American hands someone the wrong colored product for a cleaning demonstration, he could end up making the company look bad,” he said.

Product demand was highest for cleaning and maintenance equipment (58 percent), followed by cleaning and maintenance products (51 percent) and floor care machines (39 percent), according to the ISSA survey results.

Alex Runner

Report Unlocks Market for Building Service Contractors

Contracting Profits, the leading magazine serving building service contractors (BSCs), recently released a business and operations management report. The study, titled “Untapped Market,” provides a detailed overview of the BSC market, including a description of purchasing influences, a study of the purchasing process, preferred strategies for marketing and selling to BSCs and ways to keep existing customers.

According to the report, approximately 55,000 U.S. contractors represent $62 billion in annual revenues. The overall industry services more than 50 billion square feet of commercial office and specialized space. In addition, business growth for most BSCs is more than 10 percent annually.

Contracting Profits compiled research about the buying patterns of their 28,000 readers to serve as a business resource for distributors in the jan/san industry. About 26 percent of BSCs purchase through distributors. The report reveals that in this segment, contractors spend close to $3 billion annually on cleaning chemicals, equipment and supplies.

Distributors can order "Untapped Market" by contacting Wendy Loerch at (414) 228-7701 ext. 455.

Court Ruling Makes Paper Mills More Eco-Friendly

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently upheld updated discharge limits for pulp and paper mills. The limits were adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1998, but were challenged by the conservation group, National Wildlife Federation (NWF). NWF and other critics charged that the limits were too lenient to protect the public and the environment.

The EPA says the court opinion will allow enforcement of the 1998 regulations and that the rules will “substantially reduce” discharges of numerous toxic pollutants, including dioxin. The agency hopes that enforcing the laws will encourage mills to use the most modern and effective pollution control technologies.

“Today’s court ruling is a big win for public health and the environment,” said Tracy Mehan, the EPA's assistant administrator for water. “The pulp and paper mill rule will reduce dioxin discharges, protecting the health of millions of American families who live near the mills.”

Pulp and paper mills often use large amounts of bleaching chemicals, such as chlorine, as part of the paper production process, which can lead to discharges of toxic pollutants such as dioxin. The standards upheld by the court will require the adoption of more modern production processes by all mills nationwide.

The EPA has also set up incentives for mills that create voluntary standards in attempts to further reduce pollution.

Report Shows Impact of Airborne Pollutants

According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), pollution from airborne soot and dust causes more deaths in California than traffic accidents, homicides and AIDS combined. “Particle Civics: How Cleaner Air in California Will Save Lives and Save Money,” will likely be a guideline for new federal standards.

Analysis of state data by the EWG revealed that respiratory illnesses caused by microscopic particles of soot and dust or particulate matter are responsible more than 9,300 deaths, thousands of hospital visits, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of missed work days each year.

The public health impact for each California county is detailed and measured according to improvement costs. “There’s an overwhelming scientific consensus that particulate pollution kills people,” says Renee Sharp, EWG analyst and principle author of the report. “Cleaning up the air is as important to public health and safety as wearing seatbelts.”

California scientists have proposed tougher air pollution standards that would save 6,500 lives and one half of a billion dollars annually. However, there is strong opposition by a coalition of oil companies and automakers who stand to be significantly restricted by potential regulations.

As state lawmakers attempt to increase the quality of both indoor and outdoor air quality in California — especially Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley — other state governments are likely to follow suit with similar preventative practices.

JWP Acquisition Finalized

Johnson Wax Professional (JWP), Racine, Wis., recently finalized its acquisition of DiverseyLever, Unilever’s institutional and industrial cleaning business.

The acquisition creates the second largest company in the institutional and industrial (I&I) market with $2.6 billion in sales, according to Jim May, public relations manager for the company, now known as JohnsonDiversey.

The new name was created to reflect the integrated approach it will take toward servicing customers around the world. The decision was made to emphasize the strengths of both companies as they come together.

“This is the largest transaction in the long and rich history of the Johnson family of companies,” said S. Curtis Johnson, JohnsonDiversey chairman. “It is truly a landmark accomplishment that will position our new company for outstanding long-term growth and profitability.”

The December issue of Sanitary Maintenance magazine reported that JWP planned to purchase DiverseyLever from Unilever for approximately $1.6 billion in a combination of cash, a convertible note and a one-third interest in the combined company. The agreement provides for Unilever’s full exit from the combined business after five years.

The JWP world headquarters will remain in Racine, Wis., and the management team will be led by Johnson and Greg Lawton, JWP’s president and CEO. JoAnne Brandes is chief administrative officer and general counsel. Cetin Yuceulug, DiverseyLever’s former president is serving as a special adviser, but will retire in July 2002.

News Makers

A janitorial supply distributor was featured in the May issue of Inc. magazine. On-Target Supplies & Logistics, Dallas, was part of Inc.’s Inner City 100 list of the fastest growing privately held businesses based in urban areas.

Prophet 21, Yardley, Pa., recently announced its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2002, reporting a 32 cents per share increase in net income over the same period in the prior year, and a 80 cents per share increase in net income year-to-date.

Cascades Inc., Kinsey Falls, Quebec, recently reported net earnings of $55 million ( 67 cents per share) for the first quarter compared to $9 million (11 cents per share) for the same period in 2001.

OSHA has introduced a new page for Spanish speakers at its website. The page features highlights from the agency’s extensive main hub and offers one-stop service for employers and employees in the Spanish-speaking community.

United Postal Service (UPS) has announced that it will require all hazardous materials shippers to process shipments using specialized UPS compliant shipping software, effective January 1, 2003. UPS customers who do not comply with requirements by the effective date will not be able to ship hazardous materials via UPS.

Mergers & Acquisitions

SCA Tissue, has announced the acquisition of Italian tissue company CartoInvest — currently the fourth largest consumer tissue producer in Europe. SCA now becomes the leading European producer of tissue to retail grocery chains.

Electrolux, an international vacuum cleaner manufacturer in Sweden, has announced plans to buy Belgian diamond tool maker Diamont Boart International for $1.66 million, according to the Associated Press. Diamont Boart has 2,000 employees worldwide and had sales of $244 million last year. The company is currently owned by British equity group Canover.

Kimberly-Clark, Roswell, Ga., recently announced that it plans to expand sales in Asia by acquiring an additional 45 percent in their Australian subsidiary, Kimberly-Clark Australia Pty. Ltd. The acquisition will give the paper giant complete ownership of the subsidiary. Company officials are said to be paying $697.5 million to take complete ownership by the end of this month.

Inland Paperboard and Packaging, Indianapolis, recently announced that it has acquired the converting operations of Mack Packaging Group, Chicago and Mishawaka, Ind. Inland acquired operations from Alwin Kolb GmbH & Co. of Germany.

3M, St. Paul, Minn., CEO W. James McNerney told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting that 3M will likely announce the acquisition of some companies before year’s end.

The Hoover Co., North Canton, Ohio, a division of Maytag Corp., and Friendly Robotics have entered a strategic alliance agreement for the joint design and development of a robotic vacuum cleaner, the first for the North American Market.

Regulatory News

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently named regional coordinators for ergonomic injuries for each of its 10 regional offices. The coordinators will assist OSHA staff, employers, employees and other stakeholders in ergonomic issues.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is advising manufacturers and distributors of disinfectants and sanitizers to make customers aware that many of these products should not be used to treat surfaces of heating, ventilation and refrigeration systems (HVAC&R). The agency is particularly concerned because it has not yet assessed the potential exposure and risks to building occupants or applicators, especially as part of air duct cleaning.