Suppliers Roundtable: of hygiene and health
Hygiene specialists face off on matters of trends and developments in the sector
Meet the experts:Abdulhadi Chalak, country manager UAE, Boecker Public HealthHenrik Mahaini, chief operating officer, Viking GulfWhat are the latest developments in the hygiene sector and how do these developments especially affect hotels in the mid-market segment?
Abdulhadi Chalak: Hygiene and cleanliness are paramount in the hospitality industry. If they fail to provide a clean and hygienic environment for their guests, hotels risk damaging their brand and reputation. Hygiene, however, is more than just about cleaning surfaces; it should also address the threats that are not visible to the naked eye, such as germs that can be transferred from one area to another and put the health of guests at risk. In recent years, we have noticed the increase of ‘green’ products used for cleaning purposes as hotels have become more environmentally friendly. Mid-market hotels can benefit from this sustainability trend and can achieve greater improvements in this aspect by focusing on reducing the use of resources (energy, water and waste) during the cleaning process.
Henrik Mahaini: The latest developments in the hygiene sector is not necessarily product-related but more about the way business is done. Viking Gulf has joined INPACS as of January 1, 2017. INPACS is one of the world’s largest sales organisations, with brands such as Marriot as customers. Along with INPACS, we have set up partnerships with international brands such as Kimberly Clark, Vileda, Gojo/Purell, and Unger, which enables us to supply major brands and quality products to the end customer. This means that hotels can reduce their transaction costs significantly and reduce the number of invoices, transactions, etc., while at the same time, get the products they require by dealing with one supplier.
What is your bestselling offering for the hospitality industry?
Chalak: The flow of guests, employees and goods coming in and out of hotels is never-ending and can potentially trigger higher risks of exposure to pest infestation. Hospitality premises are mostly exposed to cockroaches, flies, rodents and, increasingly, bed bugs. The latter is difficult to spot and, in today’s highly interconnected world, these parasites can make their way to hotel rooms, unnoticed, through guests by clinging onto their luggage and clothes. Boecker helps clients by applying an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system, which is an advanced, logical and effective method for reducing pest problems. Taking it a step further for hoteliers and hotel guests who have a preference for hotels that demonstrate environmental concern, Boecker also offers the Green IPM, which balances prevention, client awareness and a solid collaborative partnership in addition to the judicious use of pesticides,when deemed necesary.
Mahaini: Currently, our paper range from Kimberly Clark is very popular with hotel clients.
What new offerings has your company launched recently?
Chalak: Boecker is committed to providing its clients with innovative hygiene solutions. Recently, we launched our professional disinfecting service, called ‘The Infection Control Plan’ (ICP), tailored for hotel rooms, kitchens, and hotel common areas, such as gyms, spas, restaurants and swimming pools. It is an on-site service that has been designed to safely and effectively eliminate all microorganisms and provide a sanitised and protected environment.
Moreover, Boecker has designed and introduced the Occupational Health and Safety Lite (OHS Lite) certification programme which is assured by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), UK. The programme is of tremendous importance since it aims at helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) implement the highest standards in occupational health and safety; this protects institutions, employees and workers from any harm or danger in the workplace, by applying preventive and risk control measures.
Mahaini: We have introduced innovative microfibre mops from Decitex, which clean perfectly without using chemicals.
What do you think are the main challenges for mid-market hoteliers when it comes to hygiene – how do you and your company help to overcome these challenges?
Chalak: Mid-market hotels are facing a considerable challenge with a high turnover of housekeeping employees. We help our clients by providing their employees with different types of hygiene and food safety training as well as pest management training. We provide flexible service contracts tailored specifically to our customers’ needs and take pride in delivering the highest levels of service, innovative solutions and professional customer care.
Mahaini: The biggest challenge is probably, getting the right product, at the right price at the right time. We can support hotels with proper consulting to determine the right product for any job and through our extensive product range, we can deliver and bundle the products so we ensure the price is the most competitive and it is delivered smoothly through our extensive logistic network.
What other news would your company like to share?
Chalak: Boecker is the Middle East’s largest public health company. It provides a holistic range of products and services in pest management, food safety, biosecurity and health and safety across Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait. Since its inception in 1994, Boecker has followed the highest international standards across its pest management and biosecurity services and products for business and residential clients, as well as its food safety and occupational health and safety consultancy and trainings. With continued development across the UAE, Boecker has been expanding its operations to Ajman and Fujairah, in addition to its offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In order to strengthen our market presence, we are also planning to open new branches in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain. In addition, we are working on expanding our brands portfolio to cater to the different needs of our clients in the F&B and hospitality sectors by providing them with more valuable services such as ‘Mystery Shopper’ and ‘Kitchen Audit.’ Furthermore, we are providing our unique Q-Platinum AwardTM (QPATM) programme for Small and Medium Food Establishments (SMFEs), in order to help them achieve the highest standards for food safety management systems.
Mahaini: This year, Viking Gulf will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in the UAE market, so we are one of the oldest companies in the United Arab Emirates within our line of business.