The cleaning of life
This year, Floorbrite is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Established in 1972, the business was set up by Martin Wyers. His daughter, Nina, now serves as the company’s Marketing & Brand Director. She breaks down the story of how Floorbrite has become a leading commercial cleaning and facilities management company, offering a diverse range of services to businesses of all sizes. “My dad started the business as a cleaning company, and it has only been over the last ten years that we have diversified into other facility services to be able to provide a complete package,” she begins. “We cover the whole of the UK, with a head office and separate distribution centre in Manchester, as well as additional centres in the Midlands and West Yorkshire.”
Floorbrite has a longstanding family ethos and commitment to working in close partnership with its clients, providing efficient, innovative, and comprehensive solutions, specifically tailored to the needs of each business. “Our journey is oriented around us as a family,” Nina says. “My mum became the Chairman to continue Dad’s legacy. My two brothers, Nik and Alex Wyers, are the joint Managing Directors. Nik looks after the business’ development and diversification, and Alex focuses on the commercial side. I come from a sales and creative background. I studied art at college and then fashion at university. My creativity was put to best use, and combined with my sales experience, I became responsible for marketing the company.”
Nina has since become the face and voice of her father’s company, and believes wholeheartedly in the values for which he stood. “He was very certain of what sort of culture he wanted to create, and I still deliver that consistent message of being a close and united team,” she reflects. “I love working with everyone in the office; we have a close relationship with the group here, and I am very appreciative of the journey we’ve been on.”
As one of the largest family-run soft facilities management providers in the UK, the Floorbrite team is proud of the extensive offering of daily cleaning services, which serve as its core business. “We have 1600 staff directly employed across the country who provide that service,” Nina explains. “We also have supporting and facilities services that complement the whole package, such as specialist, and industrial cleaning. Then, we have a smaller core team of people who are specialised in doing work like high-level cleaning, stripping and sealing of floors, pressure washing, and deep cleaning.”
While cleaning is the leading speciality of the business, one of the unique traits of Floorbrite is prioritising relationships within the company, which inevitably spills over into the business’ focus on quality. “The values that my dad instilled in us were to be very hard working, and to have that close relationship with our customers, and our staff as well,” Nina comments. “The family environment of our internal team filters out into our operation, and is reflected in the quality of our work. We like to look at the latest innovations out there, and ensure we are offering our customers value for money. While pushing the boundaries with what we can do for customers, we are able to make sure they are getting the best possible service.”
Tying in with its innovation, Floorbrite likes to do things a little differently. “If you look at our website and our social media platforms, we’re not quite what you would expect a normal cleaning company to look like,” Nina points out. “We’re more colorful. We pride ourselves on thought leadership, and we write loads of articles for industry magazines in the cleaning and facilities management sector to share what we’ve learnt from our line of work. We’ve seen the benefits of sharing helpful tips and insights, and I think that is where we have really succeeded.”
It comes as no surprise that a company like Floorbrite was critical during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, while hygiene and deep cleaning were essential, the company faced its own challenges, as Nina shares. “The last two years have been incredibly tricky for many businesses to keep hygiene at the top of their priorities,” she admits. “During the pandemic, we immobilised specialist decontamination and sanitising teams, and kicked into gear for clients with Covid-19 alerts on-site. We went in and completely sanitised the areas where affected persons might have been with specialist anti-static spraying equipment.
“The other difficulty was that we went through a massive rebrand in 2018, and refurbished our head office; we invested in a training centre, and had social spaces developed for the staff to enjoy. Wellbeing is very important to us, so we introduced a gym and a breakout space. Then, we had our opening party four days before lockdown, so we were very excited about moving into this new space and being able to use it together when the government requested that we all work from home.”
Fortunately, the Floorbrite team pivoted to the volatility quickly, implementing specialist cleaning chemicals, including antimicrobial cleaners that remain active after application. “They’re not like a normal detergent,” Nina reveals. “Whereas standard agents clean a surface and potentially kill the bacteria initially, our chemicals will remain active and continue to kill bacteria or other nasties that land on the surface long after application. It’s a fantastic innovation that only the pandemic could have invigorated.” Nina adds that she is excited to be taking this development forward.
Our discussion then moves towards the topic of the future, and there are a few developments that Nina is excited to share, particularly regarding the company’s sustainability goals. “We have recently appointed a Sustainability Manager, and under her guidance, we won our first sustainability CSR award,” Nina says. “She is going through a process now of changing our standard cleaning range to a more environmentally friendly option. This is an avenue that I’m very excited to explore, because caring for the planet is a hot topic. At the Manchester Cleaning Show this year, I gave a presentation about cleaning for climate change, discussing what the cleaning industry needs to do to become more proactive with regards to sustainability.”
Nina’s biggest concern is that most chemicals are provided in plastic bottles, which are ending up as micro plastics. Another issue is volatile organic compounds, which are used in the actual makeup of the cleaning chemicals, and can be damaging to the atmosphere. For her, Floorbrite’s mission going forward is to look more closely at what we can do to achieve the manufacturing industry’s net zero goals and be part of the global solution to combat climate change. As she concludes: “The path forward is not an easy one, but it is one that I am very excited to see my family’s company take on.”