Long gone are the times when it took manpower and incredibly huge machines to clean industrial and institutional areas. In those years, brushes, brooms and cleaning cloths were the only means to clean private homes. Today, modern cleaning equipment is available for every environment, and cleaning has never been easier.
This is partly the work of the Danish engineer P.A. Fisker, who set off to create adequate means of cleaning almost 100 years ago. “Our company’s founder was convinced that cleaning should be as easy and efficient as possible,” stresses Managing Director Dr. Reinhard Mann. “It is in the nature of things that everything gets dirty and that things are to be cleaned without too much trouble and effort. With our sophisticated equipment, we have established the art of cleaning.”
Today, Nilfisk-Advance has been active in the cleaning market for almost 100 years, and the company is determined to shape the future of cleaning by all means. “We have an answer to every cleaning problem,” points out Dr. Mann. “And I daresay there are not many competitors around that provide such comprehensive solutions as we do.”
It was the company’s founder who paved the way to Nilfisk’s success in today’s market. “His first cleaning machine weighed only 17.5 kg, and it could be operated by just one person. This really was revolutionary at the beginning of the last century,” adds Dr. Mann. “We have brought cleaning equipment to a new level. And we have constantly improved our existing machinery and have developed new machinery that stands the test of modern times.”
Today, the portfolio includes high-pressure washers, vacuum cleaners, floor care equipment for indoor and outdoor environments, as well as car wash solutions. “No doubt, we focus strongly on the commercial cleaning market, but, likewise, we supply equipment to the private consumer,” says Dr. Mann.
In the field of professional high-pressure cleaning, Nilfisk-Advance aims to become the undisputed number one in the long term, providing machines for various situations. “Our pressure washers can be used for cleaning patios, farms, automotive repair, trucks or other industrial applications,” states Dr. Mann. “Vacuum cleaners from Nilfisk-Advance are to be found at home and in hotels, offices and industrial surroundings. We even supply a broad range of professional safety vacuum cleaners that are designed to remove hazardous dust, for instance in the building and construction industry.”
In the car wash business, Nilfisk- Advance has implemented a full range of equipment, including its WAP-Waschbär franchise system, which has been taken over by more than 100 partners so far. “Selfservice car wash stations, brushes as well as portal washing facilities have been introduced with great success. We have observed another trend towards waxing centers. Waxing is clearly a high-tech area which we consider to become increasingly important within the near future,” adds Dr. Mann.
Since 2004 Nilfisk-Advance has been providing solutions for any application. “We concentrate on a lean organization and only supply services and products with an added value for our customers,” states Dr. Mann. “Since 2011, we have been pursuing our new strategic orientation, focusing on our customer and his preferences.”
Nilfisk-Advance as we know it today is the result of various acquisitions. “Our parent company has always acquired smaller companies like us to expand its portfolio and its presence in new markets,” points out Dr. Mann. In 2004 Nilfisk took over ALTO, which subsequently has enabled the German subsidiary to offer a complete product portfolio.
“We serve a wide range of customer groups. It is as simple as that: Cleaning is necessary in all industries, and everywhere in the world, cleaning is an issue,” says Dr. Mann. Nilfisk- Advance is a subsidiary of the global Nilfisk-Advance group, which generates an annual turnover of 870 million EUR, employing a workforce of 5,300 people worldwide.
“We serve the German-speaking market, generating a turnover of approximately 170 million EUR with 450 staff members,” stresses Dr. Mann, who started working in the cleaning business in the 1990s before becoming managing director of Nilfisk-Advance in 2007. “We have set up a management team that is committed to lean organization structures. We know of the importance of good and motivated staff members. Any company can stand out in the market by falling back on highly qualified employees,” points out Dr. Mann. “Personal satisfaction is often more important than the financial aspect.”
Another issue that has gained importance recently is sustainability. As a cleaning company that provides equipment and cleaning solutions, Nilfisk-Advance wants to offer cleaning solutions that are both efficient and sustainable. No doubt, cleaning requires more than water.
Cleaning machines consume energy, and in some product areas, detergents have to be applied. “We strive to make the maximum possible impact in all our doings. Our customers demand less energy, less water and less detergent, and we give them just that. Reducing the use of chemicals is high on our agenda, and ecological awareness is important. We work hard to develop appropriate solutions to meet this ambitious goal,” says Dr. Mann. “‘Green Meets Clean,’ this slogan best describes our sustainability approach.”
Nilfisk-Advance is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. In the future, Nilfisk-Advance is determined to strengthen its approach for sustainable solutions. In order to increase its activities in the car wash area, the company has set up an application center where it offers workshops.
“We focus on biotech products such as products for removing oil spills. There are only a few companies that offer such products. We are only at the beginning. We are eager to make use of the synergies in our car wash segment in order to provide a broader portfolio of services and equipment,” stresses Dr. Mann.
In the past years, the company has managed steady growth and has built up a strong position within the group of companies. The invention of the first cleaning machine that marks the beginning of the company some 100 years ago has paved the way for a century of passion and commitment to cleaning. More than ever, cleaning improves the quality of life, and Nilfisk-Advance provides the right means to do so.