In January, the worlds of football and cleaning and hygiene supplies came closer together than was ever thought possible, as the 2016 Bunzl CHS Conference took place at St. George’s Park in Burton Upon Trent – one of the most iconic locations in British football.
Employees and specially selected Key Supply Partners to Bunzl CHS were invited for an action-packed day at the Hilton at St. George’s Park, and true to its outstanding location, the conference had a fabulous football theme. From the Panini sticker-book style programmes, to the themed stands in the Supplier Market Place, and not forgetting the conference’s title: ‘BCHS: United for Success’, team spirit was certainly in the air throughout the whole day.
The 2016 Conference kicked off with the opening of the Supplier Market Place, with 20 stands and top suppliers proudly showcasing their very best and most innovative products. And they had clearly had plenty of fun kitting out their stands too, as guests were invited to get involved with everything from a goal shoot-out to a ‘guess the smell’ competition, and even a ride on a pair of Smoothie Bikes.
After Half Time and a quick break for lunch, it was time for the 2016 Conference to begin, but not without a quick Samba energiser first! Once everyone was safely returned to their seats it was time to get down to business, with Managing Director Mike Kenny taking to the stage first for an overview of Bunzl CHS’ successes over the past year, and followed by Andrew Tedbury, Paul Evans, Peter Grist and David Cousins and their teams, who each had their very own unique interpretation of the conference’s theme – and some rather memorable costumes to boot.
Once the whistle had been blown on the conference it was time for everyone to don their finest kit and enjoy a fabulous Black Tie dinner, before prizes were awarded to deserving Bunzl CHS employees and teams from around the UK.
It was certainly an enjoyable day for all, and we’re sure everyone in attendance had their own favourite moments, but here’s our round-up of our 10 highlights from the 2016 Bunzl CHS Conference
- How every supplier was ‘on the ball’ with the football theme
Visiting St. George’s Park was a momentous occasion for the more football-mad members of the Bunzl CHS team and suppliers, but everyone pitched in with the theme. Visitors to the stands in the Supplier Market Place were invited to take part in a ‘Spot the Ball’ competition with Kimberly-Clark Professional, penalty shoot-outs with DCS from P&G Professional and Vikan, and a clever game from Vax Commercial in which players had to ‘pass’ footballs from one another using the vacuums, and then score points by dropping the balls into the drums – a really clever way of demonstrating the power of their machines.
2. Taking a ride on the SCA Tork Smoothie Bikes
SCA Tork found an ‘a-peeling’ way to keep their stand busy all day long, by bringing along a pair of Smoothie Bikes, on which two daring delegates race each other to become ‘Top Banana’ – whilst making a delicious smoothie to enjoy after they cross the finish line! It was a fantastic way of injecting plenty of fun into showcasing their range of wiping products and they certainly deserved to be voted ‘Best Supplier Stand’, for which they received their award that evening. Well done
3. Learning about the most innovative cleaning products at the Innov8 stand
To celebrate the launch of Innov8, Bunzl CHS’s new quarterly magazine profiling the most cutting-edge and innovative processes and products in the industry, a range of the products featured in the first magazine were on show on the Innov8 stand. Among them was the i-gum, a chemical-free steamer which ‘steams’ chewing gum into a powder that can be simply swept away, as well as the Gen 4 Envirodri Dry Carpet Cleaning Machine, which uses a biodegradable microsponge technology to deep clean the floor without downtime or damage, and not forgetting Binny, the environmentally-friendly disposable sanitary bin that we’ve recently featured on the Bunzl CHS blog.
4. Discovering amazing cleaning products that we’d never known existed
Ever wondered how escalators are cleaned – or at least cleaned effectively? Us too, until we discovered the TreadMaster Escalator Cleaning System from Cleantec Innovation, which uses 98% less labour than conventional methods of cleaning escalators. In one continuous motion it brushes, vacuums, cleans and polishes the entire length of escalators and walkways and aside from the initial setup and positioning, requires virtually no manpower! We think it’s a genius invention and solution to a problem that we’d never thought about before. To find out more about how the TreadMaster helps escalators to become safer too, take a look at this post on the Cleantec Innovation blog.
5. The costumes that raised more than a few chuckles
Unfortunately, Regional Director Peter Grist wasn’t able to make our Conference this year, but he was kind enough to send his European cousin, Pietro Gristieri, in his place. Pietro and his Team Midfield, who were all donned in their finest blue and green football kits, may have raised a few giggles with their costumes but their message was serious, as they shared with us the importance of sustainability and driving innovation to Bunzl CHS in their presentation.
6. Small can be mighty when it comes to cleaning products
Visitors to the Cleantec Innovation stand were treated to an exclusive look at the i-mop, an impressive piece of cleaning technology that offers all the benefits of a full-sized scrubber dryer, condensed into a machine that’s as easy to manoeuvre as a mop! And the ‘small is mighty’ theme continued across many other supplier stands, including PVA Hygiene who demonstrated how their water soluble sachet range reduces product wastage, as well as transportation costs and storage space, which is great news for the environment.
7. Learning how cleaning brands are considering a whole spectrum of customers
At the Metsa Katrin stand, we discovered how they had made their products even more inclusive by introducing a more accessible range of hand towel and paper dispensers that are more ergonomic and friendly to end users that are less able-bodied, and as they are available in the bold colours of black and white, allow the buyer to choose the colour that will stand out most in the washroom environment and therefore be easier to see by users with diminished eyesight. And we were impressed to see that they were far from the only brand that were considering the unique and particular needs of their customers and end users, as Chicopee were showcasing their new range of coffee towels, which are also available in purple – the agreed colour code for allergens in the food industry, to help prevent cross contamination from dairy
8. Being reassured that sustainability is important to everyone
If there’s one word that was on everyone’s lips at the Bunzl CHS conference, it’s ‘sustainability’, to which both Bunzl CHS and its suppliers demonstrated a clear commitment for 2016. At the forefront of sustainable cleaning and hygiene products are InnuScience, the global leaders in the production of biological cleaning products and Bunzl CHS’s official biological cleaning partner, and at their stand visitors could see just a selection of their range of biodegradable, microbe-powered cleaning products. Many more suppliers, including Premiere Products, Cleantec Innovation, PVA Hygiene and Diversey Care were also delighted to be sharing their biodegradable, sustainable and biological cleaning product ranges too, setting the bar high for others in the industry in a time when environmental-friendliness is more important than ever
9. Getting fired up for the afternoon with a Samba energiser
Before ‘getting down to business’ for the afternoon conference, everyone’s spirits were kept high with a Samba energiser, which saw everyone putting their musical abilities to the test! Four teams each learned a different beat on an instrument, including drums, shakers and tambourines, which when all played together created a riotous Samba rhythm that we think wouldn’t be out of place at the opening ceremony of Rio 2016!
10. Deserving Bunzl CHS employees and teams being rewarded for a year of hard work
There was an array of highly-sought after awards up for grabs on the evening of the 2016 Conference, to reward individuals and teams for a year of hard work and devotion to Bunzl CHS throughout 2015. Highlighting that electronic trading is a focus for the business in 2016, this year saw the introduction of the Most Digital Branch award, sponsored by digital marketing agency Silverbean, and both Norwich and Bishop Stortford shared the prize for their dedication to going digital. Nigel Rawson walked away with the Salesperson of the Year 2015 award, while the Croydon branch proved that they really are United for Success as they scooped Branch of the Year. However it was Lynda Beeson who received our most prestigious award of the evening, as she was named as our deserving Employee of the Year 2015.
As you can see it was a fantastic event that kicked-off what is sure to be Bunzl CHS’ best year yet, but this can only be done with all the ongoing hard work of the entire Bunzl CHS team. Here’s to a winning 2016, and we look forward to seeing where the 2017 Conference takes us!