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IPC: A LEADING PROFESSIONAL CLEANING GROUP OF MANY SOULS
IPC of Italy is a leader in the industrial cleaning sector with headquarters in Portogruaro in the province of Venice. In its present form, this is a very new organisation, set up in 2006 when Gianfranco Cianci, Chairman and Managing Director of IPC - Integrated Professional Cleaning, introduced a reorganised company. Its mission was new and ambitious: to become the point of reference in the professional cleaning market and obtain recognition as a world class solution provider. IPC is not only one business, but many specialised companies, each one a leader in its own field. The Group – with eight plants in Italy and seven direct agencies abroad, employing about 1,100 people and with a turnover in 2008 of about 300 million euro – is more than just a leading player in the cleaning and environmental sanification sector. It actually brings together many smaller leaders.
Mr. Cianci, please could you describe the features and strong points of each company in the IPC Group?
Let’s start by clearing up some misconceptions: IPC is not just a grouping of companies, but a really integrated organisation in which different competencies correspond to the needs of users. Each individual company in the Group is, in fact, focused on a specific product category: IPC Gansow for the production of motorised sweepers and scrubber-dryers for professional use; IPC Portotecnica deals with high pressure washers for professional and industrial use; IPC Soteco with wet and dry vacuum cleaners and carpet washers; IPC Faip deals with high pressure washers; IPC Euromop designs and produces equipment for professional cleaning; IPC Ready System is a leader in the field of equipment for industrial cleaning; IPC Pulex produces equipment and accessories for glass cleaning. Contacts with customers are shared, so multiple solutions can be provided.
What are the main spheres of application for the products you offer?
There is a demand for our products in both the private and public sector, in fact anywhere there is a need for sanification and professional cleaning. Our main customers are public bodies like hospitals, schools and shopping centres; but also businesses, particularly industries in the foodstuffs sector and services, such as airports and railways. IPC’s offering is also aimed at other spheres, such as agriculture and building. The Group is clearly geared to providing the market with an integrated range of products that is unmatched, with an offer that extends from machinery to equipment.
Who are your biggest competitors at the international level? At the same time, what do you believe are the strong points of Italian producers that allow them to move ahead?
With seven branches in every continent, the support for potential outlet areas is assured. But what are the IPC Group’s main reference markets?
Without doubt, these are Europe and North America. However, Eastern Europe – particularly Russia – and Asia are also interesting because of their high rate of growth and development. India is of particular interest because we already have a branch there. The South American market - above all Brazil, where we have another branch – also deserves a mention.
The HighRise robot and Sanivap, an exclusive steam sanification system, are the outstanding features of a very technologically advanced offer. Please could you tell us about the characteristics of these two solutions and any other solutions in your offer that have a large hi-tech content?
“HighRise” is a very innovative system which has many benefits in the high level window cleaning sector. These include: improved operator safety, higher productivity and, not least, total respect for the environment, because no chemical products are used. “Sanivap” also respects the whole environment in every way: the system only uses steam, eliminating the need for chemical detergents. These features make our sanification system extremely competitive, as is demonstrated by the numerous suppliers we have acquired abroad, for example in the difficult French market. Our machines are in use in very many hospitals in France, including Grenoble, Marseilles and Paris. In general, all IPC products are developed to increase efficiency and respect for the environment. For example, IPC Gansow’s CT40 scrubber-dryer allows up to 80% savings on detergents.
What is the customer's role in Group IPC's business architecture? And what is the logic behind your business model?
We have adopted a supply chain logic: with some distributors we aim for a partnership relationship rather than a merely business one. Sales service is a fundamental factor for the Group and this is therefore developed in collaboration with the distributor.
Finally, please could you say something about the eco-compatible style of production adopted by the IPC Group? How is this “green” commitment implemented in reality?
Firstly, all the materials we use in production are eco-compatible. The raw materials suppliers are within a radius of 200 kilometres of the relevant company.
Electricity consumption is carefully controlled throughout the entire production chain. Over 75% of materials used for packaging are recycled and during production the consumption of energy, water and detergents is reduced to the minimum. Lastly, the entire IPC Group recovers and recycles most of the components of its products.