ISSA Member Profile: Ionic Systems Ltd.
Categories: Member ProfilesBy ISSA Staff | January 31, 2014 << Back to Articles
Founded in the mid-1980s by owner Craig Mawlam, Ionic Systems Ltd. manufactures The Reach & Wash® System, an external window and façade cleaning system. The company began as a window cleaning service provider 25 years ago before beginning to manufacture and provide training in safety equipment for abseiling off high-rise buildings.
Reuben Reynolds, Ionic System’s director of sales, has been with the company for six years, and is heavily involved in the day-to-day business operations along with sales and development.
“From humble beginnings with two staff members assembling off-the-shelf filtration equipment, we have grown to a company of 35 employees. Our Reach & Wash System has helped make the United Kingdom a source of water-fed pole equipment,” said Reynolds.
The Wiltshire, United Kingdom-based company currently supplies equipment to 23 countries through various distributors. An ISSA member since 2005, Ionic Systems has been actively promoting the Reach & Wash brand at ISSA/INTERCLEAN® trade shows in the United States and Europe, and was recently invited to attend ISSA’s first-ever international trade delegation in South Africa in October 2013.
The delegation, hosted in conjunction with ISSA’s alliance partner in the region, the South Africa National Contract Cleaners Association (NCCA), was part of ISSA’s African network platform. The delegation provided an opportunity to learn from international peers, share best practices, and foster business growth by matching delegates with important local industry contacts.
“A market report can provide data and information on who the major players are in a country, but to actually visit South Africa gave us a local flavour and a truly unique opportunity to really understand the market, as well as make important business contacts. We now have strong insights into new products, services, and business opportunities and can therefore clarify and streamline our strategy before entering the African market,” Reynolds said.
This understanding has helped Reynolds feel more confident about the company’s market entry. “The market in South Africa was far more developed than we had originally anticipated, and while the standard of cleaning I observed was good, it was clear there was room for a lot of improvement through new technologies. For example, I found external cladding and signage was not being cleaned, but could have been if the contractor was using a water-fed pole.”
“South Africa is the gateway into other African countries. If Ionic Systems is able to gain distributors for our products in the Southern Hemisphere, it helps to offset our seasonal sales trends and create a more stable, even production,” Reynolds said.
When it comes to the cleaning industry as a whole, Reynolds believes the future is positive, but there are also challenges ahead.
“In my opinion, there is always a need for cleaning, whatever the economic cycle we are in. So yes, the future is bright, and it is a clean one. However, the challenges we all face do include raising standards and using the latest methods and technology, along with proper training. There are still too many people being injured as a result of working from ladders, when there is a practical alternative. I feel that the industry could do more to raise safety standards with a united approach. And, I believe ISSA and its members can work closely with governments and trade organisations to create standards and improve best practices, solving this issue once and for all,” Reynolds said.
As well as helping to open fresh opportunities in new markets and working together toward industry best practices, ISSA membership has brought with it additional benefits for Ionic Systems.
“Being a member of ISSA allows us unrivalled access to contacts we wish to do business with, and makes it easier for potential clients to find us. It gives us the platform to promote our products to end-users and find business partners to grow the business. The ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam trade show has been recognised as the best in the industry. Most companies plan product launches and major promotion around this event, making the show is a must for manufactures and distributors alike,” he concluded.
Reuben Reynolds is the director of sales for Ionic Systems Ltd. He can be reached at 44-1793-574936 or via www.ionicsystems.com.