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Cover Story: Arcora® International: The Way Forward
 

 

German brand Arcora® International talks to Clean Middle East about its international expansion including penetration of the UAE market, new launches and more…

Germany-based Arcora® International, which offers a wide range of cleaning and hygiene products as a one-stop-shop is on an expansion spree. The company recently launched a number of products across various portfolios, witnessed a factory opening in Macedonia, invested heavily in manpower acquisition and is aggr essively working on its international expansion strategy.

Over the years, Arcora® has moulded its image – from being a solution provider of floor care systems offering products like mops, tools, cloth, cleaning and burnishing pads, marble renovation systems and cleaning machines, to offering complete mop-preparation systems and a complete carpet cleaning suite.

How it started

In 1992, Sami Memili founded Arcora® Handels GmbH (Arcora® Trading) in Munich, Germany. Growing rapidly, Arcora® owned its first brand and introduced its products in 1994. It began Floor Care polymer manufacturing in USA in 1999 and moved on to establish Arcora® International in 2005. Later, microfiber and tools were added to the family in 2009. The company accomplished yet another feat with its new headquarters in Aschheim, Munich, in 2011. Three years later, it extended production to cotton mops in its second factory in Bursa. In 2016, Arcora®, which had grown to manufacture 1,400 products and over 3,000 articles, extended warehouse space by 30 per cent and delivered products through distribution into 37 countries. With over 340 employees, engineers and specialists engaged in the production process, the group is making the best use of its knowhow in various countries.

Product offering

Arcora® has an innovative mix of products, which can be subdivided into separate segments including Cleaning and Care Products, Pro Cleaning Systems, Cleaning and Polishing Pads, Cleaning Machines and Sanitary-Hygiene technology. Some of the products on offer include the Arcotex line, exclusively dedicated to microfiber products. The production is concentrated on microfiber mops and cloths, and Arcora® is constantly improving its characteristics with better sewing techniques, tear-proof pockets (up to 300 kg per pocket) and high-quality edging stripes, etc. With a diverse assortment of cotton mops, the Ecomop line has a perfect mop for every purpose.

This line also produces folding frames for various mops, ultra-hook and loop systems, trapeze mop systems, aluminium handles, warning signs, bonnet pads, pot scrubbers and handle sponges. Arsan offers suitable dispensing systems for soap, fragrance, etc. Arcora® Chemicals is the brand meant for professional cleaning, with products that adhere to the highest German quality standards and are eco-friendly too. On the other hand, the Gastro Line has a complete range of products meant for kitchen areas and F&B industry. These products can be used manually or with the cleaning machines, and meet the German food preparation laws. Arcem Chemicals offers high quality polymers, restorable floor polishing and floor care systems. The Artech line includes high-tech offerings such as vacuum cleaners, sweepers and sprayextraction- systems. Cleaning and polishing pads are included in the Arpad line.

Innovation & expansion

The company is constantly developing new products for a variety of professional cleaning needs, and its ongoing collaboration with customers helps the brand in getting a fair and regular feedback. Their philosophy is to quickly and dynamically launch new products in the market to meet the current challenges and quality standards. “A forward-thinking approach about the future is one of the most important tasks of our time! This is connected to the ability to discern and to meet the challenging demands of the market. This is achieved by a distinct strategy as well as matching performance parameters,” says Sami Memili, CEO/President, Arcora® International.

“Arcora® is constantly screening the actual market developments to be able to offer leading-edge product technology at the best possible price-quality ratio. We are using the most efficient development processes and are working closely with universities and qualified product testing and certification institutions in Germany,” adds Memili. Explaining one of the developments, he added, “Restorable floor polishing and finishing processes without the need for basic cleaning is a prerequisite. The development is concentrating on solutions with reduced usage of chemicals and water as well as generating less waste in the whole cleaning process.”

Last year, the company was successfully certified to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 and DIN EN ISO 14001:2015. After extensive preparations, the globally accepted standard requirements had been implemented in the Arcora® company structure and its production strategy.

International expansion

The group has been concentrating on expanding its business in Europe with Poland, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, former-Yugoslavia and Balkan countries besides Turkey, Azerbaijan, and the UAE. “My experience tells me that no market is easy to start the business in, and I did learn a lot in doing so, like in Poland, UAE, India, Slovenia, Qatar, Israel, Scandinavian countries, in the past. Every country has its own DNA or dynamics. One needs to be sensitive to listen and to learn. Being an international group of companies acting on a global basis with productions in Germany, USA, Turkey and Macedonia, Arcora® is therefore able to handle cultural differences,” states Klaus J. Karl, Director Export, Arcora® International.

“We are looking to attract business partners who are interested in a long-term, honest and successful partnership.”

Sami Memili, CEO / President, Arcora® International talks about the company’s venture in the UAE market and the new developments.

What are the recent developments in terms of operations, administration and manpower acquisitions that the company went through?

In terms of the latest developments, we have recently opened a new factory for cleaning pads and micro fibre cloth in Macedonia. On the administrative side of the business, Arcora® has heavily invested in manpower for marketing support, export administration as well as order management.

We already had a manufacturing site for micro fibre mop production in Yalova, Turkey, since 2009, producing an average of 150 thousand micro fibre cleaning mops per month. In autumn of 2015, the Arcora® Group acquired and rebuilt a new site in Bursa, Turkey, for cotton mop production. The total output of this facility ranges from 180 to 250 thousand mops per month. The only reason we stand out when it comes to production is that all yarns, the weaving and the commissioning of the ready products are done in-house! Also, we have integrated our plastic factory into the Yalova site some years ago to improve the quality and durability of buckets, trolleys as well as other cleaning tools like mop holders. We are also keen on providing product training and live demonstrations to our international distribution partners as well as for their partners and end-consumers on-site for an enhanced business support.

What is your opinion on the current scenario of the cleaning market in the UAE?

The UAE is setting new standards across all industries. This includes state-of-theart architecture, high-rises, hospitals, schools, airports, and tourist attractions, making it an ideal market for professional cleaning and hygiene businesses. As a manufacturer of cleaning and hygiene products and solutions we consider the UAE a potential market and plan to make our products and services locally available to the industry.

What were your expectations while you were entering the UAE market? How has the response been?

We decided to venture into the UAE as part of our international expansion strategy. Currently, Arcora® is focusing on its long-term development plans, which include penetrating international markets. The company is looking to attract business partners who are interested in a long-term, honest and successful partnership, while jointly developing the business by using combined strengths. Besides, business experience of the potential distribution partner in the cleaning and hygiene sector, HORECA and hospital applications would be very helpful,which will complement our investment orientated strategy. Furthermore, we’re expecting a willingness from potential partners’ marketing and sales teams to learn about our products and applications through training programmes. Apart from the UAE, eastern European countries, former-Yugoslavia, the Baltic States and India are currently the other development areas.

What are the latest products launched by Arcora® for the UAE region?

We have launched Arcora® Tenas products under carpet cleaning solutions based on using an encapsulation system, which ensures that the dirt is broken and encapsulated to be taken away. The Tenas 4IN1 takes over the tasks of four classic carpet cleaners: one product for the stain removal, pre-cleaning, extraction cleaning as well as bonnet process. It protects the carpet fibres and leaves a pleasant fragrance after use.

Tenas Granulate is also suitable for dry carpet cleaning. It consists of 100 per cent natural and renewable raw materials.

Then we have Tenas Hand Brush developed for smaller areas. A brush with foam material and bristles for targeted stain removal on upholstery and carpets, with dosing handle containing the cleaning solution.

The Glass Shine microfibre cloth (50 x 80 cm) is a perfect solution for polishing and cleaning glasses, dishes and cutlery. The product is apt for hotels and restaurants as it cleans lint-free and without any stripes. It is meant for daily cleaning and results in shiny surfaces.

Lastly, the Arcora® Copper Systems can be used for removing cement residuals or paint on glass, mirrors, stainless steel surfaces or for pots, pans, sinks, stoves or grills in kitchens and restaurants. When used with water it leaves no scratches on the above listed surfaces. This product is best suitable for maintenance purposes.

What are the latest technologies adopted/launched by Arcora®?

The Arcora® PU-PAD, the new pad-generation, is our innovative extension of conventional pads used for daily maintenance cleaning of any hard floor and water-resistant coverings. Due to the composition of polyether and polyester, the pad is very tough and unbreakable. This pad is suitable for all cleaning machines and exhibits higher water absorption than common pads. With this pad, a cleaning performance of up to 50,000 m² can be achieved. Compared to melamine pads, the PU-PAD is more solid and delivers a five-time higher m² performance at a drastically lower cost per m².

What are the eco-friendly practices followed to reduce chemical usage and conserve water and energy?

Arcora® is constantly aiming to develop new environment friendly products that reduce the amount of chemicals used for lower soiling or dirt levels. This includes our range of copper products. In most cases, only water is required for cleaning and the products are reusable several times. The new PU-PAD is another innovation in environment friendly cleaning – it is made from 100 per cent recycled materials.

Furthermore, it has a much longer shelf life when compared to common pads. Another tool for window cleaning is the Microfibre Pro Window Cloth (50 x 70 cm). This cloth absorbs eight times its own weight in water. With a special weaving technique of the fabric, it cleans lint-free only with water and provides perfect cleaning results for windows.

 

 

 
 
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