Australia’s Number 1 Manufacturing & Industrial Equipment Magazine & Directory
Meet Jim Athanas: the driving force behind Nilfisk
Nilfisk-Advance has been has been providing innovative cleaning solutions globally for more than a century. In Australia, Nilfisk has built a reputation for reliability and outstanding customer service.
The company recently announced the appointment of Jim Athanas, the new Australian-New Zealand Managing Director, to drive the business forward. In this interview with Industry Update Mr Athanas discusses his future goals for the company and the challenges ahead …
When you think Nilfisk, you think top quality, highly efficient cleaning machines.
The company is renowned for its broad range of quality professional and domestic cleaners.
Last month, the company entered a new phase with the appointment of Jim Athanas, managing director for Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Athanas will take responsibility for the company’s two major business units – consumer and professional.
Based at Nilfisk’s headquarters at Blacktown in western Sydney, Mr Athanas replaces former MD Steve Makin who left earlier this year after a five-year stint.
Mr Athanas, 44, who is married with two young sons, is a former senior executive with Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technology and services.
He is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead with Nilfisk.
“It’s all about taking the company to the next level, he says. “It’s about accelerating growth and increasing brand awareness in the marketplace.”
And he has certainly hit the ground running.
In the first two weeks on the job he visited Nilfisk offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand, with further trips planned for Perth and Adelaide.
One of his first tasks has been to meet and greet key members of Nilfisk’s high performance team.
“My focus in the short term is to get to know our people and get to know our customers and our service offerings.”
Mr Athanas is keen to “unite and motivate” his team members. A competent, motivated, highly trained team is the key to future growth, he believes.
The main reasons for the company’s outstanding success?
“Its people and its innovation,” he says without hesitation. “Without people we don’t have a business and without innovative products and services we cannot provide solutions to our customers’ needs.”
One of Mr Athanas’ main goals is to maintain and improve customer service.
“We have always had a strong focus on our customers … we are very customer driven,” he says.
Nilfisk also prides itself on its vast product range – the driving force of its business.
Mr Athanas says the company will continue to roll out new and innovative products to complement its existing range.
“This not only includes our product offering, but also our service offering.”
Nilfisk now supplies a broad range of consumer and commercial vacuum cleaners, scrubbers and dryers, sweepers, burnishers, carpet extractors and pressure cleaners.
Mr Athanas will also continue to maintain the company’s strong focus on training – both internally and externally.
“Unless people have the right tools to do the job you can’t deliver outstanding service to your customers,” he says.
Can we expect to see some major changes at Nilfisk in the near future?
“It’s still early days, says Mr Athanas. “But there will always be change. “As they say … you can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different outcome.”
Related news & editorials
31.01.2017by David Gray In Industry InterviewsWith Australian manufacturing falling to its lowest level in a hundred years, it has never been more important that a formidable advocate puts forward the much needed case for an Australian manufacturing revitalisation.
Senator Xenophon’s strong support of Australian manufacturing shows how the... Read More
24.11.2016by Laurence Marchini In Industry InterviewsRegan Carr is Managing Director of Melbourne-based materials-handling specialist Warequip. He describes himself as “a typical old-school bloke”. He has devoted his life to his company, his wife and his three daughters. But lately he is a changed man.
Earlier this year, with no apparent warning,... Read More
11.10.2016by Tony Pearce In Industry InterviewsWhen a factory fire destroyed its Ipswich facility in October of 2015, Haultech took the opportunity to step back and reassess its production needs. Rebuilding the facility was given serious thought.
After extensive deliberation, and at the experienced advice of Hare & Forbes Machineryhouse,... Read More
30.08.2016by David Sligar In Industry InterviewsMeet Jack Winson, the Signet CEO bringing jobs home.
Brisbane-based manufacturer and supplier Signet is making a multimillion dollar investment to bring manufacturing from Asia to Australia, in a move that may be a catalyst for Australian firms to consider the viability of “onshoring” – a trend... Read More