A Different Kind of Cleaning Company

Shining Knight Facility Services

For the past 15 years, Shining Knight has taken great pride in providing superior quality cleaning and hygiene services and innovative products to a wide range of businesses and industries across the nation. Specialising in corporate office facilities, hospitality, health and aged care, education, retail, and local, state and commonwealth governments, Shining Knight’s blue chip clients include Virgin Active, the Department of Justice, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Human Services, Magistrates Courts of Victoria, the City of Monash, the City of Casey, the City of Surf Coast, the City of Nillumbik, the city of Whitehorse, the city of Macedon, the city of Banyule and the City of Brimbank Councils, and many others who trust the company to deliver exceptional cleaning and hygiene services.

Many companies claim to be ‘industry leaders,’ but Shining Knight stands head and shoulders above the rest, starting with Kim Calcatjicos. Founding the company with her husband Arthur, a former carpenter and now Managing Director, back in 1998 as a second job, Ms Calcatjicos has grown the company over the years to offer a diverse range of service offerings all over Australia. The team boasts more than 325 dedicated and highly-trained employees.

“Science was my first love, and I still enjoy being involved and meeting with scientists,” says Kim, who serves as Shining Knight’s Director and Compliance Manager. “It still keeps that part of my mind relevant and active, and clients love to hear that you’re trying out new things and that you actually care.”

A driven, enthusiastic and highly professional organisation, Shining Knight’s unique position in the industry is largely due to Kim’s background. Holding a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biochemistry, her extensive experience prior to forming Shining Knight includes working as a lab technician, scientist, and a pharmaceutical sales representative. A self-described “mad scientist,” Kim recalls the early days of the company, which saw her and Arthur working two jobs to make ends meet before deciding to focus on Shining Knight fulltime. For Kim, who has amassed extensive experience in science, sales, and marketing in a diverse range of industries, the move has paid off for the company and its many satisfied clients.

“There is so much to this business, and I’ve brought some of my science background into it,” she says. Kim is responsible for leading the achievement, enforcement and compliance of Shining Knight’s “Triple Certified Management” Facility Services, which holds accreditations for its Quality Management System, Environmental Management System, and Occupational Health and Safety Management System.

Innovative, Eco-Friendly Solutions

Responsible for ensuring compliance in all three areas, Kim maintains regular contact with clients to assist in improving their cleaning contracts. She and her team at Shining Knight attend conferences and conventions regularly to stay abreast of industry trends, and are continually seeking new, effective cleaning products and solutions.

Always searching for ways to improve productivity, Kim recently used her background in Biochemistry to conduct an absenteeism study over the winter months for her clients, and tracked absenteeism rates in offices using “satellite desks,” work stations which include shared desks, telephones, keyboards and the like. Tracking the results from one year to the next, she discovered that absenteeism rates plummeted dramatically following thorough cleaning of shared areas with sterilisation and alcohol wipes. The culprit? The flu virus, which – because it can survive 24 hours on hard surfaces – was transferred from one person to the next via the shared desk space. By revealing the underlying cause of employee absenteeism, Shining Knight was able to help its clients increase not only workplace cleanliness, but employee health and productivity.

“Our clients were absolutely rapt, and now we offer this cleaning service to new and existing clients as well,” she says. “Quite a few people take it up over the winter months.”

Although Kim admits that some do not view the cleaning industry as being innovative, she asserts that the opposite is true, and Shining Knight is serving as a positive example of how research, technology, and investment in new products can benefit clients and the planet. Her research has uncovered that although a lot of products claim to be environmentally friendly, scientific examination says otherwise. Some so-called ‘green’ products in fact take 40 years to biodegrade, and in all that time enter waterways and soil, and are ingested.

“There are definitely better solutions, and we’re working on products which biodegrade a lot faster and are more environmentally friendly.” To further promote cleaning solutions which are better for the environment, the company has unveiled its own line called The Beautiful Life, with 12 products available and another nine presently in development.

For Shining Knight, The Beautiful Life product line presents customers with organic options. One, explains Kim, is a citrus-based alternative to the commonly used pink liquid hand soap found in countless offices and facility washrooms across Australia (and indeed the world), which contains harsh chemicals. Priced only slightly higher than conventional cleaning products, The Beautiful Life line is truly ‘green.’ Unlike other products which are manufactured offshore, The Beautiful Life is made here in Australia from 100 per cent Australian-grown ingredients. It is 100 per cent natural, it’s plant derived and there is no animal testing.

Even the packaging is more environmentally friendly. Made from polyethylene terephthalate, better known as PET, containers are strong, safe, lightweight, shatter-resistant and best of all, highly recyclable, made from materials that can be recycled over and over. To reduce carbon emissions, the company also purchases its PET containers in bulk, which reduces their associated transport impact.

“We’re doing everything possible we can to support Australia and make sure we have a fantastic alternative,” comments Kim of the products, which are available to all clients. “I thought, ‘I could have it sourced out to China and make a bigger profit,’ but as a proud Australian I don’t want to do that,” she says of the line, which will be entering markets in Japan and Singapore this year.

Diverse Range of Services

Proud of its diverse service offerings to clients, Shining Knight works tirelessly to keep improving all areas of the business. In 2005, the company entered the Australian Achiever Awards for the first time, which resulted in Shining Knight being awarded as a “Highly Recommended” business partner, earning an impressive 93 per cent satisfaction survey rating by its clients in the Cleaning and Maintenance Services and Supplies Category, a score it has now maintained for seven years in a row.

Committed to providing only the best, most comprehensive and value-added cleaning services, Shining Knight is please to offer clients nationwide a comprehensive range of services. In Commercial Cleaning, these include contract cleaning, steam cleaning, deodorising and sanitising (carpet and upholstery), window cleaning to any height, stripping, sealing and polishing of all types of hard floors, tile and grout cleaning, flood, fire and storm damage restoration, graffiti removal, and consulting.

At Shining Knight, the company realises that all businesses benefit from a clean appearance, not only for staff and clients, but for anyone who visits the facility. Offering Hygiene Services for business and recreational facilities, health and veterinary centres, hospitality and food preparation facilities, and education and childcare centres, the company is able to meet and exceed the needs of all customers. Providing organisations of all sizes and types with a range of complete office and commercial cleaning packages, Shining Knight prides itself on its high level of customer satisfaction and retention, and has never lost a client due to dissatisfaction.

Dedicated Staff

Committed to quality, consistent service, dedicated and upbeat staff, and continuous innovation, Shining Knight maintains a solid base of existing customers while attracting new clients to the company. One recent example is the Virgin Group, started by Sir Richard Branson, which grew from a music business to include telecommunications, airlines, fitness facilities, and over 400 associated companies. To secure Virgin as a client, Shining Knight researched the company intensively, even flying to the United Kingdom to familiarise itself with the Virgin way of doing business. “Because Virgin is also young and innovative, we got the contract,” says Kim. “We’ll do whatever it takes, and we’ll work ridiculously hard.”

Shining Knight remains committed to all clients big and small. The company works to maintain its key commercial cleaning service objectives, which include providing a quality-driven cleaning service which achieves a hygienic standard of cleaning in line with client expectations; promoting a positive image of customer companies to all clients, visitors and staff; maintaining a safe environment for staff, clients and visitors through safe work practices – including the use of recognised risk management systems; and providing all facility services in a manner that does not interfere with the daily work of staff.

Providing a wide range of quality hygiene services and consumables, Shining Knight also offers waste management services, a range of on-call property maintenance services, and has added other facility services to its business, including security and pest control. With the goal of providing unrivalled service levels that set industry standards, the company offers 24-hour emergency call-out response time and an award-winning team of building cleaning and facility services staff to ensure businesses continue to run smoothly, no matter what.

Triple-certified, continually adding new services, and dedicated to clients and to the sustainability of the environment, Shining Knight Facility Services will continue to remain ahead of the competition as it continues to come up with new and innovative solutions and technologies. Instead of old-fashioned clipboards and paper, the company is now using tablet computers while conducting its inspections, and provides clients with an online complaint system, shopping cart, and username and log-in for clients by which they can access the system, check invoices, and much more. “There aren’t many cleaning companies out there who have these features,” says Kim. “Being a national company and offering a full range of diverse services makes a difference.”

At Shining Knight, quality staff continue to make the company the success that it is today. With a comprehensive recruitment process that starts with an online induction system, anyone – young or old, regardless of skills – can be trained, providing they have the right attitude. As a result, employees benefit from a number of incentives, such as being sent to conferences with combined vacations with spouses or partners, Employee of the Month recognition for achievement, and even sending birthday cards to staff. “You’ve got to listen to your people,” Kim says. “It’s the little things that truly matter. I always told myself that if ever I was lucky enough to have the responsibility to be in charge of a larger organisation, that I would always try as much as I could to make it a place that people were happy to go to every day.”

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 16, 2018, 3:53 PM AEDT