From a small, family-run cleaning company to a facility services provider belonging to the top 3 in Belgium. It is a big step. Cleaning Masters and Multi Masters Group have successfully gone through that evolution.
Wednesday 12 October 1988 is the birthday of British teen idol Calum Scott. It is also the day that Paul de Schutter founded Cleaning Masters. Exactly 33 years ago today. It was the time when Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. Margaret Thatcher was in charge in England. In the meantime, the world has evolved enormously. As did Cleaning Masters.
Family cleaning company
Managing director Dirk De Croock was one of the founders of the family cleaning company. “I had been working for a cleaning company for several years, together with Paul de Schutter. One day he told me that he wanted to start his own company. He added that he was counting on me to help him make the switch. That is how it all started.”
Current chairman Nicolas de Schutter – son of Paul de Schutter – also vividly remembers the early years of Cleaning Masters. “As a child, I helped my father load the cars. Our garage served as a warehouse for materials and cleaning products.”
Later Nicolas learned all about the ins and outs of running a cleaning company. “For example, my father had me dust the dome of the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp as a working student. In the middle of summer, at temperatures of 30°C and more. Believe me, that’s how you start to appreciate the work of cleaners enormously.” Over the years, Nicolas de Schutter climbed further up the ladder within the company, eventually taking over the torch from his father in 2004.
From cleaning company to total facility services provider
The management has been in the same hands for many years. The range of services has expanded considerably. “In the beginning, we focused entirely on cleaning. However, our customers increasingly asked for additional services. Industrial cleaning, for example. Or green maintenance. Or technical maintenance of production installations. Wherever possible, we responded to these requests. That is how we realised steady growth”, says Managing Director Philip Paelinck.
The name ‘Cleaning Masters‘ no longer covered the load. “We have evolved into a complete facility services provider with 10 specialised divisions. Our mission clearly states: ‘Ensuring, through a the provision of a wide range of services, that companies and organisations all over Belgium are able to concentrate fully on their mission’. Our slogan ‘We will look after it’ underlines the role that we see for ourselves: as an IFM specialist we want to completely ‘unburden’ our customers.”
Although the company has evolved enormously, its basic values have never changed. ‘Masters’, ‘no-nonsense’, ‘trust’ and ‘respect’. “The latter is perhaps the most important thing I learned from my father,” says Nicolas de Schutter. “You have to show respect to your staff, your customers, your suppliers. In short: to everyone. People like that.”
For 33 years now.