Brompton-based cleaning and sanitation products business, Dominant, is celebrating 60 years in November with a new distribution centre.
Founded by Leslie Short in September 1958, Dominant opened its doors in Croydon Park, Australia.
With a small factory manufacturing soaps, disinfectants and general cleaners for commercial use, Short soon gained a reputation in Adelaide for providing outstanding service and products with excellent performance.
With his “Knights of the Road” sales team, Short spent day and night promoting the Dominant name. Before too long, the Dominant brand could be found all over Adelaide in pubs, hotels, restaurants and in cleaning contractor vans.
In 1979 this success allowed for the purchase of land in Brompton and in 1980 Dominant officially opened the doors of its Coglin St, Brompton head office, factory and warehouse.
In 1984, after almost thirty years in the commercial sector, Dominant made the bold decision to expand into the retail market, launching a range of home care products and distributing via a network marketing business model.
Aptly named Dominant Homecare Products, the direct selling model boomed in the 1990’s with thousands of small family businesses retailing and many more using the range all over Australia.
The wide range of home cleaning products are still sold today and available online nationally and in selected South Australian retailers.
During this same time, the Dominant commercial division expanded into Victoria and to Queensland. Establishing these two new interstate sales offices, the business continued to grow.
The customer base also started to shift from mainly hospitality and cleaning businesses to a focus in the food, aged and health care sectors.
The Dominant research and development division formulated dozens of industry specific products and provided unique dispensing solutions to meet ever-growing health and safety standards.
Dominant became known as the best in the business when it came to assisting these organisations with safety and compliance, providing cleaning solutions that performed every time.
In 2003, Short’s son, Christopher, saw a gap in the market – cleaning and sanitation products for coffee machines.
After developing one product and launching it under the brand, Cafetto, the research and development team was put to work developing a range of products to clean every type of espresso machine and various coffee equipment.
After establishing Cafetto in Australia, Christopher focussed on New Zealand and Asia, exhibiting at countless tradeshows and forming relationships with key people in the coffee industry.
Fifteen years later, Cafetto now distributes to more than 30 countries, with the head office in Adelaide and sales offices in Malaysia and The Netherlands.
Christopher the business started out with his father’s dream of servicing the Adelaide market with the best cleaning products.
“Sixty years on, in a much different time, the world is a much smaller place and global business for us is the way forward. My father’s ethos of providing the best products and outstanding service however remains the same.
“It’s what we instil in our team and why our customers continue our business relationships,” he said.
With recent domestic business growth and global distribution, many challenges have arisen.
“One of the major issues any business faces as it grows is outgrowing their existing facilities,” Christopher said.
“Over the past 10 years we’ve been able to make some modifications to our Coglin St site to accommodate the growth.
“We also tried outsourcing our warehousing which gave us more space for manufacturing but ultimately we know that to provide the best service to our customers, we need full control over every aspect of the process. That meant bringing our warehousing back in- house,” said Christopher.
Dominant opened their new distribution centre on November 23. Just around the corner from the Brompton factory and head office, the new distribution centre is located on Wood Ave.
“The location of the new distribution centre is key to being able to operate efficiently. Being just a few hundred meters away from the factory and office means factory are swift and operational staff can go between the two sites with ease,” said Christopher.