At the turn of the twentieth century, one man's vision of a customer focused business set the scene for a hundred years of extraordinary expansion.
The man with a vision, Frederick William Goodliffe, probably never envisaged that the window cleaning service he set up in 1900, employing one part-time man equipped with a ladder, pail and pushcart, would become an integrated property support services giant on a global scale, with 63,000 employees offering over 100 services from operating bases in five continents. However, the core principle upon which he originally founded the business remains the same: to organise the services around the customer.
Frederick Goodliffe wanted to offer a flexible service based on what the customer wanted. This encouraged him to set up his own business, aptly named the New Century Window and General Cleaning Company. Growing demand for office cleaning, coupled with the commercial drive of Frederick's three sons, prompted the establishment of a new company in 1930 called Office Cleaning Services.
Frederick Goodliffe handed over to a co-leadership team of his three sons, who famously shared a custom-made triple desk. In the hands of the new generation, services expanded and new markets were penetrated.
The era of the third generation was one of continuing growth of services and expansion into international markets, including a pioneering launch into aircraft cleaning services in 1966. As was typical in the 1950s and 60s, the Group's strategy focused on acquisition and diversification.
The fourth generation saw it as their task to consolidate and overhaul the Group's strategic approach and approximately 200 brands that had been accumulated. Non-core activities had to be shed, whereas the other areas of the Group had to be brought together. This huge task began with determining the group's key strengths and assessing what the market wanted. The core skills that had been created over the years were pulled together and consolidated in the form of an integrated range of services – One Complete Solution - revolving around the client as the hub.
The fourth generation has also continued to expand overseas into many new countries including Thailand, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and more recently China. This growth has been achieved through acquisitions, partnerships, franchises and organically.
The OCS name, reputation and ambition were brought to New Zealand in 2004 with the full acquisition by OCS of Quality Services Enterprises Ltd (QSE) which, in the 1930s, was a division of the Internal Affairs Department. OCS in New Zealand has a proven record in service excellence and is one of the country's largest cleaning and facilities services organisations.
The Group's development remains focused on Frederick's core principle – to organise the services around the customer. As a Group advert from 1953 reads:
"We are proud of our past ... we have confidence in our future!"