GREEN SOLUTIONS

Panama 2018 | GREEN ECONOMY | B2B

Internationally certified cleaning and water management services are playing a crucial role as Panama looks to lead the region, and the world, in tackling environmental concerns.

Carolina Blanco
CAROLINA BLANCO
President
Ambitek Services
José Archibold
JOSÉ ARCHIBOLD
General Manager
Panama Clean Services (PCS)

How has the company evolved since it was created?

CAROLINA BLANCO We have been in Ciudad del Saber since 2008 as two organizations: NDT and Ambitek. NDT was created first, and it develops nanotechnology products. This company was focused on the oil sector until the decline in oil prices. At that time, we realized that we could attend to some local environmental issues with our available infrastructure and workforce. We decided to focus on issues related to water quality monitoring and treatment. Since our clients have to demonstrate the quality of the water it uses or produces, the results of our laboratory have legal implications. For this reason, we acquired an ISO 17025 certification to provide a certifiable water characterization service. We offer our clients the ability to comply with standards and improve the environment. We want the water that our clients produce to be of high quality. Our major clients are Metro, Minera Panamá, Banco General, and AES.

JOSÉ ARCHIBOLD Panama Clean Services was established in 2008 to provide professional cleaning services with high quality standards, something that until that date was not available in Panama. We developed a complex structure of processes and controls that ensure that our clients receive world-class service. Complying with these quality standards for customer satisfaction made PCS the first and only professional cleaning company in Panama to certify its quality management system under the International Standard ISO 9001. The success of these 10 years in the industry is the commitment and dedication of a team that has turned quality into its organizational culture. We do not offer our clients a service; we offer the guarantee and satisfaction in the fulfillment of each one of our processes.

What is the core of your business in Panama?

CB Consulting on the diagnosis of water and the optimization of plants is the most successful part of the company. In Panama, there is a purchase-sale system. Everything works well for the first few months; however, when the plants begin to have problems, either the company disappears or it becomes necessary to bring in someone from the outside, which involves high costs. We diagnose the problems and tune up the treatment plants, and if the client wants it, we operate their plants. We are currently operating the Barú brewery sludge plant, and we were with Minera Panama for six months, tuning up its domestic residual water plants. We have participated and won many calls from the government. Now, we have a water treatment project that is challenging. There are emerging contaminants such as medicines that normal treatment plants do not treat because these waters carry hard toxins like antibiotics or drugs. We have partnerships with research centers in Germany, and we seek to apply their technologies.

What is the company's consumer base, and what does the future hold for Panama Clean Services?

JA Our clients are spread across multiple industries such as hospitals, ports, banks, malls, highways, call centers, production and pharmaceutical plants, telecommunications and retail companies, and multinational companies. All our customers have something in common: they are the most demanding companies and expect the highest standards of quality. All of them have rigorous processes of hiring suppliers and managers with the highest experience and knowledge in the field. Our goal is simple: to represent a competitive advantage for every client. We are currently planning to expand across Colombia as it has one of the most developed markets for professional cleaning services. The size of the Colombian market is evident from our research, which showed that the biggest cleaning company in Colombia has revenues that are larger than the entire industry in Panama.

Ambitek Services manages the distribution of Evoqua Water Technologies as well as Modern Water Monitoring. What does this mean for the company?

CB One of the company's two approaches is as a laboratory that analyzes and reports on compliance when processes require results and solutions in measurements and sampling requirements. The analysis requires a period of 15 days, after which we deliver the results. However, many companies require real-time results in order to make decisions as they need to adjust pH levels or make variations on process parameters. In this case, we use our second approach where we play a role that is bigger than that of a laboratory, providing clients with tools to make pertinent decisions and comply with the required quality parameters.

How do you plan on competing in the Colombian market?

JA We have been developing a strategy over the last two years based on extensive market research. The research showed that customers in Panama and Colombia face the same set of issues. The main difference is that our competitors in Colombia have international quality standards that are similar to ours; with some even having the ISO 14001 certification. We are in process of applying for this certification to expand our business to Colombia. PCS is a “green" cleaning company. We have achieved this by developing commercial alliances with international suppliers certified with ISO 14001, which ensures that the products we use are truly biodegradable.