world toilet day 2021



Challenges and Opportunities Facing Our Customers

During the pandemic, the cleaning industry took a downturn, and many businesses cut back on cleaning services. However, with lockdowns lifted — and the economy finding its feet — the commercial and industrial cleaning industry is bouncing back.

With these opportunities and benefits also come new challenges for businesses in the commercial and industrial cleaning industry. A stronger economy means more competition, making it important for cleaning companies to continue to find ways to remain competitive in the busy modern marketplace. In addition to staying on top of and adapting to industry trends, businesses in this industry will also need to address potential weaknesses and take full advantage of new market opportunities if they want to grow and thrive in the coming years.

So, what does the future of the cleaning industry actually hold? For some of the answers, we turn to the Bitish Cleaning Council, the voice of the cleaning industry for 35 years.

In their Cleaning, Hygiene And Waste Industry Research Report 2021, the BCC predicts several changes for professionals in the industry, including:



BCC members believe Covid-19 will change the way the industry operates. Companies are learning a lot more about infection control. Cleaning and hygiene operatives, who used to just clean, are now learning the importance of sanitising every surface. Day cleaning will take over night cleaning offices as workers feel more assured if they can see cleaning taking place. IN hotels, the UKHA expects there to be much more cleaning and sanitising in future, to a higher level. There will be more of a focus on deep cleans and touch point cleaning, which will require more targeted resourcing. However, any changes will be led by the customer. 


Office Requirements

Remote working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many companies to reconsider how they do business and the office space needed. How the expected move towards flexible working will impact the commercial cleaning and hygiene industry remains to be seen. For now, Deloitte anticipates that up to a third of workers will work remotely and Deutsche Bank says 80% of UK staff could work from home for up to two days a week (Financial News 2021). 



Digital transformation has been accelerated across the sector, particularly for training and assessment and working patterns.
The industry made a swift switch to digital content – webinars, meetings, training and assessments and it is not considered likely to change much moving forwards. Manufacturers such as DiverseyEvans Vanodine, and Zybax are already embracing e-learning for their customers. It's another example that working digitally has been successful. People are now comfortable with Zoom and  Microsoft Teams. The future will undoubtedly see more flexible learning. 


commercial cleaning



Unique Challenges

Retail outlets, shops, medical facilities, and other commercial and industrial buildings all have similar things in common when it comes to their cleaning needs. However, increasing competition and rising customer expectations have started to create unique market challenges that cleaning companies need to be aware of and account for if they want to keep their current customers and attract new ones. Similarly, valuable new opportunities are also opening up that commercial cleaning businesses need to take advantage of if they want to improve performance and grow their business.


Finding & Keeping the Right Employees

The public perception that professional cleaning is not skilled work has long been pervasive in the cleaning industry. Though this is not true, especially for highly specialised commercial and industrial applications, this perception tends to lead to high employee turnover for cleaning companies. Due to this negative perception, those who apply for open positions may not be the best fit, and those who are a good fit may not want to stay in the position long.

Companies spend a significant amount of time and resources hiring, onboarding, and training their employees. The more turnover a cleaning business experiences, the more costly hiring and training can become. Not to mention, the business can also lose money if they find themselves short-staffed or if they have under-trained staff who are not performing to the customer’s expectations.

Staff can make or break a commercial or industrial cleaning business. If cleaning companies want to reduce hiring expenses while improving the quality of their staff, they need to become adept at hiring the right professionals for the job. This requires cleaning businesses to provide more detailed and accurate job descriptions and perform national background checks as part of the hiring process. Additionally, cleaning companies need to develop more effective interview questions and make sure that their expectations are clearly communicated during the interview process.Improving employee retention starts with  understanding how your company culture impacts employee job satisfaction. Identifying areas for growth and making positive changes to the culture can help ensure that employees are happier and more productive in their workplace, which can lead to lower turnover rates.

Here are just a few ways that cleaning businesses can improve employee retention:

— Having a formal recognition system that acknowledges employees who go above and beyond in providing quality service.
— Providing the opportunity to complete varied job tasks that keep employees interested and satisfied with their jobs.
— Creating a system for collecting employee feedback and applying those learnings for a better work environment.
— Investing in new training programs that allow employees to learn new skills and expand their knowledge of the industry.

By hiring more suitable employees and finding ways to keep these employees happy, commercial and industrial cleaning companies can combat turnover and stop wasting money on hiring and training the wrong people for the job. Not to mention, the more capable, productive, and satisfied your employees are, the happier your customers will be.


Budget: Doing More with Less

For as long as commercial cleaning companies have been in business, cutting costs has been a concern. Like any other industry, the commercial and industrial cleaning industry is impacted by budget concerns. Budgets can limit a business, forcing them to do more with less. As the economy dips and cleaning becomes a luxury service that businesses feel they can cut back on, cleaning companies have to continue to provide quality service with a smaller budget.

While opportunities for conventional growth may be limited, commercial cleaning businesses can focus on providing value-added services. Companies can differentiate their offering through niche services and specialised personnel that allow them to provide more types of services as one vendor. As commercial and industrial facilities look for ways to cut their own budgets, they may seek to consolidate vendors, choosing a cleaning company that can offer more than just standard cleaning services.

Another focus when it comes to budget is cost control. Cleaning companies need to analyse their operational costs and look for opportunities to keep costs down without sacrificing quality of service. This may require you to change the way you operate and look past what you already know and are comfortable with to take advantage of new ways to save.

Planned maintenance of cleaning equipment is a simple way to save on operational costs over time. Just like a vehicle needs an oil change, tire rotation, and other basic maintenance services to maintain performance, so does your cleaning equipment. Routine maintenance saves you money in the long run by making sure that your equipment performs effectively with fewer breakdowns. It can even extend the life of your equipment, allowing you to get more life out of the machine before it needs to be replaced.

There are also ways that commercial and industrial cleaning companies can reduce cleaning staff costs without sacrificing quality. One way is by developing a strong training program that teaches staff how to work effectively while also being efficient. The more efficiently your team works, the more services you can provide with fewer people. Another important way to reduce staff costs is by investing in innovative and efficient cleaning technologies that automate some of your cleaning processes and improve productivity. This allows you to do more with fewer people.




Safety: Protecting Employees and Customers

Yet another challenge that companies in the cleaning industry face is how to improve safety in commercial and industrial facilities. Safety will always be a focus in public areas. From minimising slip and fall accidents to preventing the spread of disease, cleaning companies play a major role in improving the safety of businesses and industrial buildings.

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of safety issues in commercial buildings and industrial facilities. It is the cleaning staff's responsibility to ensure that any spills are cleaned up properly and signage is placed in areas that are still wet. To ensure that staff is consistent with these practices, cleaning companies need to make preventing slip and fall accidents a part of employee training.

Another safety issue that cleaning companies must contend with is the impact that cleaning processes and products have on the environment within the commercial or industrial facility. For instance, using harsh chemicals that give off a strong odour or equipment that creates noise pollution can impact customers and employees that are in the facility at the time of cleaning. Investing in more efficient cleaning technologies can help reduce both noise pollution and chemical use.

Not only do cleaning companies contribute to the safety of employees and customers in a commercial building or industrial facility, but they also must account for the safety of their own employees. This means providing any safety gear necessary and offering adequate training on how to operate cleaning equipment properly. Using equipment and cleaning solutions that reduce the need for harsh chemicals not only provides a cleaner, healthier environment for the commercial or industrial building but also for the cleaning company's employees who are regularly exposed to these materials.



Market Opportunities

Along with the challenges addressed above, there are also some exciting new opportunities that cleaning companies can take advantage of. The sustainable cleaning trend, new cleaning technologies and automation systems, and the introduction of specialty cleaning services help cleaning businesses differentiate their company and processes while saving money by reducing time and resources without sacrificing quality service.



Sustainability: Cleaning for Health and Environmental Impact

All you need to do is look at the cleaning aisle of your local supermarket to see how far-reaching the green cleaning trend has become in recent years. Alongside a shrinking selection of traditional cleaning products are a variety of “green cleaners” meant to reduce the individual’s impact on the environment while also using all natural cleaning agents that don’t leave behind a chemical residue that can impact indoor air quality and health.

And this phenomenon is not just limited to consumer cleaning products. The commercial and industrial cleaning industries are also seeing an increased push toward green cleaning products and more sustainable processes. Whether due to the commercial facility’s own ethical stance or the demand of their own customers, more companies are choosing to partner with cleaning companies that can provide sustainable cleaning solutions.

The green cleaning trend opens up an important opportunity for commercial cleaning companies that want to specialize in green cleaning or offer it as a value-added service. By providing the option to use non-toxic yet effective cleaning agents in place of traditional chemical cleaners, commercial cleaning businesses can work to meet growing customer expectations given that many businesses have come to expect green cleaning options from their commercial cleaning provider.

In addition to green cleaning products, commercial and industrial cleaning companies can also adopt more sustainable processes that reduce chemical and water use. This not only reduces the company’s negative impact on the environment, but it also helps companies save money by reducing their waste and cutting back on the resources needed to provide quality services. (In the section below, we’ll talk a little bit more about ways that commercial and industrial cleaning businesses can work more sustainably.)


Technology and Automation: Investing in the Right Tools

New technologies and automation capabilities are also changing the way that commercial and industrial cleaning businesses approach efficiency and productivity. Investing in the right technologies can be a real game changer for cleaning companies that are looking for ways to improve the type of services and quality of work they provide to commercial buildings and industrial facilities.

Big data is an important tool in commercial cleaning companies' technology arsenal. Asset management technologies provide cleaning companies with greater visibility into cleaning performance metrics, allowing them to identify areas for improvement and recognize opportunities for growth. By looking at a wealth of data from the asset management system, managers can find ways to improve cleaning efficiency and lower cleaning costs while still driving improved cleaning performance and consistency.

Automation is another way for commercial and industrial cleaning companies to reduce costs while maintaining the quality of service. Companies that utilize technology to automate parts of the commercial cleaning process not only improve efficiency and help cut down on labor costs, but they can also improve consistency, which leads to a better experience for commercial and industrial facilities. Harnessing the power of automated cleaning technologies like cleaning machines open up a wealth of new opportunities for increased productivity.

Lithium-ion and other battery technology can also be a game-changer for industrial cleaning businesses. This technology makes it easier to take cleaning portable by serving as a power source for the cordless backpack and upright vacuums. Battery technology makes it easier for cleaning staff to work efficiently and get to hard-to-reach areas quickly and effectively.


Speciality Services: Adding More Value for Customers

Another opportunity that commercial cleaning businesses can take advantage of is the need for specialty cleaning services. As commercial building and facility owners and managers work to simplify their processes and cut costs, they will be looking for ways to consolidate vendors to get more of their needs met by fewer suppliers. Cleaning businesses that provide specialized services like HVAC cleaning or upholstery care are able to provide extra value to their industrial and commercial customers, thereby increasing their value in the marketplace.

Commercial cleaning businesses that want to add value for their customers through specialty services will need to invest in the technology and training necessary to offer these services effectively and efficiently. Consider what initial and ongoing costs will be necessary to provide specialized services as well as what an adequate training program would look like so that you can ensure your staff is ready to complete these new services.

When deciding which specialty services your commercial cleaning business should add, consider your customer needs as well as the knowledge and experience you already have on your team. The best way to find out what your commercial and industrial clients need when it comes to cleaning services is to ask. Send out a survey or conduct some customer interviews with your best clients to find out what additional cleaning services they may be interested in. You can also survey your staff to find out what additional experience they may have that lends well to specialized cleaning services.

Ultimately, cleaning businesses should invest in the additional cleaning services that make the most sense for their company. Discover which specialized services there is a need for in your area and which services you can realistically provide with your current staff. Then, consider what type of investment you would need to make in both equipment and staff to effectively offer these services at full scale. After weighing your options, choose the services that provide the highest ROI for your company.





Commercial Cleaning IoT and Automation

When it comes to commercial and industrial cleaning technology, there have been a wealth of innovations that have changed the way that professional cleaning companies work and provide value for their customers. If they want to stay competitive in the modern market place, commercial and industrial cleaning businesses need to stay up-to-date with these innovations and look for ways to incorporate new technologies into their own services and processes. Not only will it help them improve efficiency and productivity, but it can also significantly impact the company’s bottom line.

The Internet of Things (IoT), or connected device technology, is revolutionizing nearly every industry by opening up a world of possibilities for improving business operations and efficiency. The same technology that allows homeowners to control their home thermostat from their smartphone has also had a significant impact on the commercial and industrial cleaning industry. IoT enables cleaning companies to manage fleets of equipment from one convenient dashboard, allowing them to get the data they need to improve operations and drive growth.

With IoT-enabled commercial cleaning technology, cleaning businesses can get real-time updates on equipment status, usage, and location. This means that supervisors can manage several teams at the same time from one location, making sure that service schedules are met across the company. Operations managers can also see updates on equipment maintenance needs, which helps them efficiently schedule maintenance services to reduce downtime and repair costs.

Commercial and industrial cleaning companies can also use robotics to automate some of their cleaning processes. When deploying robotics, cleaning companies no longer have to be concerned with the impact that the work will have on cleaning staff or whether the equipment is being used properly and as necessary. This not only reduces labor costs, but it can also enable cleaning companies to work faster while improving consistency, boosting efficiency, and reducing waste. All of these benefits offer a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

While many may argue that robots are meant to replace employees, that’s not entirely accurate. Robotic cleaning machines can be used for repetitive, labor-intensive tasks like floor cleaning, which enables trained and experienced employees to focus more on the high-value tasks that provide a higher return on investment for cleaning companies. In the end, robotic cleaning equipment supplements the work completed by cleaning professionals, allowing them to work smarter, not harder to provide consistent, quality service.



shopping centre cleaning


Ultimately, if commercial and industrial cleaning businesses want to remain competitive in the busy modern marketplace, they need to stay up-to-date with industry trends. Working to proactively address market challenges while taking advantage of new opportunities will help these companies stay profitable even during downturns in the economy. The key to staying productive, efficient, and consistent is utilizing the cleaning technologies available to you, from environmentally preferred cleaning products to IoT-enabled cleaning machines.



Tennant UK Cleaning Solutions Ltd. (original source)

Allied Market Research (original source)

Janitorial Manager, Archie Heinl (original source)

Buildings, Dan Wagner (original source)