A new generation of cleaning equipment is catching up with the customer-centric and fast-moving worlds of hospitality and retail, according to Gordon McVean, international sales and marketing director of Truvox International.
From restaurants to hotels, the customer experience is paramount in the world of hospitality. In shops and stores too, the experts tell us that retail is detail – the service matters almost as much as the product. It’s a concept that we buy into, as a designer and manufacturer of cleaning equipment.
Compared with the rapidly shifting trends and styles in the consumer-centric environment of hospitality and retail – where online customer reviews and social media make and break reputations – the pace of change may seem much slower in our industry.
Yet we are also tapping into innovations and new technology that revolve around the customer (and operator) as well as the client investing in new cleaning equipment. And their application is highly relevant and beneficial in the arena of guests and shoppers.
Hoteliers are highly aware of the importance of dovetailing delivery of cleaning services with the expectations and sensitivities of guests. It’s a factor now looming larger in the minds of our retail clients is the shift to late-night shopping, and even 24-hour opening.
For this reason – and also, financial considerations – more cleaning is now taking place when customers are present. Increasingly they share the hotel manager’s concerns about noise disturbance and the trip risk to guests from trailing cables.
Reliable battery technology
The most significant advance in this area is, of course, the arrival of reliable and cost-effective battery technology. Improvements in lithium ion batteries in particular, have unleashed a new generation of highly flexible, cordless cleaning machines.
Most recently, we have cut the cord for teams cleaning with that stalwart of vacuuming, the upright vac. The ability to vacuum continuously for up to 60 minutes with no need to plug and unplug, or fear of snagging a cable on furniture or a display stand – or, worse, a guest or customer – not only makes the job easier and less obtrusive. It frees up staff for other tasks as it’s quicker too.
Additional design features – such as a charging level display, a squeegee blade to enhance pick-up on hard floors, and no loss of suction when the upright vac is extended to lie flat – can put the user in full control of their cleaning performance. The advantages are clear in a range of situations – when cleaning under beds, floating seamlessly between hard and soft floors in the foyer and lounge, and through confined spaces, including stores with counters and product displays.
Eco regulations for vacuums
With vacuuming, as with other types of cleaning, efficiency is no less important for the facility manager or their contractor. Equipment specifiers in Australia can benefit from rising regulatory standards in Europe, which have recently come into force.
The eco regulations for vacuums have raised the bar for energy efficiency, as well as setting challenging benchmarks for sound levels and emissions, and dust pickup on soft and hard floors. Manufacturers are required to grade the performance of their machines according to the European Union’s labelling system.
This has helped spur improvements so that new versions of popular electric-powered models boast the high A rating for energy efficiency. This applies to compact and powerful tub vacs and backpack models too.
While the cordless upright vac is a recent development, it follows other types of cordless cleaning equipment that have demonstrated that their added flexibility need not compromise performance or reliability.
This first appeared in the November/December issue of INCLEAN magazine. To read the article in full, click here.