“If you win business on price, you will lose business on price.”
That’s according to Joe Cardamone, managing director of Cell Biosciences, who made the comments during a panel discussion on the future of the industry at the ISSA Cleaning & Hygiene Expo.
Cardamone was joined by Christianne Davis, senior marketing manager, Rubbermaid Commercial Products; Gareth Marriott, managing director of OCS ANZ; Hamish Matheson, region president, Karcher Australia and Michelle Thomas, general manager, GECA.
Marriott agreed, arguing the commercial cleaning sector needs to take more pride in its products and services and provide value to customers beyond price.
“We have bastardised the industry. As an industry we need to have more passion and belief in the services we offer, and price it accordingly, otherwise all we do is create a race to the bottom. It’s up to us as employers to drive the right behaviour in the industry.
“We need to add value to the customer – the people that use our services. Are we giving our customers value? Are we giving them an experience?”
GECA’s Thomas said cleaning companies need to identify any issues in their supply chain as cleaning remains a high-risk sector of modern slavery.
“Companies need to examine their supply chain and understand what those risks could be from a legislative aspect,” Thomas said.
Davis told attendees she anticipates there to be a greater focus on cleaning services thanks to growing peer-to-peer (P2P) influence, such as online reviews, within the hospitality and food and beverage sectors.
“Cleaning is not just a background service; it is now at the forefront of conversations. People trust online comments and reviews more than brands, and cleaning is becoming an essential part of that online conversation,” Davis said, adding consumers are becoming more “mindful” of the products and services they use.
“’Mindfulness’ is a buzzword at the moment but I think the cleaning industry, and cleaning service providers, do need to be mindful of the products they use.
“Single-use plastics such as straws and hotel amenity bottles are being banned around the world and that movement will make its way to the cleaning industry.
“Consumers, and businesses are starting to look for products that are re-usable and re-examining their processes to be more sustainable.”
Matheson said over the last five years product innovation has been based on mobility, such as the towards to cordless technology, and visibility of assets, with the use of automation expected to increase over the next five years.
“Automation and AI has entered the industry in the last five years quite quickly and this will increase quite significantly in the next five to 10 years.
“But while there is a nice balance between innovation and technology developing in the industry, which has traditionally been manual, cleaning will always remain a people business.
“If you can balance the technology we can do more with the industry in terms of training and up-skilling staff. It is an exciting industry and an exciting future.”
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