It has been forecast that the global industrial cleaning market will grow at a CAGR of 4.67% between 2017 and 2021. And one of the major factors driving this growth is the increasing demand from the janitorial segment and the growing awareness amongst end-users about the importance of hygienic and clean surroundings. A key trend is the shift toward green and sustainable cleaning. According to EFCI, the European Federation of Cleaning Industries, the janitorial supplies sector has grown by 500 per cent in turnover, compared to 1989. The market, worth 6 billion Euros, has changed drastically from what it was even 2 decades ago.
The biggest factor is the cleaning standards that have only become higher in the past. The second factor, as Gabriella Bianco, Communications, IPC Group, informs, is “Public Administrations, which have gained importance in recent years by outsourcing contract cleaning companies or facility management agencies to carry out most of the professional cleaning activities.”
Alessandro Costantini, Export Area Manager, TTS Cleaning SRL, adds, “Above all, there is a rapid increase in requests for cleaning procedures and tools that could assure high hygiene standards; the market is changing towards this trend at an incredible speed compared to the past. We also note a growing demand for environmentally friendly products.”
Understanding the demand from the customer first requires an understanding of the customer. Cleaning service providers and contract cleaners usually have different applications and environments. Different types of surface materials have to be cleaned - glass surfaces, hard and wooden floorings, moquette or carpets, often in v ery narrow areas or in very large environments, sometimes constantly crowded. However, most of the demand comes in for innovative cleaning trolleys, with increasing requirements for modular closed models, with the possibility to customise the door and wall graphics to provide a more pleasant and professional image of the service, adds Costantini.
Cleaning is synonymous with people – as a result, all manufacturers make it their mission to make cleaning operations easier, safer and definitely more efficient. Today, housekeepers need modular, functional and highly customisable trolleys, equipped with components and accessories that can give solutions to professional cleaning needs in any environment.
Efficiency and labour-saving are the new key words, therefore the demand is oriented towards tailor-made trolleys where tools, clean laundry or used mops find their proper storage and are still close at hand, thus maximising cleaning task efficiency and reducing labour time. Ergonomics, manoeuvrability and versatility - modern trolleys are designed to offer complete solutions for cleaning and to store tools in total safety. Each detail is designed specifically to allow a comfortable and convenient working posture for the user.
For instance, IPC's BRIX trolleys respond to specific requests and applications in different environments such as hospitals, where they can be equipped with H DS (Healthcare Disinfection System) and SDS (Smart Disinfection System) or HORECA, where the collection line has been designed and equipped with hotels, points of sale and offices in mind.
TTS prefers offering ergonomic and lightweight cleaning systems. Where possible, operators prefer flat mop systems instead of the traditional bucket and wringer method, which makes the job heavier. The last step in this direction is to switch to previously soaked mops or soaking directly on the cleaning trolley, thanks to the on demand system with Dosely dispenser.
At Wanzl Middle East, feedback is sought from housekeepers to make changes to the brand’s chambermaid trolleys, which allows the end user to work efficiently, in line with municipality hygiene standards, etc. The Mundus from Wanzl can be equipped individually and is tailor-made. It has shelves for insertion, a top box for guest supplies, a laundry bag and a waste sorting box are only a few of the features.
There is definitely an increase in the demand for eco-friendly products and this applies to janitorial supplies as well. The eco-friendly approach is definitely more than a trend - it has become a new way of cleaning, more responsible and focused not only on the environment but on people's health as well. Bianco informs, “Manufacturers are focusing on self impregnation systems that provide accurate dosage of detergents avoiding potentially dangerous wastes. Mops are becoming compostable; they are no longer potentially toxic for human and animals.
New cleaning solutions are rewriting the way of professional cleaning!” Costantini adds, “The key to success is that these products are easily accessible thanks to a moderate initial investment compared to the considerable cost containment generated by their daily use.”
Despite consistent awareness drives and a lot of paraphernalia spreading awareness about the use of the right kind of janitorial equipment, several end users still use sa y a Kentucky mop versus a micro-fibre mop and a flat mop - or even use local antiseptic chemicals versus milder, easy on the environment and operator-friendly professional products. Brands are consistently working to ensure that the customer is aware and updated on the latest trends and requirements. Bianco says, “Our priority is to keep our customers informed about the latest cleaning solutions with a problem/solving approach. Hence, we’ve launched a new international website with frequent newsletters that keep interested customers up to date on the latest trends and products. We also have a blog focused on actual cleaning issues, several apps and tutorial videos uploaded on YouTube – all with the aim of supporting our audience.” Costantini says that the company organises dedicated seminars, training courses, effective and innovative marketing tools through which the distributors and their dealer network continue to remain informed and updated.
How do housekeepers and cleaning service companies decide on the kind of tools they need? Costantini says, to choose an effective workstation, the parameters are always mainly two: first of all the space you have to clean, either ‘size’ or ‘type’ (with or without obstacles, the type of floor, etc.) and the type of cleaning operations to be carried out with all the variants and peculiarities of the case. TTS offers its customers Magic Mobile software: a configurator to build step-by-step your ideal cleaning trolley according to your specific needs
Wanzl has a more elaborate approach. Denny Santimano, Sales Director- Hotel Service Division, Wanzl Middle East, says, “We and the clients together determine the quantity, e.g. numbers of floors, numbers of rooms on each floor, numbers of pantries on each floor, size of service elevators, numbers of elevators and the budget.” He adds that the company clients’ requirements are very simple - after sales service and long lasting products (Wanzl takes extreme pride in being one of the few companies in the world to provide 3 years warranty on castors).
Most of the times, however, it is very difficult for any end user to use specific spreadsheets that can calculate the exact requirements in terms of tools and consumables, based on areas dimensions, kind of floors, numbers of windows and furniture etc. In the end, common sense and experience are still invaluable, observes Bianco.
One of the biggest challenges in the industry is spreading awareness of the need to use high-quality products to up the standards of hygiene in any facility. Apart from this, as Santimano informs, “Low-cost products from the Far East/China/Turkey compete directly in terms of price usually convincing clients to compromise on quality. Some clients in the region fail to understand quality when they compare European products to such lowcost products. However, usually, a year after spending on such products, clients come back to us requesting for our trolleys.
Costantini feels that it will always be a challenge to help raise the average level of cleanliness to high standards of hygiene, especially in the healthcare sector, and in favour of better working conditions for operators. In this particular market, what stands out is the contrast between some points of true excellence and many still highly developing situations.
Bianco adds, the main goal should be to continue designing and improving cleaning systems that can sensibly reduce the dependency on water, given that the scarcity of this precious element will be a reality worldwide. Generally speaking products will become more and more recyclable to minimise the impact of their life cycle on environment. In terms of design, the future will see cleaning trolleys becoming increasingly.