Challenges and Opportunities Facing Cleaning Businesses

Amid the recession, the cleaning industry plunged as many companies reduced their cleaning services. But since business has improved and the U.S. economy has steadily increased in recent years, and the industrial and commercial cleaning industry has recovered. A market report for 2018 from the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) as well as the American Association of Cleaning Equipment Manufacturers (AACEM) illustrates that, as we see the U.S. economy continues to increase in the coming years, the commercial growth will also improve which will create new opportunities for industrial and commercial cleaning companies. The commercial and industrial cleaning business is projected to grow to $74.3 million by 2022.

These benefits and opportunities are also new challenges for businesses operating in the industrial and commercial cleaning sector. A robust economy will mean increased competition, making it essential for cleaning firms to find ways to stay competitive in today’s market constantly. While keeping up-to-date and keeping up with industry trends, companies in this field must also address any weaknesses and take advantage of market opportunities for growth and prosperity over the next few years.

  • Commercial and Industrial Cleaning Industry Trends
  • Unique Market Challenges and Opportunities
  • Anticipating Workforce Training Issues
  • Sustainability and Commercial Cleaning
  • Commercial Cleaning IoT and Automation

Commercial and Industrial Cleaning Industry Trends

Cleaning trends evolve in line with the demands and needs of modern-day businesses. Industrial and commercial cleaning firms must stay on top of the latest trends in the industry and adjust their procedures to accommodate the particular needs of their markets. Below, we’ll give an overview of some of the top developments in the cleaning industry today and how they could influence the cleaning industry.

Healthier Indoor Environments

The most significant industrial and commercial cleaning trends result from increasing public health concerns. In the past, commercial cleaning services might have focused on cleaning for the sake of appearance, but modern cleaning companies are becoming more concerned with cleaning to improve the health of indoor spaces. A focus on health-related cleaning implies that professionals who work in the cleaning field are accountable to higher standards because they’re often considered the primary line of defense in keeping the spread of diseases or infectious diseases, as well as other contaminants, in public areas.

In addition to the growing public interest in better indoor living, various regulations and standards could affect commercial cleaning businesses. To ensure that they are in compliance with laws from agencies such as OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and also meet specific standards set by regulatory rating agencies such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), cleaning businesses must make sure they are using the latest technologies such as products, processes, and other equipment that are in line with established standards for health and safety.

One of the most pressing issues in the health-related aspect of cleaning in industrial and commercial areas is ensuring and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). It is estimated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 150 million hours of work are lost each year because of low indoor air quality and the health issues that it can cause. This is one of the main reasons why more industrial and commercial establishments are embracing environmentally friendly, greener products that do not leave the chemical residues that could affect air quality.

One study revealed that a thorough cleaning process that includes the most advanced cleaning equipment and greener cleaning materials could significantly enhance IAQ in industrial and commercial facilities. The study showed a reduction of 52% in airborne dust, 42% less Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), a 40 percent reduction in the growth of bacteria, and a 61% reduction in the formation of fungi colonies.

Vendor Consolidation

With the modern, crowded marketplace with new daily challenges, increasing numbers of companies across all industries are searching for ways to streamline their processes and reduce costs. Because of this, businesses seek to simplify the number of vendors they work with and those they employ in commercial clean-up services. One cleaning company provides one point of contact for all services invoiced in one place, which will be more efficient and can increase a company’s profitability.

The increasing trend of consolidation of vendor services makes it crucial for cleaning firms to offer added value to industrial and commercial customers. For many cleaning firms, it’s about expanding their offerings to include specializations, such as carpet cleaning or HVAC cleaning. Offering specialized services requires companies to employ new staff or enhance training courses to handle these particular services and invest in the latest technologies to improve efficiency and quality.

The demand for services that add value and the constant pressure on budgets makes cleaning firms constantly required to perform more in less. To make the most of the increasing trend of consolidating vendors, industrial and commercial cleaning companies must market their capabilities as being able to satisfy all their customer’s requirements. When industrial and commercial facilities are looking for ways to move the bulk of their cleaning needs to one provider, Cleaning businesses must present themselves as trustworthy partner that can provide specialized and skilled employees that most companies can’t pay for on their own.

Hiring & Training Practices

Improving hiring and training methods is another trend gaining momentum in the industrial and commercial cleaning industry. Commercial cleaners can lose 55 percent of their clients because of poor cleaning procedures. With the competition being so fierce in the current market, many companies will be willing to look for a new cleaning service if they’re unhappy with the quality of service. This is why, in recent years, there has been a greater focus on hiring and educating practices for cleaning firms to ensure that their staff are competent and able to deliver the high-quality service that customers have come to expect.

When recruiting, cleaning professionals in the commercial sector must vet prospective employees thoroughly. Screening employees not only aids in ensuring that your company is employing trustworthy employees; however, numerous industrial and commercial establishments prefer working with suppliers who offer nationwide background checks for each one of their workers.

Alongside hiring more skilled staff, cleaning companies must ensure that their training programs have been adequately prepared to offer top-quality services. Employees must be taught to perform their duties quickly while working efficiently in keeping with the scheduled service times and prices. While this might take additional time and expense initially, it will eventually result in a higher return on investment when it comes to keeping clients and attracting new ones.

Unique Market Challenges and Opportunities

Retail establishments, supermarkets, retail establishments, stores for medical services, and various industrial and commercial buildings have much to share regarding their cleaning requirements. However, the increase in competition and customer expectations have created new problems for cleaning businesses that they must be aware of and address to maintain their existing customers and attract new customers. In addition, growth opportunities are opening up that commercial cleaning firms must benefit from to improve efficiency and expand their business.

Market Challenges

Some argue that the issues that industrial and commercial cleaning companies face today are the same problems the industry has faced for years. Although that could be the case, these problems will be around for a while. In reality, they’re increased by the increasing expectations of consumers in the current market. Here are a few of the most frequently encountered issues facing cleaning companies in the market and the best ways to be dealt with.

Labor: Finding & Keeping the Right Employees

The belief that professional cleaning isn’t skilled work is widespread in the cleaning industry. However, this is different, particularly for highly specialized industrial and commercial applications; the perception can cause high turnover within cleaning businesses. Because of this negative perception, people who apply for open positions might not be the most suitable candidates, and those who are well-suited may only be able to remain at the same job for a short time.

Companies spend considerable time and effort hiring, onboarding, and instructing their employees. The greater the turnover that a cleaning business has, the more costly hiring and training could be. Additionally, the company could suffer financial losses if they need additional staff or have staff that needs to be adequately trained and meet customer requirements.

The quality of staff can be the difference in the success of an industrial or commercial cleaning company. Cleaning companies are looking to cut down on hiring costs while improving the performance of their employees. They should learn how to find experts who are suitable to do the task. This means that cleaning companies must offer more thorough and precise job descriptions and conduct national background checks during interviews. Cleaning companies also should develop more efficient interview questions and ensure that the expectations of their employees are apparent in the interviewing process.

It’s crucial to not only employ effectively but also ensure that employee retention is a top priority. Retention of employees begins with knowing how the culture of your business affects employee satisfaction. Finding areas of growth by making improvements to the company’s culture can ensure that employees are happy and more productive in their work environments, which can reduce turnover.

Here are the ways that cleaning companies can boost employee retention.

  • The company has a formal recognition program that recognizes employees who surpass expectations regarding providing excellent service.
  • Giving employees the chance to perform various tasks keeps them engaged and happy.
  • The idea is to create a system for collecting employee feedback and making adjustments in response to this feedback for an improved work environment.
  • Investing in new training programs that enable employees to acquire new skills and broaden their knowledge about the industry.

By employing more qualified employees and figuring out ways to keep them happy, industrial and commercial cleaning firms can reduce the issue of turnover and stop spending money hiring and educating those who are not the right people to do the job. In addition, the more competent and productive workers are more satisfied your customers will be.

Productivity: Improving Cleaning Efficiency

As we mentioned in the clean-up field, we have experienced significant shifts in customers’ expectations regarding cleanliness. The increasing demand for health-related cleaning requires professional cleaning firms to be more thorough with their practices to provide superior services. But, if they hope to profit, they must be efficient and productive. This is why it is crucial for cleaning companies to figure out ways to increase their efficiency to ensure that they can continue to be effective without increasing the turnaround time for service.

Investing in efficient cleaning equipment can make it easier for cleaning businesses to improve efficiency without compromising quality. Selecting the best equipment for your requirements is crucial for companies wanting to increase commercial cleaning efficiency. For instance, using equipment with pre-set cleaning options will allow your staff to begin cleaning immediately without wasting time setting up. This can not only boost productivity, but it also gives cleaner, more consistent results.

Alongside machines that have already-set cleaning options, cleaning companies should also look into purchasing equipment that permits employees to enter difficult-to-reach places. Instead of having employees leave equipment in the middle of a visit to the service and change to a mop or broom instead, they could use machines that permit close cleaning. This allows them to clean up close to pallets, equipment, racks, shelves, and other equipment.

In addition to investing in the best equipment to allow staff to clean more efficiently, cleaning businesses must consider whether innovative cleaning technology and automated systems could boost productivity even more. By automatizing specific cleaning procedures and investing in technology like IoT-enabled cleaning equipment, cleaning companies can increase efficiency while enhancing visibility and having greater control over the consistency of service.


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