When we discuss the topic of innovation in cleaning with our clients, the first point of call and one that should be a priority is an exploration of newly introduced cleaning methods and products that can help to deliver cost savings and efficiencies.
There are plenty of cleaning innovations available, chemical-free cleaning and quick-dry technologies, even water-saving micro-fibre cloths. The process of innovation and cost saving isn’t the only important factor, having an effective cleaning team and process in place does and will have a positive impact on you brand image and premises.
Market research commissioned by Interserve and Sheffield Hallam University suggests that “there has been a shift from a pure cost and service level focus, with 90 per cent of respondents requesting that new ideas be offered by their suppliers during the preparation and management of outsourced contracts.”
The report predicts that value for money will be increasingly derived through a greater emphasis on innovation, service quality and customer satisfaction.
Innovation in cleaning, which is outsourced in nearly 70 per cent of cases, is linked to wider strategic and business objectives.
In the commercial business world there’s been a huge focus on this for the last 10 years although it’s only recently we’re starting to see these innovations come into the industry and be adopted.
Why do we need this innovation?
Cleaning products are harmful to the environment, so whilst every business looks at improving existing processes or introducing new ways of working for cost savings or efficiency, they are also aware of increasing pressure to meet the demands of the public to be more environmentally friendly.
Cleaning products can have a huge impact on the environment depending on how they are transported (think lorry’s driving all around the UK and Europe), the amount of energy used to create the chemicals and then the impact of the chemicals themselves.
The chemicals can get into the waste system and whilst a majority of the chemical can breakdown small traces can still pass through our water works etc.
The chemicals can also be dangerous to humans if not handled correctly. Whilst not causing serious injury on the whole it has been known for people to coughing, wheezing, red itchy eyes, skin rashes, skin and eye burns, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, dizziness, nosebleeds and asthma.
What are we doing?
At Otium Services all our staff receive environmental training. Our transport fleet has low emissions and our machinery has a higher level of productivity with little or no chemical usage and sanitises floors to 99%. The result being improved standards, a reduced impact on the environment and significant costs savings to our clients.
What else is out there?
It’s likely we’ll see the use of more machinery. Why? well it’s more efficient for repetitive tasks and ensures a consistent higher level of quality. Machines don’t need breaks like a human does and that means we can focus our employees on the more specialist jobs that need their attention.
We’ll also see the continued drop in chemical usage. Whether we see a complete removal of chemicals from cleaning products is debatable though as they have always been there for a reason; their effectiveness in cleaning.
That said there are some alternatives out there and below are a couple of examples that are proving as good, if not better, than chemical based cleaning materials.
Aqueous Ozone water system
This ingenious innovation transforms ordinary tap water into an effective commercial cleaner through infusing it with ozone to make a product known as Aqueous Ozone. Ozone (O3) is already found in nature and is a powerful sanitizer. Aqueous Ozone will quickly oxidise bacteria it comes into contact with; eliminating germs, soil and other contaminants before converting back into water and oxygen (O2).
Using this system means commercial cleaning companies can stop using virtually all chemicals.
Twister by HTC is a way to mechanically clean and maintain floors using floor pads prepared with billions of microscopic diamonds. The pads clean terrazzo, linoleum, vinyl, plastic, ceramic tiles, natural stone and concrete. The pads also polish the floor at the same time as cleaning. It doesn’t use any chemicals, just water.
By working with facilities management providers strategically and defining their innovation goals, we allow our customers to receive more flexible and efficient service delivery for the long term. We continue to keep the focus on new innovation to help the environment over and above what we do currently.
Together we can make a difference.