What does the new year bring?

20th of March 2018
What does the new year bring?

UK reporter Lynn Webster looks ahead to the challenges we face this year and speculates on how the cleaning sector can move forward.

As we begin another year - entering into debates over our changing position with our colleagues in the EU - we have even less time remaining of what some would say has been a turbulent decade. The thoughts of some clients and colleagues still remain focused, moving forward and revitalising their businesses while talking of growth, rebranding and generating future success.

Then we consider perhaps what the end of last year left us with. There were many reports of takeovers, merger and how the cleaning market is moving towards significant consolidation with so many acquisitions across the various elements of business. Should we therefore consider how this is impacting on the marketplace, especially for procurement teams, and the effect this has on the clients, customers and inevitably the employees?

Consolidation has stretched across all sectors of the cleaning industry from global manufacturing - amalgamating specialist areas of expertise such as technical, security, cleaning, environmental and ancillary services into the parent business - to growth plans which enable development of a range of services across a wider geographical area, to constantly deliver high standards and improved efficiencies.

Then we were hit with the news of the Carillion collapse. Many hundreds of words will have been written, read and digested on this story with considerable debate and fall-out in the media before we are in print. However it is also likely many questions will remain unanswered and even more concerns will be raised. This will be investigated further in line with financial regulations and the security of pension funds.

So is consolidation right for the cleaning industry? The merging of services into one ideally should strengthen, reinforce and stabilise the outcomes. These quotes gathered from some of those involved in recent activity would lead us to believe so:

“ … A strong partner to support future growth initiatives and drive further expansion ..”

“ ….. provide product security, and deliver measurable value to customers…”

“ …. partnership will energise a more rapid market…”

We are entering the Chinese Year of The Dog, in fact one of the earth dog - its key characteristics being highly communicative, serious, and responsible in work - with the drive towards the principles of serving others with employees putting their hearts and souls into their respective task. The business drivers for ‘dogs’ will be steered by hands-on people who in turn, can initiate a strong desire to make profits.

In the Year of the Dog, under its grounded Element of Earth it is imperative to look after those close to you, to manage finances securely and to work hard. Predictors claim not all problems that loom will be actually be problems at all. Perhaps it is time to move forward slowly with the combination of these values, or are the big businesses becoming too big in a dog eat dog world? Perhaps it is now time to welcome the new puppies into this world.


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