The benefits of innovation

23rd of April 2012 Article by Markus Asch

Markus Asch, vice chairman of the management board at cleaning equipment manufacturer Kärcher and president of EUnited Cleaning, writes his first blog for the ECJ website. He looks ahead to the ISSA/INTERCLEAN exhibition in Amsterdam next month and asks what innovations visitors can look forward to from the industry at large.

ISSA/INTERCLEAN, to be held shortly, is the cleaning industry's most important trade fair of the year. Hundreds of exhibitors will be presenting their latest problem solutions to trade visitors there.

Much that is new will be there to discover, as the more than 70 entries for the fair's Amsterdam Innovation Award make clear. Along with the manufacturers, service providers and industry associations are striving constantly to offer their customers and partners genuine added value.

For manufacturers, enhanced cleaning system flexibility and adaptability is of paramount importance. The challenge they face is to remove different kinds of soiling from different surfaces efficiently. That requires variable equipment coordination so as to prevent incorrect use and boost profitability.

Manufacturers are developing from mere equipment producers to total solution providers that in interaction with the customer tackle the cleaning process as a whole and thereby achieve a significant improvement in efficiency.

Many contract cleaners aim to document their performance comprehensively and to show fully and completely the status of a property for which they are responsible. They provide relevant information with regard to personnel deployment, vehicle fleet and consumables. By means of this professional quality assurance they increase transparency and also improve their ability to compete in a strongly contested market.

At the industry association level, joint efforts are being undertaken with politicians to draw up the framework conditions required for a successful future. For this purpose the market is monitored precisely and detailed data is compiled regularly on capacity utilisation, capacity and demand.

That enables trends to be spotted at an early stage and guidelines and action recommendations to be drawn up accordingly. Core issues include the effects of demographic change, of enhanced health awareness in society today and what sustainable contract cleaning requires.

Among all market players there is a high level of acceptance of changes that deliver a specific benefit, given that innovation is not an end in itself. Our industry's steady growth shows that this marked orientation by real requirements is the right approach.

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