Clean smarter, not harder

30th of June 2020
Clean smarter, not harder

An event on digitalisation in the cleaning sector took place just before Denmark went into lockdown. This report from ECJ’s Danish reporter Lotte Printz.

All 100 attendees were welcomed personally with a handshake when RENT Digitalt (Clean Digitally or Pure Digital, in translation), a one-day conference on digitalisation in the cleaning industry, opened in March. In itself a clear indicator the event took place in pre-Coronavirus lockdown times. But only just. The event beat – not COVID-19 unfortunately - but the Denmark lockdown by a week.

Frantz Furrer of CleanManager, the organiser, was very happy that it did take place. Not least because the event revealed a need for the exchange of information on digitalisation – in an industry that has been, generally speaking, slow to adopt new, smart technologies.

Even though the tickets for the event were offered for free in an interim period, Furrer had not expected the event to sell out immediately, previously offered at a nominal entrance fee.

“Usually events like this do not sell this quickly, but this one was fully booked in January. Of course, it was a novelty and about current trends, but nevertheless… Besides, none of the attendees left during the day, which also tells me we presented them with something relevant,“ he said, speaking to ECJ.

‘Clean smarter, not harder’ was a conference catchphrase and attendees could meet exhibitors in one end of the venue and hear talks about digital solutions and opportunities for cleaning companies in the digital transition in the other. The programme included talks on digital dictionaries for cleaners, ways to manage employee qualifications and retain more effective and uniform training, and how to get to know customers and competitors by retrieving the right online data.

In order to help attendees see the opportunities in a digital transition and to give them an idea of which tools are available and suitable in a cleaning industry context, speakers had been instructed to share experiences and focus on “how to” rather than turning their talks into sales pitches.

The attendees came from all over the sector and Furrer was very pleased to see how well it worked with 20-minute talks followed by breaks that enabled attendees to mingle and actually talk to each other.

“You might say this is an industry not really in the habit of meeting and sharing. But that was what people did that day, asking each other about digital experiences and their outcome,” he said, happy he and his company could help direct attention to digitalisation and even facilitate discussion in the industry.

Despite the paradox of gathering people in real life to talk about the digital age and its opportunities for cleaning companies, the effect it had could not have been achieved on paper, Furrer stressed. Nor in a digital world, he might have added.

There seems to be demand for a follow-up, and CleanManager is not ruling out that the event will take place again.

“Perhaps not next year, but in two years’ time. And probably in a slightly different form. You should never just repeat yourself, so I’m thinking we could have a closer look at systems, perhaps robots or other tools on the market at the time. No matter what, digital will still be key,” he concluded.


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