Russia phases out imports

14th of December 2016
Russia phases out imports

Oleg Popov, Russian correspondent for ECJ, explains how the economic situation is affecting the sector.

What’s going on in the market right now? Federal cleaning companies are cutting back on their expenses, since cleaning budgets have not increased, meanwhile prices are rising and government institutions are making choices in favour of domestic cleaning services.

As for floor cleaning technology, we see a replacement of demand towards cheaper, previously used machines. Distributors are experiencing significant growth in the sales of replacement parts. A paradoxical situation has arisen on the market when it has become more beneficial to take apart a new floor cleaning machine and sell it for its parts. Ever more often cleaning companies have been repairing machines. But expenses for the repairs may exceed the cost of a new model.

In the professional cleaning services segment, a replacement is also occurring for cheaper positions. An array of foreign producers have become scared of the unstable economic situation and have practically wrapped up their presence on the Russian market. However some companies have taken advantage of their competitors’ departure and are offering special prices, while significantly increasing their share. Right now is the best time for capturing market share of course, if you have funds available and are willing to reduce your premium.

The number of cleaning companies on the market is the same - the number of metres cleaned only continues to grow. Due to optimisation of expenses, many have refused longterm relationships with several selected brands and have begun conducting regular tenders and monitoring the suppliers market in search of a better price. The ‘fertile’ years are over: now it’s the time just to try to get by.
However Russian producers, who aren’t willing to invest right now in new production, fear instability as well. A domestic brand or technology has not appeared in two years. The list of suppliers has not changed.

As a result, instead of high quality replacement of foreign products by Russian ones, we are seeing a ‘layering’ into very cheap replacements and a striving for expensive innovations. Serious Russian production has not appeared in any one of the sectors but due to the need to cut costs, companies have begun to repair and restore parts of machines and search for cheaper alternatives.

Clients are sensing a drop in the quality of services and are ever more often discussing advanced technologies and continuous personnel training. Packaged solutions are in demand as before, for instance as with the company Vileda Professional in addition to an array of facilities opening up and this is the kind of thing the customer wants to see.

And despite that at the Russian exhibition Clean Expo in 2015 hardly any new technologies were presented. This year there are some innovations, since Diversey Care is going to display a floor cleaning robot, which will offer autonomous cleaning. This inspires optimism, since everyone’s already tired of an “instant economy” and they’d like to work with longterm cleaning technology, and use efficient and safe cleaning equipment.

It’s very difficult to display professionalism under conditions when costs are cut back - investment that is needed to train personnel as well as for products and inventory.


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