Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
January 2014 Bidding & Estimating
pencil sharpened

Sharpening Your Pencil Requires More Than a Low Price

Emerging trends from ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2013.

January 7, 2014

The ISSA/INTERCLEAN show just keeps getting better and better each year.

It’s one of, if not the most, important show and educational opportunity that a cleaning business owner or industry professional can attend each year.

Personally, I don’t understand how anyone who sees themselves as a professional, who wants to be competitive in the market place, can afford to miss this event.

The 2013 show was the best I’ve seen in the 15 or more years I’ve been attending.

Over 690 exhibit booths, upwards of 16,000 people in attendance and multiple cleaning-related trade associations participating provided non-stop networking and learning opportunities during the entire four day event.

It’s hard to describe it, if you weren’t there.

However, all is not lost.

Here’s your second chance to catch up on some of what you missed, in four easy to follow steps.

  1. It’s not too late. You can still attend the best parts of this year’s show. Well, actually you can watch and listen to the live video streaming recordings of all three keynote speakers and other presentations at:
  2. Purchase the audio CD of the presentations you missed. Visit the ISSA bookstore online at:
  3. Plan to attend the ISSA/INTERCLEAN show in Orlando, Florida, November 4-7, 2014.
  4. Want to put a little international flavor in your mop bucket? Attend the ISSA/INTERCLEAN AMSTERDAM show May 6-9, 2014.

Here were some of the emerging industry trends that I noticed at this year show.

  • An increasing number of facility and cleaning department managers as well as contractors are attending the show.
  • Education is on people’s mind. Managers and owners of successful companies realize that if they want things to run as smoothly as possible, they must provide ongoing training for cleaners, supervisors and managers.
  • There are many new and innovative products entering the marketplace that can improve the quality of cleaning while reducing costs by increasing production and efficiency.
  • Sustainable green cleaning is becoming more mainstream as an expectation and way of doing business for major corporations, government, education, hospitality and healthcare markets.
  • Chemicals are in trouble. Yes we need them, but at the same time, companies are cutting back on their use and in some cases doing away with them altogether. Hybrid water is taking the industry by storm.
  • Some of the most dramatic changes are taking place in the cleaning, maintenance and restoration of hard floor surfaces. Examples include less use of floor finish, stripping and burnishing being replaced by waterless processes and nano-based penetrating/densifying treatments along with no finish flooring.
  • Diamond impregnated and segmented floor pads are gaining a foot hold as standard practice as more managers become aware of how they can be used and the cost saving possible when compared to topical coatings and regular stripping and refinishing.
  • Third party certifications such as CIMS and CIMS-GB, and Green Seal’s GS-42, are gaining acceptance and other similar programs are being developed. The ISSA’s K-12 Cleaning Standard is one example.
  • The good companies are getting better and the marginal companies are getting worse and are being isolated to less profitable and less desirable accounts that other more sophisticated contractors tend to avoid doing business with.
  • Cleaning-related software programs that operate on smartphones and wirelessly are edging out programs that require a desktop, notebook and table computer.
  • Autoscrubbers are getting smaller, more sophisticated and electronically controlled.
  • A variety of new types of coating are coming to the marketplace that can be used to protect all types of surfaces including stone, concrete, tile, wood, metal and glass from wear and moisture.
  • Bucketless mopping and micro-autoscrubbers are newer technology that has the potential to replace the trusted mop pail and wringer over the next five to seven years.  

There was a lot more to see and do at ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2013, but I’m out of space for now, so I just have end by encouraging you to check out the live streaming feeds mentioned above and to attend the 2014 show in Orlando.

Keeping current with emerging industry trends is one way to outsmart and outbid you’re competition without taking a loss in the process.

Keep it clean out there.