Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
March 2014 Bidding & Estimating

Emerging Trends That Will Impact Bidding

Adapt to the challenges of tomorrow or risk being marginalized to the point that you can no longer compete.

March 6, 2014

I’ve been soaking up a lot of information recently.

I’ll summarize what I’ve learned and how I believe the following emerging trends will impact you and the cleaning industry.

Keep in mind that it’s not what the trends are that make a difference in your life, it’s how you deal with the changes, challenges and opportunities that come your way.

Staffing

Finding and keeping good help will continue to be a problem and will escalate as a challenge for employers as the government continues to make it easier for people to “get paid” without having to work.

Identifying applicants and existing staff who are motivated and have a desire to improve themselves and then providing an upward mobility ladder will be critical to building a core staff that is capable of providing increasingly higher levels of service that customers will demand in the future.

Internet And Computer Technology

The cleaning industry has never been fast to embrace change and now faces more rapid change than ever before.

Computers and the Internet will continue to be an enabler and separator.

Those who embrace what this technology can do will be enlightened and have a much greater chance of growth, profit and success.

Those who don’t see, understand or avail themselves of all that technology has to offer will wonder why they are no longer able to complete in an increasingly competitive and unfamiliar marketplace.

This is already happening as many smaller businesses are relegated to bidding on less desirable accounts and hiring less qualified employees. 

Robotics

Robotics offer a tremendous opportunity for increased profit and competitiveness in the cleaning industry and has the potential to be a game changer.

Yet I don’t see this technology as it is currently being brought to market as achieving anywhere near full potential for at least another 10 years.

Government

What elected officials are doing in the name of the people is not productive and discourages competition and fairness.

Legislation today does not encourage small business or entrepreneurship, but instead complicates and discourages job growth endeavors.

Laws passed and enacted over the last 10 years have been bought and paid for with funding from special interest groups and large corporations and have nothing to do with protecting or bettering the lives of hard working Americans.

The increasing tax burden and move towards the government being the provider of all things discourages personal responsibility and creates generations of dependents who blame everyone except themselves for their lack of opportunity and growth.

Our government is out of control, and unless we reign in this monster, we are destined to suffer the same consequences of other failed governments. 

Economy

Although it appears as though there is a slight improvement in the economy, this is more likely due to the fact that businesses and individuals have learned how to function in the current economic climate.

The economy is artificially propped up by government intervention and this is not sustainable.

For true economic growth to take place, and for the economy to be self-sustaining, we as a nation and industry need long term job growth and profit, unhampered and unfunded by the government.

A prosperous future lies on the back of small business owners.  

Cleaning Technology

Change is taking place so fast that it is difficult to stay abreast of and utilize all of the technology that is coming to the industry.

Detergents are being replaced by hybrid water, mops are giving way to micro-autoscrubbers, and disinfectants long used to kill germs are considered outdated when compared to harmless vapor that can sanitize a surface in seconds.

As we develop a better understanding of the relationship between cleaning, health, productivity and profit, cleaning professionals will take on a more meaningful and rewarding role in society.

Science

What used to be a “seat of the pants” industry is seeing quantitative testing methods validate and question processes we recognize as standard practice.

ATP, gloss meters and coefficient of friction measurements are replacing the “white glove test” as the determiners of a job well done.

There is no going back, we will only see more impact of science on our industry and this will continue to improve the services we provide.

Weather

The weather is changing around the world, and we are living in a time of extremes.

Water levels will rise, storms will be longer and more severe and temperature fluctuations will be outside what we consider to be normal ranges.

These changes will come at us fast and furious and we need to take steps to protect ourselves and deal with the aftermath of natural disasters and diseases that we cannot control.  

International

We are part of an international community and are impacted by changes taking place around the world.

Cutting edge technology is often imported and foreign companies and governments see the U.S. as fertile ground for expansion, partnership and acquisition.

Long established borders and ways of doing business are blurring and evolving as we find new and beneficial ways to do business in places we never knew existed.

It’s a new day and a new world for the cleaning industry.

What we are seeing is only the beginning phases of a transition to a modern and technologically driven industry.

Regardless of what we do as an industry or as an individual, this process will continue and speed up over time.

You recognize, adapt and deal with the challenges of tomorrow or you will be marginalized to the point that you can no longer compete for the profitable and desirable jobs, employees or positions.