As businesses and office buildings are reopening to the public, the future is uncertain. Will there be a second wave of COVID-19? Will the warmer summer months give us a much-needed respite from the virus? What does the “new normal” look like long term? Amid the many questions, one thing is certain: the need for clean.
Due to business closures during the lockdown, the cleaning industry saw temporary declines in some market segments, and the industry as a whole saw a decline of 1.6% as of April 2020. However, according to the U.S. Commercial Cleaning Industry Report, the commercial cleaning industry is expected to grow by 7.4% in 2021, and 5.4% annually through 2025. This presents a significant growth opportunity for commercial cleaning businesses that can adapt to their clients’ evolving demands.
Why COVID-19 is Giving Way to Long Term Changes for Commercial Cleaning
Just as COVID-19 has served as a reminder to maintain good personal hygiene, the pandemic has also been a wakeup call reminding us how the environments we occupy on a daily basis can greatly impact our health. We won’t soon forget to wash our hands for at least two “Happy Birthdays.” Likewise, building managers will continue to place renewed emphasis on deep cleaning and more frequent cleaning for years to come.
This increased demand is driven both by client demand and by national guidance on protocols for safe reopening. For example, the CDC continues to emphasize just how important cleaning is for schools, workplaces, and other public places to maintain safe and healthy environments during reopening and beyond.
How Automated Cleaning Technologies Can Help
With rapid change and heightened awareness around cleanliness, cleaning businesses need to act now to position themselves to effectively meet customer needs. For many commercial cleaning companies, this means taking a closer look at autonomous cleaning technologies that enable more thorough cleaning and greater efficiency. Emerging and available technology such as AI and robotics will allow your company to deliver both higher quality and more frequent cleaning while standing out from the competition.
Below are 3 ways cleaning automation technologies can help you reposition your cleaning business now.
1. DELIVER HIGHER QUALITY CLEANING SOLUTIONS
In the cleaning industry, client turnover rates are astronomical, with the average commercial cleaning company turning over 100% of its clients every 4 years. However, using automated cleaning technologies can help you deliver consistent high quality cleaning and go above and beyond client expectations, which will significantly improve customer satisfaction and retention.
Autonomous cleaning robots can deliver consistent, high quality results every time without fail. For example, Whiz, the autonomous vacuum sweeper from SoftBank Robotics, can clean floors 10x better than manual vacuuming — and it achieves the same results every time. Furthermore, Whiz can prove its results with proof of performance reports that detail exactly where, when, and how work was completed.
2. INCREASE CLEANING FREQUENCY WITHOUT OVERBURDENING YOUR STAFF
Automated cleaning technologies can also help you increase cleaning frequency and offer more services to your clients. For example, much of commercial cleaning time is spent on mundane, time-consuming tasks like vacuuming. In fact, vacuuming can take up to 30% of your cleaning staff’s time. When you spend so much time on these rote tasks, it can be challenging to find the bandwidth for increased cleaning frequency without putting additional strain on your staff.
With an autonomous vacuum sweeper robot like Whiz, you spend less time vacuuming and more time deep cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing to meet your clients’ current needs. Plus, since Whiz can clean floors in half the time compared to manual vacuuming, you can also easily increase vacuuming frequency to further improve building air quality and create a healthier environment for building occupants.
3. POSITION YOURSELF AS AN INNOVATOR TO STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITION
Leveraging the latest cleaning technologies is an excellent way to position your business as innovative and forward-thinking to existing and potential clients. Robotic vacuum cleaners clean much more thoroughly than spot vacuuming. For example, Whiz uses HEPA filters which capture 99.97% of particles, dust, and pollen; leading to a clean that is 8x better and an environment that is infinitely better to breathe in. These capabilities can help you deliver better results for your existing clients and give you a competitive edge to win more bids.
Adoption of automated cleaning technologies is rising (Detroit News). However, in an industry where cleaning methods have mostly stayed the same for decades, some of your competitors are still hesitant to take the leap to new technology. Often, their hesitancy is due to common misconceptions that automation will be too complicated or expensive to implement.
Fortunately, cleaning robots like Whiz are incredibly easy to use. Plus, with flexible, subscription-based rental programs, this technology is accessible — without the hefty upfront investment or unforeseen maintenance costs over time. By implementing automation into your workflows now, you’ll be ahead of the curve — just in time for the upswing in cleaning demand.
Automated cleaning technologies can help you reposition your business now and stay ahead of your competition. Fortunately, in many cases, this investment doesn’t have to break the bank. Some autonomous cleaning solutions like Whiz, the autonomous vacuum sweeper from SoftBank Roboticsdeveloped and distributed in partnership with Brain OS and ICE Robotics, are available with a subscription model, allowing cleaning company and property owners to pilot the solution in their facilities in a way that is cost-effective.
Written by: SoftBank Robotics Team