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Forum Pulire: an industry still poorly recognised
This is the unanimous call of the whole sector of professional cleaning and integrated services, that met at Forum Pulire 26 and 27 March.
Respected names from the business, manufacturing, institutional and academic worlds met last month at the second edition of Forum Pulire, the two-day event held in Milan, which examined the most topical issues in the world of professional cleaning and integrated services... An industry composed of more than 23,000 companies and 500,000 employees with about 11 billion euros in revenue between production, distribution and services...
Important numbers which, however, do not allow the industry to receive the recognition it deserves.
The event brought together over 340 delegates from all over Italy and from all areas of the market. Companies and facilities management services recorded the largest presence, at 37%. Manufacturers made up 23% of the mix, distributors 17%, associations and representatives of end users 15%, with business, communications and local authorities making up the other 8%. The seminar programme was well thought out, attracting a wide and attentive audience and encouraging a lively debate.
Two studies edited by Coesis Research were presented for the first time: the first on the drivers of choice in the allocation of cleaning and hygiene services; the second on the legalities encountered by the Italian population and amongst operators in the sector. These studies, which will be published shortly, will provide elements for the development of a common strategy aimed at giving the sector the attention it deserves.
The need for rationalisation and innovation, development and relevant legislation was highlighted and reaffirmed - as was the common cry against the practice of public procurement being more concerned about the lowest price, than the quality of goods and services on offer.
The focus was to promote the respect for the rule of law at all levels, from the allocation of contracts to greater control on the phases of execution, to the rules regarding the job itself. Forum Pulire highlighted the need for greater communication between the worlds of companies and institutions, to reverse the damaging trends of recent years.
From the manufacturers' point of view, it was revealed that exports were continuing to increase and that this market offered a wealth of opportunities. Delegates were encouraged to set aside the generally negative trends perceived of the market and instead to stimulate it further by concentration on innovation. They were also asked to focus on the supply chain and distribution channels - an essential link between manufacturers and end users and one that can easily break down if it is neglected. The problems of dealers being victims of late payments - especially by the public administration, (a plague which struck the entire sector) were also discussed.
There are many encouraging signs for the future - among them the work of associations to propose a draft framework law that will hopefully be adopted in the coming months. The goal is to qualify integrated services, rationalise and implement them to facilitate more efficient public spending, without impacting negatively on service quality and employment. To give adequate representation of and visibility in the sector, Forum Pulire will take place again in 2016.
"Forum Pulire was reconfirmed as the meeting point for excellence among all the players in this sector," says Toni D'Andrea, CEO Afidamp Services, which organised the Forum on behalf of Afidamp. "It was an opportunity to qualify everyone's expectations and identify a line of discussion for the development of the entire market.
"The fact that all the major companies in the industry were present and that the industry associations have actively contributed to the success of the event, only confirms the need to share problems and solutions.
Matthew Marino , President of AfidampFAB adds:
"We are particularly proud of the success of this year's Forum Pulire , which has shown that there is a real need to create an effective and up to date system that is respected and adhered to. The work carried out in recent months with trade associations has shown that the industry is ready to be heard. We are preparing to be recognised for our value and we do not want to be perceived as a sub-skill, low-relevance sector."
The final word goes to Francesco Bertini, President of AfidampCOM, who says:
"We firmly believe that events such as Forum Pulire represent a turning point for an industry that needs to communicate on the inside, with institutions, with public opinion. Many topics were discussed, each of which deserves to be developed.
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24th April 2014