Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Self-cleaning surfaces create new revenue and higher margins for cleaning companies
The battle for cleaner, healthier facilities is getting a surprising boost from self-cleaning surfaces being embraced by commercial cleaners around the globe. And while these surfaces are providing cleaner places to live, work and play for the general public, they are also helping to reverse the commoditisation of cleaning services and increase margins for cleaning companies.
"The interesting thing about this new service model is that consumers were actually driving this approach," says Mark Sisson, co-founder of NanoTouch Materials. "Consumers who had seen NanoSeptic surfaces in one facility were then asking their school system, doctor's office, and employer to install these surfaces because it made them feel more confident about the cleanliness of these facilities. Fortunately, the cleaning companies and in-house departments cleaning these facilities were in a perfect position to install and maintain these products."
As cleaning services become more commoditised, commercial cleaners and other building service contractors all fight to be the lowest bidder, leading to continued margin compression. One of the reasons for this is the lack of perceived value for cleaning services, so businesses routinely squeeze cleaning budgets as a way to cut costs.
"In some ways, we're a lot like JanSan distributors, in that our industry is highly commoditised," says Randy Layne, owner of Sparkleen Services. "Commercial janitorial firms have the added challenge of providing a service that is largely invisible.
"With NanoSeptic self-cleaning facility touch points, we now have a great differentiator, a new revenue stream, and most importantly, a publicly visible element of our service offering."
While the BSC benefits from servicing these products, the customer sees the greatest reward. And it's not just about creating a cleaner facility. People's perception of a facility or business is positively affected by the visible self-cleaning touch points.
Lauren Bennett, director of communications and experience with Central VA Family Physicians, is in agreement: "Our patients love the NanoSeptic touch points and other self-cleaning products in our facilities," she says.
While NanoTouch Materials manufactures self-cleaning products for specific applications like door handle skins and reception counter mats, BSC's don't view this as a product sale. The real business benefit for commercial cleaners is in the revenue generated from the installation and maintenance service.
Not only are the BSC's providing a new cleaning technology for their clients, but this technology works continuously to create a cleaner facility in between routine cleanings.
NanoTouch Materials, provided live displays at ISSA's International InterClean convention which featured a variety of door handles where visitors could actually get a feel for how easy the self-cleaning skins were to apply and replace. And at both the 2016 and 2017 conventions, NanoSeptic products took home coveted innovation awards.
Tightening margins in commercial real estate have property managers and owners looking for new ways to add value to their properties. Now you can identify the cleaner places to touch in a facility because you can see them. The result is a feeling of safety and security that has real business value, positively impacting rental rates.
Sparklean Cleaning Services, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, uses NanoSeptic surfaces in its premier level cleaning services. The company's Randy Layne, president, explains the benefits: "Customers love the idea of being able to see the cleaner places to touch in their facility," he says. "And these products serve as visible reminders that we are deploying the latest technology as part of our service. This allows us to compete based on value rather than price."
Mark Sisson, VP of Product Development for the manufacturer, says: "One of the issues which we were sensitive to in this industry was the skill set of employees who provided the actual cleaning services.
"When you're talking about applying and replacing an adhesive-backed skin, it needs to be easy to replace and durable enough to withstand normal wear and tear. We also made sure our products could hold up to regular cleaning cycles as well as cleaning chemicals and disinfectants. So employees can continue their normal routine with no special training."
3rd May 2018