Nilfisk: Why Cleaning is Now Business-Critical for All Industries

Workplace Material Handling & Safety spoke with Sarah Metz, Field Marketing Manager at Nilfisk about pandemic-related cleaning trends that aren’t going to go away. In fact, says Sarah, they will define the future of cleaning. Sarah has more than six years of industrial industry experience and specializes in campaign marketing highlighting Nilfisk’s complete range of cleaning equipment.

Nilfisk says that clean is changing. That because of the COVID-19 pandemic, clean is now business-critical for all industries. What does that mean?

When people enter an establishment today, whether it’s a restaurant, a warehouse, or a manufacturing facility, they use cleanliness to determine if the space is safe. Our research has shown that, across industries, cleaning standards have increased for 93% of businesses, while the business-criticalness of cleaning has increased for 91%.

What are the four dimensions of clean? Why should companies know about them?

Through surveys and interviews with customers across industries, we identified four main dimensions:

  • A new scope of cleaning
  • Transparent and visible cleaning
  • Tech-enhanced cleaning
  • Sustainable cleaning

Companies need to know about them because they aren’t going away — our research indicates that these dimensions will define the future of cleaning.

Nilfisk invites companies to take an online quiz that will assess their cleanliness status. What does it involve and what should be done with the results?

The quiz helps people understand where they currently stand on each of the four dimensions and where they need to focus. For example, sustainability in cleaning operations has moved from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.” Companies that haven’t yet started their sustainability journey will soon find themselves behind the curve.

Among the cleaning trends Nilfisk has identified is tech-enhanced cleaning. What does that involve?

Even before COVID-19, cleaning teams struggled to meet their goals because of time and labor constraints. With today’s increased standards, it’s even harder. Cleaning innovations, such as autonomous floor scrubbers with UVGI disinfection modules, and digital technologies, like fleet management solutions, increase cleaning performance and productivity without additional resource requirements.

Another trend is transparent and visible cleaning. What is meant by that? Why is it important?

In the past, if a facility looked clean, people would assume it was clean. Today, they want proof. Several surveys have found that visible cleaning activities are important for customers’ and employees’ peace of mind. To earn trust, companies need to be transparent about their cleaning processes.

Do you think some companies believe that when the pandemic is over, they can go back to their previous ideas about cleaning?

We posed a similar question to more than 600 people representing a wide range of industries. The vast majority (77%) expect the need for a higher quality of cleaning to be long-term. So, while some companies may return to their previous practices, they will be in the minority.

How can Nilfisk help companies rethink and adapt their approach to the concept of cleaning?

Nilfisk has been helping companies adapt to “new normals” for more than 100 years. During COVID-19, we’ve worked closely with partners to develop solutions that enable higher-quality, faster, and more sustainable cleaning. By continuing to innovate and sharing our expertise, we help companies tackle their cleaning challenges today…and tomorrow.

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