When I first started in the cleaning industry some 18 years ago, I looked to gain my knowledge from those with experience. Back then, they would have been the ones with many years within our own walls and who had stories of seeing it all. Today, as one of them with experience, I can easily be outmanoeuvred by the internet as it is entering our client’s buying decision well before they are calling a company representative, experienced or not.
I use the internet to start many investigations. I am fortunate to be able to have qualified (and varying) resources whom can smell roses (and other fragrances) from far away and help guide me to find the truth sometimes well hidden below the flowery writing and testing.
This begs me to question:
- How can clients know if the information is valid or not?
- Who will win at the end of the day for the client seeking online, unsolicited advice to make cleaning choices
- Will the ideal of transparency provide enough clarification to get our industry to the level of expertise that we all need (and hope)
When it comes right down to it, I am not sure if there is any unbiased consulting left without regard to a specific product. Each day, we are bombarded by the next “sole-purpose innovation” that it can take three times as much effort trying to thwart the misdirection while losing momentum to the ultimate goal, good implementable cleaning.
As our industry adjusts to the speed of technology, there are times when it is like looking through a stained glass window – there is excellent color but not every pane is rosy. When it comes down to it, the manner to keep us safe has not changed much – we are still looking to get rid of soils and bugs – just at an even faster pace.
In the end, a decision must be made! Make sure that your choice can see past the blended words we marketers can use to build an “Aura of Connectedness”. Some techniques that may help include:
- Look for people and groups who will share openly how they got to their conclusions and welcome opposing points of view
- Join an industry association (live or on-line) and participate
- Understand the costs associated with a change or implementing the new technology while recognizing change may be required
- Look for implementable solutions that have an impact on the health of your business and not simply stories
- If a solution is implemented, will you be able to know if it is working (if not, that may be marketing)
- Look for tools or equipment which help to improve your overall cleaning speed (set-up, in-use and clean-up)
- Find innovations which enhance the removal of soils and not solely tested with using enhanced tools
- Make sure new technologies can withstand the court of science, not law.
And finally, always question your own experiences and biases and always look to improve!