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What 2017 holds for the cleaning industry

09 January 2017

Ringo Francis, chief executive officer, Zenith Hygiene Group, shares his views on what lies ahead for the UK cleaning industry in 2017

Developing cleaning products today is becoming ever more challenging. Our industry has always been under pressure to deliver products and services at as low a cost to the customer as possible, but the recent Brexit decision has driven this issue to the foreground, with the rising costs in raw materials as the Pound loses ground against the Dollar and Euro. The weakness of the Pound will continue to put pressure on costs whilst this uncertainty continues, and we expect this situation to persist for several years.

Notwithstanding the additional pressure on costs, we also still need to manage the challenge of ensuring that we adhere to European product regulations and that our products are safe, effective and meet current regulatory directives. Even though we may be ‘leaving’ Europe, we will still need to follow Europe’s stringent quality, safety and ingredient laws if we are to compete in a global marketplace.

We’ve seen that there is a growing awareness with regards to ingredients used, their potential hazards, and their impact on the environment as well as growing pressures for operators to ensure that end-users are protected.

To meet these increasing demands and challenges, the industry must look towards innovation. In particular we anticipate green products to become even more prevalent in the coming years. Good examples of green products which are building momentum are enzyme based cleaners – these products do not have the hazards associated with some industrial cleaners, work at exceptionally low active concentrations and do not pollute waste water streams.

More broadly, the volatile economic environment means that manufacturers and suppliers of cleaning and hygiene supplies will have to provide value to the customer in other ways by providing enhanced levels of service. At Zenith Hygiene, we have always put great emphasis on the service we provide and the support we give to our customers, and we believe it is this commitment that will help us mitigate the uncertain times ahead.