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WFBSC's first CEO Forum launched

04 June 2013

The World Federation of Building Service Contractors held its first CEO Forum in Rome on 26th March 2013.

The first issue to be discussed was the future scenario planning for the sector, building on the ISS 2020 project. The second was the role of cleaning in developing public health, especially with WFBSC membership of the WHO Private Organisations for Patient Safety Group.

Peter Ankerstjerne from ISS introduced its work for 2020 cleaning scenarios. For ISS, key themes were: Technology would be a disruptive force in the future of cleaning, whether through robotics, or improved logistics or other means, new technology will revolutionise how cleaning is performed.

Sustainability, both social and environmental will be key differentiators of quality – even in sluggish economic growth in the developed economies.Conversely, growth was driving ahead in the developing world and the greatest opportunities for service industries were there.

Job enrichment would be key. As productivity improved, this was an opportunity to revolutionise building service contracting and lift it out of the low pay, low status trap.

In discussion, the CEOs present raised a number of issues:

• There was general agreement on the need to drive forwards the reputation of the cleaning sector, but concern over the sustainability of an island of quality service providers in a sea of poor quality operators. The challenge will be to persuade clients to pay for a quality, sustainable service even if it costs more.

• A greater role for public/private partnerships was envisaged as a way of driving service industry growth.

• As the developed world continues to struggle for growth, it is clear that responsible employers need to grow the dialogue with their employees and representatives to prevent industrial disputes.

• Cleaning needs to be made more attractive as a sector for people to want to work in it. The industry has failed in this regard.

The second speaker at the event was Sean Bay, CEO of Surewash – a maker of hand hygiene compliance monitoring systems.

For Bay, there were five key points on the Cleaning for Health agenda:

• The first issue revolved around compliance management and how businesses respond to monitoring compliance without becoming authoritarian and regimented. 

The second was the application of microbial disclosing technologies to surfaces and how such a process would be introduced.

• If cleaning for health depends upon the management of surface hygiene around key touch-points of individuals, how much of this work could be done by outsourced service providers and how much by the individuals themselves.

• How do BSCs turn the importance of cleaning for health into profitable sales and increase the share of value that they capture from those profitable sales.

• How can cleaning businesses capture and exploit data about what they do to demonstrate the value of the service and provide it in the most efficient manner.

Further points raised include: the insurance industry as a driver of improvements, if it could be proved that cleaning could reduce claims; more value-related propositions for clients linking cleanliness to absenteeism, employee morale and customer satisfaction; tackling the challenge of sustained incentivisation of compliance; and the need for cloud-based data management to enable access.