As we move through December and look ahead to what 2019 will bring us, the cleaning industry continues to change and evolve as the years go on, continuing to move forward, grow, and evolve. In 2018, we predicted the year would bring an increase in green cleaning, cost control, and employee training programs. This year, our predictions are a little broader with up and coming smart devices entering into the market, the growth of specialty cleaning services and the continued growth of the industry overall.
It’s ironic that last year our blog post started off with a Geico commercial featuring a robot vacuum- this year, robot vacuums could come to the forefront of the industry. Overall, commercial cleaners should be prepared for a year of growth and change as the cleaning industry evolves with the times.
Industry Growth in 2019
While the average job growth in industries is 7% from 2016 to 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the cleaning industry will out pace the other industries. The cleaning industry is forecasted to grow 10% by 2026. In 2015 Statista forecasted that the industry will earn over $46 billion dollars for the first time in 2020.
On the other hand, the Freedonia Group predicted all revenues for commercial cleaners in the United States was forecasted to hit $65 billion in 2019, using 2015 data. 2018 revenue for janitorial services in the United States has far outpaced Statista’s original 2015 prediction and seems more on track with the Freedonia Group. 2018 revenue for US Janitorial services is currently clocked in at $61 billion.
As the industry continues to grow, so will job opportunities for environmental hygienists. Office cleaning is currently the largest sector within the industry, with educational cleaning coming in a close second.
Based on current predictions and 2018 revenue, the 2019 year is shaping up to be a good one for commercial cleaners. We’re expecting continued job growth and a revenue closer to the Freedonia Group’s forecast $65 billion than Statista’s $46 billion.
Smart Cleaning Devices
Just as the commercial cleaning sector continues to grow, the technology for commercial cleaning services has grown right along with it. Like many other sectors in the United States, autonomous machines are beginning to make themselves known. Canadian autonomous cleaning robot maker, Avidbots, stepped into the commercial cleaning sector in 2014. The robots are starting to make a splash in the industry, with their latest autonomous floor cleaner, Neo. These autonomous robots are able to provide color-coded reports, along with other metrics including water usage. A multitude of sensors allows them to navigate floor layouts safely and effectively, while also providing a deeper clean.
The IoT is also stepping into the commercial cleaning industry with internet connected washing machines, soap dispensers, and floor scrubbers. As the commercial cleaning industry becomes more and more connected, there may be a tendency for workers and business owners to worry about the entire industry becoming autonomous. However, the new technology also has the ability to greatly improve the customer and employee experience.
Better technology means less elbow grease needed from hygienists. The robots could also free up hygienists for more value-added propositions, such as maintenance or specialized deep cleaning. The new technology could also allow business owners to expand into other services.
The customer experience can improve as hygienists are able to add value in other ways outside of the typical clean. It also allows customers to have more efficient commercial cleaners who could be able to get more done in a shorter amount of time.
Don’t be afraid of new technology in 2019- instead embracing these new developments will open up new opportunities for the commercial cleaning sector.
Growth of Specialty Cleaning Services
Wilburn specializes in unique cleaning opportunities such as green cleaning, secure cleaning, and emergency response. We predict that in 2019 green cleaning services and secure cleaning services will continue to grow in popularity and need.
As fervor around the state of the environment continues to grow, business owners will continue to look for ways to reduce their environmental footprint- including through their commercial cleaners. Millennials are starting to enter the work force and will soon be the generation hiring commercial cleaners. Research has shown that Millennials and younger generations are in fact more ecologically conscious than Baby Boomers. They’ve started trends such as the tiny house movement and eco-friendly tourism. There’s no doubt that as they step into the role of commercial business owners, the commercial sector may change to become more environmentally friendly as well.
Not only is green cleaning eco-friendly, but it also has huge health benefits as well. Green cleaning can improve employee and commercial cleaner’s health by reducing the use of volatile organic compounds and harmful chemicals. After a round of green cleaning, your building shouldn’t smell like bleach- instead it should smell clean without harsh headache-inducing smells.
2018 was the year of security. Whether it was cyber security, data security, privacy, workplace security, the security of our children’s schools, every sector was concerned with security in 2018. And commercial cleaners were no different.
We predict that the secure cleaning specialty offering will continue to grow in popularity in 2019. Secure cleaning means that your commercial cleaners have been training in handling confidential information, undergone extensive background checks, and have been given low level security clearance. While the government sector is currently the driving force behind using secure commercial cleaners, commercial businesses may cash in on the trend due to rising privacy and data concerns.
Business owners want to know that their information is in safe hands- even if it’s the hygienist straightening your desk and cleaning your carpet.
Grab the Bull by the Horns in 2019
2018 was a whirlwind year. Between upsets in politics, a changing environmental climate, and evolving technology, there was a lot going on last year. Still, 2018 was a great year for the Wilburn Company- and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our customers. 2019 has the potential to be another great year. So this New Years, grab the bull by the horns. Be proactive in your commercial cleaning needs and start the year off right. Call the Wilburn Company today.