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Five Trends Impacting the Cleaning Market

Apr132015

On CleanLink.com, “cleaning products have become essential in the everyday life of the modern consumer. For this reason, the market continues to grow year on year – global sales of household cleaning products are predicted to reach $147bn in 2017. It may also be the reason that this market tends to be more resistant to downturns in the world economy than other sectors, such as construction and automobiles.

This obviously presents numerous ongoing opportunities for those in the cleaning products market. Identify niches in this industry with this definitive guide to current trends and drivers in the sector, brought to you by the leading experts at Smithers Apex.

1. Performance
Above all, a cleaning product must be effective and live up to the promise made on the pack. Although essential, cleaning can be time-consuming so products which complete the task quickly and to a high standard are favorable. Consumers in developed economies are more likely to pay a premium for a product if it performs well.

Products which combine their efficiency with innovative features have an advantage in this marketplace. As is the case in a number of other market sectors, the need to stand out from the competition is key for cleaning product manufacturers. While it is essential to differentiate the pack on-shelf, the product itself should also have innovative functions to establish the product and brand as market leaders.

2. Cost-effectiveness
While a number of customers in more developed regions are willing to pay more for a product if it performs better, others may prefer cheaper products, and will accept a certain reduced level of performance.

In most of the developing world price is even more important as consumers have less money to spend. Manufacturers of cleaning products must balance these two aspects in order to succeed in the market. Manufacturers can minimize costs by using less sophisticated ingredients, provided that they still achieve the level of performance which consumers expect. Manufacturers can also reduce pack size as a way of immediately reducing this cost for their customers.

3. Ease of use
Consumers have increasingly busy lifestyles, so products which make the process of gaining a spotless home more quickly and at minimum effort are becoming increasingly popular. Identifying ways to make products as intuitive and easy to use as possible will be key to succeeding in this market.

Cleaning wipes, for example, are growing in popularity due to their simple and disposable nature, and packaging innovations such as dispensers and measured amount sachets are proving popular with European consumers in particular.

Continuing with this idea, products which serve more than one function are generally successful due to their perceived convenience factor. Customers who are looking after their money carefully or who have little storage space at home will be attracted by the idea that one product can serve two cleaning purposes for them. Examples include P&G’s 3 in 1 laundry tablets and laundry detergents, which now also contain fabric conditioners.

4. Environmental awareness
Consumers in developed economies have become more aware of how their everyday activities are affecting our world. They are considering how the extraction, manufacture and disposal of cleaning products has a major effect on their energy and water consumption, and are looking for ways to minimize their wider impact. One example of this is the green cleaning products market.

Legislation, particularly in Europe, ensures all products meet basic environmental standards, but does not cover sustainability. For this reason, the race is on to develop sustainable cleaning products using detergent ingredients from natural renewable sources that cost and perform as well as being sourced from petrochemicals. Suitable renewable sources include palm, coconut and other plant oils.

Currently, the most important technical target is to find renewable biodegradable builders to replace STPP (sodium tripolyphosphate), which is thought to contribute to eutrophication; an excessive growth of plants in waterways.

Although important in developed economies, sustainability is not the main driver in the cleaning products market. Therefore most important for manufacturers will be balancing this preference for eco-friendly products with an ability to meet the genuine and perceived needs of consumers.

5. Fragrance, aesthetics and packaging
As the market becomes more saturated, differentiators such as an attractive packs or pleasant fragrances have increased shelf appeal and can influence buyer’s quick purchasing decisions.

One of the most important factors of a cleaning product is efficacy, so packaging should showcase both the product’s efficiency and quality. Similarly, many cleaning product packaging solutions are clear in order to allow the consumer to see the consistency and color of the products, which can be key indicators of perceived performance. For consumers in both the developed and developing world, a pleasant fragrance is an added bonus indicating cleanliness. Conversely, a number of consumers may prefer cleaning products to be fragrance-free so as to not irritate skin.”

http://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Five-Trends-Impacting-the-Cleaning-Market–16500

Security Basic Report Writing

Mar312015

The best tool for any security guard professional is the ability to write a detailed report.  If done properly, a detailed report can give authorities, such as supervisors and law enforcement, a traceable accounts of events leading up to an incident.  All new and seasoned security guards should be able to  give information on their daily report and incident report to ensure their version is fresh.  As we all know, memory fades with time and details get fuzzy which makes it harder to write an accurate report.  This can put the employee, employer, and client in a tough situation.

Luckily, for security companies, there are many training materials and videos, that can assisting in showing new and current employees the importance of basic security report writing.  Check out this 15 minute video I posted below.  Host, Jason Smith from GuardTrak, illustrates why report writing is crucicle in Security and how it may be used to convict any criminals.  This video has alot information, you can pick and choose those procedures that will be beneficial for your organization.  But remember, training starts on day one and it is consistently reinforced along the way.

Tips To Improving Indoor Air Quality

Mar242015

Because of extremely cold temperatures, most of us are spending our time indoors whether it is our homes, the office, the gym or any warm environment, we don’t seem to think much about the indoor air we are breathing. “Most people associate pollution with the outdoors. Yet, surprisingly, the air inside homes and offices is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. According to the experts at Rainbow International, addressing indoor air quality issues and having air ducts cleaned can help improve personal health, reduce utility bills and create a cleaner environment for breathing.” Check out the original article on Cleanlink.com, here are the following tips to breathe easier indoors:

Causes of poor indoor air quality include:

  • Homes are built airtight today to reduce energy waste, but too little ventilation may also trap pollutants inside, allowing them to accumulate to dangerous levels.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are generated indoors from some building materials and furniture items, lowering the quality of indoor air.
  • Contaminants can be circulated throughout the home or office in unclean air ducts, including bacteria, mold spores, fungus, pollen, pet dander and dust mites.

Benefits of air duct cleaning include:

  • Eliminates accumulated dust and debris, improving air quality and reducing health risks that were caused by the polluted air.
  • Reduces the amount of built-up dust on surfaces inside a building, as the air ducts are no longer transferring dust throughout the home or office.
  • Cuts energy costs because the heating and cooling system works more efficiently. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that a buildup of only .042 inches of dust in ductwork can decrease heating and cooling efficiency by more than 20 percent.

Review these tips to improve the indoor air you breathe:

  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and running the exhaust fan, especially when cooking, cleaning or painting.
  • Pay attention to the signs of indoor air pollution: irritated eyes, nose and throat, headache, fatigue and dizziness.
  • Decrease humidity by running a dehumidifier to make an environment where mold, mildew and dust mites are less likely to live.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals with harmful fumes. Instead, choose nontoxic cleaning products.
  • Keep smoke outside by never smoking and avoiding burning candles indoors.
  • Change the furnace filter regularly and choose a high-efficiency filter that can trap the smallest particles. Property owners should expect technicians to inspect the system for contaminants, vacuum out the ductwork, brush off dust surfaces, remove animal nests and evidence of pests, and seal and insulate ductwork to increase efficiency and reduce utility costs.

 

http://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Tips-To-Improving-Indoor-Air-Quality–17935

 

Safety Tips For Powdered Cleansers

Jan222015

On Cleanlink.com, author Mickey Crowe dishes out some safety tips when using powdered cleansers on modern surfaces. These tips can be useful when converting from the old-fashioned, chemical based cleansers to a more environmentally safer products. They are as follows:

1.   Such products are not appropriate for day-to-day use due to the potential damage to the surfaces of counters and sinks. Old-fashioned porcelain toilets and urinals are becoming a thing of the past and care should be taken to verify what is the manufacturer’s recommendations before proceeding.

2.   A mild (with some suds) detergent/disinfectant is much more effective in day-to-day cleaning since it is designed to remove the soils without scratching the surface.

3. Although the damage may not be apparent at first, your workers can create fine scratches in the surface that eventually become visible.

4. In addition, the scratches can harbor germs and encourage bacterial growth that will make it even more difficult to clean and disinfect effectively.

5. Check with your distributor who may be able to recommend a seal/finish designed to restore and protect synthetic surfaces.

6. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to inventory all of the cleaning products that your staff uses and convert to greener, safer products.

7. Limit powdered cleansers, most acids and high pH (over 10.5) to specially trained workers who know how to use them safely as well as having the judgment as to when to use these products.

http://www.cleanlink.com/cleanlinkminute/details/Safety-Tips-For-Powdered-Cleansers–43140

 

Top 10 Tricks To Declutter Your Office

Jan132015

As we wished 2014 goodbye, it is time to embrace 2015 with open arms. And the way to do that is to starting thinking about spring cleaning the office. Yes, I know we are only 2 weeks into January, but it is a good time to get a jump on de-cluttering the office space for greater functionality.
On Forbes.com, they collaborated with organization experts to find the top 10 easiest tips and tricks everyone can use to maintain their offices nice and neat.

  1. Divide your workspace into zones. Instead of having stuff everywhere cluttering up the space, designate homes for those things that are important to you such as your computer, files, and supply storage. Everything else not deemed important or useful can be tossed out.
  1. Keep only what you need at arm’s length. Minimize desktop clutter by paring down to the bare essentials. Your computer, phone, a notepad with a couple of pens or pencils, and one or two necessary items that are easily accessible.
  1. Create a daily paper system. I have to say, I have used this system in the past and it is pretty clever. I used a horizontal file sorter and labeled each one with a weekday. This helped me keep track of daily assignments in one spot instead of all over the desk or in a filing cabinet. Whatever assignments that were not completed, it was moved into the next day to be finished then.
  1. Establish limits. Once you cleared out the unnecessary clutter and have everything in place, this will be your blank slate moving forward. Have limits on items you have that should not extend further than its container. For example, if you have a bookshelf that is full to capacity, rotate the books out as new ones come in. This way it can remain full without overflowing and become a new cluttered mess.
  1. Sort your catch all drawer. Let’s face it, the catch all drawer is the black hole of all drawers. No matter if it is at home or at work, the catch all drawer is the most overly abused, and yet, unappreciated piece of cabinetry in the 21st century. Nevertheless, this too can be remedied with thoughtful organization. Insert some dividers or drawer organizers to lessen the chaos and put similar items together. Also do a monthly purge of the catch all and find homes for items that simply fell in.
  1. Don’t use E-mail as a to do list. Instead use Outlook’s calendar to create to do lists and set appointment reminders for yourself. In the calendar, you can create appointments to yourself or share with others on your team. You can set it to notify anywhere from a week to five minutes prior the start of the task or appointment. What is nice about this feature is that if you ignore the reminder, it will continue to pop up until you either snooze it or dismiss it.
  1. Streamline your desktop icons. I have to admit, I am guilty of having too many icons cluttering up my desktop. Just as physical clutter can cause stress within us, so can digital clutter. As you maintain the physical clutter you can incorporate the same techniques with your desktop. Create an electronic filing system that will enable you to clear off any unnecessary items off of your desktop. Group similar files into folders and name/date them accordingly.
  1. Hang hooks for outerwear. Many offices now have an open concept workspace that there is hardly any room to hang your stuff. If your office is equipped with a closet, consider yourself lucky. However, if you’re one of the unlucky ones with nowhere to put your coat or bag except for the floor or draping it over a cubby wall. It may be wise to ask or invest in hooks that attaches to the cubby wall or a communal coat tree. This way your stuff is safe and out of the way.
  1. Keep a basket or drawer for short term storage. Designate an area for short term items such as newspapers or magazine and rotate them out as the newest one comes in. Or even better, consider subscribing to the online version to eliminate unnecessary paper waste and it can be also saved digitally.

10. Disinfect regularly. Thankfully to the invention of the handy portable disinfecting wipes it is easier to keep a small pack or container at your desk. This helps when you need to clean off your desk, keyboard and mouse whenever it gets dirty or you just need a pop of freshness in your office.

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/lmj45iljd/10-tricks-to-spring-clean-your-office/

10 Reasons To Have Carpets Cleaned Year-Round

Jan052015

No matter what the weather looks like outside, it is good practice to maintain your indoor carpets. We can be fooled to think a carpet is clean if soil is not visible, but is it really?

On Cleanlink.com, they have an article that gives, “10 Reasons To Have Carpets Cleaned Year Round.” Here are the top 10 reasons why we should have clean carpets every day:

  1. It will extend a carpet’s life span. During the summer and winter months in high traffic areas, carpets are being hammered by all the things we drag on our heels. To keep carpets looking their best, perform daily vacuuming and monthly deep cleaning.
  2. Provide better air quality. As stated in #1, we drag a lot of “things” on our heels and none of them are good. Unknowingly, we transport elements from the outdoors in, which in turn can affect other people with sensitivity and allergies. They need to handle quickly in order not to spread to other location and affect people. So a clean carpet CAN improve indoor air!
  3.  Easy to maintain with repeated cleanings. Like Mom used to say, the more you repeat something the easier it gets. This saying holds true with routine cleaning of any fixed items such as floors, carpeting, furniture, and cabinetry where dirt can hide within the nooks and crannies.
  4.  Prevents bacteria and allergens from building up. Refer to #2 and #3!
  5.  Immediately clean up spots and stains. This one can be difficult to track since we are never present when spots/stains are form. Doesn’t it always seem like a mystery? However, if there is routine cleaning and inspection of the carpet, it can determine how “fresh” the stain and it should make it easier to remove and treat.
  6.  Boosts a room’s appearance. Ever walk into a beautifully adorned and everything seems to glow? From the skylight to the carpet, a cleaned interior is more welcoming and inviting
  7. Enhances employee morale. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t like working in a dirty office environment.  It gives the impression that employers do not care about their employee’s well-being and can diminish productivity and company culture. Unless you worked in a naturally dirty job such as manufacturing, mining, or sanitation, then it will be completely acceptable.
  8.  Looks clean and fresh. That just sums it up!
  9.  Evicts the carpet critters that are unwelcomed. Well, this goes without saying. What critter is welcomed anywhere? Sadly, they are an unnecessary evil that we must contend with in order to coexist (on the same planet, but not living/working space). In order to keep little guys at bay, regular maintenance CANNOT be stressed enough!
  10.  Upkeeps the carpet’s assurance. A well maintained carpet can continue to look as pristine as the day it was first put down. Whether it is carpet in our homes, vehicles, or offices, a proficiently cleaned carpet can help us all breathe a little easier, help boost our morale, and improve our air quality.

 

http://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Ten-Reasons-to-Have-Carpets-Cleaned-Year-Round–15658

 

7 Sins of Building Security

Nov182014

In recent months, security breaches have been happening every across the US and Canada, many with deadly consequences. As the encounters with the news can tell us, even those facilities with the highest forms of security can still be breached and penetrated with a kind of smoothness that can make a stick of butter jealous. However, with the right awareness training and readiness, breaches can be prevented or minimized to protect our property, people and information.

In 2009, Tim Giles, Security Consultant and Author of ‘How to Develop and Implement a Security Master Plan” and Joan Goodchild, Senior Editor of CSO Online sat down to discuss an organization’s “7 Deadly Sins of Building Security” when creating a security plan. Here are some of the tips to think about:

  1. Don’t go into contract with a security service company before performing an advanced analysis of your facility. Perform a walk-through of the facility and learn your vulnerable spots that you can convey to the security company. Usually a facilities manager would handle this task, but if you don’t have one available and you are not ready to hire a security expert, here’s a tip, consult your janitor or maintenance crew. Sounds funny, right? But if you stop and think for a moment, who else has practically unlimited access and knows the building layout better than anyone else? Depending on your staff, they can hold a wealth of knowledge and information which can be vital to ensure proper security measures.
  1. Don’t put more emphasize on beauty than safety when designing a building.
    • Although it may look pretty, but it is never a good idea to hide all the cameras from view. Having cameras in plain view helps deter potential criminals from targeting a facility if they know they are being watched.
    • Don’t give criminals a “natural cover.” Reduce or remove any type of shrubs or bushes near buildings or sidewalks where someone can easily hide without detection.
    • However, if you still want some greenery around the building, speak to a professional landscaper about thorny ornamental shrubs such as the Scarlet Firethorn or Crown of Thorns. Depending on the hardiness of your area, they provide a natural security defense because they generally will have long thorns and dense foliage that can prevent penetration from both people and animals.
  1. Failure to secure designated entrances. As Tim Giles stated, “Every door is another opportunity for someone to get in.” As it is stated in point #1, you need to do a thorough walk-through in order to get sense of where a breach can occur. Designate a few areas to be an entrance and put alarms on doors that you would want to restrict access to. In case of an emergency, ensure all doors that lead to the outside is accessible from the inside. At any entry point, incorporate a security program where Ids and badges are regularly checked and randomly around the building to warrant individuals are supposed to be there.
  1. “A chain is only as good as its weakest link,” as the old proverb goes. When it comes to implementing a companywide program, it is generally all or nothing.   For instance, if you have integrated a badge program and have some employees who refuse to follow the rules, then how effective could the security be? It should become a mandatory protocol that everyone in the building wears one for security. If any employee chooses to refuse to abide by the program, then it will up to the discretion of the company how to handle that situation.
  1. Take the time to know the technology that will be securing your facility. With technology constantly changing, it pays for managers and some higher ups to get to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how their system operates just in case something were to arise. Plus, would you want someone else to know your security system better than you do? Don’t put the safety of your company in someone else’s hands.
  1. Safeguard the company most valuable assets. We take for granted when we see people working in areas off limits to regular employees assuming they are supposed to be there. But how do you know, really? Hopefully, someone within the company, such as a facilities manager or supervisor, is keenly aware of people doing work in secure areas. But if no one was aware, then you may be experiencing a security breach that is compromising your company. Communication within a company is key to safeguard their employees and building. Sending an email blast throughout the company is a quick and easy way to let everyone know of what is happening. Also, institute a protocol for badges to be check anytime someone comes in or out of the building.
  1. Keep your security system down to fit your company’s risk and needs. Although a company would like to get the most bang for a buck, but is it feasible to overdo on security? Sadly, thieves are smart no matter if they are from within or outside, they would be able to figure out a security routine fairly easily.   On that note, I will leave you with this last tip (pseudo #8), if you have security that walks around the facility regularly, have them mix up their routine. Advise them to walk around in different areas at different times of the day in case they are being under surveillance. This way, would-be thieves cannot pinpoint the best entryway to breach their facility.

http://www.csoonline.com/article/2124303/physical-security/seven-deadly-sins-of-building-security.html

Protection Against Ebola

Nov042014

In 2014, it seems to be the year of Ebola. With more and more people traveling between countries, states, and companies, we all have become hyper-vigilant to our surroundings to insure our personal safety. This becomes extremely important to cleaning crews and clients. Every day, they enter facilities unbeknownst to them what may have transpired during the day. To help teach workers how minimize the spread of any disease, OSHA has recently announced a Guideline for Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces on Cleanlink.com http://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/OSHA-Announces-Guidelines-for-Cleaning-and-Decontamination-of-Ebola–17626. This particular information is geared towards workers and employers in a “non-healthcare/non-laboratory” environments.

Here are some of the tips they have provided:

  1. Immediately clean and disinfect any visible surface contamination any type of bodily fluids with EPA registered chemicals.
  2. Use absorbent material (e.g., paper towels) to cover spills, then pour a disinfectant on to saturate the area. Allow it to penetrate for at least 30 minutes before cleaning. This should be enough time to kill any virus or bacteria present.
  3. Maintain the area well ventilated when using cleaners and disinfectants.
  4. Do not pick up any spills with gloved hands, use tools, if available, to clean up.
  5. After decontamination, to further minimize the risk of catching or spreading infectious diseases, proper procedures needs to be followed in order to remove personal protection equipment (PPE) safely. The New York Times has a great video with Dr. Colin Banks demonstrating how medical personnel in the field put on and remove contaminated clothing (PPE). http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/africa/100000003170172/putting-on-ebola-protection-gear.html?playlistId=1194812888716

 

Additional information can be found on https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA_FS-3756.pdf