Professional cleaning in offices, hotels, hospitals, or public spaces is a manual-heavy business that is rarely considered a fertile ground for innovation. Yet this is far from the truth, with modern cleaning equipment bringing exciting, sophisticated tech solutions, and companies enjoying new ways to infuse workflows with modern solutions.
The cleaning market is a powerful niche that remains stable in growth despite the global recession. According to Expert Market Research report, the value of the market reached $69.8 billion in 2022 and it is expected to reach the value of $101.28 billion by 2028.
This cake is to be sliced between a plethora of companies - starting from the smallest ones, competing with the price and dedication of the owner, to medium players that combine fierce determination with increasingly sophisticated tools, to the largest players employing the latest innovations to stay on the top.
Yet no matter how small or big the company is, it will need to keep yey with the latest innovations to stay floating.
Innovations that will transform the market in 2023
The cleaning market is not in the void - the world is currently shaken by both ongoing sociopolitical situations (demographic crisis, workforce transformation) and tech disruption (AR and AI fighting for their place). Yet it doesn’t mean that there are only threats looming on the horizon. In fact, every phenomenon can be seen as an opportunity.
Digital tools for inclusivity
Modern working environment aims to increase inclusion and make the best of every talent joining the team. The cleaning business has a special position. It is traditionally inclusive and open for people from numerous backgrounds, including underprivileged groups like immigrants or people with various disabilities.
Yet despite the traditional inclusivity seen in this business, there is still room for setting a higher bar, with increasingly sophisticated tools for digital inclusivity. These include for example AR-check headset that provides the user with augmented reality guidance on the work.
Effectively, by increasing inclusion, these tools tackle the challenge of labor shortage. It is not only about inviting previously overlooked groups to work but also shattering the barriers of culture and language by providing all employees with clear instructions in their native languages, enabling the group to cooperate effectively.
From a more distanced point of view, every home appliance is a form of automation of daily chores. With washing machines and dishwashers, a lot of cleaning work has been automated, yet there is a lot to come in the world of professional cleaning.
Automations start from simple Roombas that autonomously dwell through corridors to vacuum them with little to no human supervision. On the other side of the spectrum, there are more sci-fi-like robots emerging.
According to the MarketsAndMarkets report
, the market of commercial cleaning robots was worth $9.8 Billion in 2022 and will grow to $25.9 Billion in 2027. These include robots of all sizes and applications, starting from autonomous vacuum cleaners mentioned above to glass cleaners and automated floor cleaners used in malls and comparable institutions.
Again, robotics tackle one of the greatest challenges of upcoming years - the labor shortage in the cleaning business, witnessed especially in developed markets.
With so much tech appearing on the scene, the ability to make them work together with humans and other machines is a natural next step. The Internet of Things (IoT) will transform the cleaning business in the same way it does with multiple other industries. Possible applications include:
- IoT sensors used in the cleaning tools - these can be used to harvest the data directly from cleaning equipment and analyze it later in the IT systems of the operating company. These can include tracking every tool to ensure the quality of delivered services or the best usage of the owned resources.
- IoT sensors used by the building management - these sensors can be used to control the environment in the cleaning services are delivered. For example, the sensors in the ventilation systems can ensure sticking to the air quality standards.
- Ensuring quality with movement tracking - last but not least, IoT is a powerful tool to support quality assurance. With the ability to track the human workforce, the tools can deliver automated prompts and updates regarding the work done.
Augmented reality is basically about blending the outputs of digital tools with the real human experience using their senses. This can be done using the headsets like Hololens, or a smartphone screen paired with a camera.
Augmented reality can be applied to support the ongoing work of the cleaning person, showing real-time-adjusted prompts and suggestions. This can include automated checklists to be used during work or prompts that are designed to support work with a particular machine. These can vary from the simplest reminders (“wear gloves during work”) to delivering instructions on running more sophisticated tasks.
This results in increased effectiveness and quality assurance, as employees are less likely to misuse the devices or omit the company policy.
Last but not least, the dawn of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be also an innovation in cleaning solutions. Yet in this particular industry, the applications may vary from standard to unseen anywhere else.
AI-based tools can easily supervise and control swarms of devices. For example, artificial intelligence can instruct a group of Roombas (or comparable devices) to operate as a single entity and clean the area in an organized manner and reduce the time necessary for services.
Also, the usage of Large Language Models (LLM), like the one seen in ChatGPT, can be seen in facilitating cooperation with machines and between clients and the company. A chatbot provides a more natural way to interact with either the equipment or the supervisor, especially if the user is not speaking a particular language. The AI model can come as an on-the-go translator and facilitator that makes communication easier and ultimately improves customer relationships.
Last but not least, the AI has a superhuman capability to process the data, no matter how big or complicated. When paired with IoT sensors or Augmented Reality streams, it can deliver comprehensive and reliable real-time information about the company's operations. It can bring both the power of business intelligence solutions and mine for insights in the search for savings or productivity boosts.
The cleaning industry is not staying behind and it joins the global tech changes. Following the trends is the best way to stay on the top - or to climb it as soon as possible. This is also the best strategy to stay ahead of the competition and improve the day-to-day operations in professional and industrial cleaning businesses.
More Infos at AR-Check