Cleaning contractors told the «CLEANING» magazine about the reasons for which household cleaning products are sometimes used in professional cleaning though they are unappropriated for this purpose, that suggested the thought to conduct an interview and find out, what, why and how in fact our cleaning companies use in their professional activities, and reasoning from this fact try to understand the level of Russian cleaning.
Let’s start with the general attitude. We often talk about the German discipline. This quality of the inhabitants of Germany, perhaps strongly-pronounced, and that’s why it has become a common name. But in most other countries the questionnaires, interviews, social researches are treated with respect. Most people realize that it will be useful for themselves, that they will also make a small contribution to the study of the professional market. Well, at least out of curiosity.
Another thing is our native [Russian] cleaners. It turned out that they “have no time,” “do not need”, “are not interested”. Still we’ve found the way to force the cleaners to answer the questions, so the conducted interview can be considered as representative study.
The main disadvantage of the study is that the data was collected mainly from the “CleanExpo” show visitors, that is, among the part of the cleaning companies and cleaning services, who are interested in new products, looking for innovations and technologies. Due to the low profitability of the cleaning services not all of the provincial companies, especially from further-flung regions, can afford a trip to Moscow and they have to do with small regional exhibitions, where the range of products sometimes is very poor, but the exhibition represents those suppliers who are actively working in this region .
The questionnaires were compiled on the basis of the basic principles of sociological surveys, according to which they must contain at least the half-close questions (the first part, in which you need to list the suppliers) and open-ended questions that required detailed answers.
Part of the survey was conducted via e-mail, the other part – by filling in forms during “CleanExpo” exhibition. Forms sent by e-mail, were more complete and thorough. The quality at the exhibition was less well. The reason is that not all of the company executives (namely, they visit such exhibitions as they make decisions) knew what exactly their employees used in the working process. I was stricken by the ignorance of the difference between the cleaning equipment and machinery. Part of the questionnaire was spoiled because of this reason. Some questionnaires have to be rejected, since they were only partially filled and did not give the real picture.
From among the remaining 307 fulfilled questionnaires let’s try to draw some conclusions.
It should be noted that all surveys include so-called sample. In our case, it suggests that among the respondents were large, medium and small cleaning companies, and also own cleaning service of various companies from Moscow and St. Petersburg (which we combined in one group), and from other cities and towns (the second group of respondents). The questionnaire, in addition to questions about machinery, chemicals, janitorial supplies, included questions about the sources of information, selection criteria and wishes to suppliers.
Among the selected fully completed questionnaires, 70% were companies from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and 30% – from other cities.
Usually, machinery equipment of one or four manufacturers are presented in the companies, depending on the size of the company, the volume and types of work performed. Generally, these are vacuum cleaners, scrubber dryers, steam cleaners, high-pressure washers. Less common are companies that have the equipment for blasting, for marble crystallization works or for escalators cleaning. The most popular is the equipment of “Karcher” (20% of respondents), the next most popular is “Tennant”, “Cleanfix”, also «Nilfisk», «Numatic», «Columbus», «Delvir» «Santoemma» are often mentioned (and other Italian brands, appeared under the title “Italian equipment, I do not remember which”), “Taski», «Lindhaus», «Comac», «Chao Bao», and also Chinese brands, the names of which the respondents could not remember. The order of enumeration reflects the frequency of references by the downward.
Change-over to the domestic products is characteristic of this market. 75% of respondents use detergents produced in Russia. The most popular are products of the following companies “Himitek”, “GraSS”, “Pro-Brite”, sometimes “Ekonobel”, “Masterhim”, “Magos”, “AMC” and “Asana” are mentioned. Among foreign manufacturers it should be noted “Kiehl», «Dr. Schnell»,«Premiere Products»,«Prochem»,«Allegrini» and «Chemspec». Of course, in each questionnaire appears chemistry of several names. Not always the respondents could recall all the products used, as sometimes the products are purchased on one occasion only for a particular purpose or this supplier is not permanent.
It should be noted that the ratio and brands in the capitals and outside of large cities are almost identical. It is interesting to note that approximately 10% of respondents use only household cleaning agents.
Equipment and janitorial supplies
«Vileda Professional» and «Unger» are definitive leaders concerning equipment both in the capitals and outside of large cities. Then Euromop, Merida, Vermop, TTS, 3M, Ermop are followed by (in descending order), and also the Chinese-made equipment (no one remembered the brand names).
It turned out that the most popular in Moscow and St. Petersburg supplies of “Merida”, and outside of large cities – «Vileda». Supplies of “ONM”, “Textil Vostok” and toilet paper of «Tork», «Merida», «Kimberly Clark», «Metsa Tissue» are also popular. In the economy class the toilet paper is of domestic production by different manufacturers.
Comments of respondents
The above data are certainly interesting in themselves, but supplemental comments help to understand the reasons for preference of certain brands. Typically occurring that consumer opinion is not always coincide with the self-assessment of suppliers. We hope that the reviews given here will allow some companies, positioning itself among the market leaders to improve their marketing strategy.
Those respondents who found it difficult to respond to the descriptive part of the questionnaire, wrote in a standard way that they chose products using Internet according to the principle of “quality-price.” The difficult question for such respondents was: how to determine this compliance according to the different site data? We will give the answers of the group that more faithfully reacted to questioning. The most common criterion for the choice turned out the full and wide range of products in shopping centers, and to provincial cities – the presence of offices and service centers in the region. These wishes were expressed by 30% of regional respondents. It should be noted that some brands because of their inaccessibility had to be refused.
When choosing chemicals the main criterion is testing, not only the demonstration by the representative of the supplier, but also control check by the process engineer of the company.
If domestic cleaning equipment simply does not exist on the cleaning market, but the market of chemicals provides the consumer a very wide choice. Taking into account the cost growth of the dual currency basket, most companies prefer to use the domestic products except the situations when a foreign product is much more efficient and customer insists on using only the chemistry of certain brands.
Claims of cleaners
The most common claim is high prices. It is noted that not always even the so-called leaders of the market suggest the price which corresponds to the quality. For this reason, companies sometimes prefer to buy the cheapest equipment that should not be repaired, and after a short use it can be replaced by the other. I think that this explains the steady growth in demand for Chinese equipment and cheap models of several European suppliers.
Other common claims are the lack of representation in the region or customer service, long-term delivery of spare parts or components, and professional integrity of some sellers is not always good enough.
As for the professional chemistry, almost all consumers notice the instability of the Russian product quality. Unfortunately, the domestic producer starts to neglect the quality when the growth in demand begins. Obviously, taking care of its image has not yet become a priority of our “chemists.” Short-term profit is more important.
Cleaning companies would like that promotional event to be conducted more often. An important role in the choice would play training organized by the supplier concerning the correct use of the equipment, and also the compatibility of equipment / chemicals.
Thus, the cleaners are expected to be not simply small traders offering their products, but also have the opportunity for closer dialogue based on service, training, constant information about new technologies, cost optimization methods through the purchasing of products of this particular supplier.
This first experience of the preliminary assessment of the technical condition of the industry still made possible to draw some conclusions and showed the direction of more detailed studies, which not only show a general picture of the state of the Russian cleaning, but also be able to make recommendations that contribute to further development.
P.S. Concerning the claims to some manufacturers as for the product quality, these claims are personal assessment of the respondents, so editors (CLEANING magazine) can not name the definite suppliers, so as not to be accused of defamation.