Companies in the cleaning industry that operate beyond the borders of their headquarter country face a special challenge: Many countries, especially in Europe, are geographically close together. However, the nations’ cleaning markets and cultural customs can differ, even among neighbors. As local conditions also effect the business opportunities, it makes sense to analyze and compare the individual markets.
What do customers need? Manufacturers, distributors, and building service providers are all challenged by this question. Yet knowing what your customers want is essential since the better one knows the needs of customers, the better one can adapt to offer the appropriate products or services. Keeping an eye on current trends and new developments is equally important to staying competitive and profitable. The best way to stay on top of both needs and trends is research.
Research in Benelux
With this in mind, ISSA, in cooperation with the market research institute DTO Research, has taken a closer look at various countries in Europe and compiled brief market snapshots reports, including a General Market Overview; Market Potential, Trends and Developments; and Purchase Decision Criteria From the Customer’s Point of View.
The latest of these research projects was conducted in the Benelux countries—Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, in April and May 2018. The data was collected through secondary data analysis and 45 guided interviews with industry experts, including manufacturers, associations, suppliers, consultants, and service providers in four relevant market segments: cleaning machines, equipment, chemicals, and services. The four segments were analyzed separately since customers’ needs are different in each. For example, for machines, quality has a significant influence on customers’ purchasing decisions. For cleaning equipment, however, simplicity of handling drives most purchasers. In the case of cleaning chemicals, the area of performance counts while for purchasing building cleaning services, the focus is on safety.
A uniform approach to data collection is mandatory to compare the industry in different markets and derive appropriate measures. With a mix of quantitative data analysis and qualitative expert interviews, the snapshots from ISSA and DTO Research provide market insight that delivers comprehensive results in both breadth and depth. In addition to Benelux, the cleaning industry in Germany was analyzed in September 2017.
“As an association, it is our goal to make the professional cleaning industry in Europe and worldwide more transparent,” says ISSA European Manager Regina Henrich. “Our second snapshot on the cleaning market in Benelux is a further step to help our members better understand the scale of opportunity and allocate their resources more appropriately.”
The next market overview is planned for the United Kingdom in the fourth quarter of 2018. All results are available exclusively to ISSA members to download at www.issa.com.