ISSA Member Profile: Kärcher b.v.
Categories: Member ProfilesBy ISSA Staff | June 4, 2013 << Back to Articles
Kärcher b.v. is a truly global player in the cleaning industry. The company provides cleaning solutions to both the consumer and commercial markets on all continents and has subsidiaries in more than 55 countries. Currently, Kärcher has more than 10,000 employees and is continuing to grow.
Kärcher has long been a member of ISSA, and when we spoke to Kärcher Sales Director Professional Jean Paul Christy, he was keen to highlight the value of being part of the ISSA family, what the future holds for the cleaning industry, and the role ISSA should play in it.
“In Europe, ISSA is most commonly identified with the ISSA/INTERCLEAN® shows―particularly the Amsterdam edition—which is not surprising as it is, in my opinion, the No. 1 event of its kind in the world,” Christy said. “From our experience, however, the value of ISSA is about more than these events. ISSA members are part of a global community, and ISSA creates bridges between markets and between manufacturers and customers.”
One example of ISSA’s ability to connect can be seen in founding of the ISSA BeNeLux Working Group. ISSA’s BeNeLux Working Group was established in 2011 as a service for our members in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg (BeNeLux). Several major manufacturing and distributing companies operating in the region, including Kärcher, have joined the group and are proactively working together to seek solutions for regional cleaning industry issues.
“We in the BeNeLux Working Group see ISSA’s role as linking manufacturers to local building service contractors and in-house service providers in order for them to then come up with innovative products and solutions that fit the specific requirements of that market and then to ensure they are successfully implemented,” Christy said.
Such industry cooperation also is vital to tackle what Christy sees as one of the primary challenges facing the cleaning industry today. “The cleaning industry is one of the largest employers in the world, but sadly it is not always regarded as exciting,” he explained. “In many markets, it can even be a challenge to attract creative and talented people to join our industry.”
One of ISSA’s paramount goals is to ensure that the general public appreciates the huge impact effective cleaning has on society. For example, in the United Kingdom, one of the biggest growth areas is domestic labour. Great Britain has acquired an additional 170,000 cleaning workers in the last 50 years―not an insignificant figure during a time of global economic uncertainty.
But the cleaning industry does not just create jobs where other sectors are continuing to shrink. Our contribution to society goes beyond that. What if our schools, hospitals, parks, and public transport were cleaning-free zones? “We all know what it feels like when our offices are not cleaned, even if it is only for one week,” said Christy. “To combat this challenge, ISSA and its members should continue working to improve our industry through initiatives like the BeNeLux Working Group. Being successful, professional, and dynamic is the best promotional tool we have.”