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Most people don’t know where their future will take them and if the choices made along the way will be the right ones – but my relationship

with the cleaning industry has proved fruitful and long-lasting.

In many ways we are a perfect match as we are both down to earth, whilst having substance behind what we say. Neither of us wants to stand still, appreciating that we need to adapt to make things work.

Having studied German and Spanish languages and international marketing at postgraduate level, you could say that the world was my oyster. Being involved with the cleaning and hygiene industry has allowed me to manage multilingual campaigns on the industry’s behalf across America, Asia and Europe and brought out the best in both of us.

Marketing yourself and getting your voice heard is critical in any

The cleaning industry is an industry with which I have had a long and passionate relationship.

I started working in

chemical sales in September 1986. The industry at that time was very buoyant, driving forward with new regulations relating to health and safety as well as a re-examining of food hygiene standards.

I did have a realisation that there was a role to play in providing a service to our customers that was above and beyond the selling of goods.

Through this responsibility of care and the correct delivery of these services I needed to learn more about how the cleaning industry connected with their

relationship. In a crowded and competitive market, cleaning and hygiene companies need to deliver excellent service provision, but also stand out from the crowd and tell their story.

Industries and individuals need other organisations to turn to when support is needed. I’m proud to have helped many companies within the cleaning industry grow their business through the power of communication. The industry livery company, the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, is also on hand for guidance and networking and supports many education, training and research projects within the cleaning industry as part of its mission to maintain high standards of practice and integrity and represent this modern profession.

Like all good relationships you have to realise that your partner might not be able to meet all of your needs and that you can learn and grow from others. A trend for pooling resources is happening in the cleaning, FM and

clients and where, as a supplier, I would fi t into the circle that completed the supply/demand scenario.

To fall in love with or to continue to enjoy being part of the cleaning industry you must connect with the people, as it is the people that can make going to work a pleasure or a pain.

All I have learned in the time I have been connected to both private and governmental cleaning operators, I have learned from the coal face, up-front with the job at hand, solving problems for managers tasked with diffi cult time and fi nancial pressures from very demanding clients.

The satisfaction of being part of the solution is, in a way, what makes the role feel satisfying and makes it more than just a ‘job of work’.

waste management industries. The crossover between the services that each one provides is becoming ever more apparent in terms of clientele and strategic direction. In many ways these partnerships make sense. By pooling resources and knowledge, messages can be more consistent and targeted, and a better service can be provided to the people and businesses they represent.

As client and industry needs continue to merge, more joint working and sharing of best practice will undoubtedly increase. All three sectors can help each other in terms of training and specialist knowledge, which could translate into more business and profi t for them, and even better services for customers. A winning relationship for everyone involved!

Ceris Burns Managing Director, Ceris Burns International

Has my relationship always been a happy one? I do look back on 29 years with rose coloured glasses and can say that on the whole it has been a good relationship but it has been made so by the customers with whom I have built up friendships that have endured over many of these years.

I am now passing on my knowledge to a new generation of cleaners and managers through training, both practical and theoretical, in what has become a more pressurised and fi nancially restricted environment.

Brian Boll, Systems Director, Jigsaw Cleaning


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