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10 Questions With... Rob Russell

Each month we ask a cleaning industry professional the Tomorrow’s Cleaning 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Rob Russell, Sales Director at Needlers.

England in the fall, to watch the changing colours in the forest. (I think I’ve reached that age?)

Q5 Q1 Q2

What was your first job? I began my property career as a

Trainee Valuer at a local independent estate agent – aged 18. It was a short lived career, and I’ve been in sales ever since. I’m still interested in property though.

How did you get into the cleaning industry?

After 20 years of working for a large international company, the business was being sold. For the last 10 of those years I’d sat next to Needlers’ Managing Director, Alistair Needler at Hull City matches, and during that time had always taken a keen interest in the company.

Q3 Q4


Which three words describe your personality?

Tenacious, witty, impulsive (I think that’s what I put on the job application?)

If you could visit one place in the world, where would you

go and why? I’m lucky that I’ve been able to travel and experience a lot of new places. But one place I’d love to visit is New

How would you improve the cleaning industry?

Like all industries, the success of a cleaning business is in the customer service it provides. And one way to ensure this continues to improve is training and development of people.

Cleaning and hygiene is increasingly a key focus area for all industries, particularly food manufacturing, so the industry needs to capitalise on this focus, leading in best practice and ensuring training is available to build skills.


Q7 Q8

If an intern were to start tomorrow, what’s the one piece

of advice you would give them? Success is not about being better than somebody else. It’s about being the best that you can be.

What do you do to unwind? I love to watch football, following

my home team Hull City (it’s not always very unwinding!). I also spend a lot of time in my garden.

If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have

one thing, what would it be and why? Wi-fi please (it had better be Richard Branson’s island?) – I like to know what’s going on. And much to my wife’s horror; desert island or not I like to check my emails.


What do you think is the future of the cleaning industry?

“Digital disruption” is a phrase we are hearing a lot, and it’s a concept that

we’re leading on, using digital and social media to disrupt the traditional delivery of services.

For example, we’ve created a suite of training videos, and we produce bespoke video content free of charge for our customers, also consulting with them on the best ways to deliver that content, whether it’s a screen in the canteen, or through their personal media devices.

Accessibility and relevance of information is changing the way people work, and being a fairly traditional industry, I think the cleaning industry will notice a big change.

Mike Frost, Managing Director at Pasture Naturals, asks...


How is sustainability interpreted within your organisation?

We think sustainability has to start with process and procedures, and be built into the culture of an organisation, rather than being a single exercise carried out to satisfy a company policy.

We challenge our employees to identify ways of creating a more sustainable business, for example we have changed the packaging used for our imported goods, maximising the space available in containers and resulting in more efficient shipping.

Check out next month’s issue to see what Rob Russell asked our next industry professional...

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