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It's been a big year for cleaning and FM, and we're gearing up for another full of exciting challenges. For me, the New Year will

hopefully bring more consolidation of the industry's trade associations to bring about savings, effi ciency and a stronger voice for the sector. For this, I'll need to focus on resolutions that will help to make the process smoother.

My fi rst will be to listen intently to what the industry wants. It's very easy as representative bodies to

compromise, or respond based on what we've traditionally done, instead of keeping our ear to the ground and adapting when changes happen in our sector. Often, it's possible to prioritize ourselves rather than adapt to fi t the purpose the trade associations serve. This year the combined organisation of Asset Skills, CSSA and FMA will be listening intently to everything businesses have to say, and acting on those needs. I enthusiastically encourage members to engage with us and help to chart the course we'll take.

Another resolution will be to focus on research. There will be a number of accusations and assumptions about our industries in the lead up to the general election 2015, and I want to make sure that we're ready with evidence to show positive results and changes that we've made to accommodate different opinions. This research needs to range from the biggest FM providers to sole traders, association members and non-members, in order for us to get a clear picture of the industry. With issues such as the living wage and

hat are your New Year's should the industry be

zero hour contracts being as high- profi le as they are, it's key for us to get the facts right, and a reliance on research will make that happen.

The cleaning industry is such a social and face-to-face place to be. There are so many events, fundraisers and conferences to get to and such little time. These events are very important for keeping up to date on all the changes that are happening; I recently attended the British Cleaning Council Conference and was lucky enough to sit on an incredibly engaging panel to discuss everything from working conditions to management styles. My last resolution will be to try to get to as many of these as possible, and put faces to names and email addresses at the networking drinks. There goes my fi nal resolution of being a bit healthier then! Happy New Year to the readers of Tomorrow's Cleaning - let's hope it's a busy and fruitful one.

Sarah Bentley, Chief Executive of Asset Skills

The New Year is a time for both refl ection and looking forward. On the refl ection side, we can see where projects

have evolved and hopefully come to fruition. We can also see where we have fallen short of our expectations.

Drawing on our experiences over the last 12 months, we can put together a wish list or prioritise our major objectives for the coming year. In my role as Sales Director of a distributorship, supplying

the end users within the cleaning industry, I need to be aware of changes in technology, chemistry and environmental issues. In this way, I can pass on the advantages of innovation to my customers, making their operations more effective, safer and cost effi cient — something which is paramount at this present time.

As part of the evaluation for 2013, we made the decision to invest in equipment that is, wherever possible, made from recycled plastic. This has been achieved without any detrimental quality to the stock we supply to our customers. I would urge the industry in general to follow this example and use recycled materials wherever possible — it will have benefi ts for all and the target

should be carbon neutral.

The next resolution that the industry needs to take on board for 2014 is training. We are constantly being asked to improve the quality of the goods and services we supply and, this is certainly something we should all be aiming towards. However, there is a point where the end user needs to ensure that the cleaning staff have the suitable qualifi cations to be able to carry out cleaning tasks in the most effi cient, effective and safe methods.

Brian Boll, Systems Director, Jigsaw Cleaning


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