The World Federation of Building Service Contractors held its first CEO Forum in Rome on 26 March 2013. Building service industry leaders from as far afield as the US, Brazil, Japan and Germany discussed two fundamental issues for the future of the BSC sector.
The first issue to be discussed was the future scenario planning for the sector, building on the ISS 2020 project. The second was the role of cleaning in developing public health, especially in the light of the WFBSC membership of the WHO Private Organisations for Patient Safety Group.
Peter Ankerstjerne from ISS introduced the work that ISS has undertaken on scenario planning the world of cleaning in 2020. ISS had undertaken a very detailed piece of work to examine the future prospects of the cleaning industry, including both surveys and in depth interviews with employees and customers.
For ISS, a number of key themes were emerging:
• Technology would be a disruptive force in the future of cleaning, whether through robotics, improved logistics or by some other means - new technology will revolutionise how cleaning is performed.
• Sustainability, both social and environmental, will be key differentiators of quality within the cleaning industry - even in the current context of sluggish economic growth in the developed economies.
• Conversely, growth was driving ahead in the developing world and the greatest opportunities for service industries were there and not in developed economies.
• Job enrichment would be key. As productivity improved, this was an opportunity to revolutionise building service contracting and lift it out of the low pay, low status trap.