Nearly 120 facility service providers (FSPs) that subscribe to the Tornado's monthly newsletter participated in a survey, which was conducted the first week of March 2007.

According to the poll:

• Seventy-five percent of the respondents indicated they plan to purchase one or more vacuum cleaners in 2007.

• Fifty-eight percent reported that they intend to purchase one or more floor machines such as scrubbers, buffers, or ride-on equipment in 2007.

• Nearly 42 percent said a new carpet extractor was in their buying plans for the coming year.

“What is also interesting to note is that the FSPs all indicated they would be selecting ‘moderately priced’ equipment,” says Jolynn Kennedy, Marketing Director for Tornado. “They are not looking for the most or the least expensive products.”

Who They Are and What They Want
According to Kennedy, more than a third of the respondents were involved with cleaning educational facilities. Twenty-five percent maintained offices, nearly 17 percent cleaned medical and healthcare facilities, and the rest were involved with the upkeep and maintenance of manufacturing/industrial facilities and government buildings.

“We also asked the FSPs what their toughest cleaning challenge is that is not being adequately met by today’s professional cleaning equipment manufacturers,” Kennedy says. “Almost 30 percent reported they were looking for equipment that ‘could better enhance the health’ of indoor environments. This was followed by a desire for floorcare equipment that could improve the cleaning of uneven or porous floors (18 percent) and equipment to help tackle floorcare in large facilities (18 percent).”

Kennedy adds that the last question on the survey asked the FSPs about the most important factors influencing their cleaning equipment purchases. Forty-two percent indicated it was selecting equipment that could “reduce the cost of cleaning.” This was followed (at about 17 percent each) by a desire for equipment that could increase worker productivity, was easy to repair and maintain, and was environmentally preferable.

“It’s clear that reducing cleaning costs, whether through more efficient equipment, increased productivity, or reduced repair costs and downtime, is of paramount importance for today’s FSPs,” says Kennedy. “But, we also see more and more FSPs looking for cleaning equipment that is ‘Greener,’ with less impact on the user and the environment.”