Previous Episode Next Episode

Episode 1 - Evolving client relationships: An insight with ISS


We round up the latest cleaning industry news and ISS headquarters in Copenhagen to speak to COO Martin Gaarn Thomsen.

This episode features special guests:

- Martin Gaarn Thomsen, COO, ISS

- Tom Ketil Lund, Nordea Account Executive, ISS 

Also starring Cat King and our reporter, Michelle Marshall, the Editor of European Cleaning Journal

Episode Transcript

Coming up in today’s show

Coming up in today’s show we take a trip to the headquarters’ of ISS and speak to Chief Operations Officer Martin Gaarn Thomson.



Hello and welcome to the first episode of this season of EC Television. The only show for the professional cleaning industry.

We’re going to start today’s show by taking a brief look at what is going on in the world of cleaning.



Toilet rolls to be made of milk?

A premium-priced toilet roll made from waste milk has been hitting Italian supermarket shelves this winter.

Carezza di Latte - which translates as "milk caress" - is a collaboration between German fabric innovator Qmilk and Italian tissue company Lucart


Bunzl branches out in Europe

Global distribution company Bunzl is to acquire more businesses in Denmark and France.

Sæbe Compagniet, which is based near Copenhagen, is a distributor of cleaning and hygiene related products in Denmark. Prorisk and GM Equipement specialise in the sale of personal protection equipment and first aid-related products.


NHS fights superbugs

In the UK, extra funds are to be pumped into the National Health Service to help UK hospitals tackle the current superbug crisis.

The €53.8 million cash injection will be shared among the nation's hospitals in a bid to reduce infection rates.


A nude way to clean

And finally, a London-based business is expanding its house cleaning service aimed at the nudist community across the UK – with naked cleaners!

The company offers three packages – one where the cleaner is nude, one where the client is undressed, and one where both are naked.

The company’s owner said “There’s nothing sexual about the business at all. The client is getting a professional clean.”



We’ll be back in a minute with an exclusive look at how ISS is partnering with their clients. See you soon.



Sealed Air Diversey Care



Welcome back to EC Television. With ISS changing how they work with clients we sent Michelle Marshall to Copenhagen to find out more.


How the relationship between building service contractors and their clients is changing

Michelle Marshall – Editor, European Cleaning Journal

The nature of the relationship between the building service provider and their client is changing. This means there is a drive to find new working methods that improve the service experience. 

We’re here in Copenhagen at the headquarters of the world’s largest facilities service provider, ISS, to talk to chief operating officer, Martin Gaarn Thomsen.


Marting Gaarn Thomsen – COO, ISS

I think the most significant development that we have seen in our relationship with our clients has really been that our customers more and more focusing on their core business. It’s about their purpose and how we then, as service provider, underpin and help them achieve that purpose.


What you are delivering to, for instance, a hospital is no longer a good, healthy environment but is actually helping the hospital healing their patients.


Close to 40% of our cleaning solutions we are delivering together with our integrated solutions… so together with other services. In those integrated solutions we talk about the user ‘touchpoints’. So where do users of the building come in contact with our services.


It can be when you enter the building and come to the reception. Is the reception friendly and smiling? Is it clean? Is the lighting and the heating and the ventilation ok?


But that also means that the way that we, as service providers, and more importantly, how our employees are trained and how they behave, has changed radcally.


If you just take people in from the street or use sub-contractors and you don’t train your people in understanding what they are actually there at this facility to provide, the customer will not see the end product that they have asked for.


Michelle Marshall – Editor, European Cleaning Journal

To find out more how this partnership model works in practice I’ve come to talk to Tom Lund, ISS account manager for Denmark at Nordea. Nordea is one of the largest financial services groups in the Nordic region.


Tom Ketil Lund – Nordea Account Executive, ISS

In 2013 we went into a new model, a partnership model, which is then based much more on end user satisfaction.


So we have sat down with Nordea, identified the need of each ‘touchpoint’, you know… setting the service standard.


In the old contract, you know, we had a list of things… this many square metres needs to be cleaned at 8 o’clock and 12 o’clock and so on… It doesn’t work like that today.


So if there is a need for us to decrease cleaning in one area and increase cleaning in another area, you know, its up to us to decide.


Talking about service and service experiences has just lifted, you know, the whole general level of our delivery. It sort of lives everyday. It is not just a powerpoint presentation. It is something that is embedded in to everyone working at the Nordea contract.


Michelle Marshall – Editor, European Cleaning Journal

It’s clear that the leading facilities services providers are now really understanding the importance of the building user experience. That’s why they are investing in building true, meaningful relationships with their clients.



That’s all we have time for on this episode of EC Television. Please get in touch and tell us what you thought, or what you would like us to cover in future episodes using the contact details below. We’d love to hear from you.

Coming up next time we take a look at robots in the industry and speak with industry leaders about the future of this technology.

See you next time. Goodbye.

Read more

Episode Sponsors