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The Future of Home Cleaning

An Interview with Rob Nevin, Shark's VP and GM of Canadian Trade

— February 22, 2020 — Business
Canadian brand Shark creates cleaning solutions that seamlessly blend into a busy lifestyle with the consistent cycle of refreshing the technology incorporated in its products. We got the opportunity to interview Rob Nevin, the VP and GM of Canada Trade and International Distributors at Shark, on some of the new technology the brand has in works.

We talked to Rob about the revolutionary Self Cleaning Brush Roll, how his team constantly works on new concepts, and what he envisions for the industry of cleaning technology.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Shark?

My name is Rob Nevin. I've been with Shark for 10 years, which has been amazing. It's never been dull. It's an ever-changing environment. I am the VP and GM of Canadian trade. I lead a team of fantastic people based in Mississauga.

Can you tell us about some upcoming projects that you are excited about?

For us, we want to listen to the consumer in everything that we do. We're most excited about preventing hair wrap in vacuum cleaners. I have spent so much time with a vacuum cleaner upside down and trying to cut it with scissors or using my wife's stitch ripper which you should never use, by the way. And it's painful. We have this new technology called the Self Cleaning Brush Roll or anti-hair wrap, which actively prevents hair from wrapping onto the brush roll, going right into the vacuum like it should. The technology takes the pain point completely away.

Are there any rituals for the team to reset and come up with fresh new ideas?

That's an interesting question because, for us, there is no ritual because it's ongoing. For Shark, the voice of the consumer is constant. There is no refresh. There is no reset. As we are developing products or technologies, we weave consumer feedback together to try and solve pain points. There's no new year, new beginnings. It's ongoing.

Where do you think the future of cleaning technology is headed in the next 10 years? What do you hope for the industry?

For cleaning -- what's interesting is most people don't love cleaning. They love the outcome of cleaning. If you look back to your own vacuum use for years, people tend to use just what their parents used. So for the last 25 years, every home in Canada was built with a roughing for a central vacuum cleaner or your parents had an upright vacuum so you use that or you used a canister vacuum because that's what your parents always used. There's a great groundswell on taking convenience and making it very effective. So cordless vacuums are very important. Robotics vacuums are very important. With where I think things are going with cleaning technology in the future anytime you don't have a cord, you tend to compromise the caliber of clean. So there's this juxtaposition of time to clean and results of clean that needs to be figured out.

Shark has fantastic products especially our new auto empty robots. The interesting thing about robots is, we had to first educate people that most robots on the market weren't intelligent to have them understand that our robot is intelligent. Most robots that are sold on the market are called random bots. So they will literally work in one line until they hit an obstacle, pivot, and then go until it hits another obstacle. Maybe you'll hit most core services, but you're not going to get a full and thorough clean. What Shark has done with our auto empty robot is given the ability to have 30 days of clean without you touching anything, meaning that with the SHark IQ Robot vacuum cleaner, you hit start or you tell Google or Alexa to clean my house, which is a wonderful thing to be able to do.

Then suddenly the robot will start by mapping your home and do complete cornrows, getting the best clean possible. When it's running out of charge or when your floor is fully clean, the robot will go back to the base. There's a second vacuum in the base that empties all the debris out of the vacuum; all the hair, all the debris goes into this canister, and you don't need to touch it. The next day, it'll do the exact same thing over and over again. At the end of 30 days, you take your garbage bin, you dump it, and then you're good to go again. Pet hair, people hair, debris, Cheerios, everything that you trip on every day in your kitchen or in your hallways get sucked up.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I think the biggest thing that I would ask readers to do is continue to review Shark's products. I want to hear your story. The DNA and the voice of the consumer are what helps us be creative. It's what helps us be innovative. If your voice is silent, that doesn't help us solve your problem. We need to hear people tell us that hair wrap is a challenge, and therefore, we'll put our design teams to work to try and solve that challenge. So when people ask about what the future of cleaning is, tell us what your pain points are, and we'll build something to solve it.