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How to choose a cleaning equipment supplier that's right for you

Management

8 April 2015

Walk into any supermarket today and you won’t be stuck for product choice. But there are so many household brands available, how do you know which one to choose? Is your decision based on price, aesthetics or your family’s taste buds? The same thinking can be applied to the hygiene and cleaning industry in which case the brand becomes the equipment supplier offering you a range of equipment to meet your cleaning needs and requirements.

Thanks to new innovations and advancements in technology, there is a constant supply of equipment on the market and determining which supplier to choose can prove difficult. Price can often form the basis for decision making, but like selecting products in a supermarket, there are additional factors that influence your choice.

Is the equipment durable and of high quality, and can you know this for sure? And what about the environmental element…which suppliers can help you minimise my carbon footprint?

The questions that you ask yourself in both scenarios may be different but the result is the same. You want an affordable product that meets your needs and that of your customers, and does what it says on the tin.

The importance of certification

Durable equipment is essential for any successful janitorial company, and the best indicator of a good quality product can be found by looking at the certification the equipment manufacturer carries. While there are different types of certification awarded depending on industry and product offering, one of the world’s most widely recognised quality management standards is ISO 9001. ISO 9001 is a quality management system certification that is based on a number of quality management principles such as continual improvement and a strong customer focus, to ensure optimal quality and manufacturing standards.  

By sourcing products from a credited ISO 9001:2008 manufacturer you can rest assured that you will be equipped with consistent, good quality products that offer a high return on investment, contributing to your business’ longevity. While a cheaper alternative may cost less upfront, the long term benefits of good quality equipment in terms of customer satisfaction, long-term savings and improved productivity, fast outweigh the short term gains.

If environmental responsibility is of concern to you look out for manufacturers that carry the ISO 14001:2004 certification. This shows that the company has an effective environmental management system in place to ensure that environmental impact is being measured and improved. Eco-friendly products may not be everyone’s top priority, but there is a growing desire among customers and the general public to source more environmentally-friendly products that either have a direct positive impact on the environment or have been manufactured under conditions that rigorously follow the “green” path. By sourcing sustainable products, you can not only tick the “green” check-box to satisfy customers’ needs, but also reap the competitive and cost-benefits of “going green”.

Time is money

We are familiar with the expression “time is money” and this is particularly true when it comes to lead times. Whether you are a large janitorial company who buy direct from the manufacturer or a cleaning company that sources equipment from a supplier, the time between placing an order and the delivery of goods is valuable. Efficient lead times mean that you can be supplied with the equipment that you want when you want it, thus mitigating worries and financial repercussions resulting from low or lack of stock. This lets you concentrate on your own business and customers without having to worry about sourcing materials needed to function.

In addition to lead times, you should also consider equipment complexity and the time needed to explain and demonstrate to staff how to operate cleaning equipment. It is not uncommon to find hygiene equipment that is over-engineered and not designed with the end-user in mind. Product usability should be high on the agenda and this is especially true for cleaning companies that have a high staff turnover where training may take place on a more frequent basis.  An intuitive system will help new operators quickly get to know how the equipment works. This will free up more time for educating new staff on cleaning standards so that they can provide your clients with a premium, hygienic cleaning service.  

It’s also worth looking at the accessories that a supplier has on offer. Hanging brackets or lockable chemical cabinets are excellent ways of keeping chemicals safe and out of harms way. What’s more, lockable chemical cabinets limit access to the chemical meaning that you can measure usage more accurately and prevent pilferage. 

Happy to help

While this is not an exhaustive list of criteria, it does give some insight into what you should look for in a reputable supplier. Taking all factors into consideration, the best advice we can offer you is to source a supplier that is interested in the long-term success of your cleaning/janitorial company. Selling a product simply isn't enough. Suppliers should offer a solid after-sales service and look to build a relationship with you so that they can offer you future installation/maintenance advice and support about the equipment you purchased.

Here at Brightwell Dispensers, our corporate responsibility rests with our customers and we are invested in the success of your business. We want our customers and end-users to be happy with our products so that they remain just that – continued customers and end-users!

To find your nearest supplier of Brightwell Dispensers’ products, check out our new Brightwell distributor locator tool.