In a previous post, we suggested that sourcing products, tools, machines and services from a single supplier can help deliver excellent results through an integrated solution which offers innovation, improved sustainability and better value to the customer. These benefits are often mirrored for the cleaning team, building services contractor or FM provider who is delivering the service because they help to make operations more profitable and easy to manage and deliver. In turn, this can make it easier for those service providers to make a compelling case when they tender or bid for new contracts.
As a cleaning operation grows it will often comprise more and more different components. But two cleaning operations are rarely the same. Nowadays, many contracts are configured with each component carefully chosen to deliver specific advantages or benefits for the customer and/or the service provider. These choices – and the priorities that drive them – will vary from customer to customer, contract to contract. Under these circumstances, choosing products from a single supplier offers a number of benefits.
First, because it offers a broad range, the supplier is likely to be an industry leader. They will have the products, resources, expertise, experience and market knowledge to work closely with the service provider. This is more than a customer-supplier relationship – the best outcomes are achieved when the two businesses work together in partnership to deliver an enhanced solution to the end-user organisation.
Second, contract configuration and procurement processes are simpler because there are fewer suppliers with whom to meet and negotiate. Suppliers with a wider choice of products will be able to advise on the best products and combinations to meet the ultimate business requirement. Many service providers under-estimate the time and resources that can be involved with setting up the cleaning component of major contracts.
Third, the chosen solution is less complex. Manufacturers design their products to work together. The resulting cleaning processes are simpler which leads to lower burdens associated with supply chain, implementation (eg roll-out or training), compliance, documentation, training and support. All of this saves the service provider time and money.
Fourth, integrated processes enable higher standards that are more consistent. This leads to higher levels of performance and compliance. This is demonstrable when auditing facilities or metrics from modern equipment are available as part of the solution.
Fifth, the business relationship is simpler. Working with one supplier usually means a single point of contact at all stages of the contract. Communications channels are shorter and quicker should any issues arise. Support is usually simplified: there is less risk of being passed from one supplier to another when the cause of an underlying issue is unclear. Instead, the integrated supplier offers a single point of resolution. Many relationships will also involve the integration of cross-company functions such as account management, training and technical support so that customers perceive a single service provider.
These are all good reasons but what about the products on offer? Cleaning suppliers that want to offer a total solution will need a set of products that cover the majority – if not all – of the major components of an operation. That is a good start but to enable true flexibility the supplier should offer choices from within its own portfolio.
A good example of this is floorcare where options include traditional mopping products, reusable and disposable microfibre, or various types of machine equipped with different pads or brushes. Each can offer benefits in particular scenarios. Another example is the choice between multipurpose formulations and separate products for each task and whether these will be concentrates or conventional formulations. Beyond this, the choice can be between innovations with new benefits or traditional products with a proven track record. The list goes on but only those suppliers who offer genuine choices will be able to support service providers who want to configure and fine-tune their operations to deliver maximum business, operational and cost benefits. Innovation is a key requirement in many cleaning operations because it supports other objectives such as improving results or reducing costs.
Our approach at Diversey is to introduce innovations and unique technologies across our portfolio to ensure customers can benefit from new ways of working while still dealing with a single market-leading supplier. In this way, we and our service provider customers can create highly focused solutions by choosing the very best products for the specific application and contract.
We will be highlighting how we work with cleaning teams, building service contractor and FM providers to help them configure innovative solutions and win new business at The Cleaning Show this week in London. Visit us on Stand C37.