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Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The Evolving Facility Maintenance Distributor Model Finding New Significance in a Changing Environment

Experienced building service contrac- tors (BSCs) are well-aware of all the changes that have occurred when it comes to selecting professional cleaning prod- ucts, tools, and equipment. At one time, the only option for buying professional cleaning chemicals, commercial vacuum cleaners, and other tools and equipment was to shop at a local facility maintenance (FM) distributorship. But, today, there are scores of options in both brick-and-mortar settings as well as online. In fact, e-com- merce for professional cleaning products has advanced further than anyone a de- cade ago thought it would. As a result, the traditional business model FM distributors have followed— and BSCs and facility managers have supported since the start of the 20th cen- tury—is coming to an end. However, pro- active distributors are rapidly developing new business models that allow them to expand services and further enhance their ability to provide solutions, beyond prod- ucts, for end customers. Referred to as “add-on” services or expanded services, the goal is to re-establish and restore the distributor’s significance to BSCs and property managers.

Expanded Services Many end customers are aware of some

expanded services distributors now of- fer.


For instance, an dedicated


tributor will commonly meet with a customer’s cleaning crew late at night and educate them on how to use a new product or piece of equipment. Addition- ally, a FM distributor has the unique ability

to address cleaning-specific challenges. Today’s distributors also have a breadth of product knowledge, which may not be fully realized or appreciated until needed. Invariably, the distributor has experienced virtually any problem a BSC or prop- erty manager encounters when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Instead of searching the Internet for effective or un- proven solutions, a call to a local distribu- tor can often solve a problem. Other expanded services some dis-

tributors now provide include: Workloading: Typically, using web- based analytical tools, workloading allows BSCs and managers to better understand

Your Clients Will Notice It !

and determine their facilities’ cleaning needs. It can provide such information as how many workers are needed to maintain a location, the amount of time it should take to clean a facility, labor and supply costs, etc.

Enhanced product selection: Technol-

ogies now available to AFFLINK distribu- tors allow them to suggest product alterna- tives to BSCs. For instance, distributors can suggest an environmentally preferable prod- uct or a com- parable product with similar cost and perfor- mance standards to replace a con- ventional prod- uct. Using the

company’s new eLev8® process, facility maintenance distributors collect and in- terpret vast amounts of data and turn it into insight for customers. This empowers BSCs and facility managers to make logi- cal, fact-based decisions and streamline the procurement process. Product access: Some distributors have

greater access to products during times of product shortages. They also may be aware of future price changes, which can help their customers save by purchasing ahead of these changes.

Streamline purchasing: Purchasing and procurement for BSCs and facility man- agers have traditionally been a time con- suming and, as a result, costly process. Distributors can help improve efficiencies and streamline the procurement process for end customers through the use of new technologies and analytical tools.


some facility managers specifically, these tools provide an opportunity to better un-

Las Vegas

derstand exactly which cleaning-related products they are purchasing, if redundant purchases are being made, and if less cost- ly or more environmentally friendly alter- natives are available. Click and deliver: Some distributors

now offer e-commerce. Online shopping is easy and deliveries or pick-ups are cus- tomized to the customer’s convenience. Cost savings: Typically, we associate

buying professional cleaning products at a reduced cost with mega-retailers and on- line stores. However, many manufactur- ers offer distributors special rebates and promotions that can be passed on to end customers. Invariably, distributors that are associated with buying groups or sales and marketing organizations have access to these special programs. Making sustainable choices: As refer- enced earlier, some distributors are now going beyond just offering green clean- ing products and are helping customers be sustainable as well. In coming years, sustainability and making sustainable choices in all aspects of building opera- tions, including cleaning, will increasingly become center stage. Future Trends What BSCs and facility managers can

expect in the next few years is further con- solidation of the FM distribution industry, but most likely not at the pace of recent years. However, what is likely more im- portant to BSCs and facility managers is that we are likely to witness the evolution of FM distributors that are far more tech- nically savvy. Successful distributors will have a variety of analytical tools and tech- nologies available, be much stronger and viable businesses, and be more aware of and have access to a wider variety of prod- ucts to meet evolving cleaning needs. By Robert Kravitz

Crown Helps Make “Marketing Matting Magic”

Crown Mats and Matting, one of the oldest and largest matting companies in the United States, is using a new and more advanced graphic inlay process that al- lows the company to add logos to two of its more popular matting systems. According to Dennis Knapp, Director of Sales for Crown, logo mats installed at key building entries play a very important role in helping to identify, brand, and pro- mote a company in the customer’s mind. “They really do add a bit of ‘marketing matting magic,’” says Knapp. “A high- quality logo mat adds value and prestige to a business or a facility. Some business owners/property managers even believe they help identify the very essence of a company.” The new inlay logo process will be

Your image entrance mat will create a powerful first impression

available on the following Crown mats: • Oxford™ Elite Graphic Inlay mats, made from a mix of abrasive and olefin fibers. These are designed for use in air- ports, hospitals, large retail facilities, mu- seums, and more. • Marathon™ Graphic Inlay mats,

Visit us @ booth # 2521 to find the best matting solutions.

which are available in a variety of colors and stand up well in heavily trafficked ar- eas used by more than 1,500 people per day.

Both of these matting models are du-

rable, high-performance systems avail- able in different colors, designs, and sizes. In fact, seaming allows these mats to be made up to 11 feet long, 9 inches wide, making them ideal for multi door, high

traffic entrances. They are also manufactured with

Crown’s patented ThermoFlex™ backing. ThermoFlex backing is more resilient and longer lasting than traditional backing materials. It is made of the highest-quality vinyl materials and is 100 percent imper- meable to liquids, ensuring optimal pro- tection for floors. “While our new graphic inlay process

can help us design just about any type of logo an end-customer wants, we suggest they focus on a simple yet timeless de- sign,” explains Knapp. “This gives a clear message as to who a company or organiza- tion is, what they represent, and the image they want to convey to building users and visitors.”

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