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“Wanton wastage is a crime,

especially when it can be so

easily eliminated at no extra cost

through controlled dispensing systems.”

basis, it is commercial sustainability that is the key – without it there is nothing left to talk about.

One 4lt pack of RP Adam’s Arpax concentrate is the equivalent of 44 cases of 6x750ml product, representing a significant saving in this area.

We focus so much on health and safety and environmental considerations nowadays that perhaps we are ignoring an equally important issue: wastage. Wanton wastage is a crime, especially when it can be so easily eliminated at no extra cost through controlled dispensing systems. There are far too many ready-to-use products being used in today’s professional cleaning world. As a company, we are very keen to significantly reduce this, but customers need to play their part too.

Customers need to cast aside the red herring of perceived higher unit price of a concentrate and focus on the in-use bottle cost instead. Although it may be associated with the old adage that people are much better at spending other peoples’ money than their own, businesses need to stamp out wastage and insist on suppliers and staff getting as much out of the bottle as possible, not as little.

Where we talk about sustainability in environmental terms, on a day to day

COST CONTROL Until the 1970s-80s, the only chemical format available was pre- diluted, ready-to-use solutions. The emergence and expansion of chains across various industries, coupled with impetuous economic crashes increased both the buyers’ power and cost awareness. Large corporates, who spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on cleaning products per year, started looking at ways to cut costs.

When we speak of cost control, we are not talking about the price of the product. We’ll explore the perceived price vs. realised cost conundrum in more detail later on in this series. For now let’s keep it simple. If volume used decreases then so do cleaning costs. How many times have salesman sat across the table from the buyer and been asked how much does this cost? Invariably sellers and buyers are not talking the same language at all, partly because it is a convenient way for both players to play their part, where one talks of cost and the other only wants to talk price.

We spend endless hours involved in preparing open tenders, where this critical area is completely lost

in translation. If through controlled dilution and the use of concentrates an end user business (a busy hotel chain for example) can be guaranteed to cut their consumption of prepared cleaning solutions by 30%, then the focus on the price of the cleaning concentrate becomes increasingly unimportant.

“Ah-hah!” says the buyer, “but if I can get the benefit of controlled dilution with manufacturer A’s concentrates, and manufacturer B’s are cheaper, I get a double benefit don’t I?” Theoretically yes, only assuming there is a guarantee of control and the products that company B is promoting are up to the specification required to deliver the lowest in use cost solutions. Many manufacturers pretend they are selling concentrates, but their tender submissions ultimately prove that they have very little confidence in the concentrates. Why would they want to sell them short if they could deliver on their promise?

HEALTH AND SAFETY Again this is an issue we explore in more detail later, but the additional benefit is improving staff safety and drastically reducing the chance of hazardous chemical concentrates splashing into the eyes or skin of cleaning operatives.

Concentrates are more hazardous by their very nature, but rather than shy away from choosing these types of chemicals, dispenser systems should make them safer to use. RP Adam believes in the concept of ‘bringing the factory to the end user safely’ and we have a number of innovations which allow users to gain the other benefits of using concentrates in as safe a way as possible.

Next month, we’ll examine the different types of manual dosing systems available and why certain dispenser types are more suitable than others.

To read more of Max’s musings on the cleaning industry, check out the Arpal Group blog here.

Tomorrow’s Cleaning April 2016 | 31

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