This is the second part of a four-part article about wall-mounted chemical proportioners.

Distributors that offer wall-mounted dilution control systems tout the multiple benefits of selling these units — both for the distributor and the customer.

One of the greatest advantages is that chemical proportioners protect distributors from the competition by locking their customers into a dispensing program that requires the additional purchase of chemicals for that particular proportioner system.

“The reason we structure ourselves to concentrate on that market segment is because it protects our business,” says Sizonen. “Once the dispenser’s on the wall, you don’t have to worry about the competition coming and selling a similar type of glass cleaner in a ready-to-use format. So having a dispenser on the wall secures that business.”

There are some universal dispensers that use numerous off-brand chemicals, which could open distributors up to competition from other distributors. But Sizonen only sells proprietary systems.

Roxanne Hassman, janitorial category manager for Martin Bros. Distributing in Cedar Falls, Iowa, believes that distributors that do not take advantage of the chemical proportioner market are missing out.

“It’s like having an ATM machine on the wall,” she says. “Once you put the system up, it’s going to continually make money for you. Distributors can make decent margins on the chemicals and still have a very low end-use cost for the customer — and save the customer a ton of money versus RTU.”

Customers also realize savings in shipping costs as well as a reduction in packaging material — supporting both their bottom line and their green initiatives.

In fact, saving their customers money is one of the top reasons distributors sell dilution control systems.

“The types of customers we’re servicing are knowledgeable about the products they’re using,” says Bradley Gruber, president of UNEEDA Enterprises in Garden City, New York. “They want to know how they can save money, how they can cut expenses, and when you show them the cost savings of dilution control systems compared to RTU products, it’s astronomical.”

For customers that have always purchased RTU products, convincing them that chemical proportioners are a worthwhile investment can be challenging.

“A lot of customers are used to looking at cost per case,” says Hassman. “You’ve got to have a specialist that can explain the end-user cost [of chemical proportioners] to the customer, otherwise they’re not going to realize the benefit of them. If you know how to break it down to the end user cost, it’s easier to sell against a ready-to-use product — as long as the customer has space for a dispenser and the mineral content of their water is not too high, otherwise the product might not work as well.”

Hard water can create mineral buildup in the dispensers, which can result in improper dilution. There are kits available to test the hardness of a facility’s water. Distributors should suggest water-filtration systems to their customers with very hard water, says Hassman.