DISTRIBUTORS ARE ESSENTIAL to our business. We view them as quasi-partners. We have spent significant time developing relationships with a few select suppliers. While most janitorial companies view low prices as the biggest asset, we consider other assets to be equally important. We want our distributors to be knowledgeable about the janitorial business.  A sales representative from our primary distributor in Oklahoma City recently held a carpet-cleaning seminar for us. It was great. Our personnel received training and he sold some equipment.  

We also want distributors to be available to help solve problems when they arise. The same sales representative helped us with a recent floor care problem. We received a phone call from a customer asking us about an urgent problem with their ceramic tile floors. We contacted the sales representative and he showed up and immediately identified the problem and suggested a few solutions. 

David Ridgway, Owner
Alliance Maintenance Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla.


HERE AT S&B CLEANING we look at the company we will be doing business with and see if the products and services are available to us. We see if we will be dealing with a real live person, not a computer. We check their resources and ratings to determine if they are up to our standards and that their products are available on their website. We make sure they are a green clean company that provides different products and service in that field as we are a green cleaning company.

We make sure that they can demonstrate and explain their products, that they can deliver their products on time and that those products are made here in the United States. Also if there are any changes or new products out there that are better, that they would let us know.

Bill Branche, Owner
S&B Cleaning
Seagrove, N.C.

Frankly, price and quality are the ultimate motivators when partnering with a distributor. Keeping in mind that there should be certain complements that go along with pricing and quality. Training and support are key for any BSC. The janitorial business is very demanding and has many time-sensitive situations. As a BSC we must be able to lean on our distributor and get a quick response. A distributor must have feet on the ground!

In addition, a distributor should educate their customers in the marketplace. Knowledge of cutting-edge technology, products and equipment is absolutely essential but distribution tends to fall short in this respect. As a BSC we want to partner with a distributor that has many of the same goals and initiatives and pro-actively works with us to serve our clients better.

Dan Lindsay, Vice President –
Operations, Western Canada
ServPro Canada Inc.
Calgary, Alberta