Seiche Sanders' portraitDesign has crept into almost every facet of daily life. The cleaning industry is no exception. In fact, many of the product mainstays of your business are constantly being reviewed, re-engineered or tweaked.

A recent installment of “CBS News Sunday Morning” was dedicated to design’s impact on people’s lives — particularly, their buying decisions.

Cleaning-related products received a generous portion of the coverage. Some of the products mentioned: cleaning chemicals (Target stores sell a brand that has become popular in part because of its modern-looking packaging and compelling colors), vacuums, toilet-flushing mechanisms, waste receptacles and sweepers. The designers interviewed explained how much effort goes into building better products — from the standpoint of both appearance and performance.

Somehow, somewhere, an army of designers is hard at work creating and tweaking the innovations that you inevitably add to your inventories. Pay attention to household cleaning trends, and see how those translate into your customers’ buying decisions.

Design influences the cleaning industry in other ways, too.

This month’s “Floor Care” article, takes a look at how building design influences the way people clean. Of course, cleaning considerations shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to building design — but the reality is that they often are. For that reason, distributors should stay abreast of building and design trends in order to respond to customers needs when they’re faced with new flooring surfaces to maintain.

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Rising manufacturer “minimums” help build a strong case for wholesalers’ “total value proposition.” For our annual article dedicated to industry wholesalers, writer Kassandra Kania spoke with seven industry wholesalers about what makes them an attractive distributor option when operating costs soar.