Bearded man smiling

As I’ve said many times before, I’m a sucker for awards. I guess that’s why I enjoy managing the Sanitary Maintenance Distributor Choice Award process and get excited when it is time to announce the winners. 

When I see manufacturers use the Distributor Choice Award seal of approval in their marketing materials or on display at a trade show, I’m filled with pride. Sanitary Maintenance is the industry’s leading brand and it’s fulfilling to know its readers are considered worthy judges of excellence. 

The products chosen by distributors this year once again line up with today’s trends and innovations. With the growing awareness of healthcare-acquired infections, as well as the recent brutal flu season, it’s not surprising that several winners emphasized disinfecting and hand hygiene. And, considering that infection control is one of the biggest issues in the industry, it shouldn’t be shocking to learn that many of these products were repeat winners. 

Other products winning back-to-back years are designed to boost productivity, either by allowing janitors to clean faster, be easier to learn or use, or automate cleaning in tight spaces. It makes sense that these products received the most votes again because improving productivity is a sure way for end users to increase profits. 

However, this year’s crop of winners isn’t exactly the same as 2017. There are plenty of first-time winners and many of the 2018 class are among the newest innovations. The fact that distributors picked electrostatic sprayers, ultraviolet technology, engineered water and Internet of Things-equipped devices shows that they are not afraid to break out of their sales comfort zones and be on the cutting edge of product innovation. Although, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that these products also contribute to preventing infections and/or improving cleaning procedures.