Most experienced, well-trained janitors and custodians are going to know how to clean well. However, even the wiliest of janitorial workers can’t be expected to keep up with the latest in cleaning chemistry and technology. That’s what makes jan/san distribution reps so important. Not only are they the purveyors of product, but they also distribute a great deal of knowledge.

Long before the next outbreak begins, jan/san distributors should set out to accomplish a few things. First, have all supplies that might be needed during an outbreak in stock and ready to ship. Obviously, the nature of the next virus is unknown, so there’s no perfect product to plan for. But keeping stock of PPE, toilet tissue, paper towels, and the sanitizers and disinfectants that kill the nastiest of existing viruses is a start.

Next, jan/san distributors should aim to be true students of the cleaning and disinfecting game. They should keep abreast on the latest breakthroughs in chemistry and the best technology their customers can use.

"Jan/san distributors should be up on the best and least toxic products, equipment and practices in the industry," says Wilcox. "They should hold and attend events focused on these products to show their existing customers what is out there. They should know more about sanitizing and disinfecting products, chemical classes and the hazards of using each product."

Jan/san distributors have a long and decorated history of providing the best customer service possible. They need to not wait until the next big outbreak to keep this tradition up. Help customers understand the pros and cons of each new chemical and how to use the newest tool. That way, building managers and cleaning business owners and supervisors can train their staff the right way.

"My advice is to stay cool and keep doing the right things," says Hicks.

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