Suppliers play an important role in ensuring end users properly use products, equipment and tools. Before training customers on the best products and procedures, however, distributors may need to first educate them about the importance of cleaning for health.

“The number one focus in a non-clinical setting is usually the aesthetics,” Sopha says. “There is more than that. Housekeeping is essential for controlling the spread of infection and good housekeeping will save lives.”

As distributors know, of course, customers aren’t always inclined to change simply because it’s the right thing to do. Cleaning managers dealing with smaller staffs and tighter budgets are more likely to respond to an argument focused on dollars and cents.

Distributors can show the value of cleaning for health by helping customers understand its return on investment. Limiting the spread of workplace illness can minimize the negative effects of presenteeism and reduce unscheduled absences, which will boost productivity and the bottom line.

“Building owners and managers are always skeptical,” says Jim Peduto, COO at American Institute for Cleaning Sciences in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. “Distributors need to understand that by ‘dollar-izing’ the value of clean, they create a better market for their products.”

In the past, putting dollar figures to cleaning improvements was easier said than done. That’s why Peduto, in conjunction with ISSA, touts a software program that allows users to determine the impact cleaning can have on the overall cost of facility management and occupant wellness.

By inputting specific data, a distributor can show a customer with a restricted budget how switching to automated equipment can free up hours, which can then be reallocated to sanitizing high-touch objects more frequently. Distributors have hard numbers to illustrate the financial outcomes of changes to workplace health.

“People have always viewed cleaning as purely cost,” Peduto says. “This shows that it’s not just a cost. It’s a great asset that can be easily leveraged. A small investment gives you an outsized return.”

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