HHI still supplies products to the city of Detroit, but the business has shrunk dramatically due to the bankruptcy. It’s a significant hit to the bottom line, but HHI had seen the writing on the wall and had already begun positioning the company for a change.

“The great thing about being in the jan/san business is that we can reinvent ourselves every day,” says Belinda.

To make up for lost revenue, the company strengthened its presence in the healthcare and educational markets. It also began supplying to more building service contractor accounts and other markets it hadn’t traditionally served.
“There are a lot of opportunities [in jan/san], everyone is a customer,” says Belinda. “Everyone uses hand soap and toilet paper.”

Internally, to reach a new customer base, the company knew it needed to increase staff and improve its inventory turns. Working with municipalities meant large orders and drop shipments at the accounts. With more individual customers, an efficient warehouse would be even more crucial.

The company was only scratching the surface of its ERP software and delved in deeper to better maintain inventory and allow for online ordering. Now, customers can sign for deliveries with e-signatures and the software gets invoices out within 24 hours to expedite payments.

Just as important — or perhaps even most important considering the company’s emphasis on client satisfaction — these tech enhancements also had to include customer service. Today, HHI practices cutting edge customer service with the ability to live chat clients that visit the company’s web page.
“We want to keep it fresh and relevant,” says Belinda. “New products on the shelves, new communication with e-newsletters.”

To further reach new potential clients, HHI began uploading educational and promotional YouTube videos in 2012.

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