In June, Sanitary Maintenance’s sister publication, Facility Cleaning Decisions, released the results of its Annual Reader Survey, featuring responses from in-house service providers for hospitals, universities, hotels and other facilities. Based on the findings, it’s clear that this group of cleaning professionals leans heavily on jan/san distributors.

According to the survey, 75 percent of respondents buy from a sanitary supplier.  And in-house cleaning professionals use these distributors to stay abreast of industry trends and information, even more so than associations, industry publications, manufacturers, peers and trade shows.

When looking for product training, safety data sheets, after-hour product availability and bulk purchasing, these end users turn to distributors over manufacturers, online retailers or big-box stores.  So, even if you think your customers know your services, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate all that you offer.

Currently, the value-added services most in-house professionals receive from distributors are training, discounted bulk purchasing and product knowledge from a variety of brands. These value-adds matter, too.  When purchasing products, 67 percent of respondents look for distributor support.

Distributors can also help support end users’ green initiatives. According to the survey, 78 percent of in-house managers want to buy or use products from distributors and manufacturers who embrace sustainability — that’s 15 percent higher than last year.  If you’re switching to energy-efficient lighting in your warehouse, LEED certifying your facility, driving fuel-efficient vehicles, recycling or reusing packaging and pallets, or embracing other environmental initiatives, be sure to let your customers know.  Also find out what your vendors are doing to benefit the Earth and point end users in the direction of their products.

Click here to see the results from the rest of the survey.