For Leland Fishman, president of Fishman Supply Co., in Petaluma, Calif., dilution control systems are not a hard sell. Although concentrated chemicals for these units typically cost more up front, Fishman focuses on end-use costs to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) savings to customers.
“Most customers are happy with consistent costs,” he says. “Chemical proportioning systems take away the error factor, and when you do that they’re willing to listen.”
Indeed, predictability is an attractive selling point when it comes to chemical dilution ratios and cleaning budgets. 
“With chemical dispensing systems you get the accuracy and predictability of results, which significantly reduces the amount of guesswork you have,” says Jim Smith, executive vice president of HP Products, Indianapolis. “When managing any kind of facility program, you want to know exactly where your costs are and what your usages are. If the end user knows his end-use cost per gallon stays consistent, that can translate into big cost savings.” 
Although more and more customers are beginning to realize the economic benefits of chemical proportioning systems, some still remain skeptical. 
“At times, it’s been a challenge for customers to grasp that [chemical dispensers] are an economical way to produce chemicals that work the same as the chemicals they’re used to using,” says Ryan Banks, vice president of sales and marketing for Brady Industries, Las Vegas.
During presentations, Banks uses the analogy of a 7-Eleven Coke dispensing machine to help customers understand the financial benefits of chemical dispensing systems. 
“You used to go into a 7-Eleven and take a Coca-Cola bottle out of the fridge,” he says. “Now you can choose your cup size, go up to the machine and press the lever, and it mixes the Coca-Cola for you. It tastes the same, but it’s just dispensed more economically.”

Storage Wars

When it comes to inventory control, concentrated chemicals can free up valuable shelf space, say distributors. 
“By using the proper dilution and proportioning control, you’re not going through [product] as quickly; therefore, you’re saving money by not having as much inventory,” says Taylor.
Additionally, customers using dilution control systems can predict inventory needs more precisely, says Smith. 
“If a container of concentrate product makes 400 gallons of end-user product, you know automatically how much inventory you’re going to need on a monthly basis,” he adds. “If you’re still using 4 x 1 gallon or 5 gallon pails it’s difficult to accurately predict how much you’re going to use. So you couldhave a pilferage problem and not even recognize it, whereas you can control that significantly with the use of dispensed chemicals.”
Furthermore, concentrated chemicals for dispensing systems can be diluted to different ratios for different tasks, thereby reducing the amount of chemicals customers need to purchase. Taylor recalls how a customer responsible for cleaning a county jail was able to save $12,000 a year in chemical costs by consolidating products and switching from manual mixing to proportioning systems.
“They had five or six cleaning products they were using out of gallon jugs,” says Taylor. “By going to the proportioning system, we consolidated a couple of products to do different tasks at different dilution rates and got them down to four products.”

Playing It Safe

Employee safety is one area that is often overlooked when customers review the cost-savings benefits of chemical proportioners. By lessening exposure to concentrated chemicals, customers can help to reduce workplace injuries and workers compensation claims.
“Employee safety is a big factor,” says Fishman. “[With dilution control systems] you no longer have the chance of the concentrated chemical coming into contact with your skin, and there’s less chance of splash back into your eyes. Also you don’t have the chance of dropping that gallon jug of chemical concentrate and having it fall and damage the surfaces it falls onto.”
Safety, storage, chemical waste — all these areas translate into a significant ROI for end users who switch to dilution control systems.   

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Chemical Dispensers Reduce Waste and Save Time