Hygienic workplaces and premises are essential for the wellbeing and comfort of your staff and visitors. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for cleanliness is even greater than before. Sourcing the right products goes a long way to improving the comfort and safety of everyone as well as the ability of your organisation to operate under new conditions. Not sure where to start? Here’s what we recommend…
Prioritise what you need
This might sound obvious, but it’s common among businesses to under or over order on the wrong kinds of cleaning products – which is wasteful in both scenarios. Every business differs in it needs, and yours is no exception. If you don’t know what you need, there’s a simple of way of finding out. Look through your purchase data at what you’ve bought over the last 6 months and look for patterns. What items are you buying weekly, monthly or quarterly? What items are your sites buying off-contract? Can any of those orders be consolidated and can you leverage economies of scale to make a saving?
Think about changing demands
The recent pandemic created supply problems for a number of critical cleaning products. With hygiene and cleanliness now a priority for all businesses, the demand for those products will remain high, which could cause further problems if there is a second spike in infections. To mitigate that risk, we recommend taking three steps. Firstly take an inventory of your existing stock and look at key products that might be running low or in need of replenishing. Secondly using your spend data, look for buying patterns that indicate when your business’s demand for certain items may increase or decrease – and adjust your supply accordingly. Thirdly, take advantage of sophisticated market analytics to monitor prices and availability in the market to ensure you can order in time to avoid running out of critical items.
Knowledge of cleaning products isn’t a common skillset among the general workforce. That’s why it could pay to seek expert advice before adjusting your spend in this category. For example, the amount of products you order for the area you have to clean will depend on a number of factors – such as the size, surface and use. It could also determine the type of detergent you need and the quantities you need to buy. You may also need to take into consideration environmental and CSR policies, which could narrow the type and availability of the products you can buy and the number of vendors that sell them. Knowing what you need and where to find it requires a little extra knowledge.
Know your environment
The environment you are ordering for determines the type of products you will buy. An office will need very different products compared to a care home or hospital – the latter of which have very high and specific hygiene standards. Equally, areas with high footfall such as shopping centres and supermarkets need products that are easy to use, quick drying and aren’t harmful to shoppers and visitors. These products also need to be economically sustainable given the relative frequency of cleaning that takes place in those environments.
Keep your standards in mind
Cleanliness and hygiene should always be high regardless of the environment you work. However, the legal hygiene requirements of a restaurant kitchen or a cafe are necessarily far higher than those of your average office – which in turn are markedly different from a mechanics or a local gym. For the types of environment that must meet strict hygiene standards to trade, it is important to choose cleaning products that are specially formulated with this level of cleanliness in mind.
Hygiene is an important factor for every single business, especially as we negotiate the transition to new ways of working and operating. While the demands of each business will be different, the need to source efficiently and effectively isn’t. To do that, make sure you:
• Prioritise what you need to avoid ordering the wrong quantities
• Be mindful of changing demands to maintain stock levels
• Understand your environment to order the right products in the right amounts
• Be aware of hygiene standards and specify the right products to meet them
For more advice and information on sourcing janitorial products, visit itelgroup.co.uk