Building successful and sustainable partnerships

11th of August 2020 Article by Chris Wakefield
Building successful and sustainable partnerships

Chris Wakefield, vice president, European marketing and product development at GOJO Industries-Europe, discusses how sustainable partnerships are key to long-term success.

Covid-19 has impacted business in a multitude of ways, meaning the cleaning and hygiene sector has had to constantly adapt the way in which it works. It has managed to navigate the crisis well, and for the first time, been truly appreciated for the important role it plays in society.

There have been many twists and turns in its coronavirus journey. The latest challenge facing the industry is the sudden influx of opportunistic entrants to the market, many of whom are profiteering or ‘piling high and selling cheap' to distributors desperate for product. In fact, this compelled the UK Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) to issue a warning recently, advising buyers against purchasing from new, unethical, and profiteering companies.

The CHSA said: "New companies have been set up to buy and sell on products like hand and surface sanitisers, gloves, wipes, tissue and aprons. Some are also buying up raw materials and attempting to produce some products. Primarily selling online, their products carry an exceptionally high mark-up and there is no guarantee they meet industry standards. There is also a marked increase in imported Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with fake or no CE marking, the certification mark that indicates conformance with European Union directives regarding health and safety or environmental protection".

Purchasing from such companies offers no guarantee that you are getting what you pay for. Importantly, this risks public health as the product may not meet the high standards of quality required to keep people and places clean and safe, or take its environmental impact seriously. Put simply, it's a false economy. In the long term, it can jeopardise the integrity and overall perception of a business, especially if it is found to be putting profits before health, by purchasing sub-standard products and putting staff or customers at risk.

Choosing a trusted supplier, such as those accredited by the CHSA, can help distributors build long-term business and provide value-added benefits:

First and foremost, they offer assurance that products meet required quality standards. Good suppliers will also share its expertise and knowledge with its customers. Again, at this moment in time, this is critical.

For instance, the pandemic has driven demand for hand hygiene products from businesses that didn't previously prioritise their use, and as such, have limited knowledge about how and where to implement systems.

Best practice training is also often one of the key value-added benefits offered to help healthcare end users get the maximum effectiveness out of products.

The pandemic has put cleanliness and hygiene at the forefront of infection control. As lockdown eases, they are becoming even more important - and it's fair to say that they are here to stay. So, it is important that customers choose suppliers wisely and opt to partner with companies that not only provide effective products at fair prices, but with whom they can develop a sustainable partnership.

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