Feb 23

Cheap Cleaning Products

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I have just spent over 45 minutes on the phone with an irate ex-customer. This is not a good way to begin the busy working week. Even worse - the problem he has is not of our making.

The restaurant shall remain nameless for obvious reasons. However, this well known, albeit remote seaside Bistro Bar, had been buying products from Chemex International for over 7 years. They were pleased with the service, ecstatic with the products and nothing was too much trouble for their local supplier. So where did it all go wrong?

With budgets tight and the credit crunch beginning to bite, our local entrepreuner decided that the opportunity being offered to him by a competitor would more than halve his current cleaning and hygiene bills. Based purely on a commercial decision he reluctantly let his existing supplier go.

The honeymoon barely lasted a couple of weeks. Not only were the products inferior in quality but to add insult to injury they didn’t even last half as long as the previous suppliers products. The overall result was an increase in costs and less effective products and increased cleaning time. There was only one possible outcome - put everything back to the way it was before.

This might sound easy but there are other implications and factors that make this awkward. The previous supplier had removed some good quality dosing and dispensing equipment which had been replaced by the new chemical suppliers flimsy plastic alternatives. The original supplier would now have to re-install everything from scratch.

Ordinarily this would have been fairly easy to justify once any installation work had been carried out. However, a telephone call to the previous supplier revealed another problem. At 17 miles from the nearest main road the ex supplier was less than keen to go through the process of re-installation and worse - to supply to such a remote location again.

If you are considering a change of products on the basis of price you should do your homework carefully. Dilution rates of your existing products need to be compared with the dilution rates of what the competitor is recommending. Are there other items that add value to your business?, e.g. free delivery, free staff training, dosing and dispensing equipment. Even a friendly local face is worth its weight in gold these days.

Most chemical companies around the world have seen some sharp increases in the raw materials needed for the finished products. The UK is no exception. With companies feeling the squeeze, many manufacturers have resorted to diluting the strengths of their products whilst holding their prices. Sadly, in the long run, this is a recipe for disaster in terms of brand quality and customer loyalty.

Some companies would appear to be bucking the trend. Chemex International Ltd based in the West Midlands just refuse point blank to entertain the idea. Kirti Patel from their marketing department was quick to defend the companies stance on quality. ” We have spent 25 years working hard to develop a strong brand”, she said, continuing “To dilute the quality of our products is diluting the brand, our reputation and our customer loyalty. This is not something we would even be prepared to consider, and is, in our opinion, false economy”.

So, there you have it. There is something in a strong brand after all then. Perhaps cheap is not always that cheerful.

Feb 13

20th & 21st March 2009
Discover how to become your own boss at The British & International Franchise Exhibition this March. Get your free entry to the show using the Chemex promotion code: CX1 on offer at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk/

Franchising is a business model that enables you to become your own boss, but with the support of an established business and brand. Visit The British & International Franchise Exhibition at Olympia London on 20 & 21 March and discover a franchise show with exhibitors from a range of franchised businesses, each offering you the chance to transform your career and run your own business.

Receive genuine franchise advice

As the ONLY franchise exhibition whose exhibitors are all British Franchise Association (bfa) approved franchises, you can be sure that the franchise opportunities, franchise advice and business guidance you receive from our exhibitors meet the bfa’s standard.

This means that every exhibitor at this London Franchise Show is supported and approved by an independent self-regulating governing body for franchising.

Is this the franchise show for me?

Visit The British & International Franchise Exhibition and you will:

* Find hundreds of ways to transform your life and career
* Discover a range of franchises in different industries, all of which are bfa-approved
* Get reliable and genuine franchise advice
* Find out how to raise finance even in a challenging economy
* Speak to successful franchisees directly

For more information please visit: www.franchiseinfo.co.uk/

Feb 9

Environmental Issues

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Articles in the press recently have highlighted the impact of sending cleaning and hygiene products half way around the globe. Since many of these products contain mainly water, it is clearly unacceptable to continue exporting in this way. Firms are now looking at how they use water and assessing the impact on the environment.

Clearly the answer must lie in shipping concentrated products with water being added in the destination country. There will always be a market for high quality cleaning products that have a strong brand name and which are often better than those produced in the country to which they are being sent. However, more and more manufacterers are looking to set up plants locally in the host country rather than continue to ship high volumes of coloured bottled water!

Concentrated chemical products shipped in large plastic tubs or drums for bottling locally mean much less packaging and fewer carbon emissions. Less space is needed which in itself results in reduced fuel charges and again, lower emissions.

You could be forgiven for thinking that everyone is jumping on the band wagon. Yes, it is true, companies like to be seen as environmentally friendly. However, this is good news for the consumer.

Concentrated cleaning products mean a reduction in the transportation of water, less physical work in their movement in and out of storage, and more storage space released for other goods. It is a win win situation for the end user.

Chemex have been shipping concentrates overseas for years. Even in the UK we only deal with concentrated cleaning and hygiene products. Once delivered the customer just adds water.

Feb 4

Waste Disposal

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There is much talk these days of environmentally friendly products, no less so in the cleaning industry. However, waste disposal affects all types of business and not just the cleaning industry which has to deal with many different types of waste.

Disposing of waste and paying for cleaning up can be a substantial cost for your business. In labour terms alone the cost of disposing of waste and cleaning up afterwards is a burden on many a company. Without doubt, any reduction in waste will improve a companies bottom line.

Lets be clear what we mean by waste. We mean the raw materials that you buy. It doesn’t matter if we are talking food, paper or chemicals. If you can reduce your costs by being less wasteful you won’t have to wait long to notice the difference in terms of profit.

Setting procedures and guidelines in your company today could be one of the most important things you do this year. We can never expect zero waste but we can be intolerant of irresponsible usage. Apart from the savings that you will make for your company you will also be doing your best for the environment.

If you are in the cleaning business make sure that your staff know how much the materials that they use cost. Keep them up to date about improvements and cost savings and praise them for helping you and your company to use less product. If it helps, and if it is appropriate, fit dispensers and dosing equipment and control the usage of chemical cleaning products by checking the dilution rates used in every day cleaning environments. It is common practice for staff to add a little extra for good measure. Make sure they don’t.

Once you have established a clear routine in your company and you can see the clear benefit of waste saving exercises you might turn your attention towards your gas and electric bill, business insurance, vehicle supplier, trade suppliers etc etc. One day in the life of your business could change it forever!

Jan 28

Bacticlean

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Bactericidal Hard Surface Cleaner

BACTICLEAN safely cleans and sanitises plastics and all hard surfaces and is particularly effective on body fats, grease and grime. It has a pleasant perfume and has been independently tested to prove its effectiveness against a range of bacteria.

Removes grime and grease

Cleans and sanitises all hard surfaces

Long lasting, pleasant fragrance

Highly economical in use

METHOD OF USE

For general purposes, pre-dilute at 10:1 and apply by spray, mop, brush or flip top bottle. Agitate and rinse off with clean water.

If BACTICLEAN is used neat, it is advisable to rinse off with clean water; for light soiling use at 20:1 dilution.

AREAS OF USE

Ideal for general-purpose use in all areas. Invaluable in a wide range of businesses including hospitals, schools, universities, colleges and hotels.

Particularly effective at removing grime and body fats in bathrooms.

Category A

Another quality product available from Chemex International Ltd

Jan 9

Hospitality Show - NEC

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If you are in the Hospitality or Food Service industry then be sure not to miss the Hospitality Show at the NEC on 19 - 21st January 2009. Take your business to new heights and don’t miss Hospitality, the UK’s leading event for foodservice and hospitality in 2009. For an in-depth easy-to-read preview on Hospitality 2009 check out NEW@HOSPITALITY

Hospitality is just around the corner so make sure you register now to deliver measurable success for your business.

With the hottest products, fascinating seminars and the prestigious Salon Culinaire competition, it’s the ‘must visit’ event for 2009 presenting everything you need to deliver measurable profits for your business.

www.hospitality-show.co.uk

Jan 6

British Toilet Association

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In October 2008 the government published a report calling for local authorities to make efforts to reverse the trend in recent years of the declining number of public toilets. The report calls for strategy to make sure that public toilets are available for the general public and to increase the availability of public toilets managed by the local authorities.

When British citizens go abroad they are often faced with having to pay a fee to use the toilets or worse still, having to hunt around desperately to find somewhere to go. Tourists to Britain on the other hand would marvel at the availability of clean toilets maintained by the local councils so that citizens would always be sure that they could find a toilet when they needed it.

Enter the BTA. It stands for the British Toilet Association.  I wonder how many countries can claim to have their very own toilet association. The BTA want the government to provide adequate toilet facilities and insist on local authorities being made responsible for such provision. Additionally, the BTA will continue its campaign until the British public and visitors to the United Kingdom can enjoy and benefit from state funded public toilets when and where needed. Hurrah hurrah.

You can take part in this campaign, find out about the nations little room habits and the British Toilet Association by visiting www.britloos.co.uk/

Jan 6

Cleaning Show 2009

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The cleaning show 2009 is one of the most important cleaning events in the UK. The show opens at the NEC in Birmingham ( NEC ) on 10th March and closes on 12th March. The show is held every two years and is one of the UK’s largest business to business events. This is a vital show for anyone in the cleaning industry.

In addition to providing a professional environment for companies wishing to sell products and services, the Cleaning Show also provides an ideal networking environment and a chance to catch up with industry news and awards. Further details can be found at www.cleaningshow.co.uk

Jan 6

Van Heaters

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Just what have heaters got to do with Janitorial cleaning products. Well surprisingly quite a lot if you are a chemical supplier or operate a contract cleaning services company. Time and time again we here of problems with water or chemicals freezing whilst vans are left overnight in winter temperatures. However, if you transport water or water based products of any kind or operate a vehicle full of liquid products that can freeze at low temperatures there are things you can do to prevent this problem.

Many vehicle manufacturers will have professional heating appliances, particularly in diesel vans or trucks where the equipment will use the diesel fuel to power the unit and a thermostat to ensure that it operates and heats to a set temperature. Unfortunately this type of equipment is not cheap but there is an alternative.

Tubular frost heaters or frost heaters of the type that you find in some outbuildings such as sheds or greenhouses are absolutely ideal for making sure that the contents of your van do not freeze. They are designed for this purpose. They provide background heat at low wattage, keeping the temperature above freezing and therefore ensuring that your valuable chemical products or cleaning materials do not become frozen. The only thing you have to work out is how you get the electric to the vehicle. Normally an extension lead up in between the rubbers of the rear doors will suffice and still allow for the doors to be locked. Similarly this will need to find a way into your nearest power socket in your home.

These simple and effective tubular heaters do not use much electricity. You will only need to use them when the temperature is cold or when it looks as if it may freeze overnight. Personally I would fit mine with an electrical outlet similar to those used on camper vans so that I could just hitch up the electric easily when required. The unit itelf would then be a permanent fixture on the inside of the vehicle.

Dec 18

Burger Van Cleaning

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Countless articles have been written on advice and cleaning tips for restaurants and general catering establishments. However, there are many different types of food providers in the market place and mobile catering units seldom get a mention.

The organisation of a unit is often more difficult than operating a shop. Think about it. At your local take away you probably have several freezers, storage cupboards, constantly running water and flour and potato sacks and a host of appliances such as fryers, kebab machines, fridges, electronic tills. Within the confines of mobile catering all this has to be micro managed. You have less space, you must take the exact amount of stock for a days work and you have to be very careful about how you work from a health and safety perspective in such a small confined space. I admire anyone running a burger van or fish and chip shop mobile catering unit. They have to be very organised.

Since this website deals with tips and cleaning information you are probably wondering why burger vans should be in a category of their own? Well, they may not use cleaning and hygiene products that are any different to those which restaurants may use. However, they are more likely to use trigger sprays and ready to use cleaning agents simply because they have little storage space for tubs of concentrates.

Powerful cleaning products are needed for this kind of business. Within the confines of small spaces you don’t want to be messing around with low quality cleaning materials when time means money. At the end of a shift you want to be able to clean up and drive off.

In the top right hand side of the photo shown here you can see a string of trigger sprays all lined up ready to use. Closer inspection shows that this particular company are using Chemex, a West Midlands based company that is known for its powerful commercial cleaning agents.