Feb 23

Cheap Cleaning Products

Posted by admin

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 The previous supplier had removed some good quality dosing and dispensing equipment which had been replaced by the new chemical suppliers flimsy plastic alternatives.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.

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