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Selecting a Laundry Chemical Company

Sales Representative/Technical Service – The person that is going to actually service the account should be evaluated because they will be the one to field the problems and service needs of the property. It's not the corporate company that is going to actually be doing the installation of chemical equipment, programming of wash formulas, training of laundry staff, routine service, or the emergency service when required.

 The service/sales representative’s experience and reputation should be important. He or she should be able to communicate the features and benefits of their product without the strong arm of a high-pressure corporate sales person. Be sure that the person is qualified and that he or she will be an asset to the laundry and its staff.

Chemical Product Line – The chemicals being used can be critical to a laundry’s success. There are differences in the supplies, so making sure the right type of chemicals are being used or proposed for the type of laundering is essential. What benefits do these chemicals bring to the operation of the laundry? Cleaning/quality, linen replacement, utilities savings, convenience, formula advantages, chemical cost, stain removal and risk management in safety for employees. The number of products used to accomplish the task of cleaning the laundry and how those chemicals effect the environment of the laundry is also important. This brings the type of dispensing into the decision making process. How are the chemicals going to be proportioned into the washers and how easy is handling the chemicals for employees? Environmental issues such as disposal of product containers also should not be over looked.

Corporate Company – The actual manufacturer of the chemicals is important, because this is where it all starts. The strategy of the corporate company can sway the buyer to purchase a particular brand of chemicals. Big is not always better, just because they say it is. Evaluate the company’s reputation for service, pricing and consistency. Brand Name companies can have advantages to selling the large buyer at a top level, but often it is the local distributor that is handling the account. So, evaluate the distributor’s qualifications not just the manufacturer of the chemicals. Decisions on a laundry chemical company need to be based on performance, not a deal cut in some purchasing office!

Reputation and References – Checking a sales person’s reputation and references are good business. If the buyer is told the salesperson will deliver on his/her promises, check it out and verify whether it is true or not. Check with other companies like yours to see the results they’ve experienced and the service they’ve been provided. Ask questions about the soft costs that are not generally looked at in most smaller laundries, like utilities, formula times, inventory problems, response to down time, etc. 

Cost/Price – This item often gets the most attention from the buyer, but is it that important? Chemical cost is only just another cost of doing business in a department that performs a service for the main business. How often do buyers ask the question about how important this laundry service is to their maintaining a strong business? A healthcare facility that a family is looking at for a loved one, can get the impression of how much that home cares by the cleaning and sanitation they see on a visit. A hotel visitor will decide on a return stay by how his or her room appears, and that definitely means the linens used in the room during the stay. Chemical cost is the last cost related to laundering linens and it should rank in that order of importance.
 

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Mac-Gray Corporation’s Lighten The Load™ Initiative

WALTHAM, Mass. — Mac-Gray Corporation, a provider of laundry facilities management services to multi-unit housing locations announced that it received the Carbonfund.org Foundation’s first annual For People and Planet award in the education category. Since Mac-Gray launched its Lighten the Load(TM) initiative in 2008 with Carbonfund.org, they have partnered with 29 academic institutions to offset more than 40 million pounds of carbon.

“This award highlights Mac-Gray’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Our Lighten the Load™ initiative is helping to reduce the carbon footprints of college and university laundry programs, while educating students on the benefits of being ‘green’ in the laundry room,” said Stewart G. MacDonald, Mac-Gray’s chief executive officer.