Clean and simple: a series of blogs from Cleanline expert Rod Hale.
We asked our Cleanline expert ‘What ‘added value’ services might we expect from a supplier of cleaning products – and why are they important?’
And here’s what he told us…
Suppliers of cleaning products often promote and deliver supporting services or solutions as part of their cleaning product range, from technical support to COSHH (Control Of Substance Hazardous to Health) training – these services are often referred to as ‘added value’. But what exactly are these services, do you really need them, and what value can they add to your business?
To answer this question, we can look to our own exclusive brand range of cleaning products called Cleanline. Developed specifically to meet the needs of customers, big and small, in the catering and hospitality sector – Cleanline comes with a whole host of resources and services, that help our customers use their cleaning products safely and effectively.
Safety Data Sheets
The first addition to the product itself, and you’ll probably spot these when you receive your first delivery of cleaning products, is the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Safety Data Sheets are a legal requirement – and every cleaning product used in a commercial setting should be accompanied by this document.
These formidable looking documents set out every detail of a cleaning product’s properties in 16 separate clauses, ranging from the personal protective equipment that should be used when handling the product to the emergency contact numbers of the manufacturer. They’re not really meant to be read in detail by anyone using the products, but if there’s an accident, the Safety Data Sheet lets the emergency services know how to deal with the problem very quickly.
Our Cleanline products’ Safety Data Sheets are automatically delivered to our customers the first time they order a product, and are available thereafter on request or via our Cleanline e-learning website.
COSHH Awareness Training
Talking of e-learning, with cleaning products, there are two types of training available – COSHH training (Control Of Substance Hazardous to Health) and practical instruction on how to use the products. Cleanline provides both these kinds of training free of charge via the Cleanline e-learning website (http://www.cleanlinetraining.co.uk).
The online training delivers the following benefits:
- It enables supervisors to train staff before they even start work
- It provides a permanent record of the date and time of each participant’s training session
- It relieves our customers from the uncertainty of not knowing who has been COSHH trained and when
- It includes a video section dedicated to product training and is complete with safety data sheets, product specification sheets and in-use instructions
- On completion it produces a personalised certificate for every successful participant
Sometimes, a hands-on face-to-face training session is welcomed by larger customers, and Cleanline along with other suppliers often deliver training this way too.
Completing a site survey
At Bunzl Catering Supplies, we are more interested in maintaining long term customers than achieving short term sales by inundating customers with unnecessary products. We try to rationalise the cleaning product range by keeping the number of products to the minimum required to perform the customer’s routine tasks. We undertake an initial on-site survey with all new customers looking to purchase the Cleanline range – we look to match products to tasks, as opposed to just copying every single item in the cleaning cupboard. Often, we can reduce the numbers of products on site by up to 50 per cent making it easier to clean, easier to train people, more economical and ultimately safer too.
Colour-coded products and wall charts
Even so, it is still important to reduce the likelihood of accidents, so Cleanline core products are colour coded too. Because there are over 100 different languages spoken in the UK workforce today, you can’t rely on wording to describe a cleaning product, so for instant identification, the colour of the product is duplicated on the product container, the re-usable trigger sprays and the wall chart. For example, a blue coloured bottle indicates that the product is a food safe cleaner sanitiser.
Wall charts are posters that show people how to use a product, how to dispense it, what sort of safety equipment you need to be wearing, the hazard symbol and the Bunzl Catering Supplies product code for re-ordering. Laminated wall charts, for both back of house and front of house cleaning ranges, are created and delivered to customers, or fitted as part of an installation, free of charge.
These additional resources and services are generally an intrinsic part of a cleaning product offer – or at least they are for Cleanline. This ensures that customers, at all times, have the tools they need to store and handle cleaning products safely and effectively. For more information about the Cleanline range – take a look at our Cleanline e-brochure.