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Top tips for choosing your cleaning product supplier

Clean and simple: a series of blogs from Cleanline expert Rod Hale.

We asked our Cleanline expert ‘What advice would you give a foodservice operator looking to choose or change a cleaning product supplier?’

And here’s what he told us…

Cleanline Expert – Rod Hale Twitter – @rodhale2
Cleanline Expert – Rod Hale Twitter – @rodhale2

There are hundreds of cleaning product suppliers operating in the UK today. Some are global, some are national, and some of them are run from a garden shed!  For foodservice operators and businesses operating in the hospitality sector, good hygiene and cleanliness is paramount, so it’s important that you choose the right one. Here’s a few tips to help you make your choice:

  1. How do I know the cleaning products work without trying them first?

It’s difficult for a cleaning product supplier to send you samples of products that you would normally dilute on-site. You would also need to be a substantial prospective customer to have a supplier visit your site and demonstrate the products.  So instead, ask the supplier who else they supply, and for how long they’ve been supplying them.  Ideally there should be a good mix of independents and groups with similar businesses to yours.

  1. Can you have a trial period?

Having a trial period is extremely important because it will allow you to try out the products for a month before committing yourself to the supplier.  You’ll still have to pay for the products – but then, if you weren’t involved in a trial, you’d be paying for cleaning products anyway.

It’s not just the products, you should also check whether the dosing system is safe, simple and robust?  Are the instructions clear and unambiguous?  Is the support you need available?  Is the system economical?

  1. What support do they offer?

If your dishwasher’s dosing pump breaks down during service, straightaway you’ve got a problem.  There’ll be a massive pile up of dirty tableware, and doing it by hand, your Kitchen Porter won’t be fast enough to cope.  So, make sure to ask the cleaning product supplier what their response time is in case of mechanical breakdown?  Can they offer videos guides or instructions so that you can help yourself?  Is there someone on the other end of a phone, at all hours, to talk you through possible solutions to the problem?

  1. Do they know what they’re talking about?

Cleaning products can cause a lot of unnecessary confusion and many are potentially hazardous.  It’s important that you trust the advice of the company you choose, so find out what personal experience your contacts have under their belts.  Also, as most installation engineering work will be contracted out, make sure their contractors are fully qualified and experienced too.

  1. Will they train your staff?

Statutory regulations require everyone working with industrial cleaning products to be professionally trained in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).  Unless remote training is available, it is very difficult to ensure that your entire team is up to date all the time.  So, ask the supplier if they have online training, and if so, find out if they can send you a link so you can see the benefits for yourself.

  1. What else do you need to think about?

Getting the timing right for an installation is critical because even though you will have run your old stock down, there’s bound to be some of the old supplier’s products left over.  So, there’s no harm in asking your chosen cleaning product supplier if they will take back any unopened cases of your old stock.

When you choose exclusive brand Cleanline, from Bunzl Catering Supplies, you will be able to apply a positive answer to all the above points. You’ll never have to worry again about whether 100 per cent of your team are COSHH trained or whether you can find a video on how to fix a dishwasher dosing pump – it’s all there for you.

If you’d like to find out more about the services Cleanline offer, that differentiates them brand from other cleaning product suppliers, then please call your local Bunzl Catering Supplies branch today and ask for a free Cleanline survey.

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