How to Select the Best Janitorial Supplier for You - Unisan Columbus
How to Select the Best Janitorial Supplier for You

How to Select the Best Janitorial Supplier for You

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Whether you’re looking for janitorial supplies, or equipment to keep your associates safe on the job, this guide will help you find the right supplier to begin a great new relationship.

Sizing Up Potential Suppliers

In order to better understand the different suppliers that are out there, it’s best to know the four different types.

  1. Manufacturers. Many companies buy supplies directly from a manufacturer’s channel, via a company salesperson. There are also independent representatives who handle goods from multiple companies; this is usually the best way to get the lowest price. Sometimes requirements to purchase in bulk or high shipping costs can reduce the price advantage.
  2. Distributors. This type of supplier buys items in bulk from several different manufacturers and maintains an inventory of these goods in their local warehouse for quick delivery. While their prices are typically higher than those of a manufacturer, the lower shipping cost and on-demand delivery make up for it.
  3. Independent Craftspeople. Unique products are usually only offered by independent craftspeople who sell through representatives or at trade shows. If something special is required, then this might be your only option. Prices are usually high because of the lower quantity and specialization that is required.
  4. Import Sources. Several suppliers get their cleaning products from countries such as Vietnam and China. These suppliers then sell these products to companies like yours. A downfall of this system is that you will be required to purchase large or bulk quantities.

So How Do We Define a “Good Supplier”?


The most important trait for a good supplier and for any business-to-business relationship is being reliable. Your supplier should be comparable to that best friend that will always answer the phone when you call and will give you a ride whenever you need it. The best suppliers will ship the correct quantity of items, deliver them on time and guarantee that they arrive at your location in one piece.


In your search for the right supplier, you will probably find that the most reliable ones are the ones that are very established; these are the companies who have been around several years and know the ins and outs of the industry. With an established supplier, you will get experienced management and the assurance that you will get what you need, when you need it.


Proximity to your facility is another key factor for choosing a supplier. Even if you get a great price on products and shipping, you might not get your cleaning products and janitorial supplies in time if your supplier is far away. It’s important to determine your supplier’s shipping policies before you place your order; the best suppliers will have policies that put their customers first.


It’s not only important to do business with a supplier that is knowledgeable about their cleaning supplies and janitorial supplies, but it is also important that they are well informed on current industry standards. They need to offer product lines that comply with current health and safety requirements in your area. You should also enjoy working with your supplier. Rather than transactions being business as usual, you should be have a supplier that is friendly and has a helpful staff that is there when you need them.