Facility managers across industries are spread thin. This group is now tasked with timely responsibilities like increased security concerns, while still managing more traditional duties such as cleaning services. Facility managers are eager to make the latter more efficient as new needs arise, and they’re interested in working with companies that help achieve this goal.
That includes janitorial and sanitation (JanSan) distributors. Facility managers’ desires have changed, and they’re in a position to shuffle dollars toward JanSan distributors ready to keep up. More than anything, facility managers are under greater buying pressure than ever before, and they will not tolerate JanSan commerce experiences that add to the friction.
Get inside facility managers’ heads
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of an updated buyer persona of facility managers. If you’re interested in making impactful, long-term improvements to your commerce capabilities, you must have a good grasp of what buyers look like today.
Here’s what currently informs facility managers’ decisions and needs, according to Cleaning & Maintenance Management’s 2018 In-House/Facility Management Benchmarking Survey report.
- Large-scale projects and teams: Over half of facility managers (55 percent) clean/maintain more than 10 buildings/facilities, and 41 percent are responsible for over 20 buildings/facilities. On top of this, 40 percent of facility managers supervise a team of 50 employees or more.
- Small budgets, big expectations: Just 31 percent of facility managers have an increased operating budget compared to last year, while a quarter of facility managers (24 percent) actually say their budget has decreased. Half of facility managers (49 percent) report that despite their operating budget remaining flat or decreasing, their responsibilities have grown.
- New commerce channels and power: Seventy-seven percent of facility managers purchase cleaning/maintenance products online, with 19 percent making at least half of their JanSan purchases online. Forty percent of facility managers have sole authority over the equipment and supplies chosen, and another 39 percent can specify/recommend purchases.
These three trends underscore the complex world facility managers navigate today – and that’s just within the JanSan industry.
Modern facility managers must address geographically diverse (often global) cleaning needs and are responsible for complex teams. Although facility managers do have more power to shape their organization’s buying practices and future, they’re losing resources to successfully follow through on those plans.
But less money certainly does not mean less pressure. In fact, after health and safety, facility managers’ top goals (to a very large or large extent) are improvements to facility image and productivity/efficiency gains. Most facility managers want their organizations to become smarter and more reputable.
But closely following these larger company goals is reducing cleaning maintenance costs (66 percent) and validating/providing budget to management (66 percent). Companies must find ways to evolve at a lower cost while still driving results that keep all parties happy and justify future budget allocations.
Reduced costs without reduced quality is a tough ask, but one JanSan distributors can help buyers achieve. Cutting costs doesn’t exclusively come from dollars skimmed off the surface in operations. Facility managers also save resources when they save time (and headaches). Every hour managers spend purchasing JanSan products – whether that’s researching items, entering credit card information or tracking down shipments – is time that could be spent on more productive and profitable work.
A powerful, seamless e-commerce solution empowers JanSan distributors to help facility managers save time again and again. Distributors with diverse products outside of core cleaning competencies save buyers time by ensuring they don’t have to visit a bunch of different websites. Personalized product recommendations and intuitive product catalogues also speed up the buyer’s journey. And businesses that work with a single distributor enjoy added bonuses like costs cut from reduced number of shipments and the related fulfilment expenses.
To learn how to power e-commerce solutions that offer these capabilities and more, download our full The Future of Janitorial and Sanitation Distribution report.
Contact your Essendant Account Manager or an Essendant representative.
By Bridget Scanlon, Senior Manager, Marketing Research & User Experience