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MSN E-Newsletter April 2015

To view current and archived issues of Maintenance Sales News, click here.


By Harrell Kerkhoff
Maintenance Sales News Editor

Understanding, and properly using, analytics can lead to greater company success. But what is analytics, and how can the analytic process help a business grow?

These and other questions were addressed during an educational session titled, “Leveraging Analytics to Improve Your Distributorship,” at the recent ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2014 trade show. The session was presented by Greg Borr, of O’Connor Company Inc.

Analytics is information resulting from the systematic analysis of data and/or statistics. Simply put, analytics provides access to timely, relevant information that can help take a company to a higher level.

A History Lesson
The Maginot Line was a series of embankments and fortifications built in eastern France by the French government between World War I and World War II. The defensive line was designed to prevent future invasion by the German army. Its premise was based on past successes that French generals experienced during World War I.

The Maginot Line did not work. German forces simply went around these fortifications during the early stages of World War II, and conquered France in six weeks.

“The moral of this story is, you can’t keep thinking the same way all of the time. Just because you won in the past, does not mean you will win in the future. This is true in business. It’s important to evolve,” Borr said.

He added that the words of the late Peter Drucker, a well-known management consultant, educator and author, ring true when it comes to business analytics: “What gets measured, gets managed.”

“I would also say, ‘What gets analyzed helps you grow,’” Borr said. “You don’t want to build another Maginot Line. Instead, you want to evolve and outpace the competition.”

This can be done through the use of important business benchmarks and developing key performance indicators (KPIs) to help drive results and continue the evolution process, according to Borr.

Why Analytics?
When making business decisions about a company’s rate of success and/or future direction, it’s important to rely on viable facts rather than unsubstantiated beliefs.

Borr presented random survey results showing why the use of analytics can be more dependable than relying on general opinions. For example, according to surveys, 93 percent of Americans believe they have above-average driving skills; 87 percent of MBA students at Stanford University rated their academic performance as above the median; and, 68 percent of the faculty at the University of Nebraska rated themselves in the top 25 percent for teaching ability.

“If you ask members of your sales force, or personnel in the warehouse, whether or not they do a good job, the majority will respond favorably to their performance,” Borr said. “However, this is not really measuring true value or performance. It would be much better to measure a person’s ‘pick rate’ in the warehouse or ‘sale per invoice’ at a sales counter.”

He added that distributor executives must ask themselves, “When faced with a big decision, should we just get the smartest folks in the room and kick around some ideas, or should we take a look into the analytical world of actual data and metrics? Should we also place KPIs around that decision to track how well our decision worked out?”

Borr then asked: “When faced with a big decision for your company, how do you decide which path to take?”

According to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, highly data-driven companies are three times more likely to see a significant impact from big decisions than those that don’t rely heavily on data.

“If you are not making data-based decisions and your competitors are, they are outpacing you in today’s business climate. That is a fact,” he said. “And yet, only one in three executives today say their organizations are highly data-driven.

“This tells me there is a lot of opportunity for gaining added marketshare by those companies that heavily rely on data.”

Using The Right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The use of analytics helps officials of a business focus on those aspects of their company’s performance that are most critical to ongoing success. This can be done with the right KPIs. According to Borr, no two distributorship’s KPIs should be exactly the same.

“KPIs should help drive your specific goals and business. If your main goal is to focus heavily on sales, your KPI is far different than a company wanting to mainly improve its operational efficiency in the warehouse,” Borr said. “There should be a different set of KPIs in place as far as how you are going to drive results, what is going to be measured, etc.”

KPIs measure key areas and processes that influence customers, employees and company goals. They can include call response rates, ability to answer customer questions on the first call, sales per shipment, etc.

“When you define your KPIs, don’t just show them to your senior management team. Let the world know about them. You might even have some of your customers get involved in the process,” Borr said.

“As you look at KPIs, focus on customer value-added and business value-added measures. Stay away from non value-added measures. Why worry about anything that doesn’t hold value?”

When selecting KPIs, company officials should also define important metrics and benchmarks involved with the business.

“Look at the areas where you want to improve as a company, and share throughout your organization. Get everybody’s buy-in. Tell them, ‘This is important to us as a company. These are our targets. These are our goals,’” Borr said.

When it comes to the different stages, activities, development and training that surrounds business analytics, it helps when a company has advanced intelligence and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems in place that feature the latest in dashboard and benchmarking capabilities, but this is not absolutely necessary.

“You don’t have to have the most advanced systems in place to drive analytics, but (new technology) does make it easier,” Borr said.

One step to analytic development that is vital, however, is benchmarking. This is when a company compares its processes and performance metrics with those of other companies within the same and/or different industries. Borr said it’s important to first identify, and then define, each company’s key benchmarks.

“It’s essential to ask, ‘What is important to us as a company?’ This might include your bottom line, sales, gross profits ... whatever you use to drive your company’s goals,” Borr said. “You have to research your industry, its practices and identify standards that are in place. It’s also important to document your current practices.

“Get your people together and talk about your company’s processs. And remember, there are three areas to concentrate on: customer value-added, business value-added, and non value-added. If it’s non value-added, it should go out the door. Don’t keep a process around just because it’s something your company ‘has been doing for years.’”

Documentation of a company’s business processes is important. It’s also good to look at, and discuss, the use of emerging technologies, Borr added.

“I’m an advocate of business intelligence. There is a lot of technology today that can help you optimize your business and help it evolve,” he said. “It’s also good to talk within your company about the concepts and benefits of benchmarking. This helps get everybody on board, including the management team. All personnel should understand how specific benchmarking numbers can drive performance, bottom line profits, etc.

“As you create collective benchmarks, you want to focus on those that are important to your goals.”

In Summary
Applying analytics to business data helps many company officials foresee and enhance performance. As with most things in business, the amount of time and effort put into this process often dictates the level of success.

“I can’t drive home enough the fact that you want to use KPIs that focus on those aspects of your organizational performance that are most critical to current and future success,” Borr said. “Just don’t use a KPI because you read about it somewhere. It’s important to be properly measured.”

He gave examples of success stories from companies that used particular KPIs to overcome specific challenges and improve growth. This included an airline that found success by focusing on an on-time departure KPI, while a distributor experienced improvement through the use of a KPI that stressed the elimination of unused inventory.

Borr reiterated that everybody within an organization should become involved in the process.

“It’s also important that everybody gets to celebrate the successes that analytics can provide,” he said. “Have a party, celebrate the wins and then move on to the next challenge.”

Borr quoted Dr. James Manyika, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, who said: “As the big data revolution gets underway, it’s becoming clear that the gap between firms will be not only of skills and investment, but of mindset.”

“What is your mindset going to be?” Borr asked. “Will your mindset revolve around building another Maginot Line, because that is what you have always done?

“Or, will your mindset be to utilize analytics throughout your organization to conquer the competition?”

Borr is the development chair for Distributor Performance Analytics, LLC, a project formed in 2013 by five distributor trade associations, including ISSA, to introduce a new level of business intelligence solutions to wholesale distribution.

For more information,
send email to Greg Borr at:

Intercon Chemical Company Introduces Primo Concentrated
All-Purpose Cleaner

According to Intercon Chemical Company Executive Vice President Rich Schroeder, “Primo is a neutral, all-purpose cleaner. The product can be sprayed, brushed or mopped on surfaces such as desks, sinks, tubs, floors, stoves, etc. When diluted with water to the correct consistency (a little goes a long way), Primo leaves behind a wonderful fresh lavender aroma, as well as being cost effective and environmentally responsible.”

Privately owned Intercon Chemical Company, located in St. Louis, MO, employs more than 120 employees at its 300,000-square-foot-FDA and EPA-registered cGMP compliant manufacturing facility.

For more than 30 years, Intercon has provided products and programs to its distributors in multiple markets, including: food service sanitation, health care and infection control, facility management companies, janitorial supply companies, commercial floor care, critical process cleaning, food processing facility maintenance, institutional laundry, contract packaging and green cleaning products.


Visit and for more information.

The Bullen Companies Names Max Johnson Regional Sales Manager

The Bullen Companies has added Max Johnson to its sales team. Johnson has 25 years of continued service in the jan/san industry in sales and marketing.

“Johnson develops and manages opportunities for distributors throughout the Midwest Region, and is instrumental in educating and training our distributor partners and clients,” according to the company.

The Bullen Companies is a manufacturer in the floor care, carpet care, disinfection and odor control markets. It has served the janitorial supply industry since 1939 producing cleaning solutions under the brands: Airx Laboratories, e-clean Products, Clausen Carpet Solutions, Truekleen, Road Off, and One-Up, along with private label manufacturing.

Bullen representatives said, “As a leader in new product development and innovation, Bullen has brought to market a number of industry firsts including:
• First to market Fourth Generation Carpet Encapsulation Technology (Stay Clean);
• First to market a Patented Non-Butyl Cleaner and Degreaser (Activ 8);
• First to market an EPA Registered Sanitizing Carpet Cleaner (RX80);

Max Johnson

• First to market a High Speed Polishing Crème (Zing CPC);
• First to market an Antibacterial Hand Soap (Harley Creamedic); and,
• First audio podcast for the jan/san industry (”

Visit for more information.

Americo Announces A New Partnership With Healthy Schools Campaign

Healthy Schools Campaign, a national school health advocacy and policy organization, presents as a way to inform and empower stakeholders who can change the way schools clean.

“The decision to support a well-respected organization, such as Healthy Schools Campaign, was an easy one. We share the same core values when it comes to education and promoting green products. We are conscious of the impact our products have on the environment,” Americo Manufacturing Company CEO Leonard Shutzberg said.

“We help our customers do the same by providing high quality sustainable everyday products, like our Full Cycle™ floor pads made from post-consumer waste and formulated to biodegrade* in a fraction of the time that it takes conventional floor pads, once discarded into an active landfill."

“Green Clean Schools is made possible because of strong partnerships, including our partnership with Americo Manufacturing Company,” Healthy Schools Campaign Vice President of Policy Mark Bishop said.


Americo Manufacturing Company, headquartered in Acworth, GA, is a manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning products, such as synthetic and natural fiber floor pads, hand pads, utility pads and floor matting.

For information on Full Cycle™ or to view ASTM D5511 test results, visit

To find out more about Americo and this project, visit and

*The actual rate of biodegradation of Americo’s Full Cycle™ pads, as well as the rate of all plastic materials in landfills, will be slower and will vary, depending upon actual landfill conditions.

Network Services Company Honors Outstanding Suppliers During Annual Trade Show:
Spartan Chemical Company; Rubbermaid Commercial Products; Georgia-Pacific Professional; SCA; and Durable Packaging

Spartan Chemical Voted Network’s 2014 Supplier Innovation Award Winner

Network Services Company suppliers were recently asked to submit innovative products and services that gave their members a competitive edge. Spartan Chemical was selected as Network’s 2014 Supplier Innovation Award winner, in the jan/san category, for outstanding innovation with its CompuClean Custodial Operations Software. Voting were Network member principals.

Shown, left to right, are Warren Nobel, Network vice president of supplier relations;
John Swigart, Spartan president; Cali Sartor, Spartan director of marketing; Doug Peterson,
Spartan national accounts manager; David Reed, Spartan vice president of national accounts;
Greg Ford, Spartan vice president of sales; and Julie Vidor, Network senior manager of supplier relations.

“Being selected by our customers for the Netwwork Supplier Innovation Award is a great honor for Spartan Chemical and all of us who work with our CompuClean customers every day,” said Mike Fabian, manager of CompuClean and Business Technologies.

Warren Nobel, vice president of supplier relations, presented the award to Spartan during the Network Supplier Trade Show in Hollywood, FL. Spartan was represented by John Swigart, president; Greg Ford, vice president of sales; Cali Sartor, director of marketing; David Reed, vice president of national accounts; and Doug Peterson, national accounts manager.

CompuClean®, Spartan’s custodial maintenance management software, offers workloading and staffing estimation, process documentation and standardization, quality assurance monitoring, inventory management, capital equipment tracking, and more.

Visit for more information.

Network® Presents Awards To Top Suppliers

Network Services Company (NETWORK) recently recognized supplier partners for outstanding performance in 2014. They are:

Rubbermaid Commercial Products ( was recognized with the
Supplier of the Year Award for outstanding cooperation and support of Network and its distributors;

Georgia-Pacific® Professional ( was given the Corporate Account Supplier of the Year
Award for outstanding cooperation and support of corporate account sales for Network;

SCA ( was presented with The Members Choice Award in recognition
of the best all-around service, as voted by Network distributors; and,

Durable Packaging ( received the Rising Star Award
in recognition of outstanding growth performance results with Network distributors.

“Our strong partnerships with innovative, industry-leading suppliers are vital to our success,” Network Chief Executive Officer Robert Mitchum said. “We look forward to mutually rewarding partnerships with all of our suppliers now and in the future.”

The awards were presented during the company's annual supplier trade show held in Hollywood, FL, on March 30, 2015.

“Network is an integrated distribution solution designed to improve supply chain efficiency and drive business success,” according to the company.

Visit or call 800-683-0334 for more information.

DPA Buying Group Names New Suppliers, Adds Distributor Members

The DPA Buying Group, Cincinnati, OH, has seven new distributor members in its janitorial products division: All-Type Vacuum & Janitorial Supply (St. Louis, MO); Ezell Supply Corporation (Royal Oak, MI); Gergely’s Maintenance King (Lorain, OH); Green Sky Facility Supply (Maryland Height, MO); United American Supply, LLC (Nicholasville, KY); Western Carolina Products (Greenwood, SC); and Wildman Facility Services (Warsaw, IN).

The group also has three new suppliers: Deb USA, Inc., (Charlotte, NC); Minuteman International (Pingree Grove, IL); and Multi-Clean (Shoreview, MN).

DPA is a national buying and networking organization of over 600 distributors and 180 suppliers in various product industries.


Visit for more information.

New Scrubbing Edge Improves Moonsoft Mops

“When Moonsoft introduced the Microfiber Tube Mop to the jan/san and textile rental markets, it was met with some resistance. After the product was in circulation, it became a preferred choice. Soon, though, we were presented with complaints that the head band was wearing, a problem Moonsoft took seriously. We got damaged mops back and researched the problem,” according to Moonsoft represensentatives.

“After reseaching customer concerns about the head band of Moonsoft’s Micro Fiber Tube Mop, it was found that the problem wasn’t just with the tube mop, but string mops, also. When cleaning the floor, the user sometimes used the edge of the head band to give an extra scrub to loosen dirt. In problem solving, it was discovered that if a scrubbing strip was added to the edge of the head band, not one, but two problems were solved.”

Use of the scrubbing band resulted in the extended life of both the tube and conventional string mops. In addition, the cleaning ability was enhanced.


Visit for more information.

New Filmop Website Offers Information About Health Care Cleaning Systems And Sales Tools

Filmop’s new website highlights products specifically designed for health care facilities, such as Alpha ES mobile workstations; on-demand microfiber charging systems; and no-touch mopping and surface cleaning technology.

“The website’s navigation is graphically user-friendly and easily moves the visitor to product selection, videos, product information sheets, and general information about environmental services in a health care environment,” said Bruno Niklaus, vice president of sales/marketing for Filmop USA.

“We designed this website to provide easily accessible, usable information about how our mobile workstations and microfiber cleaning systems address the specific cleaning needs in health care facilities so distributors and their customers are confident in purchasing decisions. There is specific guidance for products appropriate for educational facilities and general facility maintenance.”

The website features a primary drop-down navigation bar that displays the various informational pages. Featured product lines include workstations, microfiber systems, dual buckets, and specialty tools. As industries are discussed, the site provides suggested products for specific areas within facility types, such as operating rooms in hospitals and cafeterias in educational facilities.


Users can access resources including videos, product literature, case studies, and industry guidelines. Specific health care resources include downloadable guidelines, such as the CDC Guide to Environmental Cleaning in Healthcare Facilities and links such as the Association for the Healthcare Environment’s (AHE) video on environmental cleaning training.

Filmop USA is the American division of 40-year-old Filmop Global, a manufacturer of microfiber products, ergonomically designed cleaning systems and modular EVS/Housekeeping workstations.

Visit for more information.


Powr-Flite Scrubber Cleans Tile, Grout And Uneven Floor Surfaces

“Cylindrical brush machines are easy to use, require virtually no learning curve, and this machine naturally floats over the floor,” said Powr-Flite representatives.

“The Powr-Scrub is super quiet, so it passes LEED requirements, and it is perfect for small- to medium-sized floor areas. Its 750 rpms of scrubbing power effectively clean tile and grout as well as uneven floor surfaces. Excellent at edge cleaning, its dual floating squeegee ensures floors dry as the end-user works.”

Visit or call 800-880-2913 for more information.


Kaivac Offers New Battery-Powered AutoVac

According to Kaivac, “The new Lithium-ion battery-powered AutoVac can scrub and effectively clean more than 20,000 square feet of flooring per hour.
Plus, it’s effective. Independently tested at the University of Massachusetts, the AutoVac achieves 99 percent soil removal.”

Headquartered in Hamilton, OH, Kaivac, Inc., is the originator of the No-Touch Cleaning™ system, and manufactures a full line of No-Touch cleaning products.

Visit or call 513-887-4600 for more information.


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(800) 598-8083 (217) 268-4959 Fax: (217) 268-4815 | email:


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