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MSN E-Newsletter July 2014

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

Karen Adams, president, standing second from right, and members of The Mop Bucket staff,
are shown inside the North Kansas City, MO, jan/san distributorship.

By Harrell Kerkhoff
Maintenance Sales News Editor

A late Saturday night spent trying to clean a floor at a customer’s facility with the wrong type of machine and not enough chemical led Karen Adams to a revelation — she needed to start her own janitorial/sanitary distributorship. In time, The Mop Bucket, located in North Kansas City, MO, was formed.

Nearly 30 years later, the distributorship features a storefront operation for a large walk-in trade and also delivers products via company trucks. Adams serves as president of the business, and oversees a staff of five people who have extensive experience in the cleaning industry.

The idea for the company came to Adams while working in the janitorial service field. She was having trouble finding the proper cleaning supplies and equipment needed the complete different tasks. The culmination of her frustrations came on that fateful Saturday around midnight when she realized a supply house sold her the wrong type of floor machine, and that she didn’t have enough cleaning chemical.

“I decided I had more experience than some of the people who were selling me these products. The idea of starting a distributorship of my own came about. I wanted to help people who were cleaning for a living, so they wouldn’t end up in the same predicament,” Adams said. “My mission became to find only the best products on the market. I didn’t want to focus on price-points, but rather provide the best products available. I also wanted to become involved with the best suppliers.”

Today, The Mop Bucket features a retail front and is open to everybody, according to Adams. This includes not only jan/san-specific professionals, but businesses, churches, schools, government entities and homeowners as well.

“It’s important that everybody feels welcome. I don’t want my customers intimidated when they visit.”

Products provided by The Mop Bucket include a comprehensive line of jan/san paper items, dispensers, wet and dust mops, commercial-grade microfiber, disinfectants, sanitizers, deodorizers, air fresheners, stone/tile and carpet care items, matting, window cleaning supplies, etc. And yes, as Adams describes, the company has, “An awesome selection of mop buckets that come in a variety of colors, sizes and configurations to meet specific needs.

“We also partner with major suppliers that provide our customers direct access to their products. This helps us supply a customer with items that we do not stock,” Adams said. “Most of our customers are located in the Kansas City area. We do have Internet sales, and are promoting this end of the business more than in the past.”

Adams also gets the word out about her business through such means as radio and print advertising, and participating in local radio talk shows where she is able to discuss various issues pertaining to cleaning.

Fun & Friendly

It’s the objective of Adams, that when visitors enter The Mop Bucket’s facility, they are greeted with a fun and friendly atmosphere. This is to offset the pressure many of those people working in the cleaning business feel on a day-to-day basis.

“I have found that most people who clean for a living take their jobs very seriously. There is not a lot of joking around while on the job. Cleaning for a customer can be intimidating, such as at an office complex in corporate America,” Adams said. “Therefore, I have always tried to make our company a comfortable place to visit, allowing customers to smile and laugh. It’s not a lot of fun to clean such areas as toilets, but we try to make a customer’s visit to our facility as pleasant as possible.”

To help create a pleasant atmosphere in her jan/san distributorship, Adams is known to have different types of floral arrangements and art pieces in place. Meanwhile, the company’s humerous logo is reminiscent of the Carol Burnett character who has her foot in a mop bucket while holding a mop.

“I want people to smile when they are here, and most of them do,” Adams said.

She added that her company’s customer base is varied.

“We don’t just target certain industries. We sell to the entire gamut. There are different cleaning needs for everybody,” Adams said.

Employees at The Mop Bucket are also able to provide the proper training and personal attention that many customers seek.

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“We provide seminars showing how to properly clean stone and tile, windows, how to use proportioned chemicals, etc.,” Adams said. “This type of training is open to everybody, not just those involved with jan/san. There are people now using YouTube to learn about different cleaning methods, but it’s still good to learn from someone face-to-face with hands-on-training.”

She added there are many areas in a facility where people need help. This can involve cleaning advice and/or information on what types of paper products, soaps and dispensers best fit their needs. On top of this list is often floorcare. This is an area where officials at The Mop Bucket are very knowledgeable, no matter what type of flooring is being used. In fact, the company has been recognized locally for its expertise when it comes to maintaining such material as granite. The business was asked to help get a newly remodeled World War I museum in Kansas City cleaned and ready for a grand opening. The museum features a lot of granite.


As a distributor, another important objective for Adams is to find new and improved jan/san products to show and sell to customers. This is one of the reasons she attends the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN®-North America trade show.

“I go to (ISSA/INTERCLEAN) to hunt for the next big thing, such as when microfiber first became popular several years ago. It’s important to look for those products that make cleaning easier and more effective,” Adams said. “I try everything myself before new products are ever placed on our shelves.”

Overall, business has been steady at The Mop Bucket, according to Adams. She added that last winter was harsh in the Kansas City area. This influenced many people’s cleaning and buying habits for awhile.

“Our winters usually start in January, but last year it began in November. There were times when our local schools were shut down. We are now starting to see customers go back to the normal cleaning cycle,” Adams said. “We just focus on our customers, and not let the rest of the world ‘rock our boat’ too much. It’s important to keep getting better and moving forward as a company.”

A Different Kind Of Distributorship

Adams is the first one to admit that The Mop Bucket is not a typical jan/san distributorship — and that is just fine with her.

“We are different, and I always feel this is good. We feature a walk-in store. Everything is there in front of customers when they enter our facility,” she said. “Our company is based on a different concept, and it’s been successful for us.

“I have met people, representing a couple of similar companies, while attending events associated with a buying group. Every person who starts a business relies on his/her own intuition concerning what will work.”

Adams has found, over the years, that the jan/san industry is full of people, families and companies very passionate about helping end-users with their specific cleaning needs.

“It’s an industry that includes many privately-owned companies full of people with a passion for everything they do. It’s an amazing business,” she said.

However, Adams does feel there is a growing need for more young people to become involved with the jan/san industry, as the world continues to change.

“I have heard a lot of people who are currently working in jan/san comment, ‘We are all getting older. Who is going to take over?’” Adams said. “I met a young lady at a recent industry function who told me that she felt too young to be at the event. I responded that there is a great need for young people like her in jan/san and, ‘Please don’t get discouraged. We welcome you.’”

Contact: The Mop Bucket, 812 Armour Rd.,
North Kansas City, MO 64116.
Phone: 816-472-5667.

The Bullen Companies Adds
Bill Huss To Sales Team

The Bullen Companies has announced the addition of Bill Huss to the Bullen sales team. His experience spans 15-plus years with companies generating revenues of $5 million to $9 billion.

Huss will be covering Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama and western Pennsylvania for The Bullen Companies. He has worked as a distributor sales person, a distributor sales manager and as a regional manager for a chemical manufacturer.

The Bullen Companies is a manufacturer in the floor care, carpet care, disinfection and odor control market. Bullen 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.

Bill Huss

Visit for more information.

Angel/Cotton Associates Now Rep Group For Americo

Americo has appointed Angel/Cotton Associates, Inc., to manage its sales for the company’s full range of products.

Americo says, “Located in Signal Hill, CA, Angel/Cotton has a history in serving the jan/san industry. The award-winning rep group is owned and managed by Keith Angel, president/principal and Wendie Manion, sales/operations and marketing/principal, who bring decades of experience, knowledge and insight to Angel/Cotton’s operation.”

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. According to the company, 100 percent of the polyester fiber used in pads manufactured by Americo is produced using recycled material from post-industrial and post-consumer waste and the binders used are water-based technology.


Americo says its pads are now specially formulated to rapidly biodegrade, once discarded into an active landfill.

Visit for more information.

von Drehle Corporation Purchases Metso Paper Machine

The von Drehle Corporation, headquartered in Hickory, NC, has purchased a new Metso paper machine for its Natchez paper mill and a new Yankee for its Cordova paper mill.

Planned to be fully operational the fourth quarter of 2015 in Natchez, this paper machine has the ability and flexibility to manufacture in both conventional and NTT paper making technology.

NTT technology provides von Drehle with away-from-home products using recycled or virgin fibers.


“In the fourth quarter of this year, von Drehle’s Cordova paper will be operating a new ribbed design Yankee that will improve throughput and ultimately provide incremental capacity,” said company representatives.

For any questions or for additional information, contact Jason Gscheidmeier at 828-855-6410.


DPA Names 2013 Distributor
And Supplier Of The Year

The DPA Buying Group has announced its 2013 Distributor and Supplier of the Year recipients.

dpaDistributorScot Fishkin, of ICS, and Zachary Haines, of DPA, left and right, present the 2013 DPA Distributor of the Year Award to James Manni, center, of Miner Supply Company, Wyoming, MI.

These awards were presented at DPA’s Annual Buying & Networking Conference in Ft. Myers, FL. DPA says these awards recognize sales growth and exemplary support of DPA member companies.

Jeff Tishko, far left, and Zachary Haines,
far right, both of DPA, present the
2013 DPA Supplier of the Year Award to
Rusty Heinsman and John Miller, of
Americo Manufacturing Co., Acworth, GA.

The DPA Distributor of the Year went to Miner Supply Company (Wyoming, MI); and the DPA Supplier of the Year was awarded to Americo Manufacturing Co., (Acworth, GA).

Visit or call 800-652-7826 for more information.


Spartan Chemical Receives Member’s Choice Award From NETWORK Distribution

Spartan Chemical Company, Inc., a formulator and manufacturer of sustainable cleaning and sanitation solutions for the industrial and institutional market, recently received the 2013 NETWORK Member Choice Award.

“Each year, Spartan ranks among the top suppliers by our membership,” said Warren Noble, vice president of supplier relations, NETWORK. “The award is based on customer service, operational efficiency, and overall sales support; it truly is an indication of the dedication that Spartan has to our members’ success.”

Spartan’s Greg Ford said, “We are extremely proud and thankful to NETWORK and our distributor partners for this recognition.”

According to the company, NETWORK® is a flexible, integrated distribution solution that is designed to improve supply chain efficiency.

Spartan Chemical was represented by John Swigart, president, and Greg Ford.

Pictured left to right are: Chris Lucy, NETWORK membership development manager; John Swigart, president, Spartan Chemical Company, Inc.; Warren Noble, VP supplier relations at NETWORK Services Company; and, Greg Ford, VP of sales, Spartan Chemical Company, Inc.

Visit or call 800-683-0334 for more information on NETWORK or visit for more information about Spartan Chemical Company.

Diamond Chemical Acquires Assets Of Unichem

Diamond Chemical, of East Rutherford, NJ, a national manufacturer of laundry, warewash, floorcare, housekeeping, organic intermediates, industrial and consumer products, has announced that it has acquired certain assets of Unichem, located in Chicago, IL.

Unichem has been a specialty chemical manufacturer and distributor of chemicals for the dry cleaning, hospital, industrial and institutional laundry industries for over 40 years.

Representatives say Unichem’s current customers will continue to receive the same products and service from Diamond that Unichem previously supplied to them.


Diamond Chemical is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of high quality products, systems and services.

Visit or call 1-800-OK-4-SOAP for more information.


NISSCO Has 9 New Distributor Members

NISSCO says nine distributors have recently become members of the purchasing and marketing group.

The nine companies are: A-Z Solutions, Inc./ Janitors Supply; Austin Vacuum S.A., Inc.; Avante Enterprises, LLC; Clean Cut Solutions; D & W Distributors, Inc.; Gulfstar Janitors Supply; One Source Distribution; Sun State Janitorial Products; and, The Family Vending Company.

NISSCO, LLC (National Independent Sanitary Supply Companies) was established in 1985.


According to the company, its mission is, "To consistently provide its distributor members and supplier partners with new, profitable business and revenue enhancing programs.”

Visit, call 800-229-9541, or email Mark Bozich, company president at, for more information.

Triple S Navigator #62 Perisept Sporicidal Disinfectant Kills C.Diff Spores In 2 Minutes

Representatives of Triple S say its SSS Navigator #62 Perisept Sporicidal Disinfectant Cleaner is now available through all Triple S dealers.

“This new EPA registered sporicidal disinfectant cleans and kills a broad spectrum of bacteria and organisms, including Clostridium difficile (C.diff) in two minutes.

“The cleaner gives administration, EVS departments and infection preventionists a new weapon to battle HAIs. The 2-minute kill time assures health care professionals that the surface remains wet and the disinfectant is doing what it is required,” said Alan Sadler, company president. “Healthcare facilities can now use one disinfectant cleaner for use throughout a facility.”

The product is designed for use with the closed loop Navigator Dilution Control System – available in 4-station, single station and portable dispensing units.

The non-bleach, hydrogen peroxide/peroxyacetic acid based formulation leaves no harmful or corrosive residues, and no film on surfaces.


It is compatible with many different surfaces and medical equipment used in health care including stainless steel, aluminum, chrome, glazed ceramic tile, plastic and painted surfaces, and finished floors.

More information is available at

Established in 1960, Triple S is a national distribution services and logistics company offering facility maintenance solutions to the health care, education, commercial, retail, industrial and government markets through a network of member-dealers and regional distribution centers.

Rankin Publishing Co., Inc. | 204 E. Main St., P.O. Box 130 | Arcola, Illinois 61910-0130, USA
(800) 598-8083 (217) 268-4959 Fax: (217) 268-4815 | email:


Coming in the July/August
print issue of MSN.

ISSA Show Preview Issue

MSN Focus On:
Ice Melt Manufacturers

Sanitizers & Disinfectants

MSN Buyers Guide To
Mop, Brush
& Broom Manufacturers

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