- THE MAGAZINE
Increasingly, higher education custodial directors are turning to core suppliers to help them control spending on cleaning and maintenance supplies. They also want help on how to clean smarter-all while meeting important new environmental and sustainability goals.
xpedx, one of the largest U.S. distributors of cleaning and maintenance supplies and equipment, has long worked with colleges and universities of all sizes. It recently expanded its decade-long relationship with the University of Washington’s flagship campus in Seattle.
Prior to its sole-supplier relationship with xpedx, the UW’s custodial department relied on multiple distributors to provide cleaning supplies for its 10 million-plus square feet of research laboratories, libraries, offices and lecture halls.
The university said its use of multiple janitorial-sanitation suppliers-together with traditional ways of doing things-served it well. But it also resulted in a variety of challenges large and small. Among them: purchasing inefficiencies, higher-than-required inventories, cumbersome paperwork, manual order entry, time-consuming phone calls, inconsistent ordering and the inability to efficiently order products online.
Following an intensive vendor selection process, xpedx was chosen because of its ability to provide the UW with documentable cost savings, expertise on sustainable cleaning products, an online ordering platform and personalized support from an entire xpedx team dedicated to the UW. Strong business relationships with other large universities also helped convince the UW that xpedx could deliver exceptional daily service and support.
“When we started our search for a single supplier of cleaning products, we knew we wanted to cut costs, expand green cleaning and have close, personalized support from our supplier,” said Gene Woodard, director of facility services for the Custodial Division at University of Washington-Seattle. “xpedx worked hard and helped us achieve those goals.”
“We have a real partnership with them,” Woodard said. “And we appreciate the fact they’ve dedicated a whole team to meet our ongoing needs across many fronts, from budgeting to IT to green cleaning.”
“Our overriding goal with colleges and universities today is to help them do their job more effectively, cut costs, eliminate redundancies and simplify tasks,” said Michael Feenan, vice president of marketing for xpedx. “We are helping them clean smarter and greener-even with fewer resources at their disposal.”