A good vendor is one who sells good products and machines, but he becomes much sought-after and gets acknowledged only when he makes sure those products and machines last! “While selling equipment, dealers are all too eager to assist, but when it comes to after sales service, they just disappear,” says Aarti Oberoi, AGM Housekeeping, Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Limited.
“Clean India Shows are a place where we get to know about all these products. We should be well aware of the new innovations and keep looking for innovative ideas to improve service delivery.”
Cleaning products, right from the scrubbing machines to simple mops, are purchased along with their technical guidance, know-how and an assurance of regular service by the supplier. But the whole issue arises when dealers disappear after selling the product. More so, when there is an urgent need for spare parts, they do not have stock or it takes months to procure spares or they are unable to provide spares at all.
It is the after sales service that makes the difference. “Some companies provide us with good services while there are some distributors/dealers of well-known brands who fail to show up for servicing or for supply of spares.
“Take for example, we bought a small/handy scrubber dryer machine through a distributor in Ahmedabad. After few months, the machine needed servicing and I approached the dealer. To my amazement, instead of fixing it, he asked me to coordinate with the head office in Delhi. Not giving up I called the Delhi office and they kept telling me that they would send it, but it never came.”
This kind of attitude from the equipment supplier hits most the Facility Services companies, as they need the machines to be in the best condition in order to deliver service in time.
In the service industry, as long as there is proper service delivery, the facility service company will remain in the market. If not they will perish. Hence, it is important to receive services from the product supplier to keep the business running, especially when it comes to supplies and breakdowns.
“It is months now that we have been calling the head office of this leading equipment brand in Delhi. We have lodged complaints at their head office and branch office in Ahmedabad too. When we call, the line keeps getting transferred from one department to another before we get a person who can talk or listen to our woes. But again the call is diverted to the technical support manager, who in turn instructs someone else… it just goes on. Ultimately, I have removed them from the list of our vendors.” Such suppliers are prone to face drastic steps whereby their names are canceled from the vendor list of companies that were once loyal customers.
“Being in the facility services, when we are devoid of properly functioning tools and machines, we get under tremendous pressure. At such times if vendors ask us to file complaints with managers and technical support team is being cruel.
“We have more than 20 machines in the general housekeeping department which includes sweepers, wet and dry machines and others. Scrubbing machines are used in the production area to remove chemicals and oil spill on the floor. These machines are used roughly and tend to get damaged within six months, requiring spares. One can imagine the urgency and need to get the machine fixed.”
Along with service, procuring quality products is important. “We use all kinds of tools and some of them are reusable and cost effective. If we compare a microfiber to any ordinary cotton mop the quality of cleaning, maintenance and frequency of replacement differ. Cotton mops cannot meet the cleaning requirement of all premises. If good quality mops are used and maintained well, the frequency to change them comes down drastically.
“Clean India Shows are a place where we get to know about all these products. We should be well aware of the new innovations and keep looking for innovative ideas to improve service delivery. At Dishman, we need to know best methods to manage the housekeeping in the office and production departments and hence have to keep ourselves updated.
“I have been visiting the Clean India Shows regularly and have procured machines and tools. In the last Clean India Show, I had in fact wanted to buy a pole and got the details of the local dealer in Ahmedabad from this gentleman at that stall. When I tried to reach the dealer later, the phone was never reachable. When I contacted their head office in Delhi, they took down the details but never responded. If this is going to be the attitude of vendors, we will have to look at only those companies that can meet customer requirements.”
Interestingly, Clean India Show is the single largest platform to get to meet decision makers of leading companies and an opportunity for the cleaning vendors to expand their business.