By Elliott and Brian Greenberg
One developing trend is the tendency for businesses to order their janitorial supplies online. But why is this happening when so many big box stores offer the same items?
Ed Simmons, executive director of Mountain TOP, a Tennessee nonprofit that helps economically disadvantaged or disabled people fix up their homes, used to drive for over an hour to Sam’s Club to pick up janitorial supplies for his organization. Today, Simmons orders his supplies online instead.
He would go to a store only to find “they didn’t have everything we wanted.” Then he’d try another store, a 35 to 40 minute drive away, but the results were no better. With online shopping, he presses a button and doesn’t have to waste time with shopping and picking up supplies.
Online shopping “has everything we need, and it’s delivered in one fell swoop,” he says. “In spring, we buy all the supplies we need to get through eight or nine months. It’s a bigger load than we could carry in one vehicle,” Simmons explains. Ordering in quantity also saves him money on shipping while ordering online makes life easier.
Simmons joins the growing ranks of business customers who are making the decision to order supplies online rather than trekking to retail or wholesale outlets. Another advantage to buying online was order history. “The computer keeps all our previous orders,” he says, “so I don’t have to think about what we buy. I can re-order.”
For many professionals charged with purchasing responsibilities, online ordering makes sense in a very tangible way. It not only streamlines the process in terms of timing, it often gives the customer access to higher quality, professional grade products.
“It’s three things,” Simmons explains, “the convenience, the pricing…and they deliver.”
As shopping online becomes more widely accepted, more businesses are choosing to go that route. Often, those who give it a try say they’d never go back.
Elliott and Brian Greenberg are owners of Wholesale Janitorial Supply. The company, which began eight years ago, has 36 warehouse locations and offers free shipping on orders over $100.