The use of paper in the U.S. has declined slightly for the past several years. What this means to Office Supply dealers is a slight decline in the sales of paper and associated products like paper clips, staples, file folders, etc. No one thinks the sales of Office Supply dealers across the country are at risk – the reduction has been just over 1% per year for the last five years – but EVERYONE is looking for new business opportunities to help offset that small decline.
Enter: Janitorial Supplies! But why?
1 – The opportunity is sure there. Defined largely by paper towels, break room beverages, can liners, chemicals, cleaning equipment and more, this industry is very large (about $61 billion in 2016).
2 – The industry is not as advanced as ours. This is not true in all cases, but the Janitorial industry is behind in many ways. For example, often orders from customers and purchases from vendors are not processed electronically. This leads to unnecessary delays in order fulfillment. If an Office Supply dealer is fully automated, they can service janitorial customers more quickly and accurately.
3 – Consolidation is an opportunity. Office Supply dealers have been buying up other Office Supply dealers over the last few years. This has not been the case in Janitorial. But that lack of activity has left far more Janitorial companies out there in need of succession plans. This is a huge opportunity for those that would like to grow in this category.
4 – The similarities! While there are some real differences between Janitorial Supplies and Office Supplies (different product, different buyer, etc.), what makes Janitorial Supplies so ‘right’ for an Office Supply dealer are the similarities. First, the same customer who needs office supplies, also needs janitorial supplies… those relationships are a big deal. But the kicker is that the Office Supply dealer already has all the necessary logistics, trucks, routes, drivers, warehouse space, etc. in place to deliver those janitorial supplies.
While it is not always easy to integrate a new business into your current one; Opportunity, Relationships and Logistics are some great reasons to consider, “Why Janitorial Supplies?”.