It is no secret that everyone in our industry is looking for the same thing, and asking the same question:“How can I create a new revenue stream that not only works from an operational standpoint, but is also extremely profitable?” If you have never considered first aid as a way to profitably increase stop value, now is the perfect time.
Required by Law:
OSHA standard 1910.151(b) states that adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available. That is a strong conversation starter. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requires a specific ten items to be available to be considered compliant. In my experience most of your customers don’t have first aid programs or what they do have does not qualify with ANSI or OSHA standards.
First aid presents a great opportunity to strengthen your already trusted relationship with your customers, as well as prospects. This is a great opportunity for you to not only educate your customers on the OSHA standard but also to manage a part of their business that is not on their day-to-day radar, or represent one of their core competencies. What a great way for you to build and strengthen your relationship.
There is more than one model for executing a first aid program. Most national competitors operate what is known as a van delivery system. Each cycle, an invoice is created based on the amount of product stocked during the stop. This creates a variable billing situation for your customers, and the invoice totals can vary significantly from visit to visit.
Other models available take into consideration the need for a delivery person to be as quick and efficient as possible, while at the same time allowing for a consistent weekly rental billing for your customer. With this type of program, SKU management and inventory are much more manageable from an operational standpoint. The program can be executed with as few as six SKU’s.
This is the type of program that can get both route personnel and pro sellers excited. It is not difficult to discuss a product with a customer or prospect if it is a product that is required by law and actually helps the customer provide a safer work environment. It’s important to partner with a vendor that is dedicated to providing professional training and support to understand the product, as well as the OSHA/ANSI component.
If you took a survey of your current customer locations, you will find that some will have a first aid cabinet being serviced by one of your national competitors. You may service the mats and uniforms, but make no mistake, they have a foot in your customer’s door by offering a first aid program. With the right system, this can be a tremendous opportunity for you to get your competitor’s foot out of the door.
Once the cabinet is in place, it works much the same way as a scraper mat. The cabinet can be serviced in a matter of seconds on a weekly basis, with the rental fee being added to your customer’s weekly billing. Another way that a first aid program becomes profitable is by seeking out multiple cabinet placement opportunities based on conducting a facilities needs assessment, which should be part of your selected vendor partner’s training.
I strongly recommend that you at least have a conversation about how a first aid program might fit with your company.
Jim Beadles is owner of Textile Rental Partners, LLC,(TRP), an independent manufacturer’s rep agency.