Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
Four janitorial supply companies were awarded contracts from Ohio State to supply the basic materials to keep campus clean that cost the university about $4.8 million annually.
M. Conley Co., HP Products, Joshen Paper & Packaging and Dynapak will be providing OSU with cleaning supplies after OSU Purchasing made a decision to standardize the items it uses.
Nathan Andridge, senior director of OSU Purchasing, said the decision was in the university’s best interest.
“One of the missions that we have obviously in purchasing is to support the core missions here at Ohio State, which is teaching, research, service and supporting students,” Andridge said. “So this janitorial award is consistent with what we’ve done.”
Reducing the number of companies that supply these products from about 80 to four will save the university about $400,000 each year, according to the OSU Purchasing website.
OSU Purchasing teamed up with facility leaders to come to an agreement regarding the acquisition of janitorial supplies that would minimize cost without sacrificing quality, Andridge said.
“The janitorial supplies and chemicals purchasing project is just one in a series of cost savings initiatives that Purchasing has collaborated with administration and planning leadership and university-wide facilities leaders from Athletics, Business Advancement, Facilities Operations and Development and Student Life,” said Sherry Huegel, executive administrative assistant of OSU Purchasing and project manager. “The team recognizes the importance of streamlining and standardization and hold each other accountable for the success of the project.”
The team reduced the number of different trash can liners used to nine from 31, toilet tissue to five from 13 types and janitorial chemicals and chemical-related products to less than 30 from 81, Huegel said.
OSU Purchasing has the power, implemented by the OSU Board of Trustees, to form relationships with suppliers and execute cost-effective contracts.
Elizabeth Buda, customer service manager at M. Conley Co., said this gives the company an opportunity to begin a long-term relationship with one of the finest schools in the country. M. Conley Co., located in Canton, Ohio, will be responsible for providing hand soaps and sanitizers.
“With us being in Ohio, I think that we have a lot of synergies with Ohio State,” Buda said. “It was just a natural fit.”
Each company was required to meet cost and quality requirements that ensured they were an adequate choice as a supplier for OSU. Dynapak was awarded with a contract for trash can liners.
Dale Miklich, vice president of sales at Dynapak, said this contract will be sure to “keep his people working.”
Five different contracts were awarded, but only to four different companies, as HP Products received two contracts – one for disposable paper products and another for trash can liners, Huegel said.
“We’ve been fortunate to have a relationship with Ohio State for many years and retaining our relationship is critical for us,” said Mark Summers, vice president of sales at HP Products. “Ohio State is one of our largest customers in the whole state of Ohio. We’re fortunate to continue on with our partnership.”
Joshen Paper & Packaging will be providing janitorial supply cleaning tools including mops, brooms and dust pans.
Anthony Salyers, senior account manager for Joshen Paper & Packaging, said this is a good opportunity to work with the flagship university in the state.
While price of the supplies was a big concern, ensuring that quality was not lost was just as important for this team of facility leaders, said Dave Isaacs, communications and media relations director for the Office of Student Life.
“When we put out this bid, we made sure that the quality of the product was higher than it was before,” Andridge said. “We made sure that it’s really a win-win, because we’re improving the quality of those and actually saving money.”
Also, OSU Purchasing made a decision to have janitorial supplies stored in its own warehouse for delivery rather than having suppliers distribute them around campus. Having OSU Stores and Receiving responsible for the circulation will reduce the number of trucks on campus and help the university in their sustainability goal, Andridge said.
“At the end of the day, the reason that we are all here is to provide value to the customers, being students, faculty, staff,” Andridge said.
Jon McAllister, a first-year in exploration, admits that he has never given thought to where janitorial supplies come from that are used on campus.
“Cleanliness in the dorms is extremely important to me as a freshman,” McAllister said. “But I’ve never really stopped to consider where those supplies came from.”