$$$ in the Bank: Make the Stink Go Away!!

Is it possible to cost-justify the price of making places smell nice or nicer than before?   …before what?   …before you helped rid the room of the bad stink?

At a meeting with a large cleaning services contractor manager to discuss all the various methods of eradicating malodors, which I can offer him with our AirX products, he stated he wasn’t interested as it would add expense to their budget.   WOW!   I never had thought about how our products actually impact a maintenance / cleaning budget, just to address a stinky situation.   Nobody had ever asked or brought it up as a negative.
As someone who attempts to cost-justify or offer cost reductions to customers to solve their problems, I began to think about what the contractor stated:  there IS a cost associated with all odor control processes and products, which often is never cost-justified to the customer or user.   They have a smelly problem and often without much thought to the cost they buy stuff to get of rid of the bad odors.  We learn very early in our careers as jan-san sales people to produce cost-benefit analysis for the products and programs we offer, yet I’ve never seen a cost-benefit analysis for any odor control products.  

Yes, there are cost-in-use comparisons between different programs / products, but there are no true cost-benefit evaluations for making places smell better.  How do I know this?   …because I spent a lot of time doing research trying to find articles, research papers, product comparisons, etc. and I found nothing discussing what the true monetized benefits are to controlling malodors.  
First let us all understand what I am referring to:  a cost-benefit analysis addresses in monetized terms the actual benefit(savings) a particular product / program will achieve when in use in comparison to the cost of the product / service.   A good example is using an auto-scrubber to clean 40,000 square feet offers significant cost savings over using a standard mopping procedure, and the facility also benefits from cleaner floors thus reducing additional maintenance procedures.   So how do we do this for products, which basically ‘clean the air’ for aesthetic reasons only?   If it wasn’t for the fact, malodors regardless of the source are objectionable to us, there wouldn’t be such a large amount of air fresheners, malodor neutralizing chemicals, and masking scents, etc. on the market.  Yes, making places smell nicer is big business.
…and if I had something to show my contract cleaning customer on the sales call, which began this quest for me, I would have been capable of demonstrating to him how using products to make the rooms smell nice actually has a cost benefit to him not just a budget expense.   Now I am here to show you all(hopefully!) how we can cost-justify odor control products to our customers.   

Hard Cost Benefits versus Soft Cost Benefits:  Hard cost benefits have a direct impact on the bottom line of the organization.  You can demonstrate cost-in-use advantages, you can do it faster and more efficiently resulting direct cost savings over another process or doing nothing at all.   Soft cost benefits usually add to a customer’s bottom line, but are harder to quantify.   Most of the benefits offered by odor control products and procedures provide soft cost benefits, and relate to what the cost would be of NOT doing anything to address a smelly situation.  
If there is a frequent foul stink, there is often a negative impact on sales, customer service, employee satisfaction & retention, more patient complaints, etc.   There is a cost attached to all of these situations if the stinky situation persists without treatment or eradication.  
Odiferous bathrooms at restaurants is a common reasons patrons never return.  If an average check cost is $50 at a restaurant and you lose one customer per month from their experience with your smelling and most likely un-sanitary bathrooms, the smelly bathrooms have cost this operator $600.   Most odor control solutions cost less than $20 - $30 / month in a small to medium size restaurant!!  

If a nursing home is has empty rooms and beds because they can’t control the challenging odor situations from incontinent patients, medicines, and cleaning procedures, the cost of each lost patient can range from $5,000 - $20,000 / month.   The cost of implementing a comprehensive odor control program for a 100 bed nursing home can range from $1,200 - $2,000 / month!   
The workplace is a common place to find stinky odors, which can impact productivity and even employee turnover.  The sources of the odors could be from the manufacturing process, the bathrooms, waste storage, food preparation, etc.   The cost of hiring a new employee can range from $3,000 to over $6,000 according to multiple sources, thus turnover has a big impact on an organization’s profitability.   If your company workplace smells bad, and it is a contributing factor to on why employees are leaving, then the facility managers need to address the problem immediately.   

Ask your customers this question:  What do you believe the cost would be to you for NOT addressing your odor control problem?   The math is easy.  Fixing an odor control problem can provide large monetary benefits for any organization at minimal cost!!

For information on the Airx odor & pathogen control products use this link: http://www.airxlabs.com/#3dimensions

Jack Collins

Regional Sales Manager
The Bullen Companies