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After recently joining Clemas & Co and being completely new to the cleaning industry I was keen to find out how this family run business has managed to thrive in what I am told is a very competitive industry. Clemas has been supplying and servicing industrial floor cleaning machines for 29 years and one of the first things I noticed was that everyone who works here is very proud of the personalised service they give to their customers. I also quickly noticed the effort everyone puts in to make sure each customer is treated as an individual, this means they got a bespoke cleaning solution and, for example, after getting expert advice it often means customers end up buying a different machine to the one they initially had in mind, but it’s the right one for the job and it can sometimes end up a more cost effective option.
As the well known saying goes, there are always two sides to a story, so I decided to get a balanced view and find out from one of our customers if my first impressions about good service were actually correct? Were my colleagues wearing rose tinted glasses to work and being a little “creative” with the truth?
Andy Dowell, a Clemas customer, and the facilities manager at JVM Castings kindly agreed to talk to me about his 13 year relationship with Clemas. Since 1925, JVM has been manufacturing aluminium die castings for the automotive and leisure industries and has two large sites in Tamworth and Worcester. Andy explained to me that “The nature of the foundry environment will create a build up of dirt that can be particularly problematic to remove from the floors. Over the years various abrasive solutions have been trialled that often, if used incorrectly, had the potential to damage the floor”.
The manufacturing plant is a particularly challenging environment to keep clean and avoid trips and falls from oily floor surfaces and debris. Andy went on to explain “Working closely with Clemas we trialled several styles of cleaning equipment before jointly concluding what was best suited to JVM’s requirements. This has resulted in a good relationship between JVM & Clemas based on 1, a good technical understanding of JVM requirements, 2, putting equipment in place that is capable operating in the associated environment and 3, good service support keeping the equipment well maintained & promptly repaired if required”.
I was starting to realise the good relationship between us and JVM was based on nothing more than good old fashioned service when he said, “I know with Clemas it’s simple and hassle free, I get honest advice on the best machine to suit my particular cleaning jobs and they just do what they say they are going to do, I don’t have to worry about whether the engineer will turn up on time to service our machine or whether my new cleaning machine will arrive when I need it, and that’s exactly what you need from a supplier in any business but especially in the manufacturing industry where reliable suppliers are vital”.
Andy is currently using a ride on scrubber dryer and a pedestrian scrubber dryer on a long term hire arrangement and said “These machines have reduced the time spent cleaning, made floor cleaning easier & improved the finish without any damage to the surface”. Andy goes on to say “The long term hire arrangement coupled with the service & repair element works well from a costing perspective”
So after also getting a customer’s view of what Clemas is actually like and I now have both sides of the story. I am starting to believe my colleagues but needed one further piece of information because what if JVM was a one off? Can Clemas really provide exceptional service for all customers and not only JVM? After I did a bit of further investigating I was finally convinced as the numbers spoke for themselves, a staggering 97.1% of customers have renewed their long term service/maintenance contracts when they expired, and the majority have remained loyal customers for several years.