Jan-San Industry: Government Plan May Hurt Distributors

ISSA calls for cost-analysis of proposal to reduce number of government jan-san vendors to 15.

Remember back in the 1980s when the federal government came under fire for the $600 toilet seat? The "toilet" was actually a highly engineered system for a specialized aircraft, but it is still held up as an example of wasteful government spending. In the past decade, the government has been taking several steps to try and streamline its purchasing, including the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative that was first introduced in 2005.

But does streamlining government procurement actually have a broader positive impact? Maybe not, according to ISSA, a trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide.

One of the latest targets for the FSSI is the jan-san industry, and if a current FSSI  request for quotation proposal goes ahead as is, there may be significant negative repercussions in the private sector, according to formal comments submitted to the U.S. General Services Administration by ISSA.

In its comments, ISSA observed that the GSA is proposing to drastically reduce the number of jan-san vendors on the GSA schedule to only 15, compared with the more than 1,000 vendors that currently do business with the federal government. “This drastic reduction in vendors will result in far more losers than winners under GSA’s proposed approach," said Bill Balek, ISSA's legislative affairs director, "and we can expect small businesses to take the brunt of the blow.”

ISSA's comments didn't call for an outright rejection of the FSSI for jan-san supplies; rather, the association is requesting a cost-benefit analysis to assess the broader economic impact on existing vendors to ensure that the economic displacement in the private sector doesn't outweigh the cost savings generated under the proposal.

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.