Multi-Clean has Right Products and Mindset to Combat COVID-19
4 Jun 2020
As a company providing commercial cleaning solutions, Multi-Clean, Inc., had the products necessary for businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But proper knowledge on how to use those products is equally important to provide a clean, safe work environment for a wide range of businesses, schools, daycares, health care facilities and more.
“If we just hand the disinfectants to a customer, they will just clean their location, not necessarily disinfect it,” said Mike Tarvin, Vice President and General Manager of Multi-Clean. “We know we need to teach them how to properly disinfect, so we focus on also providing the step-by-step guides to do so.”
Multi-Clean has specialized in commercial cleaning solutions, including disinfectants, cleaning products, and floor maintenance products, sold exclusively through authorized distributors, since 1946. Started in St. Paul, Minnesota, the company has been known for its education and training of distributors to best serve their customer base. Now based in nearby Shoreview, the company continues manufacturing the cleaning solutions, and has maintained that long history of being a leader in training their distributors and sales representatives. While past procedures focused on person-to-person training, the company now includes website content and social media information to reach a greater audience.
“We have always felt customers need the answers and information to properly use the cleaning and disinfecting products first,” said Tarvin. “Our belief is by providing credible information first, customers will trust us enough to purchase our products.”
Ready for COVID-19
The cleaning products Multi-Clean manufactures, particularly disinfectants, align directly to the needs of the COVID-19 crisis. Based on their experiences in 2003 with the SARS outbreak and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Multi-Clean’s focus on education placed them in prime position to help customers who were desperate for information faced with high levels of urgency.
“We understood early in the year that the makings of a pandemic were forming, so we ramped up our outreach and education efforts on the virus and proper use of disinfectants,” said Tarvin.
Since the pandemic began, demand for Multi-Clean products has increased dramatically, with business up nearly 60% year-to-date and record sales three months in a row. Multi-Clean had partnered in 2017 with another company producing a cutting edge electrostatic sprayer for the application of disinfectants. Once the pandemic was declared, the demand for the sprayers and their disinfectants to use in the sprayer skyrocketed. Additionally, Multi-Clean developed a new product called the Viral Disinfectant Kit that provides disinfectant, spray bottles, wiping cloths, and directions on how to properly disinfect.
“The kit has gone so far beyond our expectations and has opened many new distribution channels for our products’” said Tarvin. “With the tools, products, and education our company is providing, we are striving to become a leader in how to make facilities safe.”
Shoreview is perfect partner
Shoreview has been an excellent partner for Multi-Clean’s progress, said Tarvin. When the company was seeking a new, more modern building for manufacturing and R&D operations in 1992, Shoreview was a natural fit, as city leaders worked very hard to make potential accommodations for the operation. One side benefit to the move came as the company learned workers had a shorter commute due to Shoreview’s central location in the overall Twin Cities area.
“We have always been impressed with city leaders who proactively reach out to businesses, make themselves visible and have plans to retain existing businesses,” said Tarvin. “I was impressed enough to join the Shoreview Economic Development Commission to help support Shoreview’s continuing business retention efforts.”
Focus on re-opening
The largest issues the company has encountered during the COVID-19 crisis have been their ability to supply products to everyone who needs them. Disinfectant requests have increased many fold, overwhelming raw material suppliers. Existing customers have been asked to ration their products to stretch out their usage, while Multi-Clean has limited amounts going to new customers.
“The most frustrating part for us is we know businesses and schools want products now to provide safe environments as they prepare to open, but lead times will be months,” he said. “I believe they understand and know this is not going away, so they are getting in line to get the products when we have them.”
As businesses and schools plan for re-opening, Multi-Clean’s goal is to provide the education and tools to provide the confidence for staff, customers and students to know they are entering a safe facility.
“We will strive to continue to grow with the new relationships we have established,” said Tarvin. “We continue to believe through education, training and the right products, Multi-Clean can be a trusted resource for our customers.”