The first half of 2022 has seen unprecedented market pressures, from dramatic increases in input costs to supply chain disruptions, labour scarcity and product inflation. Despite the decline of the COVID 19 pandemic, it all adds up to create a challenging business environment for most sectors.
As always, our focus is on maintaining and protecting the health, safety and well being of our employees, while helping customers improve their business performance. This year, mitigating the impacts of the current business climate on both our customers’ and our own operations is key to our mutual success. As we approach the end of the second quarter, we’ve made great progress, but there is still much to do.
Our Category Management team is working tirelessly, as always, to source innovative and sustainable solutions that help you take cost out of your business while helping you to reduce environmental impact. Thanks to their efforts we have been able to bring you a wide range of new sustainable packaging alternatives as well as an increasingly diverse range of exclusive brand product lines. These brands are designed specifically to help you control costs while ensuring the product quality and value you expect and require in your operating supplies. Soon we’ll be introducing even more environmentally preferable product choices, including an exclusive line of cleaning products designed to deliver exceptional performance while reducing environmental impact.
Our new Sustainability Playbook will be released later this month. Updated for 2022, it’s designed to help you learn about innovative and more sustainable packaging options. It also explains end-of-life management of naturally derived substrates and various types of recyclable plastic materials, and how to combine both form and function to achieve your business’s sustainability goals.
Leading in innovation continues to be a Bunzl hallmark, and we’re excited to have launched our state-of-the-art air purification system from Surgically Clean Air. This industry-leading technology maximizes the rate of air changes to provide purified, re-energized air – and the confidence of knowing that indoor air pollutants and pathogens (including viruses, bacteria, molds etc.) have been safely removed. It’s a technology our commercial, residential, education, healthcare and assisted living customers have been looking for, and it’s had a very enthusiastic reception as facilities open to increasing numbers of people.
Another fast-growing area of innovation continues to be robotics – automated equipment designed to free labour from routine, repetitive tasks so it can be redeployed to high value activities. From auto scrubbers to vacuums and new industrial packing solutions, our product experts can show you a growing range of autonomous solutions designed to save time, save labour and increase efficiency. New Vendor-Managed-Inventory (VMI) Vending platforms are also being introduced for safety and industrial packaging supplies. These on-site dispensing units offer convenience, efficiency and consumable tracking while actually reducing product use and waste to deliver substantial cost savings.
Feature development continues on WandaNEXT™, our IoT digital cleaning platform. Along with the addition of surface diagnostics that measure biofilm on critical surfaces, we will soon pilot new capabilities that enable cleaning teams to identify and track cleaning assets to save critical time and labour. If you haven’t seen this technology, take the opportunity to ask your Bunzl account representative to arrange a product demo.
We continue our digital transformation to provide you with easier access to our comprehensive product assortments in every category. Bunzl Safety’s new, feature-rich, e-commerce platform was launched in the first quarter of the year, soon to be followed by the launch of a new, upgraded e-commerce platform for Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene. New account management tools designed to help you set and manage budgets, monitor order patterns and review consumption have been designed to help you increase efficiency and minimize administration when interacting with our digital platforms.
Talent development, employee engagement and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion continue to be priorities and key areas of focus as we invest in the best people and best leadership in our industry. We believe that motivated people create happy customers and that through diversity, we build strength.
Thank you for reading this edition of the Bunzl Business Insider – I look forward to sharing more exciting developments in our next issue. In the meantime, we’ll be working hard to find more ways to help your business improve quality, increase efficiency, and control costs as we navigate these extraordinary times together.
President, Bunzl Canada