Suppliers Play a Critical Role in the Success of PROs

Suppliers Play a Critical Role in the Success of PROs

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Say what you will about winter; it has its bright spots. Outdoor activities that don’t involve sweating for one. An excuse to buy chocolate and roses for another. But I think the best part of winter is the opportunity to attend the trade shows supporting our industry. They provide a great chance to reconnect with the many suppliers who make our work possible, to learn from them, and to thank them for all they do.

Have you given much thought to what we owe the suppliers of portable sanitation companies? Apart from the free pens, notepads, stuffed animals, hand sanitizer, candy, adult beverages, and can Koozies to put them in, have you pondered the important role suppliers play in moving companies like yours along the road to success?

Suppliers provide the means to carry out our work.

Have you ever known of an operating company that also built its own units, trucks, trailers, and pumps while developing its own software, mixing its own deodorizer, financing all of its own purchases, and insuring itself against losses? Every operator stands on the shoulders of a dozen or more suppliers. Portable sanitation services would not exist without them.

Suppliers protect us from our miscalculations and see us through our growth.

Whether it’s a matter of misjudging how long that truck would last or seizing a lucrative new opportunity because your rep manages to get you 100 units by Tuesday, it’s the industry suppliers who come through in a pinch and save the day.

Suppliers teach us things we didn’t know we didn’t know.

A few years ago, the PSAI had a panel discussion on the topic of deodorizers. When I worked with the five panelists ahead of the event, they nearly all thought the audience wouldn’t be interested in the topic. As it turned out, that panel was among our highest-rated educational sessions ever. One person who had been in the industry for more than 25 years says, “I took 10 pages of notes! I never realized all this stuff ... great information!”

Suppliers drive innovation.

Suppliers succeed when you succeed, so they are uniquely interested in your problems. The hinges on your units rust or break? Not to worry — there’s a company spending years developing a door hinge that does neither. Your drivers get into too many accidents? Companies have developed technology to tell you in real time when the driver is speeding and others that provide visual evidence showing who was at fault. Disposal is difficult, and fees are too high? Today there are firms working on new, affordable solutions and others experimenting with technologies that will turn your waste into revenue.


Too often, I fear, we take suppliers for granted. Their work not only makes your company possible, it makes organizations like the PSAI possible. Through the volunteer time their employees provide and the financial resources that flow from their dues, advertising, and exhibit fees, the support of supplier companies provides essential elements for our work. Without them, it is entirely likely the PSAI and similar organizations would not be able to carry out our missions.

So whether you attend a trade show this season or not (I hope you do!), take the time to appreciate the suppliers to our industry. They are the hand that feeds us all. ... And if you stop by their booths, many will feed you chocolate. 


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