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COVID-19 ‘Reinforced the Value and Need for Cleaning Products’: ACI

National emergency presented important lessons for entire supply chain

WASHINGTON — The cleaning product supply chain increased production, worked around the clock to meet increased demand and provided crucial information on proper product use as the coronavirus pandemic drastically challenged the national landscape, the American Cleaning Institute writes in comments to a Senate panel examining manufacturers’ response to COVID-19.

Writing to the leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, ACI says that “the proper use of cleaning products has been crucial to public health” and that it remains an “essential part of daily hygiene practices in home, healthcare and commercial settings nationwide.”

There were a number of important lessons for the entire supply chain as demand sharply outpaced the ability to distribute enough necessary products and chemistries in the pandemic’s initial phases, says Douglas Troutman, ACI general counsel, corporate secretary and senior vice president, Government Affairs.

“First and foremost, protections needed to be put in place to safeguard employees’ health and safety, while production accelerated and was kept running 24/7 to keep pace with demand,” he says. “Manufacturers had to prioritize for critical needs and shift production lines and staff resources. Supply chains were stretched, leading to the need to overcome major raw-material, ingredient, packaging and pump shortages as other industries became overwhelmed by the demand or limited in production capacity due to the pandemic’s restrictions.”

Companies had to be creative in finding solutions to problems they never previously faced, Troutman adds.

“Rising to an Unprecedented Challenge,” an ACI report, outlines the actions that cleaning industry leaders took in response to the pandemic.