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ZEP: They Do the Dirty Work.

By LVEDC Staff on September 22, 2012

How can a pool player forget the soliloquy by Fast Eddie Felson in the film The Hustler when he and his girl go for a summer picnic. Between the sandwiches and apples, and he vividly describes how the pool stick feels in his hands, how he loves the CLICK of the balls on the break and how the cue has nerves in it and becomes part of his arm.

Joe O’Brien is not Paul Newman and he may not be particularly adept with a pool cue, but he shares Newman’s enthusiasm for his professional passion, which is O’Brien’s case is vanquishing dirt and grime from your home or business.

O’Brien manages Zep Inc.’s Lehigh Valley operations. The company is a producer, marketer and service provided of an extensive line of cleaning and sanitation products. They play for sweeps. Sweeps of grudge, grime and dirt out your life that is.

“Zep is a great company and we have people that want to work here because we have the best cleaning products in the business and we take an active interest in our employees,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien also knows the value of LVEDC and how they attract businesses to the region.

“LVEDC played a part showcasing the Lehigh Valley and getting us here,” he said.

Make a clean break from dirt

Rising like an urban jungle amid the tranquility that still embraces rural Upper Macungie Township, the industrial park emporium that has taken up residence behind the Sam Adams Brewery is home to several distribution warehouses that looking down from a 747 resemble a chess board.

The newest kid on that block is not Donnie Wahlberg, but Zep, Inc. The Atlanta-based company brought the moving boxes to the Lehigh Valley last summer and their business is cleaning up your mess.

“What’s cool about this company is that whatever your cleaning needs, we have you covered,” O’Brien noted. “We’ll help our clients with anything. For example we’ll help the building service contractor set up their cleaning carts and put on the right products. Because believe it or not, there is a right way to clean a bathroom. They need concentrated cleaning products and in often they need training.”

You heard right. Cleaning a bathroom isn’t a party.

“Sure most people can stumble through it, but when you have to clean 10 bathrooms and vacuum 500 square feet and wipe down two dozen desks and take out a lot of trash, you need to be as efficient as possible,” O’Brien.

Zep’s products are marketed in three segments – Zep, Zep Commercial and Zep Professional.

“Our Zep line is really sold through our sale and service reps,” O’Brien explained. “We have an extensive line of products that are used in the government, industrial and institutional sectors.”

That includes the manufacturing, hospitality, food processing and automotive care industries. That last category includes the mechanics who get dirty keeping your car running smooth.

“Yeah, there’s some nasty dirt when you’re changing the oil or replacing a muffler,” O’Brien said.

Weekend Warriors of home repair are probably familiar with the Zep Commercial line of products, which are available at retail outlets such as Home Depot, True Value, Ace Hardware just to name a few.

“Consumers are familiar with the legendary Zep logo,” which reminds you of the “STP” logo in size, shape and design. “Our products are the leading brand in the cleaning and maintenance category for folks who are looking to keep their homes spotless or for small business owners and contractors and others who want a professional grade project,” O’Brien noted.

So if you’re looking to clean your oven or find a quality floor finish that will leave your kitchen floor the envy of the neighborhood or even to remove that wicked mold or mildew stain, the look for the Zep name.

The final line – Zep Professional – is backed by a dedicated team of sales, logistics, customer service, marketing and technical support within a phone call.

“It’s the best product line out there,” O’Brien said. “Don’t take my word for it. You can ask our customers. Our customers get the best service around and everything we do here is based on customer satisfaction.

Quick and clean

Aesthetically speaking the Zep warehouse is a marvel. With rows of merchandise that rests on rows and racks that are adorned in the company’s color scheme of dark blue and yellow, the warehouse has the look of a business that is a top-flight operation.
More important than how it looks is that the warehouse is clean, environmentally conscious, and fiendishly efficient.

Kevin Fisher, Director of Supply Chain for Zep East, played a major role in making the warehouse an important weapon in Zep’s abilities to outdistance their competition.
“One thing we are proud of is how we can turn around about 98 percent of our customers’ orders for product within 24 hours,” he noted. “That’s well above the standard in the industry.”

The warehouse is open from 5 a.m. to 7. p.m. The first shift accepts incoming inventory from Zep’s headquarters in Atlanta, while the second shift gets the product out to customers.

One of the top moving items in the warehouse as winter’s frosty bite spreads across North America is “Antarctica” a professional snow and ice melter that is environmentally friendly.

Typically the most common form of ice melter is rock salt, which will readily available, is corrosive and environmentally damaging. Antarctica is different.

“This product is a fast mover this time of the year,” O’Brien noted. “It starts to work as soon as it’s applied to snow and ice and it has a Calcium Magnesium Acetate formula that helps protect against damage to your concrete and won’t harm your grass or shrubs.”

And while O’Brien and Fisher may not be able to hustle big bucks at pool halls with their billiards prowess, they are able to hustle dirt out of your business or home thanks to the Zep product line like Newman can sink an eight-ball in the side pocket.

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