Buying washroom products has always been an unnecessarily difficult task. The largest service providers use lock in contracts to exploit unwary customers. Local businesses are often no better with exorbitant prices, and limited accountability.
Lock in contracts – always bad. The contracts do not fix the price you pay for the service, but rather remove the incentive to provide an actual service. Invoices are sent out automatically, and with larger businesses it is often difficult to find anyone able to address any complaints you may have
Gilded dispensers. The past two years has seen development of new dispensers designed to limit the use of paper products, or look more attractive. The dispensers typically cost more up front, or the paper that goes in them becomes outrageously expensive. Look no further than your local shopping centre, which has adopted these new dispensers and since returned to “old” but cost effective classic dispensers.
Dedicated paper product suppliers. Not always a problem, but a business dedicated to supply of paper products has a lot of overhead to be passed along, and a strong incentive to over-sell. Often these businesses charge delivery fees, which can compound the costs of paper supply. Where possible, it is best to have paper products delivered by your cleaner (who will also refill dispensers), or an office supplies business (who will deliver more than just paper towel).
Hidden costs. Paper products come in boxes of various quantities making a fair price comparison difficult. As a general rule, if it seems expensive, it is. All genuine suppliers should be willing to break prices down on a per unit basis for you. It is now industry standard to provide most dispensers “free on loan”. Free dispensers do not justify paying more for paper or hand soap.
Washroom products should work well and cost very little. Using you administration staff to buy these products from Coles is not the solution, neither is paying a bloated paper supply business and creating an ever growing expense.
JWN Facilities Management is striving to avoid these traps. We strongly recommend that our clients use conventional dispensers that take much cheaper paper products (still silk quality). We have sourced the cheapest prices in the country for the most commonly used paper products. Paper is delivered to site by the cleaners without a delivery fee. Most importantly, as with all our services, there are no contracts.
A version of this fact sheet has appeared in several publications