If you're not using automatic, controlled dispensers, you're probably spending more than you need to. Building occupants may overuse consumable products when given the chance. And purchasing agents may procure low-priced products that don't offer the ability to control the rate of product usage. In these "price" vs. "cost" situations, the lowest-priced options can result in overconsumption and a significantly higher annual spend.
Overall operational costs can often be reduced through controlled dispensed product solutions.
From a volume perspective, towels for hand drying are likely the largest dollar spend of dispensed solutions. Therefore, this category can offer a great opportunity for reduced usage and spend through controlled dispensing.
Paper-towel dispensers can be automatic (battery powered and sensor-driven) or mechanically operated. Both types allow for hands-free, sanitary towel dispensing. When compared to traditional folded towel dispensers, automatic and mechanical dispensers control and "pace" the user to get the proper amount of a quality towel without costly waste.
Two important factors to consider when evaluating a dispensed towel solution:
- Does the dispenser have a "stub roll" feature to allow for complete usage of the towel roll (so partial rolls can be fully dispensed)?
- Remember that having a large-capacity dispenser (800+ liner feet) can also reduce outages and the associated labor (refilling folded dispensers can add up to hundreds of hours annually)
Toilet tissue dispensers also provide a great savings opportunity. Try to avoid jumbo tissue options that offer little control over product usage and sacrifice quality in favor of dispenser capacity.
Fortunately, there are numerous toilet tissue dispensing solutions that offer product control, which greatly reduces waste from packaging like cardboard cores, cardboard cases and wrappers. These coreless options can also reduce product outage complaints and the labor traditionally associated with frequent dispenser refilling.
Hand Soap and Skin Care
Inexpensive "bulk" soap and "open" dispensers may seem budget friendly. But these dispensers can be prone to bacterial contamination: Not only do they leak and make messes, they can also add germs to the user's hands. The goals is for users to wash their hands and avoid germ-laden, messy dispensers at the sink.
Sealed, sanitary foam cartridges offer "clean" soap that is dispensed as foam so it's easier and faster to use (as well as far less messy). Making hand soap simple, safe and easy to use can encourage people to take advantage of the product and help reduce illness in the workplace.
Dispensers for cleaning chemicals are becoming the norm versus the traditional, uncontrolled, bulk (glug, glug) chemicals and the expensive aerosols and ready-to-use cleaning products. Bulk systems don't encourage the proper dilutions and can foster "let's make it stronger and darker, so it works faster" scenarios that are both wasteful and potentially dangerous.
Dispensing systems provide consistency and safer, easier-to-train cleaning programs for workers that usually require less personal protective equipment (PPE) because the solutions are mixed to a safer concentration. Additionally, many systems are available that utilize different delivery platforms that allow the same chemical to be diluted and delivered to the worker at the right concentration for different levels of usage -- keeping training, secondary labeling and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) consistent from area to area and building to building.
Auto Faucets/Auto Flush
Auto faucets in restrooms dispense the correct amount of water for hand washing without relying on users to turn off the water when they're finished. Users often don't want to touch a traditional faucet (for fear of germs) and waste a tremendous amount of water because of this.
With manual flushers, users typically don't flush at all (again for fear of germs) and this makes for significant issues in restroom cleaning and lost productivity in more challenging cleaning situations. An additional issue is when users decide to "foot flush" a fixture (once again to avoid touching the handles) and break off or damage the fixture.
The bottom line is that dispensed solutions can contribute to increased productivity, reduced waste and significant reductions in overall costs. Regardless of the manufacturer, they are a great way to help save money, improve workplace wellness, reduce outage complaints and improve on a facility's sustainability initiatives.