If you're not using dispensers, you're probably spending a lot more than you need to. Why? Because human nature seems to dictate that building occupants overuse consumable products when given the chance. Coincidently, purchasing agents often seek out and procure the lowest-priced products that don't offer the ability to control the rate or amount of product usage. This is a classic example of "price" vs. "cost" where the lowest-priced options can result in overconsumption and a much higher annual cost or spend.
Overall operational costs can be significantly reduced through dispensed product solutions.
From a volume perspective, towels for hand drying are likely the largest dollar consumer of dispensed solutions. Accordingly, this category can offer the greatest opportunity for reduced usage and spend through controlled dispensing.
Towel dispensers can be automatic (battery powered or sensor driven) or mechanically operated. Both types allow for hands-free, sanitary 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 unnecessary and 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?
- Remember that having a large-capacity dispenser (800+ liner feet) will also reduce complaints of outages and the associated labor reduction (refilling folded dispensers can add up to hundreds of hours annually).
Toilet tissue dispensers also provide a great savings opportunity. Unfortunately, many facility managers and purchasing agents resort to jumbo tissue options that offer little control over product usage and sacrifice quality in favor of capacity.
Fortunately, there are numerous toilet tissue dispensing solutions that offer product control which greatly reduces waste from unnecessary packaging like cardboard cores, cases and wrappers. These coreless options also reduce product outage complaints and reduce the labor traditionally associated with frequent dispenser refilling.
Hand Soap and Skin Care Items
Many facility managers look to inexpensive "bulk" soap and "open" dispensers to shave pennies off their budget. These dispensers are prone to airborne contamination (studies show upwards of 16% are contaminated with fecal-based organisms) so not only do they leak and make messy areas for cleanup, they can add germs on a user's hands.
Sealed, sanitary foam cartridges offer "clean" soap that is dispensed as foam so it's easier and faster to use. Making hand soap simple, safe and easy to use encourages people to take advantage of the product and helps to reduce illness in the workplace.
Dispensers for cleaning chemicals are becoming the norm versus the old, traditional "glug, glug" of uncontrolled, bulk chemicals and the incredibly expensive aerosols and ready-to-use cleaning products. Bulk systems don't limit the user to the proper dilutions and allow for "let's make it stronger and darker, so it works faster" scenarios that are both wasteful and 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
You might not think of these as dispensed solutions, but auto faucets and auto flushers help reduce wasted water.
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 often 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 which can cause flooding which wastes a tremendous amount of water.
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 save money and improve on a facilities' sustainability initiatives.