The weather is cold and the heating is on full, so the need for hydration in the workplace is as great in February as it is in July. Here are three top tips for choosing a company – and a contract – that’s right for your business. |
Getting a watercooler for your workplace now is a great way to start the year ahead, especially as colleagues who began January with healthy lifestyle ambitions may have lapsed a little by now. Choosing a cooler – or coolers - is a fairly simple, low cost exercise in comparison to many capital equipment requirements needed for a company to operate efficiently.
For example, getting a photocopier worth several thousand pounds, sometimes on a lease spread over a number of years, can involve significant research to compare the market, features and specifications and the service contract. In comparison, a simple water dispenser is a low value exercise. But it’s still important to make the right choice for your business. It seems a fairly simple decision, so it is understandable to overlook the differences in contract conditions and minimise the importance of comparing different watercooler companies’ contracts.
Here are the three things that we find matter:
In a very service related business, it’s good to know the options available if the company that supplies you does not perform at a constantly reliable level.
If the copier breaks down, the Office Manager shouts but if the office watercooler runs out of water, the whole office shouts! So, it’s crucial to look at the contract before you sign it.
When you read the small-print, see that there’s a stipulated committed delivery schedule- weekly, bi-weekly or monthly frequency. For environmental and economic reasons, most water dispenser companies will want to deliver at least 4 bottles at a time, so frequency will often be geared to your staff numbers and estimated throughput.
Ensure that the contact stipulates a quarterly sanitisation. Some might give an option of a 6 monthly service as a “competitor edge” over others. Make sure you buy from a member of the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) which accredits only those companies that provide the best possible sanitisation and hygiene. The BWCA recommends sanitisation every 3 months, so for the relatively small cost saving, hygiene quality could be compromised in having a less frequent sanitising service.
3. Contract length
Look closely at the length of the contract and termination conditions. Some companies may say that they do not do contracts, but it’s just as important for both you and the supplier to have an agreement. Minimum terms can vary from 3 months to 12 months, with normally 3 months’ notice required thereafter. Beware of the “rolling” contracts where, unless you terminate the service at least three months prior to renewal, you are hooked in for another 12 months. So, in conclusion: when comparing water cooler contracts, ensure you check delivery frequency, sanitisation frequency and how to walk away.
Nick Swan has over 30 years’ experience in the water supply industry and is Managing Director of Love Water Limited, a Surrey based Office and Home Water Dispenser Company specialising in the South East with UK-wide delivery.
Please visit http://www.lovewater.com/
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