If you’re designing a new commercial washroom or re-fitting an existing one, it’s important to bear in mind that choosing the right washroom accessories manufacturer can yield important long-term cost savings. However, when faced with an extensive choice of providers, making that selection can be difficult, so in this article we’ll examine what to look for in a good manufacturer, and why each factor matters.
Top Factors to Consider
Design Experience and Expertise
One of the most important characteristics of a good washroom accessories supplier is that they do more than simply supply. Look for a company with design and manufacturing experience so you can be sure that they really understand what they’re selling and they know the process behind every product.
Design experience is crucial. A good designer will appreciate how products are used in real-world settings, and should be well placed to advise you on finding the right accessories for the right purposes and environments. Taking advantage of advice at the earliest stage maximises your chances of choosing washroom accessories that perform reliably, meet your aesthetic requirements, and save you money on routine servicing costs.
Talk to an experienced designer about your washroom size and layout, the building itself and the number of expected users. This should prompt sound, pragmatic advice about product choice and fitting.
A company’s history is a good guide to its experience. Look for a well-established washroom accessories manufacturer that can point to a healthy order book and a wealth of regular customers.
Range of Washroom Accessories
Being able to source all your commercial washroom equipment from a single manufacturer affords several important advantages. Firstly, it simplifies the purchasing process; it entails much less work than managing lots of separate relationships, so it can yield savings on staff time and procurement efficiency.
Next, it gives you the opportunity to install a full suite of matching washroom equipment. This obviously creates a more consistent and impressive visual effect, but it also can help to keep servicing costs low. For example, look for washroom equipment ranges that use the same locks throughout. If accessories can be re-filled using a single key, servicing can be completed more quickly and cheaply.
When evaluating a washroom equipment manufacturer’s range, think about all the items you’re likely to need. Some of the more commonly purchased accessories include:
- Air fresheners
- Coat hooks
- Hand dryers
- Paper towel dispensers
- Soap dispensers
- Toilet roll dispensers
- Towel cabinets
- Wash stations
- Waste bins
Style and Finish Options
For customers at the design stage, it’s equally important that the chosen manufacturer can supply accessories in a selection of attractive styles and finishes. A washroom equipment supplier shouldn’t constrain your design choices.
Plastic products are available in different sizes and colours, including some metallic effects, but for superior durability, stainless steel is an excellent choice. For maximum design flexibility, look for manufacturers who can supply stainless steel washroom accessories in various shapes, colours, textures and finishes. A manufacture with a powder-coating capability should be able to produce highly durable products in a choice of bright and lasting colours.
If you’re likely to be creating washrooms for different user-groups – e.g. one for employees and one for visiting executives – then it makes sense to choose a manufacturer whose various ranges are suitable for those different purposes. These might range from merely ‘robust and functional’ to ‘premium’ ranges that combine the very best materials and styles.
In some cases, space constraints or other requirements might demand more specialist items such as concealed, ‘behind the mirror’ dispensers or recessed accessories that are designed to fit into wall cavities. By considering all your requirements and all the likely variables in advance, you’ll be better prepared to compare manufacturers and find a supply partner that adds real, long-term value.
It goes without saying that a manufacturer should be technically competent, but a good supply partner should also have a keen understanding of your different market sectors. Look for a company with a demonstrable track record of working in your industry – be it hospitality, education, healthcare, general business or more specialist areas such as custodial settings. An experienced washroom accessories manufacturer should have a clear appreciation of how your washroom will be used and maintained, and how that could affect product specification and the overall room design.
A strong relationship with your supplier can be invaluable, particularly if the company has a bespoke manufacturing capability. For customers with very specific requirements, there won’t necessarily be the perfect product available on the market, but a bespoke service means you can still order exactly what you need. The design brief might focus on aesthetics or functional issues such as size, capacity or special colours – perhaps for branding purposes or to make the product more usable to people with dementia or visual impairments. Whatever your particular need, it’s important to know that your washroom equipment manufacturer is going to be up to the job.
Product quality, reliability and long-term cost savings are all closely interrelated, so another vital consideration when choosing a washroom equipment manufacturer is quality assurance. Look for a supplier that has an ISO 9001 quality accreditation and proven processes for testing, inspection and continuous improvement.
Finally, look for a company that invests time and effort into its customer relationships. Good indicators are long and meaningful product warranties, and a customer support team that will readily offer advice about issues such as product servicing and consumables. Good record-keeping is also important; if you ever change a building servicing contract, it’s important that any new facilities manager should be able to contact your chosen supplier to get a full inventory of any washroom equipment on the premises. Proper documentation covering its age, specification and servicing requirements will help to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
Explore Dudley Industries’ Washroom Equipment Range
Dudley Industries designs, manufactures and supplies a comprehensive range of washroom equipment and accessories, all produced under an ISO 9001 (2015) quality assurance system. To explore all our products and ranges, please visit https://www.dudleyindustries.com/washroom/products/ or for more information and advice, please contact us and we would be more than happy to help.