Advice on purchasing Washroom Services and Products

A company called UK Hygiene have recently been marketing to schools in Warwickshire and have submitted quotes for hand dryers and similar types of equipment. Whilst I am not aware of any problems with this company, there are a couple of points to bear in mind:-

  • They are not an approved supplier for Warwickshire County Council
  • They are not on the ESPO framework for Washroom Services
  • Their quotes tend to be based on an 11 year tie-in. The first 12 months free of charge and the following 120 months at a fixed price

This is a significant commitment and should your requirements change during this time, you could be exposed to an expensive buy out fee. It is necessary to take this into account when assessing the value for money e.g. does the overall cost of the equipment outweigh the risks of the tie-in. If the rental charges are not significantly lower than other suppliers then there is probably no benefit.

Quotes can easily be benchmarked against the ESPO suppliers on the Washroom Services Contract 236 where price lists are readily available online at www.espodealingdirect.org. These contracts are available to schools and should represent good value for money. The suppliers have also agreed to abide by ESPO’s strict terms and conditions.

Some key points to remember generally for this type of contract:-

  • the equipment is rented (unless purchased outright) and so remains the property of the supplier
  • the rental agreement may be for a minimum period – usually 12 months, 3 years or 5 years, primarily so that the supplier can recover any installation costs
  • if you wish the contract to terminate either at the end of the minimum rental term, or any time thereafter, you need to give three months formal notice
  • if you do not give notice to terminate then the contract will roll-on indefinitely
  • when the contract is terminated, the supplier should remove the equipment from site
  • the rental prices on the ESPO framework contracts for washroom services are fixed for the term of the contract
  • ensure that you are fully aware of the terms of the contract and it’s end date and keep copies of the agreements on file

If you would like any further information please contact Debra Whitaker.

Telephone: 01926 742337

Email: debrawhitaker@warwickshire.gov.uk