Our industry has been riddled with confusing product explanations and untruthful claims on packaging, literature, websites and verbally in presentations. This applies especially to paper and washroom products.
Recently roll lengths on products like Jumbo, Mini Jumbo and Centrefeed Rolls have decreased dramatically. Traditionally Centrefeed rolls, which are widely used in the catering industry have come in 150m lengths for 2ply rolls and 300m for 1ply. Jangro members have recently received many customer complaints claiming that Centrefeed rolls are much cheaper at the local Cash & Carry. Paying 30% less for a product that contains 50% less paper doesn’t save money, but how is the end user to know?
So incensed was I by this blatant lack of transparency that 2 years ago I joined the Council of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association in an effort to highlight this situation. The CHSA has for years joined with leading manufacturers of paper tissue, plastic refuse sacks and cotton mops to agree specific product standards in three accreditation schemes. These schemes cover labelling, which in the case of soft tissue has to contain details of the roll length and width, number of sheets on a roll, or number of hand towels and other mandatory pieces of information.
This allows reputable manufacturers and suppliers to work on an even playing field and buyers get precisely what it says on the pack. There continue to be manufacturers and converters supplying Jumbo toilet rolls and Centrefeed rolls often containing less sheets or smaller rolls – but how do you know if you are comparing eggs with eggs, if the pack simply describes it as Jumbo roll? Supermarkets state on their shelf strips, the number of sheets per roll, cost per sheet etc. so that consumers can compare brands.
Contract cleaners supplying consumables to their customers probably don’t worry too much about roll sizes; as they are too busy taking care of the cleaning. But if a supplier changes the roll size unannounced, a contractor could be charging clients for full size rolls when they may be supplying 25% less paper. Why would anyone risk their reputation for short term gain?
When cost is king, we must look at ‘cost in use’ or cost per metre not cost per roll. Paper manufactures joining the CHSA’s Soft Tissue Accreditation Scheme regularly undergo audits by independent inspectors. Roll lengths, sheet count and number of towels per case are thoroughly checked.
Contractors really need to be aware of which supppliers support the accreditation if they are not to be ripped off. More importantly I would suggest that contractors could gain commercial advantage by stating CHSA compliance in tender documents, be sure if you don’t one of you competitors will
So the next time you see Centrefeed Rolls at £7 per case you may want to dig a little deeper.
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