The Cost of a Bad Supplier

The Cost of a Bad Supplier

Choosing the right water cooler or water boiler for your company is not always an easy task. Once you’ve established what your needs are, you have to shop around for a reputable supplier and then choose from a myriad of different models and plans. It’s a long-term investment and can seem costly, which is why when choosing between suppliers, people sometimes tend towards the cheaper option, thinking they’ll save money in the long run, but what so many forget is the service element and how that can incur unnecessary costs and lost productivity over time, particularly when a machine breaks down or your office runs out of water.

Imagine the following scenario: an employee discovers the water cooler is broken and spends a few minutes trying to figure out what’s wrong; eventually they realise there’s nothing they can do, so they report it to the office manager – 10 minutes wasted. In the interim, other staff members attempt to use the water cooler only to be disappointed; they then spend a few minutes complaining amongst themselves and struggling to get back to whatever tasks they were busy with – 10 minutes wasted. The office manager puts a call through to the supplier – if it’s a national call centre, research shows that we can spend upwards of 27 minutes on hold waiting for someone to address our problem – 27 minutes wasted. Once the office manager finally reaches the right person who can deal with their issue, they then spend more precious time explaining what’s wrong and why they require a call out – 5 minutes wasted.

If you ever want to know what constitutes bad service, spend some time reading through any of the review aggregators online – it may take days before someone can come out to repair your machine, and if the supplier runs an inefficient service where miscommunication runs rife, it may take more than one visit before your water dispenser is fully functional again. Let’s assume, conservatively, that it takes three days before your water cooler is up and running again. During that time, frustrated employees will spend time querying the progress of the repair and even more time complaining about their lack of access to water – over those three days, there will be at least 60 minutes wasted. Not only will they waste time complaining, but studies show that their general unhappiness will further impact their productivity, so even when they’re not specifically querying or complaining, their efficiency will still be affected.

With a bad supplier, each step along the way is wasted time, lost productivity and eventually lost revenue. If we add together all that lost time, it comes to a total of 112 minutes wasted and if we want to allocate a monetary value to that loss, we can work on the average wage in the UK of £13.94 per hour or 23 pence per minute – which means your company has wasted £25.76 thanks to a bad supplier.

By contrast, when you use a leading water cooler supplier like AquAid, you can rest assured that excellent service and customer satisfaction are of paramount importance. AquAid may be nationwide, but they don’t have call centres; each office has its own administration and delivery department which means your call goes directly where it needs to, and if the above scenario was to happen, they would provide a quick and efficient turnaround that would have you back online in typically 24 hours. AquAid customers spend on average £30 per month or £360 per annum. When shopping around for reputable water cooler suppliers, people will often choose the least expensive option allowing a saving of 5% or in this case £18 per year to sway them, but as becomes evident over time and in the scenario above, that saving is quickly lost to bad service. While AquAid may seem slightly more expensive than some of the entry-level water cooler suppliers, their efficiency and attention to detail will ultimately save you time and money in the long run – unlike a bad supplier, which could end up costing you far more than you’d envisaged.

Single Use Plastics – the way forward

Single Use Plastics – the way forward

The use of plastic has had significant media attention recently, in particular following the various Blue Planet episodes aired on the BBC. The tone of the debate is highly emotive and even Theresa May recently voiced her opinion on the matter, stating that the House of Commons would ban the use of plastic cups and that the government will recommend that all large businesses do the same.

At AquAid we are keenly aware of the impact using plastic has in our industry, to our customers and on our environment.  We are constantly seeking solutions and alternatives to reduce waste, minimise our carbon footprint and increase the sustainable provision of our water and water products to our customers.

Potential long term options?

  1. Paper cups/cones

Paper cups may seem like an obvious alternative, but they are not.  As paper is porous, all cups contain a lining which means that they cannot easily be recycled.  Unfortunately, although few people may be aware of this, if you are paying to recycle paper cups, these lined cups actually contaminate the recycling batch they go into.

There are cones available without a plastic lining, but they will only hold water for a matter of seconds before it will start seeping through and land on the floor. Whilst these are useful from an environmental perspective, they are less useful from a hydration perspective, the reason organisations have a water dispenser in the first place.

Paper cups cost around 50% more than plastic, with cones priced slightly lower.

  1. Plastic bottles

There is a place for re-usable plastic bottles, however, we need to be aware that a plastic bottle weighs at least 30 times more than does a plastic cup. This then means that using plastic bottles is adding plastic weight and volume rather than reducing it. Even if you re-use a plastic bottle (which some people will re-use 30 times, but others much less so) it has to be borne in mind that the bottle needs to be cleaned which has its own environmental impact.

  1. Use bio-degradable/compostable material 

The idea of using bio-degradable plastic is very appealing at first as people picture it literally turning into dust.  The problem is that in order for the plastic to compost, it needs to be kept in very specific circumstances only achievable in an industrial composting environment. Not only are there very few such facilities in the UK, there are also no nationwide collection schemes in place for them.  If bio-degradable cups end up in landfill they can be more harmful to the environment than normal plastic cups, as is indicated in various reports and case studies from authorities in the field*.  Added to this, bio-degradable plastic is made from corn starch – which again brings with it a significant impact on the environment. As a final point, bio-degradable plastic is considerably more expensive than regular plastic.

The solution

Because of the focus directed at the issue of single use cups, we may be forgetting the difference between litter and recycling. Plastic on its own is not an issue – unrecycled plastic is. Bearing this in mind, we believe there is a viable solution, one which will be of benefit to not only ourselves and our customers, but also to our environment.

Recycling plastic cups

Upon consultation with a number of recycling authorities, in particular BIFFA, a leading integrated waste management company, we’ve established as follows:

  • The cups that AquAid supply are made of a single type of plastic. The benefit of this is that easy to recycle and a valuable resource that can be repurposed and resold.
  • Our plastic cups are easily recycled if placed in a dry mixed recycling (DMR) bin. These are bins which take cans, paper, cardboard and plastic. Not only will the material placed in a DMR be recycled, but DMR bins cheaper to have emptied than a normal waste bin.

We believe that we have established a practical, cost effective and viable solution to using our drinking cups and are inviting our customers to contact their local recycling companies to confirm that they offer the dry mixed recycling bins (DMR), to assist with the recycling of not only plastic cups, but also the many other recyclable items found in offices up and down the country.

Should you wish for any additional information about our recycling plan, kindly e-mail us at nationalaccounts@aquaidwatercoolers.co.uk 

* sources: articles in The Guardian; UN News

New feature online at AquAid – Place an Order / Book an Engineer

New feature online at AquAid – Place an Order / Book an Engineer

When we see the most recent statistics of how many people in the UK make use of the internet, these figures probably won’t come as any surprise. What may be surprising though are the demographics of online use.

According to a statistical bulletin from the Office of National Statistics:

  • In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, 89% of adults in the UK had recently used the internet (in the last 3 months), up from 88% in 2016; while 9% had never used the internet, down from 10% in 2016.
  • Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%), in contrast with 41% of adults aged 75 years and over.
  • 90% of men and 88% of women were recent internet users, up from 89% and 86% in 2016.
  • Recent internet use among women aged 75 and over had almost trebled from 2011.
  • Northern Ireland is catching up with the other UK regions in recent internet use, reaching 84% in 2017; however, it remained the region with the lowest recent use.

At AquAid, we believe it’s of paramount importance to be at the forefront in being able to offer our customers easy access to our wide range of water coolers, water related products and water services.

In view of this, we developed a website some 12 years ago, which we’ve constantly striven to keep as user friendly and informative as possible.  In keeping with this philosophy we launched a new website in January 2017, introducing a cleaner, more modern look whilst also incorporating a significantly more user-friendly operation.

Looking at the above stats and considering the marked increase in online queries we receive on a daily basis, this has definitely been of benefit to both our customers and ourselves.

Based on the successes brought about since the launch of our new website, we’ve looked at a number of customer-centric options.  The most recent addition is the new Place an Order / Book an Engineer feature.

Should you wish to contact us online, whether you have a query or enquiry, require information or would like to order a water cooler, order your bottled water or book a service, all you need to do is simply click on the Place an Order / Book an Engineer button at the AquAid website, fill in your information, press send and we’ll take it from there

Why Choose AquAid Instant Hot Water Taps

Why Choose AquAid Instant Hot Water Taps

Instant Taps are fast becoming a sleek and stylish alternative to more traditional water-points in office kitchens, breakout areas, boardrooms, and conferencing venues.  The benefits are numerous – they provide limitless hot, ambient or chilled water in one elegant solution, all at the touch of a button; they are stylish and compact, fitting neatly into a countertop with the boiler and chilling unit discreetly hidden underneath the worktop; and their instant supply of water improves efficiency, saving organisations both time and money.

When choosing instant hot water taps there are three factors to consider:

1) Your water requirements – do you require hot, ambient or chilled water, or is it a combination of all three?

2) Placement – do you want to create more space around the sink area itself, in which case the tap can be fitted with its own drain-away tray farther away; or if countertop space is limited do you want to install it on the edge of the sink or draining board itself?

3) And your preferred supplier – of all the reputable suppliers out there, why should you choose AquAid?

Apart from being the leading water cooler company in the UK for more than twenty years now, with 23 franchises across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland servicing over 30,000 customers – the major benefit in choosing AquAid Instant Taps is our service element. With us you have full peace of mind knowing that your installation will be professional and flawless, and that any services or repairs are included in our comprehensive service plans.

Most of the UK suffers from hard water scaling and too often companies choose hot water taps that don’t include a scale management filter or some form of service plan; or they’ve purchased the unit outright and scale related issues aren’t covered by warranty, which means that a few months after installation, things start to go wrong, resulting in very costly call-out and repair fees. But with AquAid rental plans – often far more affordable than buying the unit and then adding the cost of a maintenance plan on top of that – there’s no need to worry, because we ensure that the correct filters are installed from the start and our cost-effective and fully-inclusive service plans mean no unexpected and huge expenditure further down the line.

If you’re in the process of a new build or refurbishing your office kitchen, breakout area or any other refreshment point, with AquAid you can rest assured that you’re in the best hands, whatever your water needs may be. And not only will you benefit from high-quality products and exceptional service, but for a short time only you can save even more as we are also offering free installation and three months free rental on all our Instant Taps – be sure not to miss out.

Are you AquAidly hydrated? (Puns in a watery world)

Are you AquAidly hydrated? (Puns in a watery world)

With the all-encompassing advent of our world online, I have been wondering for some time now if puns just aren’t the things of beauty they once were.  Post millennium there are more social media pun dedicated pages than you could shake a stick at. I’ve also noticed (an observation, not a criticism) that quite a few are really reaching.

One can’t help but think that if puns are becoming obsolete (by the mere fact that there are just too many of them being churned out to be of any relevance) are the other witty extensions of language soon to be on a slippery slope of obsolescence?

While you ponder these thoughts, we’d like you to consider the raison d’être behind the rather pun filled headline of this blog.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered, what we’re asking (a perennial favourite) is are you adequately (AquAidly) hydrated? If not, why not? Is it because you’re unsure of what qualifies as adequate hydration? Well, there we can help.

Being as we are a water and water cooler provider of some 20 years, it’s our business to know all about proper hydration.  We’re constantly checking to ensure that we’re up-to-date about all things drinking water related.

One of the ways that we pass on this information to you, dear online reader, is by providing a quick reference guide at our website. That’s here.

Aside from that, we have over 22 AquAid branches throughout the UK, staffed by highly experienced water knowledgeable teams who are more than equipped to provide you with the right water provision solution tailor-made to suit your hydration requirements.

We can’t, of course, make you hydrate properly as that’s certainly up to you. We’re also not using the terms – lead-horse-water-drink in here, perish the thought – but we are hoping that you recognise for your own health and well-being how important it is to make sure that you are aware that in order to perform at your peak, whether at work or play, you need to be adequately (AquAidly) hydrated.

We’d love to be able to assist. Contact us today.

The Benefits of Instant Hot Water Taps

The Benefits of Instant Hot Water Taps

Instant Taps are growing in popularity and there’s been an increase in demand particularly in office breakout areas and at hotels and conferencing venues where sleek and stylish water-point alternatives are preferred. If you’re in the process of refurbishing or considering making any changes to your current refreshment area, consider the benefits and convenience of these aesthetically pleasing taps.

Versatile & Flexible

Instant Taps are versatile enough to cater for whatever your water needs may be. The AquAid Instant Tap can dispense boiling and ambient water at the touch of a button – it is adaptable to include a chilling system as well, which means that all your water needs can be met in one elegant solution. Alternatively if chilled water is your only requirement, the AquAid Chill Tap can dispense cold water at your preferred temperature. Flexible installation options allow Instant Taps to be fitted with a drain-away tray mounted into a countertop away from the sink, or they can be fitted on the edge of the sink or draining board itself.

Sleek & Compact

Beautifully designed, Instant Taps provide a sleek and stylish alternative to traditional water dispensers and boilers. Perfect for boardrooms, conferencing and refreshment stations, their versatility in terms of being able to dispense boiling, ambient and chilled water all from one tap also means they take up far less space than their traditional counterparts. Sunk into the countertop with the water boiler and/or chilling unit discreetly hidden underneath the worktop, they are compact and space-saving, allowing seamless integration into your office kitchen or breakout area.

Efficient & Cost-Effective

The main advantage of Instant Taps is in the name – it’s instant. The fact that there’s instantly-ready and limitless boiling or chilled filtered water at the ready is hugely convenient, and it saves a great deal of time too. Waiting for a kettle to boil is no longer necessary; everyone can enjoy their drink of choice at the touch of a button, making Instant Taps one of the most efficient additions to any refreshment area. And because hot water taps use less water – typically people fill a kettle with more water than they need – it’s a resource and energy-efficient option too, saving you both time and money.

Versatile and flexible; sleek and compact; efficient and cost-effective – all compelling reasons to install the AquAid Instant Tap or AquAid Chill Tap. Rest assured that whatever your water needs may be, we’ll help find the best solution for your office or organisation.