Monday, 29 December 2008

Floor Mats: Rent Or Purchase?

There are two ways to obtain floor mats for your place of business. You can rent them from a janitorial supply and service business or you can purchase them outright. Ostensibly the most cost-efficient method is to purchase your mats. However, there can be extenuating circumstances that lead you to consider renting your mats.

If you rent your mats, a good service will provide a clean fresh mat upon pickup of the old. This may be once or twice a week. The rental will seem inexpensive-typically a few dollars per mat per week. If your business contracts all its janitorial services, this could be the most efficient means of providing clean floor mats for all your entrances and aisle ways.

However, if you own a business such as a restaurant, hotel or office building where you hire your own staff to perform janitorial services, you should consider the purchase of your floor mats. Realize that any time you ‘rent’ a product, even a floor mat, you must pay a sufficient price to the renting company to purchase and care for the mat-plus make a profit. This only makes sense. If you hire employees with cleaning responsibilities, it is more cost-effective to purchase your floor mats and add them to the clean up list of duties for your janitorial staff.

As an example, suppose you own five restaurants. Each restaurant needs two entrance mats, two catch all floor mats adjacent to self-service drink stations or salad bars, and two commercial kitchen floor mats. Let’s say these are each 3’x5’ mats which rent for around $5 per week. Over the course of a year you will pay $7,800 for the five restaurants in mat rental services. The entrance floor mats and catch all floor mats run approximately $45 each if purchased outright. The commercial kitchen floor mats run about $65 each. To purchase the same mats costs you $1,550. The cleaning of the mats can be performed by your janitorial staff as part of their daily work duties. Extensive cleaning due to inclement weather conditions can be performed weekly during off-hours. Let’s say this adds ten minutes a day to your employee’s time-that’s 40 hours a year. Assuming a $10/hour pay rate, you will pay an extra $400 to add mat cleaning to your daily janitorial service duties. The total cost your first year of ownership is about $2000. But the savings explode after this…

Realize that if you purchase nitrile rubber-backed mats, the mats will typically last 5-7 years in high traffic situations. Assuming $400 recurring janitorial time each year, over the course of five years your total cost of ownership is $3600. The cost to rent these mats over five years is $39,000! Ownership of your floor mats saves you over $35,000 during the five year period. That represents a savings of over 90%! These numbers are typical. Most businesses fail to make these types of calculations when considering their custodial services. I mean, they are just floor mats!

There are businesses with good reasons to rent floor mats. If you already outsource all your custodial services, you may want to rent the mats from the service as well. However, even in these cases, you should consider whether to purchase your mats and add them to the cleaning duties of your service contract. If your employees already handle the cleanup responsibilities in your business, you should definitely consider the purchase of floor mats over renting the same products from a rental service.

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