Not sure if you should buy universal or proprietary towel dispensers? Universal dispensers may cost less than proprietary dispensers up front, but there are some hidden costs you may not be aware of.
Proprietary towel dispensers provide a lot of value. They can also help you reduce towel consumption and restroom maintenance costs. Still, you may wondering, are proprietary paper towel dispensers actually worth it?
At Egyptian Workspace Partners, we believe proprietary dispensers are worth the money. However, we still think it’s important for you to know all the facts – especially if you’re still on the fence about proprietary dispensers and how they can benefit your business.
What is a Proprietary Towel Dispenser?
Proprietary dispensers are designed in such a way that only specific towels designed by a manufacturer can be used in a dispenser from the same manufacturer.
The towels have a notch or end cap on both ends to prevent people from using towels from other manufacturers. For instance, Georgia Pacific towels won’t fit in TORK dispensers, and vice-versa.
Why Should You Consider Proprietary Towel Dispensers?
Cost of Dispenser
Typically, proprietary dispensers are free if you have a workplace that requires at least 10 dispensers.
Universal dispensers can cost anywhere from $20 to $300 apiece, depending on the finish and quality.
Plus, most proprietary dispensers have a three-year warranty. If your dispenser breaks within that timeframe, the manufacturer will replace it for free.
Universal dispensers, on the other hand, don’t come with warranties.
Proprietary dispensers are better quality than universal dispensers.
They’re built for higher usage and have more control features, such as a stub roll feature and hands-free capabilities.
For example, the TORK hand towel roll dispenser offers one-at-a-time dispensing, high towel capacity, and adjustable towel length settings.
Proprietary dispensers are also available in more color and finish options, whether it be white, black, stainless steel, or a custom color for your organization.
Cost of Paper Towels
Generally speaking, the higher the quality of a towel, the more expensive it’ll be.
However, when you consider the cost per use, you can save money by choosing a higher quality towel.
Proprietary dispensers use high-quality and medium-quality towels, while universal dispensers use lower quality towels.
Although low-quality towels are affordable at first, they can actually cost more since users will need more towels to dry their hands.
By buying high-quality towels upfront, people can use less towels to dry their hands, helping you to reduce towel consumption and save money.
Stub Roll Feature
Unlike proprietary dispensers, universal dispensers usually lack a stub roll feature.
The stub roll feature reduces towel waste and increases the capacity of the dispenser. It also reduces service visits to the restroom.
When a roll is partially used, it can be placed in the back of the dispenser so a new roll can be loaded in the front. The stub roll will dispense until its empty, and the new roll will automatically dispense.
If your dispenser doesn’t have a stub roll feature, it can be very difficult to use all the paper on the towel roll because you’ll have to time the replacement of the roll perfectly.
Additionally, maintenance crews tend to set the replacement roll on top of the dispenser or on a countertop, which can contaminate the towels and leave patrons with nothing to dry their hands.
Controlled Use and Cost Per Use
As a business owner, you want your patrons to only use as many towels as they need – and proprietary dispensers can help you achieve that.
Proprietary dispensers have built-in control systems to reduce towel consumption and overall restroom maintenance costs.
For instance, most proprietary dispensers have different towel lengths and timed dispensing to encourage users to only use the number of towels they need to dry their hands.
However, the calculation for paper refills is not as simple as that of per price foot, since you’ll be using a controlled proprietary system with higher quality towels than a nonproprietary dispenser would use.
High Towel Capacity
Modern proprietary dispensers fit towel rolls that exceed 800 feet long, which is the maximum length for nonproprietary dispensers.
Most manufacturers of proprietary dispensers also sell towels that are either 1000 or 1200 feet in length.
These towels can be replaced less often than shorter towels and help you reduce labor and maintenance costs.
Ability to Retrofit
Very few universal dispensers can be recessed into a wall – especially if you had a pull towel system at one time.
If you’re looking to retrofit your bathroom, you can do so with proprietary dispensers without buying multiple types of towels.
Even if you have recessed dispensers in one bathroom and wall-mounted in another, you’ll be able to use one towel for your entire business – as long as everything is from the same manufacturer.
Matching Dispenser to Application
The dispensers in your bathroom can say a lot about your business – which is why it’s important to match your dispenser with its application to ensure proper cost.
If you work in an office setting, a universal dispenser with a crank lever can send the wrong message to your staff or customers.
By installing a high-quality dispenser with reliable performance and soft towels, you can provide users with a premium washroom experience that reflects the values of your business.
For example, the TORK Matic towel dispenser in Image Design has a stainless-steel finish that’s perfect for office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and hospitals.
It can also accommodate soft, absorbent towels, and has features like one-at-a-time dispensing and a stub roll function for reliable performance.
If you work in a small mechanics shop and only need one dispenser, a low-quality universal system may be fine.
However, since you’ll be washing your hands constantly, a reliable dispensing system is the better option.
Are Proprietary paper Towel Dispensers Worth It?
Still not sure if proprietary towel dispensers are right for your business?
The type of dispenser you buy should depend on what you’re looking for. Whether you need to save money on towels or want to retrofit your bathroom, you can do either with proprietary dispensers.
Here at Egyptian, we genuinely believe proprietary dispensers are a better value than nonproprietary systems.
While you’ll only be able to buy towels from one manufacturer, you won’t have to worry about the initial cost of the dispensers or buying new dispensers if they break since they’ll be covered by a warranty.
In addition, you can save even more money by matching your dispenser with the proper application. By using the dispenser as it’s intended, you can ensure good use of your money.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Steps?
Want to learn more about our selection of restroom dispensers? From the Boardwalk mechanical hands-free dispenser to the Scott Pro dispenser system, we can help you find the right dispenser for your business.
To learn more about our facility products and everything we offer, schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated account managers today!