The Role of Paper Towel Dispensers in Cutting Costs

As organizations search cost savings, more are taking a closer look at paper towel dispensers.

By Mackenna Moralez
September 29, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many facilities to adjust their bottom lines. To save money, some have turned to layoffs, pay cuts and other cost-cutting measures. One way facilities can cut costs is by doing something as simple as using paper towel dispensers. Healthcare Facilities Today talks with towel dispenser manufacturers on the role these products play in cost savings. 

How do towel dispensers play into cost savings in facilities? 

“Dispensing universal, non-proprietary paper towel products is the most cost-effective way to reduce paper towel expenses. Building management has the freedom to select and purchase paper towel products at the most competitive price and terms from the supplier of their choice if the consumable paper towel is not restricted by the towel dispensers’ dispensing mechanism operation. This freedom of choice helps to avoid the high prices of consumable contracts common to closed systems. Non-proprietary dispensing of universal paper towels, roll or folded, saves over 30 percent on the cost of paper towels.” 

— Alan Gettelman, vice president, external affairs, Bobrick Washroom Equipment 

“Healthcare, like many other industries, is facing staffing shortages, supply chain challenges and inflation. Healthcare facilities also saw significant cost increases and revenue decreases during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic due to an infiltration of COVID-positive patients and a severe decline in non-COVID patients and, as a result are looking for ways to cut costs and improve operational efficiencies.  

Touchless dispensers help deliver on both fronts. From an operational standpoint, today’s dispensers are designed to be easy for custodians to open and access, and they have quick-check indicators, such as warning lights and windows, so custodians can quickly see if product needs to be replaced. In terms of cost-savings, automated dispensers control how much product is dispensed, effectively reducing the amount of product users take, which helps reduce paper costs. Even more, though, touchless paper towel dispensers play a critical role in supporting proper hand hygiene, and proper hand hygiene can reduce the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, decrease infection rates, and lower costs that stem from healthcare acquired infections.” 

— Julie Howard, vice president and general manager, GP PRO’s Towel and Napkin categories 

“Hand towel dispensers promote effective hand hygiene, which plays a key role in the reduction of hospital-acquired infections (HAI). This in turn results in cost savings associated with the treatment of HAIs. According to the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), HAIs in U.S. hospitals have direct medical costs of at least $28.4 billion each year. They also account for an additional $12.4 billion in costs to society from early deaths and lost productivity. Proper hand hygiene can also support staff well-being and help reduce staff absenteeism. 

Thus, ensuring your facility has the appropriate hand towel dispensing system to deliver on hand hygiene needs is imperative. Selecting a system that is high capacity, easy to refill, and easy to use will yield great benefits to any facility.” 

— Marika White, Tork Hygiene advisor, Essity 

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor of the facility market. 

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