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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Question

How do I calculate how much to quote for consumables such as paper towels, hand soap, liners, toilet paper? Isn't there a quick way to do it by the square foot per building? I have been using $.0015 per square foot.


Answer

You might try the ISSA website at: http://www.issa.com/data/File/ConsumableCalculator.swf
Most product suppliers should have access to similar calculators for different settings and they should be able to answer your questions. Check with your local product supplier to see what resources they have available.
Also, research some manufacturer’s sites. Kimberly-Clarke provides this limited one on-line. www.kcprofessional.com/us/tools/ProductUseCalc.asp
Keep in mind the disclaimers on all such aids. Things change and these are estimates, not guaranteed numbers.
My recommendation is to supply the product at an agreed upon cost per case for x months and then revisit the numbers for the next period. That way you are not tied to a guess at what will be used.
Avoid using sq. ft. figures for the basic reason that the size of the building will not determine the paper usage. Consumable usage depends on the number of occupants. A warehouse of 100,000 sq. ft. with four around-the-clock workers will use much less toilet tissue and paper towels than an office building of the same size with 200 occupants working just days.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com