We’re a member of the Independent Washroom Services Association
Prior to the IWSA being established in 2008, the only contact independent washroom companies had with each other were introductions through various suppliers. The first real common purpose group was organised by Technical Concepts (now part of Newell Rubbermaid). The aim of the group was to support Jangro members who had started offering washroom services as opposed to products in their catalogue.
The downside to this was the group had to be loyal customers of TC in order to be a member. Not long after this that there was a consensus to create a voice for the independent contractors within the industry. If memory serves me well there were about 10 members of that first meeting that then morphed into the IWSA.
Covering the Country
The IWSA has matured and now boasts over 300+ service vehicles. This means that members can speak to clients from Dover to Dingwall. The clients can be assured that they will get a consistent quality service delivered at a reasonable cost.
So what is the IWSA? Let’s start with what it is not? It is not a buying group. Yes, suppliers can take advantage of having 30 potential clients in a room but ultimately the suppliers provide pricing to individual members on terms agreed by both parties. Neither is it a cartel. There is no price-fixing. We do have a guide price that members will provide services to other members. But there is nothing to stop a member charging what they think is reasonable to secure a service contract.
The IWSA does, however, have a code of conduct and a selection of criteria that all members must adhere to. There is an independent chairman (non-industry), a committee that overviews applications, regulations and guidance to members. And it meets as a group, three times a year.
The meetings themselves can be boisterous affairs as having thirty passionate business owners in a room. Each member of course, has an opinion, so meetings need to be chaired and the timetable kept. But overall it is enjoyable, interesting (most of the time) but always useful.
Not for everyone
Not everything the IWSA has tried to do has been a success and certainly, there are exceptional independently-run washroom businesses that want nothing to do with it. This is a shame. However, ultimately, we have 30+ independently owned and run washroom companies in a room with a vast industry knowledge of suppliers and systems, legislation and guidance as well as competitor activity.
So whether your washroom requirements are for one sanitary bin in Ealing or 800 sites across the length and breadth of the UK, have a chat to one (or even two) of our members.