Car washes, coffee machines, toilet facilities – they all require water and, depending on the business, could use an incredible amount in the course of a year.
Scottish forecourt retailers have a choice of water suppliers. In a competitive market should they ask if they are getting the best deal?
“It’s really interesting that many businesses don’t give as much consideration to their water usage as they do to electricity and gas,” said James Cardwell-Moore, commercial director for non-domestic water supplier Business Stream.
“The cost and environmental savings, as well as the improvement to business performance, are there to be gained. Our business has changed a lot in recent years to help companies take the steps they need to take advantage of these benefits and the consultancy aspect to what we offer has grown significantly.
“For example, forecourt traders using large amounts of water during car washing should be aware of the variety of services available to help them save money and make sure they comply with any environmental regulations. Not all suppliers provide the full range of services though, so it’s worth checking if yours can.”
So what are the differences that separate one water supplier from another?
“A good supplier should be able to build a relationship with you to really appreciate what your business issues and challenges are,” said Cardwell-Moore. “Make sure you speak to them to find out what they offer by way of free advice, consultancy services and products that will deliver the benefits that are undoubtedly available to the vast majority of companies.
“Although our market is evolving, we also know that unit cost remains important, so you should also check that you can access billing, payment and discount options that are right for your business.”
Since the Scottish water market opened in 2008, Business Stream claims to have saved its customers £133m, including £54m in water efficiency savings, £72m in discounts and £7m in energy efficiency savings.
“The relationship between us and our customers has changed to the point where we’re a partner in solving business problems and can support bottom-line growth, not just a pure utility provider,” said Cardwell-Moore.