The effects of choosing a cheaper toilet paper

Today I'm going to not post anything technical, but instead tell a small story about what happens when you go for the cheapest solution/item/whatever. It is based on a real world experience, and where or when it happened is not relevant at all. The decision might not have been really to reduce costs (maybe just a provider change), but the example fits perfectly for the story.

There was a company that had the typical hand washing toilet paper, in wall dispensers. Nothing remarkable about it, we just had it, it worked fine, and using one or two papers you could get your hands completely dry.

Then, one day we had the toilet paper replaced by a cheaper one.

At first, you could see that it was thinner, way thinner than the old one (it was actually semi-transparent, while the old one was opaque). It was less absorbent, so you needed an average of 4 papers for a simple hands wash dry.
That was the first sign of "something is wrong": If we chose that paper for being cheaper, we were actually spending twice the items for the same result!

But that wasn't the only problem. As I mentioned above, the papers were in a wall dispenser. This thinner paper was so fragile, that when you tried to grab it with wet hands, you would only grab a fragment (the water was "biting" the paper before you could pull the whole item), creating a chaos of half-pulled papers in the dispenser.
Sometimes, you would need even extra sheets of paper because some of them broke. The items were of so low quality that they barely fulfilled their objective.

And yet, there was another problem. Due to the low quality, bits of wet paper would stick to your hands, clothes and feet while you were drying your hands with them. The toilet floor started to get dirtier of those paper remains, and even the normal workplace floor around the toilets had some bits.
We had created new problems or inconveniences that we didn't had before.

Because of all of this, there were complaints and the toilet paper was replaced by a mid-solution, still not as good as the first one (we needed 3 sheets of paper per use) but far better than the cheaper (thicker, easy grabbing from the wall dispenser, no bits falling to the ground...).

Conclusion

Be careful with the cheapest solution.

It might apparently save you money short-term, but it can have mid-term costs, be of worse quality (even faulty) and/or generate other unexpected problems.

Posted by Kartones on 2012-05-12

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