Chairman of the European Drinking Water Cooler Association James Anderton recently shared the association’s views on the priorities for the mains-fed water cooler sector in 2012. The economic challenges posed in the current climate are one of the biggest difficulties the water cooler industry is up against.
“In an unregulated environment, this would have led to a drop in service standards,” he warns. “Therefore, it’s imperative from an association perspective that members consistently
He states that the association maintains survival as its key driver, but asserts the importance of ensuring “commercial decisions cannot be allowed to impact on quality, safety or agreed standards.” He also explains that there is an increasing need for organisations to develop a “clear and robust retention strategy”, focusing their efforts on retaining existing, usually more profitable, accounts, rather than seeking new opportunities for growth. meet or exceed the standards and the annual audit.”
“The priority here is exemplary service balanced with good value, rather than lowest price, cheapest service option. To enable this, it’s imperative that we position the industry in the service sector rather than as commodity provider, as this approach will enable good service to consistently retain business over lower priced competition. The EDWCA can help reinforce this by promoting the importance of selecting a credible supplier from a progressive association.”
Having an awareness of the public perception perspective on the benefits of water coolers is the third area the industry needs to prioritise, and Anderton believes the industry is doing this by becoming more price-focused. Growth has proved a challenge for the water cooler industry. However, Anderton points to significant gains in Eastern Europe, as well as increased demand from the US, as opportunities for the water cooler industry to continue developing. He says that there can be growth opportunities for both the bottled water and mains-fed water cooler systems, with mains-fed water coolers showing particular growth across the European market, especially as the system of choice for larger organisations.
Drinking Water Fountains has a well-established relationship with EDWCA, and we are excited about the positive and optimistic predictions James Anderton has made about the future of mains-fed water coolers and about the water cooler industry as a whole.