Repair or Replace: It’s Restroom Inventory Time

Whether you’re buying new restrooms or fixing up the old, it’s the perfect time to take stock of what you own

Repair or Replace: It’s Restroom Inventory Time

At the end of each season, I ask my yard employees to give me a count of the toilets in my storage yards. During the winter, routes are at their leanest so this is the most accurate picture of what we own. When I get those final numbers, I am always shocked by how few toilets I have.  

Over the season, toilets are broken or burned, and the carcasses are returned to our storage yard. When I look at a full yard and then see the number of workable toilets I actually have, I am always so frustrated. As part of our 2018 plan, we decided to tackle the broken units and clean up our yards for good.

Part of the 2018 winter plan is to have 20 to 30 restrooms brought to the garage each day. The units are scrubbed or power washed, re-stickered and repaired. The repairs range from replacing old vents, repairing broken skids, or taking the salvageable parts from a destroyed unit and throwing away what is left. 

Through this process, I am getting a much more accurate number of what I own. As I walk through the garage each day, I am stunned to see that my oldest units, the Satellite Industries Tufways, still look as good as the day we purchased them. I also love to see the variety of toilets that came from the many mergers and acquisitions we have made over the last 25 years. 

As this project is completed and we see what we truly own, we can now decide what to purchase this year. We haven’t purchased any toilets in about two years, and it is definitely time to add to our inventory. Purchasing new toilets can be very expensive and is a timely process, so we want to make sure we actually need this equipment. 

If you have good competitors near you that you can work with and borrow from, you really can never run out of equipment. But it is usually more profitable to use your own equipment. As a small-business owner, you know that purchasing new equipment is not a decision you make lightly.  

Take this slower time of year and use it to your advantage. Repair and plan for what will hopefully be your busiest season yet. Whether you buy new or repair the first toilets you ever purchased, this equipment represents your business, and you want it to look fantastic. 

About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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