Once custodial managers identify their matting needs, they need to decide whether they want to rent those mats, or buy them outright. The most obvious reason to rent mats, say distributors, is to pass off the responsibility of maintaining the mats.

“Some facilities prefer that another entity is picking up and handling the mat care for them,” says Pete Soderling, director of facility supplies for Bertelson One Source in Minneapolis.

Anything that makes life easier for facility managers is going to get considered, even if it does cost a little more, says Ron Segura, president of Segura & Associates, who spent 10 years overseeing the cleaning operations at The Walt Disney Company.

“In many cases, it is just easier to rent,” he says. “Most facility managers have a full plate already, and to be able to have someone else monitor inventory and cleaning, seems to be the way to go.”

Another common reason for renting is financial — custodial managers simply don’t have (or don’t want to make) room in the budget for up-front purchases of mats.

“Rental mats spread out those payments so they have a lower monthly payment for the duration of a contract, as opposed to a lump sum at the beginning,” Soderling says. “However, return on investment happens relatively quickly if mats are purchased.”

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