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Lockers Buying Guide

October 1st, 2018

Lockers Buying GuideContents

Introduction

Why use lockers?

Business Security

Questions to ask before shopping for lockers

Choosing lockers

Using lockers safely

General best practices when buying office furniture

Further information

 

Introduction

Lockers can be incredibly useful; they provide a compact and secure storage solution for the workplace that allows people to store valuables, keep equipment away from desktops as well as somewhere to change in and out of personal protective equipment or uniforms.

However, there is an incredibly vast range of locker styles available and on first glance, you may find yourself a bit confused or bewildered. Thankfully, this buying guide will help you to break down your options, helping you to narrow down both your requirements and your search.

Firstly, we’ll explain a little about why lockers are so useful in the workplace, covering the varieties of industries they can be used in and how they are often used. We’ll also give you a run-down on some basic business security, to offer you context for how lockers can help to promote a safe and secure working environment.

Next, we’ll come to the bulk of the buying guide. In order to not get lost when you’re searching for lockers, it’s best to have a thorough understanding of your requirements; our series of questions to ask before shopping for lockers will leave you with a list of needs that will help you to narrow down your search.

We’ll then cover choosing lockers, including some of the main factors to consider, before breaking down the massive range of locker types that are available for purchase. If you’re considering implementing locker use in your business for the first time, it’s also important to consider security and policy; we’ll give you run down of how to avoid unpleasant privacy issues with staff.

Finally, choosing a supplier has never been easier thanks to online shopping, but it’s important that you protect yourself when purchasing online. Our best practice guide will point out some red flags and provide you with tips for making sure you get the best deal.

There is a huge range of locker styles available to suit every need, but with our comprehensive buying guide, you won’t get lost. Follow our advice and you’ll narrow down your choices easily and quickly, ensuring you choose a product that’s perfect for your requirements.

 

Why use lockers?

Lockers are banks of small storage compartments used for storing a variety of goods, usually personal belongings. They are used in locker rooms (as parts of sports centres or swimming pools, for instance), schools and workplaces.

Locker compartments are individually lockable with a key issued to the person using the locker, and they can be used for short or long-term storage.

The most basic use of lockers is for security; they allow people to store their valuables and belongings in a secure container to which only they have access. They eliminate the need to store personal belongings at your desk, for example, where they might more easily be stolen or damaged.

In terms of using lockers in the work environment, they have become more common in recent years. One of the main increasing uses of lockers is in offices that have implemented hot desking policies. This is when desks are provided but staff are not permanently stationed there.

Instead, employees carry laptops that can be docked at any available desk. This is seen to create a more fluid and dynamic workspace, and is often also integrated into a flexible working policy that allows people to work off-site, at home for instance.

When hot desking is implemented, staff don’t have the option of storing belongings at their desks. This is where lockers come in handy. Issuing employees with their own secure locker allows them to store important belongings such as laptops or other equipment that they need for work, as well as personal belongings or valuables.

Lockers can also contribute to the recent trend for downsizing offices. Many companies are looking at efficiency savings and this can include moving to smaller premises that are designed for the most efficient use of space. Hot-desking and choosing a 7:19 desk to employee ratio, suitable for companies that use field teams, can contribute to this, but requires careful thought regarding storage.

Again, storage lockers can be useful here. They are also suitable for the many businesses who are capitalising on their real estate by renting out “co-working” spaces, such as to local freelancers or other individuals.

Even when you have a staff team who are permanently situated at desks, you can use lockers to cut down on clutter. Many modern office designs are clean and minimal, but as soon as you start adding staff with all the belongings they bring, that effect can be quickly diminished by clutter in and around desks.

Lockers can help you to maintain a clean desk policy by having staff store their belongings in lockers which can be situated in a room away from the main office, keeping the office tidy, clean and always presentable.

They are also useful for areas or businesses that handle sensitive information; lockers provide a means of storing confidential or sensitive information overnight or at the weekends, to minimise the risk of theft or of confidential information falling into the wrong hands.

If your workplace requires staff to wear personal protective clothing (PPE) or uniforms, you can also provide clothing lockers that allow them to store this clothing and easily get changed in and out of it as they need to.

For premises that have access to gyms or fitness areas, lockers provide a suitable means of storing gym equipment and clothing, allowing workers a practical solution to staying fit and healthy.

 

Business Security

Business security has never been more crucial. Information and data has become a target for hackers and phishers as more and more information moves online. Physical data and inventory is also susceptible to theft.

Thankfully, by undertaking a full security audit of your business, there are a number of ideas you can implement to beef up your security and protect your stock and data.

Here are some of the key things to look for when assessing your business security.

Lighting

It’s crucial that you ensure you have adequate lighting systems, particularly in entranceways and exits in and out of the premises. This is important for the safety of your staff, but it can also reduce the threat of break-ins and theft. Leave some interior lights on at night and you’ll dissuade would-be robbers as it will look as though there are still employees working in the building. Motion detectors can light up the premises when movement is detected.

Doors

Doors should be sturdy and well-constructed from solid wood or metal. They should be secured with adequate locks, ideally with keypads, swipe cards or biometric locks, and any windows set in the doors should be reinforced. Consider whether shutters are a good idea here and make sure you add alarms to the doors.

Windows

All windows, especially on the ground floor, should be covered with burglar-resistant glazing. You should check to make sure that locks aren’t accessible simply by breaking a window. One simple way to dissuade entry through the windows is to place large or heavy equipment or merchandise near to unused windows; those are the ones most likely to be used by burglars.

Key Management

Only issue keys to competent personnel, such as managers or employees who have been specifically trained in key handling. Number all keys and keep tracking of who they have been issued to, and make sure that you have procedures in place should keys be lost or stolen. As a minimum, locks should be changed in this instance. Key cards or number codes are often more secure than physical keys.

Exterior of premises

Your building exterior can go some way to dissuading burglars; an unkempt property can look like it has less traffic and this may be more attractive to a burglar than a clean, uncluttered entranceway that looks like it is regularly used. Exterior security cameras are essential, as is the use of signage to point out security measures are in place. Limit the use of exterior shrubbery, especially directly outside the building as intruders can hide here while they wait for an opportunity to gain access.

Create a Code of Conduct

You should have in place a code of conduct for new and existing employees, including what is acceptable behaviour. This should cover security, including what can and can’t be removed from or brought into the building, terms of data handling and access and handling sensitive information. If you issue keys or storage lockers, this code should also cover the proper use of both.

Schedule Regular Shredding

You should implement an appropriate policy for the shredding of physical documentation that is no longer needed. Sensitive documentation of the kind that is handled every day, including data on clients, customers and employees, should be shredded and not disposed of otherwise in ways that the information could be retrieved. Set up shredding bins with an appropriate schedule in place for an external provider to remove these for secure shredding and disposal, or set up an industrial shredder with full instructions on use.

Schedule Audits

Your first full security audit should not be your last. You should implement policies for carrying out regular annual audits. These should include auditing the information and documentation that is held in the business, with a careful focus on the information that is currently in flow, for example, that which is stored at employees’ desks while they work on it. Such audits will reveal areas where your security policies are not robust enough, giving you areas of focus and improvement.

Designate Computer Access Levels

Each employee should be issued with their own username and password for computer access, whether they use single computers or access a network. This means you can not only keep track of each user for the purposes of security but can also limit access levels for each individual profile. For example, you can block general employees from accessing sensitive personal HR information, or keep people from accessing accounting data.

Have a robust password policy

Strong passwords (those which aren’t easily guessed) should contain a capital letter, a number and a special character, and should ideally be over 8 characters long. You should also require staff to change their passwords every 30 to 45 days. When employees are not at their desks, they must be instructed to lock their computers, and they should never write their passwords down, or share them with other individuals.

Emergency Plans

Full emergency plans should be in place outlining exactly what needs to be done in the event of fire, theft, bomb threats or any other major crisis or disaster. These should include contact numbers for emergency services and police. It’s also important that you have clear evacuation plans in place and that employees are both trained in these and have access to visible instructions.

General Office Security

It’s worth keeping in mind that it is always better to prepare for the worst rather than wait until something forces you to improve your office security. If possible, you should consider taking on the services of a good security company; they can usually offer ranges of security packages to suit your particular requirements, whether that’s having on-site guards or monitoring from an off-premises location.

The location of your office is also important. Ideally, you should be visible from the street, but if the office is tucked away from the main road, audio alarms are a must, so that passers-by are alerted if there is a problem. Silent alarms that trigger a call to the police are also worthwhile.

 

Questions to ask before shopping for lockers

Some of the questions that may help you to understand your needs include:

  • Where will your lockers be stored?
    • You should first of all measure the space in which you expect to place your lockers. Doing this first will help you choose the correct style and banks of lockers; you’ll know how many lockers you can fit in the available space. Always make sure you include access space, as employees will need to be able to comfortably access the lockers without risk of harm.
    • Also consider placing the lockers in a room that is not used for through traffic; instead, you should situate them in a separate area away from the main floor or room of your office. This will prevent obstruction which is particularly important in the case of evacuation due to fire or another emergency, but which can also be crucial if you need to move furniture, equipment or products, for example.
  • How will employees get access?
    • Lockers should be secure and there are a number of choices when it comes to locks. Many lockers come with standard key locks and you are usually provided with two keys for each lock. This allows you to issue one to each member of staff and keep a spare, which should be stored securely and only accessible to management or another nominated competent person to issue to staff in the event of a key being lost or stolen. This will allow them to access their belongings, but remember that in this instance, the lock should be replaced.
    • Other types of locking systems include number pads, coin locks (ideal for public premises such as sports centres) and biometric locks.
  • What will be stored there?
    • There is a massive variety of locker styles available. The ones you choose will largely be governed by the types of items you expect to be stored there. For example, you can choose from general purpose lockers that carry a number of fairly small items, tall lockers for hanging clothing or PPE, smaller laptop lockers and many others.
    • Check that you know exactly what your requirements are for the lockers before you buy. Many workplaces will end up looking for a mix of styles in order to get the best use of them and to make sure they meet all your needs, and you can always add to the bank of lockers in the future if you need to.
  • Are there any special security requirements?
    • Sensitive data or documentation needs specific lockers. In this case, you’ll likely want to ensure that lockers are fire and shockproof to prevent damage in the case of a fire breaking out or in the case of attempted theft. Some styles of lockers have security measures in place to prevent brute force access by bursting the doors inwards.
    • Consider carefully the type of information that will be stored within the lockers and the potential risks and choose a style that will fully protect what’s stored within.
  • Have you considered health and safety?
    • There are a number of health and safety considerations to make when buying lockers. For example, if the lockers will be used to storing clothing, particularly gym wear or uniforms worn for manual labour, you need to consider hygiene. Activecoat and Biocote are coated with hygienic anti-bacterial coatings to prevent the spread of bacteria that can build up from clothing that is worn regularly or is drenched in sweat. This can prevent cross-contamination between lockers.
    • Clean and dirty lockers provide adequate separation of clothing that is used for outdoor work and inside clothing, for example.
    • Wet area lockers are water resistant which not only prevents water, sweat or other liquids from travelling between lockers, but also prevents water damage from the outside. These are ideal for swimming pools but also for industries where water is used regularly.
    • Ventilation slots can prevent the build-up of smells from clothing, food or other items that are stored inside.
  • What material will work best?
    • Lockers come in a massive area of materials, each with their own advantages. You should carefully consider the types of materials available and work out which is best for your requirements.
    • Following this section, we’ll take a look at the various types of lockers available, outlining the materials used and where they are most suitable, but broadly, these are the main material types:
      • Metal: economical and secure, but is noisy and can be prone to dents and rust without adequate coating. Can also look utilitarian.
      • Laminate: more aesthetically-pleasing than metal and quiet too, but can be less secure and can delaminate (laminate comes away from the substrate) in humid environments.
      • Wood: attractive qualities and less noise, but can be more expensive. Wood can also damage easily and with a lot of use can wear quickly.
      • Plastic: very durable and waterproof but can look cheaper than other options.

 

 

Choosing lockers

With so many options available, choosing the right lockers can seem difficult. However, equipped with the answers to the previous questions, you should have a better idea of your requirements. Now, let’s take a look at some of the important specifications available in locker types and how they might benefit you.

Number of Compartments

Locker banks are usually available in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 compartment styles. The configuration you choose will depend on how many people will need lockers. They are usually in vertical configuration although other styles are available too.

The items to be stored in the lockers will also determine what style and how many compartments you choose. Longer styles allow for hanging items of clothing like shirts and jackets, while shorter ones are ideal for smaller pieces of equipment, gym gear, handbags and such. Combination styles allow for both smaller and larger equipment or clothing.

Lock Types

There are a variety of different lock types available:

  • Cam Lock
  • Hasp Lock
  • Combination Lock
  • Coin Lock

Cam Lock: A cam lock is opened with a small key. This is a simple and economic method and is ideal for general office use. Keys can be replaced and you are usually provided with at least one duplicate of each key.

Hasp Lock: This uses a padlock, which can either be supplied to the employee, or they can use their own. They are secure, and allow for a certain degree of flexibility, as there are varying padlocks available, including those with keys or with combinations.

Combination Locks: This are keyless and are opened using a numerical combination. They often have a master key override should someone forget their combination. Choices include mechanical or electrical; mechanical are tumbler systems. Electronic combination locks are more functional but are more expensive.

Coin lock: Is opened using a coin deposit into the lock. Some styles can retain the coin, while others will release the coin to the user when they are finished with the locker. Most suitable for public use such as sports centres or swimming pools. The use of a coin minimises chances of keys being lost or the user walking away with the key, and can prevent people from storing items for longer than you’d like them to.

Door Types

Standard doors are medium duty and are best used in areas where there is a lower security risk. They are durable enough to prevent opportunistic access by users, but are not strong enough to dissuade or prevent burglars from accessing valuables or sensitive information.

Toughened doors are more strong and durable; they are double-skinned, so while they look the same as standard doors, they are much more difficult to gain access to. They are often specifically designed to prevent brute force access by bursting doors inwards.

Mesh or wire doors are designed for premises where visibility of the contents of the lockers is important. They allow employers or security personnel to see the contents without having to open the lockers.

Accessory Options

Sloping tops are available as a style option in many lockers. They are designed to prevent people from storing items on top of locker banks which can prevent clutter and untidiness. They also prevent dust from gathering and are easier to clean.

Locker stands lift lockers up from the floor. This allows for easy cleaning underneath the lockers and can also raise locker banks into a more suitable position for general access.

Locker seat stands allow for a small bench to be installed in the front of the locker. This can be useful where space is at a premium and is particularly suitable for premises where employees are required to change into uniforms or to change shoes.

 

Types of lockers

Express Lockers

A range of lockers available with express delivery included as standard; many locker styles are made to order and can take some time to deliver, but if you need them fast, this is the range to choose. Compartment Lockers

Ideal for storing smaller items like laptops, compartment lockers come in the form of one lockable door with a number of tray compartments inside. These are not suitable for individual security but are instead designed for overall or departmental security.

Quicksilver Lockers

High quality engineered lockers with built in security and a choice of cam, hasp or staple locks. Air vent system circulates air and keeps lockers fresh, welded plinths and door stiffeners add extra security. Powder coated with Active Coat anti-bacterial coating.

Economy Lockers

A great budget range that doesn’t skimp on security or hygiene; available with Active Coat or Biocote coatings.

Imperial Lockers

Another economy range with a choice of Active Coat coatings. These also come in a large selection of colour choices, making them ideal for any office design.

Atlas Lockers

Strong and durable with standard key locks or hasp and staple options. Anti-bacterial finishes and louvred doors for ventilation make them hygienic, and they also come with corner and height stiffeners and coat rails. Delivered assembled to kerbside making them easy to install.

Colour Max Premium Lockers

Active Coat for hygiene and available in a range of striking colour combinations. These are secure, durable lockers with a choice of locks, welded internal door strengtheners and the ability to nest multiple lockers in your own choice of combinations.

Premium Quality Lockers

A fantastic range of lockers in a variety of styles, these are strong, durable and very secure. A range of colour choices and styles that are for general, laptop or garment use. Each comes with Active Coat coating for extra hygiene protection too.

UltraBox Plastic Lockers

Ideal for wet and humid environments, these are fully waterproof and suitable for schools and hospitals, leisure centres and swimming pools or changing rooms and gyms. Available in a bright range of primary colours, these are also UV and chlorine resistant, with a variety of lock options available.

Metric Lockers

British Standard metric lockers with Biocote coatings for anti-bacterial protection. Available in a range of nests and tier options and a variety of combinations that includes garment hanging. Delivered assembled for easy installation.

Active Coat Lockers

Our full range of Active Coat lockers, coated with a protective coating that is hygienic and anti-bacterial for health and safety.

Biocote Lockers

Our full range of lockers coated with Biocote industry-standard anti-bacterial coating for health and safety.

Coin Lockers

A choice of coin return or coin retain lockers, ideal for public use. Available in a wide range of styles to suit any environment or use, including garment, cube and golf lockers.

Sloping Top Lockers

All of our lockers that come with a slope top option; this is ideal for preventing clutter from gathering on top of the locker banks, reduces gathering dust and is easier to reach and clean.

Fully Welded Lockers

Robust, fully welded lockers ideal for use in warehouses, offices, education and retail environments. They are strengthened for long lasting quality and durability and come in a range of styles, sizes and with slope top options. Available in 11 colours and the option of bespoke sizes.

Bisley Lockers

FastTrack lockers that come in two sizes from a UK manufacturer. Manufactured to stringent British Standards for security, strength and stability, with flush surfaces, ventilation holes and knock-outs for bolting together in your desired combinations. Provided with insert card holder for identification.

Wet Area Lockers

A range of water resistant lockers for use in outdoor and wet areas.

Stronghold Lockers

Heavy duty lockers ideal for heavy industry use. Heavy gauge double skin doors provide protection against leverage and impact, coated in BioCote anti-bacterial protection and comes in a choice of 7 colours.

Cube and Quarto Lockers

Compact lockers ideal for smaller items that can be configured to suit your requirements. Available with a range of functions, including coin return and retain, and with a choice of BioCote coating.

Sixto Lockers

Great for individual use or bolted together in groups, they come with perforated doors for extra ventilation and a welded door strengthener for increased security.

Personal Effect Lockers

A range of lockers that are comprised of smaller compartments, each individually lockable, perfect for small personal belongings or valuables.

Perforated Door Lockers

Our full range of lockers available with perforated doors for increased ventilation and for easy visibility of contents without having to open the lockers. Available with BioCote or Active Coat coatings.

Punched Door Lockers

Similar to perforated doors but with much easier visual access thanks to the large punched squares in the doors. Also useful for increased ventilation and coated with BioCote coating.

In Charge Lockers

A handy range of lockers that has integrated charging ports for charging phones, tablets and small power tools.

Post Lockers

A range of lockers designed for secure post. Each compartment has a letter slot for post to be put through allowing employees to access their post securely at a time of their choosing.

Clean Environment Lockers

Our full range of clean & dirty lockers, lockers designed for uniforms and those designed for clean room use.

Primary Lockers

Perfect for schools and other educational establishments, these junior lockers are lower in height, fully secure and come in a range of bright primary colours.

Junior Lockers

Another range of lockers that are primarily designed for use in schools and educational establishments.

Disability Lockers

These lockers are fully accessible for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users. They are lower, providing easy access and convenience, with a high visibility key cover. A choice of 8 locks available, fully secured and with an Active Coat coating for hygiene.

Low Lockers

The full range of lower profile locker suitable for younger children or people with disabilities.

Laptop Lockers

Compartmental lockers ideal for storing laptops. These include our charging ranges with integrated charging ports for charging up laptops overnight. Available in trolley styles for easy access and in a range of styles and combinations, including Active Coat coatings.

Garment Lockers

A full range of lockers that are designed for hanging garments. Including integrated hanging rails for shirts and jackets.

PPE Lockers

Lockers specifically designed for storing personal protective equipment. Available in a variety of configurations with air vent systems, full security and full-length stiffeners. With Active Coat anti-bacterial coating.

High Capacity Lockers

Designed for maximum personal storage, these are ideal for storing uniforms, PPE and tools or other equipment. With adjustable shelves and a hanging rail, ventilation holes and Active Coat coating, delivered assembled and supplied with two keys.

Police Lockers

These are specifically designed to accommodate body armour and contain full width top shelves, coat hooks, high visibility key covers, air vent systems and full security. Also available in a large volume style with space for extra equipment.

Clear Door Lockers

When you need full visibility of locker contents, the clear door style is ideal. There’s no compromise on security, as they use shatter proof polycarbonate doors for full protection. With welded plinths, a choice of lock types and Active Coat anti-bacterial coating.

Wire Mesh Lockers

Perfect for retail, construction and manufacturing industries, offering full visibility of contents. Legs lift the banks up off the floor and they are available with or without doors. Also with hooks, hat shelfs and available in a choice of 4 epoxy polyester powder coatings.

Triumph Fusion Lockers

A stylish, executive locker range with wood panel doors available in a choice of 8 different wood finishes. They offer the strength of steel with the fantastic look of wood, and come with a massive 10-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Wood Door Lockers

Wooden golf and cloakroom locker ranges with a variety of combinations and styles available, including Active Coat coatings.

Golf Lockers

Designed to British Standards and ideal for use in changing rooms and leisure environments, they come with a choice of 7 colours and BioCote coating.

Trespa Shockproof Lockers

Made from Trespa 10mm solid grade laminate inset doors, these lockers are touch, resisting impact, scratches, moisture and heat. With high security inserts, anti-vandal internal doors and die cast securing plate clamps for improved security. Choose from 5 attractive door colours.

Stainless Steel Lockers

Hygienic stainless steel lockers with flat or sloping tops, welded and riveted from 304 quality stainless steel sheets with a brushed polish finish. Available in a number of styles to suit varying requirements.

Plastic Lockers

Stackable plastic lockers that are made from durable vandal-proof polyethylene. Ideal for outdoor use, or for swimming pools, wet change areas and youth organisations. Includes label positions and fitted with internal drain holes allowing the lockers to be hosed down for cleanliness.

Pod Lockers

Pod lockers maximise your space using a circular or zig-zag formation forming compact pods. Available in 7 or 11 locker circles with a choice of between 1 and 6 tiers. These lockers are robust and durable, with full security features, Active Coat anti-bacterial coating and a choice of accessories including sloping canopies and a 360° rotating base.

Archway Lockers

Ideal for cloakrooms, these lockers form archways with sets of lockers on each side and a bridging unit between with a coat rail for hanging jackets, coats and shirts.

Cloackroom Benches and Stands

A fantastic range of locker stands to lift locker banks up off the floor for hygiene and easy cleaning, and a range of coat rails, walk hook strips and cloakroom benches.

 

Using lockers safely

The use of lockers in business carries with it some factors regarding privacy and security that you should be aware of. There is always a balance to be made between the two, and offering employees’ lockable, private lockers for their own valuables and equipment suggests a certain degree of privacy.

However, there may be occasions of workplace theft where you believe that culprit is storing the stolen items in their locker. What should you do then?

The first thing to consider is that the employees’ right to privacy means that you shouldn’t intrude into their private affairs in a manner in which a reasonable person would be offended. This includes no unannounced checks on employees’ personal spaces or “breaking in” to secure lockers without their consent.

However, where the lines are blurred surround the question of whether employees have this right to a reasonable expectation of privacy at all. In practice, this can only be decided on a case by case basis. For example, if you supply lockers but allow employees to purchase their own locks, and you don’t require them to provide you with a spare key or combination, then you could be found to have infringed upon their privacy if you attempt to enter the locker.

Conversely, if you supply lockers and issue staff with keys or combinations, the law could find that you have a reasonable right to enter those lockers unless otherwise stated.

Realistically though, you don’t want to rely on what-ifs in the case of the worst happening. The easiest way to ensure that all parties know their rights and responsibilities is to create a staff policy around the storage of personal items on company property. This should establish the scope of any possible searches that may need to be undertaken.

Such policies should be provided to, and accepted by, all employees as a condition of employment. They should also outline the consequences involved if an employee should fail to cooperate with these searches.

In order to maintain staff relations, and avoid a culture of fear or blame, searches (whether random or related to a specific incident) should be carried out privately, away from other staff members, but with the employee in question present for the search. The reasons for the search, and the results thereof, should be kept fully confidential.

Accusations of theft can tarnish reputations, even when the outcome is that the employee is found to be innocent of all such accusations, so always keep searches private and confidential.

It’s considered best practice to gain the employees’ consent before carrying out a search of their personal property. Depending on the wording of your policy, such consent may be considered a condition of continued employment, and if they refuse the matter would need to be dealt with by HR as a thoroughly and properly investigated disciplinary issue; you should never force consent, or force entry if an employee refuses to give consent.

In the event of what may be considered a “stalemate”, where you have reasonable suspicion of a crime and an employee or employees refuse consent, and where a disciplinary process to resolve the issue would take too long to complete, there is only one suitable alternative: you should report the crime to the police and allow them to conduct the investigation.

Above all, though, you should ensure that you plan ahead for every eventuality; searches of employee property, for whatever reason, can foster an atmosphere of distrust and can affect your overall staff morale, loyalty and productivity. Get the right policies and procedures in place well in advance of any issues if you are planning on offering employees the right to use lockers to store their personal belongings on company property.

 

General best practices when buying lockers

Buying lockers is a fairly expensive investment in your business and, just like any other major capital purchase, you need to make the right decisions. By following best practice for buying, you can make sure you get the best possible lockers for your needs, from a great supplier and at a great value price. Here are some of our top tips for buying lockers in the best way possible.

Carefully research your supplier

There are many suppliers out there and you can choose preferred suppliers you’ve already done business with, well-known high street brands, reputable retailers you aren’t familiar with and even obscure online-only retailers. Whichever you choose, it pays to do your homework to ensure that they are reputable, legitimate and trustworthy suppliers before you agree to hand over any money.

Some key red flags to watch out for when you’re shopping online include:

  • Security flags or browser or anti-virus warnings – most modern browsers will flag up sites with a security warning if customers have reported scams or phishing
  • Most reputable retailers will provide customer feedback and reviews; if you don’t see any at all, try somewhere else.
  • Legitimate suppliers will post their registered office address and a telephone number on their site; if you don’t see any of these, or there’s only a PO box address, avoid.
  • Websites are one of the key marketing channels for businesses nowadays and most spend a considerable amount of money making sure they are legible, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. If you spot poor design, broken links or images or bad spelling or grammar, try another site.
  • If prices seem too good to be true, they probably are.
  • Avoid buying from very new or young businesses or websites

It’s easier than ever to check the authenticity of a website thank to the ‘whois’ lookup service. Just type in a URL or IP address and you should see the registered details of the owner, including how long the site has been running. Site owners can choose to hide their details behind that of their hosting companies but legitimate retailers rarely do this. If you get a feeling that the details are wrong or hidden from view, it might be best to look elsewhere.

Scammers can clone websites entirely in order to phish for credit card information. Thankfully, browsers usually pick up on this and warn you but always trust your instincts if something feels off.

Even if you’ve checked out the website and it’s authentic, you should think twice about buying from a very young or new company. While they might be able to offer you great deals in order to undercut their competitors, they might not have a suitable track record in terms of dealing with issues or complaints. On top of that, they could also cease trading; this could result in making your warranties or guarantees null and void, leaving you to shell out for new equipment if they become faulty or defective.

Always check the reviews

Most retailers will post customer feedback and reviews on their sites these days and this can be a great way of assessing the pros and cons of the items you’re considering. Even on a high-scoring product, that single one-star review could reveal some much-needed information.

However, don’t just take into consideration single reviews; look for the average score, and check a selection of reviews. Sometimes customers will score an item badly when they actually failed to read the specifications or chose the wrong product for the job. Bad reviews can also provide you with an opportunity to see how the retailer handles problems.

Shop around for the best price

Once you have an idea of the item you want, it pays to shop around. This has never been easier thanks to online shopping; you can either visit a number of sites and compare prices on similar products or use price comparison sites or browser add-ons to compare deals on like-for-like items. Always make sure you gather a few quotes on your item before you make a decision.

It can be worth contacting your prospective supplier to discuss the products and what they have available. They might be able to provide you with handy tips that result in your getting a more suitable item than you might otherwise have chosen. While you’re on the phone, ask if they offer any discounts for first time buyers or if you open up a credit account; they might be able to reduce the price or offer some accessories, and if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

The headline prices are obviously important, but you should also make sure you know whether there are any additional costs involved in the purchase. Some of the most commonly encountered additional charges can include:

  • VAT: Currently standing at 20% in the UK, this represents a massive chunk of the overall cost. Some suppliers display prices without VAT and some with; just make sure you know which is which before you buy.
  • Import or export tax: Buying items overseas can sometimes result in ridiculously cheap prices, but there’s a catch; you could be charged import/export fees or taxes. Because these are applied by Customs and not the retailer, you won’t be aware of these until you take delivery of the item and these fees can sometimes be hefty, especially for large items. Do a quick online search to see if you can suss out a ballpark figure for these fees before you buy.
  • Delivery: Here at Equip4Work, we offer free delivery on many of our products to UK mainland addresses. However, some suppliers will add on significant delivery fees, so check in advance to make sure you aren’t surprised.
  • Admin: It’s rare to see an admin fee applied these days, but it’s always worth checking, especially if you’re buying on a credit account. Check every item on your invoice to make sure you aren’t being charged unnecessarily.

Price isn’t always everything, either. While you want a great deal, it’s worth remembering that you also want excellent customer service, the best quality products and great aftercare, including warranties and guarantees. Factor these in when you’re looking at prices too.

Buy what you need, but only what you need!

Finally, it can be tempting when you’re buying online to opt for a product that seems all-singing and dancing. However, you should only buy for the problem you’re trying to solve. Don’t be distracted by gimmicks or bells and whistles and don’t over-purchase. Stick to the requirements you have based on the questions you previously answered and make sure you’re getting the right product for your needs.

While you want to make sure that you spend a bit of time planning your locker purchases, don’t fall into the trap of analysis paralysis; endless decision making on significant purchases can mean you get nowhere fast. The longer you spend choosing the products, the longer you spend not benefiting from the advantages the products can bring to your business.

Be efficient; work your way through this guide, gather the information and make your decision, and don’t be afraid to properly invest in the future.

 

Further information

Equip4Work carries a huge range of lockers and accessories for every requirement. All of our products have clear pricing, great photos and full specifications. However, if you can’t find what you need or you’d just like some advice on choosing the right lockers for your needs, our Sales Advice Team would be happy to help.

Get in touch by calling us on 08444 999 222, email us at sales@equip4work.co.uk or complete the contact form on our site and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 31, 2018 at 11:01 am