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Fine Tune Sounds the Alarm on New Provisions and Language in Uniform Rental Supplier Agreements

Press Releases • October 28, 2020

Language dramatically limits customers’ rights to both audit their suppliers’ past behaviors and to manage current and future spend

CHICAGO, Ill. – Oct. 28, 2020 – Fine Tune, a provider of ‘nuisance expense’ management solutions, noted today that leading national uniform suppliers have begun injecting particularly onerous and anti-competitive language in their standard agreements.

Fine Tune’s uniform experts caution that several new provisions in national agreements will limit customers’ rights to both audit their suppliers’ past behaviors and to manage their present and future.

For example, one of the new clauses limits the customer’s ability to recover past overcharges to the trailing six months, potentially allowing their supplier to keep months or even years’ worth of overcharging once it is discovered.

Fine Tune also cautions that the second clause is even more threatening to uniform rental customers, as it attempts to strip the customer of their rights to utilize outside experts, consultants or auditors in the management of this burdensome expense without the permission of the supplier.

In conjunction with this release, Fine Tune issued a “Uniform Rental Industry Alert” outlining the details, impacts to category owners and recommendations on how to address with suppliers.

Rich Ham, CEO of Fine Tune, said on the matter:

“Our recommendation is straight and to-the-point—reject this language to ensure you’re preserving the right to decide how you’ll manage this category and protect your bottom line. Your uniform rental suppliers shouldn’t be the ones to dictate the strategies you can and cannot use to manage this burdensome expense. At a time where corporate procurement resources are lean and the street offers a host of innovative alternatives for augmenting in-house resources, this is all the more important. In a host of indirect categories, more and more companies are deploying targeted experts frequently armed with powerful technology to drive cost savings and departmental efficiencies, and it is absolutely imperative that customers preserve their rights to employ these strategies. Don’t let your suppliers tell you how you get to manage them.”

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