Monsam Enterprises builds portable sinks
Editor’s note: Joseph Mosis, seeing a potential market for both the sales and rentals of portable sinks, founded Monsam Enterprises in Antioch, Calif., and resigned from his district manager position to devote all of his time to the new business in 2003. Mosis recently spoke with Rental Management about his company, his products and how they can be used in the rental industry. An edited version of that conversation follows.
RM: How does the equipment rental industry fit into Monsam’s sales strategy?
Joseph Mosis: As a company, we attempt to cater to the needs of our customers. Throughout our 14 years in business, we have found that there is an increasing need for our product on a convenient, temporary basis. Seeing as this need exists, renting out the equipment that is in demand proves to be beneficial to both the customer and the company.
RM: Why should a rental store carry Monsam’s products?
Mosis: The products that Monsam Enterprises offers play a dual role for varying outlets. They both ensure that customers find a solution to their needs while also adding value to the store’s cash flow. For customers, our extensive line of portable sink products provide lightweight, quick access to hot and cold running water, all while meeting health regulations. Our product is well-suited to the rental industry. If you rent a generator, you also can rent a portable sink. We have a customer who has a variety of outdoor gatherings during the year and does not want people to have to go in the house to wash their hands. Moreover, there is no one spot for the sink that will work for every event. The layout changes and with our product, they can place the sink wherever it is needed. Our products also can be used for big events, like street fairs or city events. We have two types of trailers with multiple sinks. There are sinks for food vendors to prepare food, while maintaining a separate hand-washing sink that the health department requires. We’ve created portable shampoo sinks for a beauty school and we have American Disability Act (ADA) compatible units.
RM: What do rental stores need to consider if they want to expand inventory and add portable sinks? What types of sinks are best to carry?
Mosis: In order for stores to consider expanding their inventory base to include our product, they would need to be equipped with delivery and pick-up services as well as be ready and willing to educate and advertise the easy use of self-contained portable sinks for a variety of occasions. If they want to rent to a construction site, then we recommend some of our larger, rugged products. If they have customers who want a portable sink for hand washing at an event, then they can opt for some of our designs with nicer finishes. If they want to provide sinks for the catering people at an event, then they would need three-sink models with integrated drain board, consistent with health department requirements. We make those with a small hand-washing sink inside the door, which is what the health department is looking for.
RM: Who would be the target customers for portable sinks?
Mosis: Target customers include those involved with event planning, temporary food vendors, short- and long-term construction sites, as well as any situation calling for hot and cold running water.
RM: How many washes before you have to replenish the water and empty the waste tank?
Mosis: A 5-gal. portable sink usually can provide 40 hand washings. Inside the cabinet, we have an on-demand water pump and heater. The pump is connected to the fresh water tank and pushes the water to the heater for hot water. The drain goes to a waste tank that usually has at least 2 gal. more capacity than the fresh water tank. We also work with a polymer material so that the countertops are antibacterial and can be used in hospitals when needed.
RM: How have your products evolved? On your website, you have more 40 models of portable sinks available with some sinks specific for certain end-user segments.
Mosis: Monsam products have evolved with the market. As we see new needs arise throughout our customer base, we promptly find a solution that meets their needs. We also are proud to offer fully customized hot and cold running water solutions ranging from propane to battery-operated units allowing us to essentially offer an unlimited number of products to our customers. We have sinks that use an electric pump, sinks that can be powered by propane and also a sink with a solar panel to keep the pump battery charged. The solar sink, however, only uses cold water. We do portable sinks up to 300 gal. for the Navy. A sink for a hospital might have a 16-gal. fresh water tank and 26 gal. tank for waste water. We offer standard units off-the-shelf and we can make anything customized to what a customer might want or need. We’ve done a five-basin sink with a foot pump for a hospital that was under construction and being remodeled.
RM: What do you see as the latest trends when it comes to portable sinks?
Mosis: A number of advancements have allowed Monsam to now offer both hands-free operation sinks as well as multi-sink trailer-hitch units.