The recent trend in the escalating costs of textile products is causing many organization to refocus on reducing their linen replacement costs. In my experience over the last 10-plus years in laundry sales, service and consultation, the challenge of reducing linen replacement costs has been a recurring theme due to the rising costs of replacement linens, which account for up to 25% of a facility’s laundry-associated costs.
I recall working with a large long-term care facility a few years back on a linen cost containment program that we had built together. The immediate goal was to lower the facility’s annual expenditures on linens. The facility had been trying to accomplish this for several years. They were making the same mistakes that many facilities make: they were looking for a quick and easy solution. There is no such quick fix available, at least, not one that could be a sustainable solution over the long term. But it is interesting and educational when looking at the efforts of this facility and comparing them with the eventual solutions.
As a consultant in the long-term care facility, as it related to my position at the time, my immediate concern was to make sure that I could control those variables in a laundry operation that were contorable. By having a good working knowledge of certain factors that would contribute to the lifespan of linens, I could then help the facility to manage their costs.
The main factors where I knew I could have an impact were:
- Being able to evaluate the water quality, and the current condition of the linens.
- Knowing the types of linens being used.
- Knowing all of the various types of soils encountered.
- Making certain that their laundry machines are not only in good working order, but are also programmed to provide the correct formulas for washing the types of linen that this facility had in use. This includes:
- the correct number, sequence, length of time, water temperature, product selection and product dosage of each step, as well as proper drying time and temperature.
- Observing and consulting the laundry staff on the proper collecting, transporting, sorting, washing drying, folding, and storing of the linens.
By understanding these critical factors in any type of laundry operation, you will be able to positively impact the bottom line for your customer not only for linen replacement costs, but for labor, chemical, water, energy, as well as some additional indirect costs.
Andy Gail is the Associate Product Manager – Disinfectants, Insecticides, Laundry and Warewashing for the Betco Corporation. He is driven to ensure a cleaner more sustainable future through products, and programs that you inspire and we innovate. When not disinfecting or changing loads of laundry, Andy enjoys spending time with friends and traveling. Click here to contact Andy directly.