Linen control is one of the most high-priority processes for any commercial laundry, regardless of size and scale. For facilities that rent out their own linen, however, this is arguably more important as mismanaged linen can impact service delivery and customer service – two factors you can’t afford to be careless about.
What goes into effective linen management? What does it take to ensure that linen flow and inventory is maintained with high levels of control and efficiency?
In our post, we unravel this topic and discover what it means to practice effective linen control and the tools and strategies that can help you stay on top.
Calculate your par stock levels and maintain them at all times
Par stock levels refer to the minimum quantity of linen necessary to ensure service supply according to your existing requirements. While this is a crude definition, there are actual calculations that can help you estimate the appropriate level for your commercial laundry.
According to the Laundry Forum, this takes the form of unit par level = Daily average usage X a safety stock (1.25) X the number of days supply is needed.
With certain commercial laundry management systems, you can digitise and automate this part of your laundry. Certain systems even feature RFID tags, which help you identify each item of linen, telling you either at what stage of the washing process each is in or with which specific client it’s with.
This ensures that at any given time, you know exactly where your linen is. Setting par stock, then, can be formulated with details as specific as the individual items of linen to be maintained as a part of your par stock.
Establish clear linen rental and customer guidelines
Another way you can practice effective linen control is by laying down clear guidelines and policies about how your linen should be used and returned.
This way, you ensure that clients don’t get reckless with linen that’s not even theirs, to begin with, and return your linen on time and in good condition. These policies can include late penalties for delayed returns and the costs of damage so that you have a clear framework in place if something goes wrong.
A seemingly small step like this will help you with two things: (1) Maintain your stock and guarantee the durability and long-term use of your linen and (2) maintain complete linen control regardless of how big your operations are.
Invest in RFID garment tracking
Linen control also becomes a dream when you have RFID capabilities within your commercial laundry.
Radio Frequency Identification tracking, as it is known in full, can be leveraged as a standalone solution or one that’s part of an overarching commercial laundry system. Regardless, this tool is inventory control’s best friend, given that it can identify where each item of linen is at any given time.
Through the functionality of the handy little RFID tag embedded onto your linen, you can even automate certain laundry handling processes that otherwise take significant manual effort. This includes directing each item to the right part of the cleaning cycle and increasing efficiency and speed within your facility.
Together with a comprehensive commercial laundry system, the degree of linen control you’re likely to enjoy is unparalleled.
Leverage laundry automation and industry best practices for effective linen control
At Bundle Laundry, we believe that linen control and the overarching component of inventory control is one of the most important things for long-term success in a commercial laundry.
In fact, we’re not alone in holding this belief. Facilities all around the world are adopting the latest technology and incorporating best practices into their work to ensure that their stock, as well as those of their clients’, are accounted for and delivered without a hitch.