October 24

How to measure industrial laundry services with the right metrics

Blog insights, Laundry Operations


Setting up the right metrics for commercial laundry services is one of the most important decisions a commercial laundry operation can make. However, not all commercial laundry operators have the right metrics to measure operations. It is a severe problem because if metrics are wrong, then no amount of staff or technology will solve the problem. If the wrong metrics are in the spotlight, then commercial laundry operators will be focused on the wrong problems, which means investing in the wrong solutions. Hence, in this blog, we are going to take a look at how to identify the most relevant crucial metrics for commercial laundry operators.

The importance of establishing the right metrics

Setting the right metrics is one of the key decisions a commercial laundry operator can make. Without the proper metrics, it is impossible to set up a profitable business that runs efficiently. The right laundry metrics allow organisations to create a growth-oriented strategy, improve work processes and develop a more profitable business. Furthermore, when commercial laundry services companies have the right metrics in place, it gives operators much better insight into operational health and business discipline, paving the way for growth and increased revenue. The right metrics allow operators to know how many kilograms of linen are washed at any time, determine if the volume is down or up and match expenses accordingly. Without the right metrics, this insight would not be possible. Furthermore, there are growing pressures on commercial laundries to be more efficient and sustainable, while still meeting revenue targets.

Setting the right metrics for industrial laundry services

One of the biggest tests for a commercial laundry operator is setting the right metrics for their organisation. While some metrics apply to all businesses of this type and industry, like kilos per operator hour, liter’s per kilo and items per ton, these metrics tell only part of the story.

A commercial laundry services operator will want to take the unique challenges and objectives of their organisation into account. To get the complete set of metrics, commercial laundry operators should take a walk around their organisation, observe their operational environment and take notes of the areas that seemed to be going well and areas lacking control. Using these notes, operators should then evaluate performance measurement protocols and note where those measurements are lacking.

Next, the operator needs to determine what variables truly capture the performance of industrial laundry services. These measurements should be discrete and captured in real-time. It allows operators to understand how the business is operating on a moment-to-moment basis. 

The best way to outline variables for industrial laundry services is to take a look at the business process concerning the following areas: Order processing, scheduling/manufacturing, project execution, service/support and customer feedback. Once the business process is laid out, it is much easier to define key operating metrics. Outlining business processes in this fashion helps operators understand how the process affects multiple aspects of the business, and setting the expectation that different departments should work together to achieve common objectives.

Thoughts on key metrics for commercial laundry operators

While every industrial laundry service should strive to find their metrics, there are some key metrics that all organisations should consider incorporating into their operation. Some of the key KPIs include textiles processed, energy and water use, and carbon emissions. For example, when measuring water use, two metrics should cover the average number of washes per machine, and the volume of linen washed. When you compare the two metrics against one another, it is easier to measure how efficient each of your machines are in regards to water use.

When it comes to measuring the amount of textiles washed, commercial laundry operators should measure the total volume and total pieces processed, or % of textiles recycled or reused (year on year comparison). The % reused metric is a great measurement to compare against the volume of linen washed if operators want to determine how efficient their machines are. It is also a great metric to compare alongside electricity consumption, where the metrics are Kwh per annum or energy consumption in GHG emissions.

Using some of the metrics is a great way to see the quality of industrial laundry services, not just in terms of wash quality, but also in terms of energy efficiency and carbon emissions. These metrics are great to start with, but alone, they do not tell you the whole picture.

Measuring metrics with software

While setting metrics is important, it is just as vital to have the right software in place to measure these metrics. Hence, why commercial laundry software can be of a tremendous boon to industrial laundry firms. With the right software, all aspects of industrial laundry services, ranging from tracking laundry deliveries to operational efficiency, can be measured in real-time and in greater detail. Metrics are important, but having the means to measure these metrics, is just as important. Otherwise, operators will not be able to determine the status of their business or make informed decisions to improve the quality of service or plan future growth and expansion.

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