March 9

Stockpiling linen – how the wrong industrial laundry service practices hurt your clients

Blog insights, Laundry Operations


The occasional industrial laundry service practice of stockpiling linen is a strategy that could not only hurt your business but also one that’s incredibly harmful to your clients.

As a successful industrial laundry service, it’s essential to maintain good linen management for increased profit, to improve cost savings, continue satisfying existing customers, and attract more business.

It’s always less expensive to retain a customer than sign a new one, but that doesn’t mean you should increase the par level of linen for replacements with reckless abandon. As an industrial laundry service, stockpiling linen can cause plenty of challenges for you and your clients.

Hoarding linen can cause loss charges and you might face issues of not having enough linen in circulation during high-demand periods. Also, this incorrect industrial laundry service practice could increase the risk of contamination due to moisture, dust, high humidity, and increased human contact.

You will face the same consequences if your clients hoard the linen you provide as well. In light of this, it will probably be of immense value if you educate your clients about the risks associated with stockpiling linen at their place of work.

As an industrial laundry service, your priority must be to provide smooth customer service.

Not having enough linen during shifts

There could be instances when your laundry staff feel the need to stockpile linen out of fear that they will be caught empty-handed when additional linen is required during their shift. This could be the result of making fewer linen purchases without regard for appropriate par levels.

Not having enough linen in the loop could hurt laundry production and increase related labour and utility costs. Fostering confidence in your facility’s workers that linen will always be available in sufficient quantities when and as required, however, could be a useful strategy.

Whether it’s an issue of hoarding or washer under-loading, having a better understanding of daily linen requirements will allow you to establish more accurate linen par levels.

Communicate directly with your client regarding their activities to get a thorough understanding of their daily linen requirements. This is the correct industrial laundry service practice.

Route service reps may hoard linen to meet customer needs

The job of a route service representative is to deliver the products – in this case, the serviced linen – to the customer base within a geographic area. They have a designated route as defined by a weekly schedule.

The job of a route service representative can be very physically demanding as they are required to travel extensively and may end up working more hours depending on their routes and traffic.

Route service reps’ top priority is meeting the daily linen needs of the customers they deliver to. However, there could be times when the billed inventory doesn’t match the physical inventory. This may result in route service representatives worrying about delivering enough product for their customers, which might lead to linen hoarding.

You can stop hoarding by carrying out a route reconciliation audit of your returning vehicles on a daily basis. Check the inventory load sent out for the day against the load that returns and clarify any discrepancies.

Then communicate these facts about the shortage of linen returns and ensure that service reps receive 100% complete loads to prevent any future hoarding that may take place.

Make sure you’re practising good industrial laundry service practices

One of the most challenging aspects of industrial laundry service is linen hoarding. Keeping or stocking excess linen to meet the needs of your clients or to avoid complaints can lead to increased costs in production because of the economic fallouts of stockpiling linen.

To avoid hoarding and increased costs, the best industrial laundry service practice is to use linen management software to keep track of your production, operations and service. By integrating such productivity software, you can save time, money and provide exceptional service to your customers.

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