Whether it is in-house or outsourced to a specialist linen service facility, linen management in hotels is seen as a critical process marred by high operating costs.
Despite these constraints, it is still possible for businesses to turn linen management into a tidy, efficient operation by focusing on four core areas, which would allow linen server facilities to cut costs and improve productivity while abiding by strict industry regulations.
Let’s explore these core areas that linen facility managers should hone in on to ensure that their facility is a productive and efficient one.
Improving product flow
Poor production flow is a contributing factor to high operating costs.
Often used to refer to the flow of linen through the facility, production flow is an indicator of the productivity and efficiency of a linen sevrice facility. High product flow indicates efficiency while poor or low flow indicates the presence of bottlenecks.
Managers should take steps to fix production flow to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the long run.
However, there may be many factors causing bottlenecks, such as space limitations, insufficient equipment, and plant layout design flaws, which means that fixing product flow requires you to take a long-term view of how the laundry operates.
Building contingencies into production
Furthermore, most managers fail to build contingencies into their facility, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with unexpected problems. If machines break down or employees get sick, managers are left scrambling to pick up the pieces of a production line unexpectedly thrown to tatters.
To prevent this from happening, linen service facilities need to invest in a contingency plan that can help them tackle unexpected issues.
Having contingencies in place would blunt the regressive effects of an unexpected incident and make it easier for the facility to recover.
For example, if machines break down unexpectedly, contingency measures would ensure the equipment is either repaired quickly or the flow is rerouted towards different machines to minimise disruption to production. Such established contingencies would keep production consistent while allowing linen service facilities to meet regulations.
Embracing automation in linen management
Turning linen and laundry management into an automated data-driven process can improve efficiency and cut operating costs. Technical innovations are driving the industry forward with automated machines that can reduce a facility’s dependence on labour.
For example, one facility invested in a new plant featuring automated systems, allowing them to reduce its workforce. This not only cut operating costs but also reduced the number of touchpoints for linen from eleven to four, leading to a more efficient and safer process.
However, automation is not just restricted to plant production and efficiency.
Managers can also use Business Intelligence tools and other advanced systems that can help them monitor the production process through different metrics, turning linen management and production into a data-driven, automated process. This provides them with a more convenient way to monitor operations.
With better insight, managers can improve efficiency, quality, and productivity in linen rental facilities.
Investing in green or energy-efficient systems
Energy-efficient systems can empower linen rental facilities by reducing resource consumption and improving production efficiency.
When you invest in these systems, it can lead to several short-term and long-term benefits.
Short-term benefits include reduced water consumption and reduced operating costs. For example, water recycling systems can reduce water consumption by 40 to 50%, reducing costs and meeting regulations. These systems can also deliver substantial savings in the long run.
Energy-efficient systems cover different aspects of production. For example, there are waste water heat recovery systems, low-temperature washing, dryer coaxial ducting, boiler stack economizers, and CBW Tunnel washers with high extraction presses, which can help you optimise production to reduce costs and improve productivity. Investing in these systems would improve efficiency in the long run.
Creating better processes for linen management in hotels
Linen management in hotels is a critical process that provides additional value to hospitality service.
Hence, it is critical for linen sevice facilities to optimise their processes to ensure that clean linen is delivered on time while ensuring that costs remain at manageable levels.
Optimising the production process would empower these rental facilities to maximise productivity while reducing operating costs, making it easier to meet regulatory requirements.