Who Would Have Thought Laundry Could Kill You?
There is a new world of health and safety and when it comes to uniforms, you had better heed this warning: if you cannot prove that a uniform was issued clean and processed correctly and someone falls ill, the ramifications could be disastrous.
You need to know how many times a specific garment was issued, to whom, how many times it was worn and washed, etc.
I have been working exclusively with laundry management and safety systems since 2009. I optimised hundreds of laundry processes from Bidvest to Virgin. I have seen first-hand how theft can be reduced and a safe, sanitary environment created. It is critical that you know where your inventory is, etc.
Why The Need For Technological Systems For Laundry Management?
A few of the most noteworthy obstacles facing the industrial laundry and rental garment segment as a whole – including those in the laundry businesses and others providing private wear across the hospitality, elderly care, industrial and healthcare sectors – is the need for increased inventory control, meticulous asset management, increased knowledge and automation as well as the upkeep of assets according to health and safety benchmarks set around the world due to the currently Covid-19 pandemic.
At a basic level, as the segment grows together with this pandemic, technological systems are about meeting the needs of the industrial laundry sector through its proficient usage as a management tool to reduce linen losses through tracking and identification and ensuring the cleanliness and hygienic requirements are met with every garment or textile asset.
Technological solutions, and its effective linen management tools, are able to efficiently manage large volumes of textiles and garments, trace textile assets through the production line to and from the customer, reduce theft as well as ensure sanitary and health regulations are adhered to. Greater automation and measurability, through the implementation of technological systems and tags, will improve the service levels and profitability of businesses in question.
Why The Rise In Popularity In These Systems
- Do you know, right now, how many of your units are in circulation?
- Can you tell where each unit is?
- How many units are being processed in your business per day?
- Does your linen, garments and textile assets comply with cleanliness and hygiene standards?
Failing to know the answers to the above indicates a necessary need for the employment of technical solutions in your business.
If you, like so many others in the sectors and laundry businesses, were unable to answer the latter, you’ll be one in many who are now beginning to look into such systems and seeking more proficient methods of tackling linen losses and ensuring healthy and safety benchmarks are reached.
Upon realising that laundry, garments and linen could kill others if not meeting cleanliness and hygiene standards, especially during current Covid-19 times, as well as kill your business in terms of theft and profit loss, you’re now realising just how important it is to employ technological solutions which can seamlessly manage your linen, garment and textile assets and tackle linen and garment losses.
The Present Sets A Precedent For The Future
Many business and organisations within the sector are now using technological systems and a range of applications, and this is set to grow in the near and far future. Not only will the percentage of sector members using the technology grow, but it’s predicted that the range of applications will increase as well.
Recent interest in technology has been influenced by factors including, but not limited to:
- Increased competition in linen rental leading to businesses focussing intensely on costs and as a consequence the need for the more precise control that technological solutions can bring
- The need for greater transparency in the relationship between laundries and their customers
- Control over stock to allow for laundries to understand who their customers are and how they are using linen
- Customers wanting a clearer view of the service they receive
- The increased need to achieve optimal cleanliness and hygienic standards due to Covid-19 pandemic and other prevalent illnesses and diseases spread through unhygienic garments and textiles
- The need for linen tracking and performance stability as well as cost of investment
- The need for accurate counting of garments and linen to ensure end-to-end accuracy
Let’s Talk Systems …
As applications and technological solutions are increasing, inventory visibility and management systems are becoming more integrated. Whether designed for flatwork applications or other, these systems are designed to work within the industry laundry environment and customer sites. From real-time reports, dashboards, workstations, tags, gateways and servers, these integrated systems significantly contribute to a reduction in linen losses and the optimisation of stock rotations, while assisting in real-time operational decisions and day-to-day business activities as well as the upkeep of optimal health and cleanliness standards.
As well as giving high visibility at every stage, allowing tracing and helping to reduce losses, the system provides valuable information on areas such as processes, stock levels and delivery. It records details of condemned stock and information that has implications for linen life.
Fortunately, these technological systems can be adapted to different sizes and types of operations and can be effectively used for both bespoke contracts and pool stock. It is encouraged that rental laundries, end user sectors as all members within the linen and garment industries employ these systems and enjoy the uses and benefits that these technological systems offer.
A Look Into Tags
Referring back to our initial point – proving that a uniform or linen asset is issued clean and processed correctly and gaining the knowledge of how many times this specific garment was issued, to whom and how many times it was worn and washed.
Laundries and sector members are becoming more ‘intelligent’ as a supplier by increasing their understanding of the product’s journey through the implementation of RFID chips which are sewn in at the point of manufacture.
These chips, and tags, produce information on matters such as how many times linen has been processed, and how long it has been in circulation before it is finally sent for ragging. These tags and chips are undeniably critical in preventing linen loss, with its enabling technology and benefits thereof seen throughout the laundry process. Tags, which can be retrofitted in 12 seconds using a heat seal, are guaranteed to withstand 200 washes under the harshest laundry process. These tags allows better management of stock levels , more accurate predictions of demand, and promotes a better understanding of product use in-flow and helps managers to answer queries and resolve problems as well as understand laundry logistics. The more information that laundries have at their fingertips, the better equipped they are to be efficient. The technology will help to highlight areas needing improvement and with the data it supplies TSA members can become intelligent suppliers that can advise and discuss problem areas with their confidence backed by strong, unquestionable information.
These technological units, in general terms, are the enabler of a punctual management system. The ability to track each individual piece with high precision allows managers to set and monitor KPI through dashboards and assist business decisions.
Providing Proof Backed With Unquestionable Data
With this technological systems and tags, businesses and sector members can now easily prove that a uniform, linen asset or piece of textile was in fact issued clean and processed correctly. So, what’s avoided is the opportunity for someone falling ill and disastrous ramifications.
Maximum control over every single textile article or garment is ensured. Each item is identified through the use of the tag, which facilitates control of high volumes of items which exit and enter any facility through washing.
Proof is provided as follows:
- Visibility and inventory accuracy through information provided pertaining to the availability and location of uniform, garment or linen items, reducing losses and wanderings.
- A significant reduction in costs occurring in resources for control tasks and the reduction of manual counting process.
- A significant reduction of losses from manual counting errors
- Recorded traceability of items which ensure quality standards and provide information on the state of the garments, thereby assisting in planned replacement, avoiding unnecessary costs and ensuring quality for the customer.
- Constant control of the garment
Are you Ready?
, Are you ready to enjoy the following benefits of a laundry management and safety system:
- Asset Management
Automate the management of equipment, files, and other assets. See the real-time location of items for visibility into workflow status and resource planning. Reduce capital expenditures and ensure compliance with maintenance and regulated processes.
- Inventory Management
Ensure your staff has the supplies they need, when and where they need them. Get accurate information about the location, availability and consumption of supplies. Manage inventory with lower cost through efficient utilization and expiration management.
- Supply Chain Effectiveness
Automate product management from manufacturer to healthcare organization to point-of-care. Ensure visibility of data required for track-and-trace and unique device identification (UDI) and Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) compliance.
- Patient Care & Experience
Gain visibility into patterns of movement through your facility. Automate workflow of patients and caregivers. Reduce wait times, improve process flow, support wayfinding and improve customer service to make the patient experience as positive as possible.
- Linen & Uniform Tracking
Automate the tracking of fabric items like linens and uniforms to ensure items don’t go astray, reduce safety stock, and keep supply matched to customer needs.