Businesses share the same problems, frustrations, and successes in inventories. Here’s a blog that’s made for everyone that has to face these challenges and share tips and solutions.

It’s Just Linen – Until You Run Out!

Chef uniform laundry service for restaurants

Restaurant owners and managers have so much on their plate – is there enough staff to cover the evening rush?  Is there enough food to cover all the specials?  But what about the linens?  That normally is left last on the list but it is just linen after all…right?

Well when the food critic you were not expecting shows up and you have no clean napkins left, for them or for your other customers – things start to fall into perspective.  Apparently the linens were more important than you thought.  Don’t get caught pulling paper napkins out of a dusty storage closet for your customers!

So maybe it is just linen, but that linen says a lot about your business.  Clean linens, floors and facilities speak volumes on what customers think is going on in places where they can’t see… such as your kitchen.  If your linens on your tables are dirty they can only imagine what is going on behind closed doors.

Don’t leave your employees playing the – let’s see what’s clean in here game! Work with a quality linen service professional in your area.  We have pre-screened and filtered through many different providers all over the US as well as Canada and have chosen to work with the best of the best in the industry.

Ready to get started?  Click here

 

“If There Isn’t Dirty Linen, You’re Not Making Money”

laundrypic

My first trip to a commercial laundry plant began at noon. We drove to a local plant and as soon as I entered, it hit me. This place was hotter than waiting in a car without AC in the middle of a blistering hot Florida afternoon. I grasp my forehead as I feel the sweat trickling down my face. I stroll around the plant and with every step I took, I felt more at a loss of breath. All that was going on in my mind was “how do the employees stand working here all day every day??”

I met several employees and the owner of the company stated a quote that stuck by me forever “If there isn’t dirty linen, you’re not making money,” in regards to the smelly pile of used linen outside behind me. I slowly turn to notice the pile he is referring to and then wish I hadn’t. The pile was as large as a mountain and if I had a dollar for every fly I saw swarming around the pile, I’d be swimming in cash.

The company then washes and presses the dirty linen in the most impeccable method – you would never in a million years think you could get them as clean as they were processed. I noticed the perfectly folded linen and squeaky clean floor mats and could feel the pride that the employees expressed whenever they created this artwork. They sweated over the machinery and smiled at their finished products.

The laundry’s equipment was so loud I could not hear my own thoughts. They towered over me and I was highly intimidated by the size of these monstrous machines. The actual plant was not that large, yet the machinery made it seem as though I was in NYC’s Time Square surrounded by giant skyscrapers that made so much noise there was no escape from it.

My journey was soon over as I returned back to the office. There was a part of me that did not want to leave, I was still in awe at the amazement of the clean linen and the hard work the employees had to labor over and my dehydration was begging for a cool environment and water.  I returned back in the hopes that this was not my last trip to a laundry plant but next time I’ll come better prepared.

50 Shades of White [The Q and A]

The textile industry has experienced a long history of shading irregularities.  For a long time these issues were mostly evident on colored and patterned textiles.  Recently however, a problem has developed for linen companies with the largest consumed color – White.  Dying textiles is not complicated, but consistency is.  So I thought we’d bring on a supplier whose motif is “The Leading Supplier of Consistent Quality Textiles” for a Q and A session on the topic 50 Shades of White (there are actually more than that, but doesn’t have the same ring to it).

Samantha “Sam” Hickernell is the VP of Sales and Marketing for BLC Textiles.  She has spent her entire career in the industry and has worked with hundreds of customers on textile related solutions.

50 Shades of White

Q. Jeff

Sam, thanks for taking the time to join us to discuss the white shading issues in the marketplace today.  Having been to manufacturing facilities around the world, can you speak generally about the color white and how it’s produced?

A. Sam

Sure and it’s great that you referred to White as a color as it is no different than other colors as far as dyeing and finishing goes.  The color White is dyed as natural polyester and has a yellow/brown natural color.  Therefore it needs to be dyed similar to other colors.  In order to get the deepest, most consistent acceptance of the dye you need the right yarns.  Most importantly, you need to be able to create an environment where the product is exposed to high heat, consistent pressure, and the correct amount of time in the dyeing process. Generally this would be higher than any heat or pressure the product may be exposed to at a laundry facility.  These factors are key components to dyeing the color white.

Q. Jeff

That was a perfect overview.  When meeting with laundries who service all industries across the country, what do you think are the primary factors causing the shading problems seen at most plants?

A. Sam

As stated above, white is a color and because we impart dye into the product to create the color we can also remove dye over time through regular use.  Repeated exposure to chemicals in the wash process, chemicals at the end users facilities and high heat in the dryers and ironers will over time degrade the appearance of white.  Additionally, there will be differences in color however slight, between new and say a napkin produced 100 times.  One of the key issues operators face is polyester bodies exists long after the color begins to leave the product.  Many times shading can be a result of product hanging around too long.  As our Laundrypro likes to point out “polyester doesn’t tell you it’s time to throw it out like cotton did”.  A good program of culling out product that has lived its usable life and inputting new product regularly will help minimize color shading.

Q. Jeff

You mentioned chemical abuse as a factor, can you speak specifically about how and why this happens.  Also, are there any chemical companies that you think stand out and really work to minimize their products’ effects on a rental company’s goods?

A. Sam

I don’t want to give the impression that the chemical companies are abusing products however the regular exposure to chemicals does play a role in the life of the product.

We are not operators and don’t have the laundry “chops” if you will to endorse or recommend a particular chemical company.  I have found a great representative of any company can be a terrific partner in the success of a rental operation.  A true partner can easily collaborate with the manufacturers and work within guidelines to make certain the expectations can be met and even exceeded for their respective customer. We have worked with all of the major players in the chemical industry that serve our customers. I have found all of them to be professional, interested and ultimately have the same goal as the operator and us, that is consistent quality through the plant for the life of the product.

Q. Jeff

I understand not wanting to “recommend” any particular company [well, sort of].  Perhaps some chemical suppliers will decide to provide their own insights as the issue gets discussed.  What are some tips or questions you’d recommend companies ask their textile distributors to help them eliminate this problem?

A. Sam

The Operator should definitely try to understand how products are made and what the suppliers Quality Control processes are.  In addition, if there were to be a problem what is their method for solution of problems.  A qualified supplier will have the answers to these questions readily available and be willing to share why they feel their products meet the specific needs of the rental company. Additionally, wherever feasible a visit to the factory to see the process can be extremely valuable.  In implementing a new program it probably wouldn’t hurt to get the chemical manufacturers and the napery manufacturers together so they have a familiarity with one another and at the very least get wash and care recommendations.  Remember, we cannot eliminate color loss, the trick is to minimize it, and put it off as long as possible to get the maximum life out of the products that you are buying.  When we can collaborate with an operator and a chemical company to reduce fading and shading and take the product out further into its life; in terms of turns, we have done our job. Lastly, operators should purchase consistently in the table linen category.  When operators start buying from multiple suppliers it greatly impacts their shading opportunity in their plant.  Consistent purchasing helps with consistent quality.

Q. Jeff

What does your company do to make sure that the same white products ordered in January are the same shade as the product ordered 6 months earlier?

A. Sam

Our Quality Control is very detailed and starts with the yarn.  We have chosen to produce “Q” out of all Murata Jet Spun Yarns.  We feel that having the same type of yarns in both directions is a huge asset in reducing fading and shading.  Color is the human perception of reflected light.  When you have two yarns you will in fact have two perceptions of light.  There really is no way around that.  In time, as the product is used, this reflection of light can become dramatically different and cause whites to take on an beige or gray appearance in some products.  Our product is dyed and treated to get the maximum penetration of both dyes and soil releases under the careful auspices of our Chemist in Cambodia at our factory. He developed our proprietary time temperature model to insure perfection every time.  Our lab at the factory can and does analyze a percentage of the product under a variety of light sources for comparison and standard control.  As the product goes through the plant it is checked in every part of cut/sew.   In that process, every employee is an enabled Quality control inspector and has full authority to reject anything that does not meet our standard.

We are unique in the sense that we do not use automatic sewing and every piece of every product is hand inspected before it leaves the factory.  Lastly, once the product arrives in the US there are random wash tests done to insure consistency of all facets of the product to include dyeing.  Our belief is the process is the difference and we live and breathe by that motto.

Q. Jeff

You’ve offered up some great insight on the topic.  We really appreciate it!  If any of our customers are experiencing issues on the textiles they are purchasing and wanted to get some BLC samples, what is the best way to get in touch with your team to learn more?

A. Sam

They can contact their local representative at 844.500.7900, or feel free to contact me shickernell@blctextiles.com or Ben Pincus bpincus@blctextiles.com for more information, product samples or a personal visit for further review.  We look forward to serving the industry – thank you for this opportunity.

Jeff – Thanks Sam. We’ll look forward to seeing you and your team at CSC & the Clean Show.

Of course the new Universal Pictures movie “50 Shades of Grey” arrives in theaters next month.  I hadn’t planned to see it but after my wife played this song for me – I’m in.

Beware the Linen Service Magic Price Wand

Abracadabra! A simple wave of the magic price wand… and Poof – your linen prices have been raised!

Woah, I just signed the contract less than a year ago.  Can they do that and without warning?   What is being taken to the cleaners, my laundry or my business? (yeah, pun was completely intended).

Super Cheap Linen Service Prices

The Linen Service Magic Price Wand

Profiteering & Price Gouging in Linen and Uniform Services.  Unbelievable but true.  So how does this happen?  Well, a couple of ways actually.

Price Gouging happens in many industries.  For example, during natural disasters gasoline stations raise their prices knowing the consumer has limited options.  They need gas to get around. If they are one of the stations that were not affected by the events they will seize the opportunity to raise prices. Luckily there are government regulations that help prevent this from happening. However this is a shady, dark and dirty area for many laundries.

With linen service a major event does not need to occur in order to merit a price increase. Here comes the magic wand again. POOF!  BAM!  KAPOW!   Your linen service company has just raised your prices again! Hold up, BAM, AGAIN!? The answer is yes. Unless specific increases are written into your contact the linen service company can increase your prices… just like that.

How can you protect yourself? A reputable linen service company will be established and come with good references to back them up. These companies have been in business for many years and do not want to lose their community goodwill. But how do you know if a linen service company is really who they say they are?  That’s where we can help.  We’ve already done the homework for you.  We have excellent relationships with companies all over the U.S. and Canada to meet your business’s linen service needs.  Act now to receive a Free Quote from Linen Service today!

7 Ways a Hotel Keeps Its Linens and Towels Fresh and Clean

There is nothing better than sliding into fresh, crisp, white sheets in a lovely hotel room at the end of the day. Have you ever wondered how hotels keep its linens and towels fresh and clean? Hotels can go through hundreds of sets of sheets and towels a day. These hotels, inns, and bed and breakfast locations use a combination of fast maintenance and gentle care to ensure the long life and cleanliness of linens. Apply these seven principles used by hotels to extend the life of your household sheets, towels, and blankets.

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