do you want to risk damage and loss of quality control over your expensive linen investment to a third party?

For healthcare, an OPL can ensure a very high level of safety and security during the laundry process. This is a necessity when washing garments and bed covers that may be contaminated with harmful pathogens. A healthcare facility can ensure that all possible contaminants are isolated rather than divesting responsibility.

Is outsourcing the answer?

Nevertheless, there are situations when OPLs might not make financial sense. The option of autonomy means that operating a laundry on site requires a lot of your attention. Costs quickly escalate if it’s not properly sized and run efficiently, as washing and drying linen in small quantities is labour-intensive and requires high levels of resources.

Outsourcing’s most obvious attraction is in reducing less explicit costs through space savings, reduced assets and letting you get on with your core business.

A high-volume laundry allows labour to be more productive, supports investment in high-end equipment and helps conserve water, chemicals and electricity. Outsourcing reduces ongoing costs – both operational and capital expenditures – and improves the economies of scale.

The variable cost of outsourced laundry means that companies pay only when service is needed, rather than paying constantly to maintain in-house staff, and there is no upfront or ongoing capital expense needed to build laundry facilities.

Daily, an average-sized laundry plant processes anywhere from8,600 to 29,000 kgs of laundry. For smaller sites, it’s unlikely you will process enough laundry to be able to achieve these savings with an OPL.

There is never enough time in business, so handing over laundry responsibilities to a trusted partner removes the burden of time management from your already busy employees. Outsourcing also allows your laundry programme to grow or decrease in size without having to make any adjustments to on-site operations, improving linen use and further reducing costs. Upgrades are expensive: in fact, a highly efficient tunnel washer costs more than £750,000 and retrofitting might require major renovations, or rebuilding a facility to fit the equipment.

The merit of outsourcing is when a cost-centre has the

potential to convert into a revenue generator. Existing space, otherwise devoted to laundry facilities, can be used for other purposes; with hotels turning their laundry spaces into spas, retail stores, coffee shops and common areas that increase revenues significantly.

If your carbon footprint is a priority, a laundry service’s ability to use fewer resources with high-tech equipment makes it both cost-effective and energy efficient. Environmentally aware guests may look for hotels that share their commitments and this is only set to grow.

Dispensers are invaluable

Incorporating accurately dosing chemical dispensers is essential, regardless of how you choose to clean your linens. With a dispenser, the precise amount of chemical is delivered during the wash cycle to consistently clean linen. Because the chemical proportions are spot on, dispensers help to reduce rewash rates and reduce costs. Rewash cycles require additional labour, energy, chemical and water – and can even lead to premature linen replacement which drives up costs for laundry operators.

Dispensing systems are key to employees being more productive as they replace tedious manual tasks like chemical measuring and mixing. Also, because the wash process is completed correctly the first time, this saves reloading washers for a second cycle.

With dispensers installed, safety and sustainability are improved. Employees no longer have to come into contact with potentially dangerous chemicals that can result in skin, eye or respiratory injuries and cause days away from work. It also eliminates the overuse or underuse of product.

Making your mind up

Ultimately, the final decision is yours. However, it’s crucial you consider your unique needs and examine the trade-offs associated with OPL or outsourcing. Cost will probably be your first consideration, however cheap doesn’t necessarily equate to the best deal.

Whether you decide to operate an OPL or outsource laundry to a qualified provider, it’s important to make sure that reliable and accurate dispensing equipment is being utilised to ensure great wash results, while better managing costs and water and chemical use.


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