Volume Business: Enhancing Laundry Efficiency and Sustainability

By Mann, Bill | Health Facilities Management, March 2013 | Go to article overview

Volume Business: Enhancing Laundry Efficiency and Sustainability


Mann, Bill, Health Facilities Management


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

All commercial laundries are challenged to achieve the labor and utility efficiency needed to reduce expenses. The smaller the volume, the higher the cost of many key supplies per pound produced.

By contrast, economies of scale reduce the possibility that a laundry will become more expensive and less environmentally friendly. A decision to build volume by adding sister facilities' laundry work or outsourcing maximizes potential to increase efficiency.

But it restricts the flexibility to wash whatever goods you want when you want them. Environmental services professionals are challenged to judge whether the more supple approach justifies continuing to invest in a dedicated on-premises laundry (OPL).

Alternative arrangements

As scarcity of supplies that are dependent on harvesting natural resources such as energy, water and natural textile fibers fluctuates and their pricing varies accordingly, the stability of alternative health care laundry arrangements often becomes more attractive.

Renting linens instead of owning them as part of a laundry contract with an outside provider greatly simplifies the function and often is the most efficient choice. Rental laundry operators organize the laundry work from hospitals and health care facilities so they can share textile product inventory. Huge washloads make for economies and high efficiency in operating washing, drying and finishing equipment. On a per piece basis, these savings could be one-third to one-half the energy requirement of a small OPL and one-fourth to one-third of the water needed.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Of course, machinery efficiencies can be achieved through outsourcing techniques other than rental. A commercial facility that contracts its laundry work for hospital-owned goods delivers these. A co-op laundry sized properly to handle at least several hospitals with outpatient facilities providing additional work can produce enough volume to return the joint investment in high-capacity equipment and associated infrastructure. The latter offers the option of the co-op hiring its own management or contracting the facility's operation to a commercial launderer.

A third possibility is for a hospital to continue to wash some items in-house, but outsource specialty items with other hospitals to a commercial operation. This strategy is focused less on laundry efficiency and more on providing economic benefits and maintaining a positive relationship with the community.

Making the decision

Every operation in every business steadily revisits whether to leave the current operation relatively intact but improve its endurance or change to another option. The most efficient choice is usually the one found to produce better, faster and cheaper results due to an evaluation that looks broadly and objectively at the end-to-end cost and relative impact of all options.

High-quality service provided on time is the most popular argument for keeping a small-volume OPL. However, underloaded equipment sometimes jeopardizes this quality and raises labor and supply costs. In addition, measures of textile appearance, cleanliness and timeliness such as rewash, reclaim and discard rates that impact the quality of goods in service are sometimes not tracked.

The case for perpetuating any laundry is strongest when plant costs are tracked to prove they are not rising dramatically per pound produced. This starts with separately metering the laundry's utilities to ensure an accurate reading of its water and energy use. It's important to gauge equipment efficiency to reveal whether washing machines are using more water than they should or a boiler is as efficient as it used to be.

Likewise, an equipment life forecast should be conducted, including an assessment of the financial capability to replace and upgrade it. Better machinery almost always translates to better cost control by providing for less water and energy depletion per pound of laundry.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Volume Business: Enhancing Laundry Efficiency and Sustainability
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.