Inhouse laundry and Outsourced laundry: Global vs India
John Hacker, having an experience of over 30 years in the industry shared his thoughts by saying, “I’ve been monitoring the Indian market since 1999 trying to see how it has progressed. Today, over 80% of the hotels are doing their work with small inhouse laundries. A trend towards outsourcing is developing in the Indian market. 10 years ago, in China, Beijing and Shanghai, about 80% of the hotels had inhouse laundries. Today no one is doing inhouse, all is outsourced to central laundry companies.”
The laundry industry in India is greatly fragmented and unorganised. Today, hotels want to keep their core competence of servicing the guests and not get into back office operations. The trend is changing towards quality offsite laundry. Onsite laundries are 40-50% more expensive than offsite laundries.
India is a traditional player in the laundry industry. Whatabout importance of training and professional development?
Training & laundry development is primitive in India. There is no formal training for laundry managers. As the larger laundry companies come in,people invest in huge equipment. Also, they would have to invest in creating fantastic people as well for using the technology. People in India worry about the cost for training a well-informed laundry manager as he can quit the company for a better placement abroad.
Maintaining linen is not an easy job. Because of this, there is a need to have qualified people. One of the main problems in India is that input is not constant. There is no input check at all. There is a dramatic difference in the linen quality in India and rest of the world. Some of the reasons are:
- Most people in India eat on the beds in hotels
- Dust conditions being different
- Soiling of the linen is very low
- Sweat due Indian climatic conditions
Chemicals & psychology should be different for Indian customer base and western customer base.
How machinery and chemical manufactures can bring in training?
Training covers a lot of different areas. Machinery manufacturers can provide information on how to maintain the machine, fix the problems, operating the machine and help the start-ups for training staff. Once the equipment is commissioned and handed over, it is on the laundry operator to run the business. There is a choice of running it on their own or hire professionals.
Water & Energy Consumption. Global vs Domestic
To know the actual cost and tracking the base line is extremely important. In Europe a laundry measures its water consumption on hourly basis. Everyone has a water and an electricity meter of their own.
Energy prices in India are incredibly different. Same as electric crisis. Energy is going to be more expensive. It is better to watch out the basics and monitor the consumption for making laundry better for the future.
How a machinery manager can help in reducing water & energy consumption?
Energy was a huge topic in the mid 20’s, but not now because most manufacturers have put systems in place to improve energy efficiency.
A washing machine consumes about 25-30litres of water per kilo. Whereas compared to a modern central laundry the water consumption drops to 3 to 5liters per kilo. Its not about just water and chemicals. It’s about Energy. We see a 50% reduction in steam consumption.
The carelessness in India to discharge more water into the systems is because people here don’t pay for water out. In Europe and America, they pay much higher cost for water out. That’s one of the things that will catch up in India in next 5-10 years.
Is there anything new in the washer extractor where you can remove more water and less damage to linen?
The developments we are looking at is the jet rinsing process and this is to speed up the washing process. If you extract the water and reduce the residual moisture to 50%, then linen acts as a sponge and as soon as the fresh water comes in, you can start to rinse much more quickly and in a short period of time you can get a good result.
Filtration of water
The requirements for hotels are more diverse than they were 10 years ago–different textiles, colours, types of towels– and hotels want to identify their own brands and image. Textiles are become more important. But for laundry, it has become a challenge because you are no longer washing standard items. Tunnel washers should be able to handle diverse range of items and fabrics and be future proof because it is an investment for 20 years.
Advantages and usefulness of the RFID
RFID systems are end to end solutions. It tells you the exact cost of your production and the life of linen. The suppliers need to know the results, who is giving longevity within the parameters. All these factors help in optimizing and maximizing profit in returns. RFID’s initial cost is high, but the operating cost is pretty low.
Another important factor to be remembered is that 90% Issues you get is because of inaccurate dosing.