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Technological Transformations & Paradigm Shift

In the keynote address made at Gulf Laundrex Linen Care expo held in Dubai in November last year, Victor Bastian, Assistant Vice President-Linencraft stated that fostering open, free and transparent communication with various stakeholders is the way forward.

WITH 20 million visitors expected by 2020 and the related infrastructure investment and growth of tourism industry, Middle-East region is in an enviable position.

The present imminent growth and the opportunities demand that we must come together and think strategically if we are to benefit. We must not operate in isolation, if we want to maximize what the industry can take out of this growth.

With the population growing at the pace it is, the demand for laundering services in all business verticals is set to further increase. In fact, laundering demand is set to double in the UAE.

The laundry industry is diverse, fragmented and many of us work in isolation. As laundries have steadily increased their through puts, so have textile choices and linen specifications for the customer. This has put a strain on industrial laundries. Quality has become the key link between the customer, laundry and textile suppliers – this is to achieve maximum value for guest satisfaction. Traditionally, the customer, laundry and textile suppliers have all competed with each other.

Until recently, there has been no concrete and coordinated effort across the businesses to deliver textile choices and results that lead to sustainability of the entire value chain. We’re each striving to optimize our own businesses, which in isolation leads to wasted time, energy, and financial resources in the value chain.

There needs to be a paradigm shift in the entire industry wherein the interests and limitations of all stakeholders are taken into consideration. This should include the overall guest experience and satisfaction. We must break down the barriers between the various stakeholders, and that we develop a true and transparent environment. It requires insight into our customers’ performance parameters and their measurement yardsticks, so we respect their challenges. It requires cross-company, cross-industry, and cross-cultural insight to find opportunities within the value chain – based on mutual integrity and trust, proven over time.

Customers are an integral part of our business, and meeting if not exceeding their expectations by default is our priority. Thus, strong customer relations are key to our industry. In our desire to create a positive image and to increase our customer base, we tend to offer value-added benefits which are often not in our scope of services.

Shorter turnaround time, laundry privileges such as FOCs and discounts, longer credit periods, providing cages and stationery or in-house logistics support by way of manpower resources are examples of these benefits. All these are now being considered a norm by our customers, and a requirement.

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