While outsourcing laundry is financially wise, some facilities still doubt whether quality will remain uncompromised. According to Akash Dharamsey, Director — ADD Laundry Concepts Pvt Ltd, the right standards and the right price are not mutually exclusive. To achieve this, the customer needs to take an approach that is different from setting up an in-house laundry:
As we look forward to the lockdown being lifted and business activities gaining momentum, certainly, there is a need for good laundry services in many institutions, especially in the healthcare segment. Many of the institutions are considering having an on-premise laundry (OPL). But, as you can imagine, post-pandemic, budgets are a constraint and hence the choice is between setting up an OPL which is awarded to the lowest bidder, and inviting companies to provide comprehensive solutions from setting up equipment to operating the OPL facility based on set deliverables.
The process of procurement has been mastered by institutions, hence I will not delve into it. But should the approach be the same while outsourcing operations of an OPL? Can hygiene, quality, productivity etc be ensured while arriving at the right price? The answer is, Yes.
The approach here needs to be different, as you are purchasing the end product and quality, not equipment. One can start by defining the expected deliverables; a few examples are stated below:
- Quantum of load to be processed per day; anticipated variation, if any
- Hygiene parameters
- Whiteness index
- Finishing quality expectations of staff uniforms
- Turn-around time
- Linen discard ratio
- Linen rewash ratio
- Type of equipment: high-0spin washer extractors, barrier washers, chest or roll type ironers
- Condition of equipment: new or used
- Integration of technology
- Logistics from laundry to linen room
While one is listing out expected deliverables, it would be prudent to define:
- Location, laundry area
- Scope of civil, MEP works
- Scope of resources utilization: water, electricity, detergents
- Scope of licenses
- Exit clause
The next step would be to evaluate commercial laundry operators who have adequate experience in managing a professional laundry service. The above points are indicative and not exhaustive. I do hope that my point of view aids in good decision-making.