Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Higher linen Inventory levels can reduce costs

You might ask; how can spending more of my budget on linen inventory help reduce my overall linen costs?  Many Health Care and Hotel facilities who provide laundry processing of their own linen,  make the common mistake of not having an adequate inventory level ( or par level as it is referred to in the industry) to maximize the number of cycles their linen can sustain. In large commercial laundries that rent or deliver linen to off-site premises, the correct "Par Level" of inventory is critical to their bottom line. Too much inventory or too little inventory can have extreme affects on their profitability. How does this work? you might ask.

Tip #2
Most linen used in Health Care or Hospitality facilities is made with blended polyester and cotton yarns. The blends can vary from item to item, and in some cases, like terry towels,  they would be made with 100% cotton yarns. To understand blends and yarns better, one only has to take a look in the lint tray on their dryers after a load of 100% cotton towels has been dried. Compared with say, a load of sheets, you would find a substantially greater amount of lint from the towels compared to the sheets. This lint is what eventual becomes of most linen products. Once enough of the yarn fibers have fallen out as lint, the linen items are deemed as too thin and are discarded or used as rags. It only makes sense that the more excessive the linting, the lower the life expectancy of the linen item will be.

What causes excessive linting? There can be a number of causes for excessive linting; (see a few common causes listed below)
1. Poor quality Yarns: Many inexpensive sheets and towels use coarser, short length yarns. This type of yarn will tend to lint more than finer, longer yarn fibers.
2. Mechanical Action and Chemicals: Over processing your linen can also cause excessive linting. The use of chemical surfactants and bleaches can reduce the life span of your linen.
3. Low Inventory Levels: If your inventory level of linen is too low it can result in over processing the inventory you have. If you are washing and drying the same linen everyday this will result in excessive linting and reduce the linen life expectancy greatly.

To get the most from your linen and reduce your total linen costs you will have to look at your linen in a different way. Think of your linen products as your team and the cotton fibers as your star players. Both your team and your Star players require rest to preform at the top of their game. In order to maximize your linen's performance, you will need to create a "Par Level" (inventory level) that allows each of your linen items to rest for a 24 hour period before being placed back into service. The basic minimum "Par Level" a facility processing their own linen should maintain is a "3 Par Level". This level will allow you to have 1 set of inventory resting on the shelf, 1 set of inventory in service and 1 set of inventory in the laundry processing. An extra par level can be beneficial, however, even working with the minimum will result in cost savings for your facility.

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