Businesses that require laundry services – hospitals, gyms and spas, hotels, restaurants, and more – often choose to outsource laundry operations to an off-site provider. Outsourcing laundry services allows a business to focus on core competencies without the need to train new employees on laundry processes. It also circumvents the need to invest in commercial laundry equipment.
However, numerous issues can arise with third-party laundry services, and businesses should consider bringing it in-house.
Common Problems with Outsourcing Laundry Services
1. Long-Term Costs
Outsourcing laundry services may be viewed as an alternative to the capital investment required to create a commercial laundry in-house. However, the costs associated with a contract with an outside vendor will add up and overtake an equipment investment over the long term. Moreover, top-quality commercial laundry equipment is available for rent, with service and maintenance included, to help alleviate the financial pressures of setting up an in-house laundry facility.
For example, with the Laundrylux Laundry Equipment Subscription Service (LESS) program, customers can have new, commercial-grade equipment at their facility for a low monthly payment, with concierge support and service included. There are no startup fees or financial background checks required, and programs are customizable to meet the needs of your business.
If equipment ownership is more aligned with your business strategy, many vendors, including Laundrylux, offer laundry equipment financing with attractive terms to facilitate a purchase.
2. Quality Control
When laundry operations are outsourced, the primary business has a lack of control over the quality of the finished product. Cleanliness is a critical component of customer satisfaction for businesses of all types, but particularly for those that provide linens for personal use.
Any variation in the cleanliness of company-provided linens will impact customer satisfaction – but may be challenging to address through an outside vendor. With in-house laundry capabilities, quality can be checked, controlled, and adjusted as necessary to ensure a positive customer experience.
3. Slow Turnaround
Turnaround time is a primary point of negotiation when choosing a vendor to deliver laundry services for your business. But even if you’ve negotiated an accelerated turnaround with the vendor, it cannot match the turnaround time that can be accommodated by in-house laundry services. Further, in the case of an emergency, the vendor may not have the capacity to manage an unanticipated change in volume of laundry; or they may charge a significant fee for emergency services.
4. Unreliable vendors
Considerations of quality and turnaround time both speak to a similar issue: companies that outsource laundry services are dependent on an outside vendor for a function that is critical to their services and customer satisfaction. Outsourced laundry services can be affected by several factors – anything from power problems to bad weather – which can interrupt the delivery of laundry and linens. In-house laundry is managed by the primary business, which has a level of control that cannot be achieved with outsourcing.
5. Need to purchase additional linens
When laundry is processed off-site, the core business must invest in additional items to bridge the extended gap while laundry is with the vendor. A quick turnaround from a reliable vendor can help to alleviate some of this expenditure, but it cannot eliminate the need for additional purchases. With the improvements in control and planning available with bringing laundry in-house, the need to purchase additional items can be largely circumvented.
6. Environmental control
A customer rarely has the ability to dictate the processes used by a vendor, including whether or not the vendor is adhering to environmental standards. If a hospitality business wants to brand itself as ‘green,’ the environmental impact of laundry services must be addressed. With in-house laundry services, a business can use the most environmentally-friendly alternatives available as far as utility consumption, soap, and additives. This can go a long way toward the branding of a ‘green’ business.
While outsourcing laundry services may seem like a simpler option, it also involves a significant loss of control over a critical component of customer satisfaction. Any change in quality – or availability – of linens is sure to impact customer opinions about your business, for better or worse. And with the availability of an equipment subscription service like LESS, companies will experience cost savings as well.
Contact Laundrylux today to find out more about easy and affordable options for bringing laundry services in house, where you are in control.