Capital Requests Hinge on Just Three Letters: ROI (Part 3 of 3)

“How can an on-premise laundry manager most effectively demonstrate to administration (or a for-profit textile rental operator demonstrate to financiers) the need for capital improvements and renovation in his or her plant?”Long-Term-Care Laundry — Gary Clifford, Pines of Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla.
Most facilities look at several factors when considering capital improvements or renovation. The one that usually makes it easiest to get your request granted by your administration is long-term cost reduction.
If you can prove your OPL can operate more efficiently and leave more dollars in your budget at year’s end, that makes a compelling case for granting your request.
Understand that you must use honest figures that can be backed up by independent sources. Whether you use your equipment representative or another “expert’s” valued opinion, you must make sure the figures are 100% accurate. I recommend using several sources.
And remember to factor in the total amount of volume you will be responsible for, not just a “guesstimate.”
Leave your ego out of the equation. While every manager would love big, shiny, new equipment, there is nothing more embarrassing to you, or damaging to a career, than thinking too big and ending up with equipment that requires more set-up time than it saves—and then sits unused!
[NP][/NP]Newer equipment is becoming more efficient every year, and you should factor in utility savings as part of your numbers. Though a lot of facilities do not break down utilities by department, showing a definite reduction in water and electricity usage can play a big part in your facility’s decision.
Never downplay the need to improve safety when making a plea for dollars. When you can prove that new equipment or renovations can eliminate unsafe conditions, the only prudent course of action is to go ahead with those improvements.
If you feel strongly that you have a safety problem, you must recommend a solution that eliminates it. And be sure to document any requests you make regarding a safety issue or violation, just to protect yourself, your staff and your facility.
Labor savings is an area that can greatly impact your ability to get improvements granted. A lot of facilities will be swayed by reductions in FTEs.
It is also your duty, as a responsible manager, to try to operate as efficiently as possible. When you can reduce manhours with new equipment or by redesigning work areas, that savings is significant. Emphasize improved efficiency, showing you can save time on one area for use in another.
For example, if newer, larger washers and dryers save four hours per day in your processing area, you can use that time in the folding area to eliminate the need to hire an additional part-time employee. The hours saved can be applied anywhere you need them without increasing your budget.
When applying for improvements or renovations, use every possible area of savings to justify your request. You may be surprised by which area leads to your request being granted.ATTENTION: American Laundry News Seeks Applicants for 2011 Panel of Experts; Nov. 17 Deadline to ApplyAmerican Laundry News seeks the contributions of today’s leading laundry and linen services professionals as it prepares to select its Panel of Experts for 2011. The magazine is seeking panelists who are actively involved in promoting the best interests of institutional or on-premise laundering and/or textile rental services.
The magazine will choose representatives from several industry segments, including hotel/motel laundry, healthcare laundry, linen supply/commercial laundry, textile/uniform rental and others, to contribute to monthly articles that will appear in American Laundry News and on throughout 2011.
Those interested in applying are asked to e-mail Editor Bruce Beggs ( He’ll supply a link to an online application that must be submitted by Wednesday, Nov. 17, for parties to be eligible for selection.Click here to read Part 2 of this story.Click here to read Part 1 of this story.


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