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Survey: 2007 Throughput Virtually Same as 2006 for Most

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — When asked to compare their laundry’s poundage this year to its 2006 throughput, nearly 70% of those who responded to the final Wire survey of 2007 said it was virtually the same amount.
No one reported processing a much higher than anticipated amount, but 23% did say the poundage was somewhat higher than anticipated. No one reported processing somewhat less than anticipated, and 7.7% lamented processing much less than anticipated.
When asked about the overall condition of their operation compared to one year earlier, 53.8% said it was better, 38.5% said it was the same and 7.7% said it was worse.
Those whose poundage figure increased in 2007 from the previous year attributed it to gaining institutional business or increasing total accounts (83.3%); to added, replaced or rebuilt production equipment (16.7%); and/or to improved transportation/distribution (16.7%). Respondents could choose any or all among several factors or offer their own.
No one cited addition of production workers, redesigned workflow or expansion/relocation of the laundry facility as reasons their annual production increased. Reasons offered under “Other” were “the rewashing of unused linen stocked in patient room” and “increase in hotel occupancy.”
Among those whose laundry operations fell short of goals or expectations for 2007, many (62.5%) blamed staff productivity as a cause. One-quarter of respondents cited marketing efforts, while 12.5% cited capabilities of equipment, maintenance efforts and/or administration indifference and/or lack of support. Again, respondents could select any or all among several factors or offer their own.
None blamed their bad year on regulatory changes. Reasons offered under “Other” were “lost customers (and) reduced linen usage” and “labor strike.”
Competition has a significant impact on only one-third of respondents, who said it was “one of the main reasons why things get done.” Competition has “little effect” on the actions of 41.7%, and 25% say competition has “absolutely no effect” on what they do.
Just 23.1% of respondents said that they or any members of their management staff were eligible to receive a bonus based on their laundry operation’s performance.
Finally, respondents were asked to grade themselves on how well they managed their operation in 2007. Nearly 77% gave themselves a B. Small minorities of 7.7% each chose A, C or “I’m not sure.” No one who responded chose a D or F.
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails have the opportunity to take an industry survey each month. Click this link and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service.
 

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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