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Survey: Nearly Half of Respondents Report Processing More Laundry in 2013

CHICAGO — The majority of institutional, commercial and industrial laundry operators report processing more laundry this year compared to last year, according to results from this month’s American Laundry News Your Views survey.

When asked how the poundage processed by their laundry this year compares to 2012’s throughput, 43.2% say “somewhat higher,” while 5.4% say “much higher.” Conversely, nearly 14% say this year’s throughput was “somewhat less than 2012,” while a small percentage (2.7%) say it was “much less than 2012.” For 35.1% of respondents, the poundage processed by their laundry in 2013 was “virtually the same amount” as 2012.

Laundry managers taking the survey estimated their operation’s overall 2013 production to be up about 1.4% compared to 2012. Respondents’ total estimated poundage for 2013 ranged from 75,000 pounds to 107 million pounds.

Roughly 62% attributed their increase in poundage processed to “more institutional business or increased total accounts,” while one-third (33.3%) attributed the increase to “other” factors, like higher hotel occupancy rates, or providing “new products to existing customers.” (Respondents could choose any or all from among a list of eight factors.)

An even 19.0% say the increase was because they “expanded [their] facility or relocated to a larger site,” while equal shares of 14.3% say it was because they “added more production workers,” or “improved management/marketing ideas.” Roughly 10% pointed to a “redesigned workflow,” while another 9.5% say they “added, replaced or rebuilt production equipment.” No respondents attributed the increase to “improved transportation/distribution.”

For those whose operations fell short of annual goals or expectations, 53.8% attributed it to “slowing or loss of business,” while another 53.8% attributed it to “other” factors like the reduction of volume at hospitals, or the decline in hospitals’ inpatient census. (Respondents could choose any or all from among a list of eight factors.)

Equal shares of 7.7% say they were unable to meet 2013 goals because of “regulatory changes,” “marketing efforts,” “administration indifference or lack of support,” “productivity of staff,” or “capabilities of equipment.”

No respondents say they fell short of meeting goals because of “maintenance efforts.”

While the Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to American Laundry News e-mails are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].