CHICAGO – Many laundry operators and administrators have a backup plan in place in the event of a temporary shutdown, according to results of this month’s American Laundry News Your Views survey.
When asked if they have a “formal reciprocal processing agreement with another laundry” in the event of a power outage, almost three-quarters of respondents (73.5%) say that they do, while 23.9% say they do not. A small share was unsure if they had such an agreement (2.7%).
“Major utility outages are covered with reciprocal agreements and/or informal agreements with other laundries,” says one operator. “Equipment redundancy is critical to compensate for major equipment downtime.”
Approximately 38% of respondents say their facility utilizes a backup power source to keep their laundry operational in the event of a temporary power outage. The remaining 62.8% say their facility does not.
Every laundry operator surveyed has experienced an unplanned service interruption in his or her facility, with more than half (54.0%) experiencing a delay in service of less than 24 hours, 31.0% of one to three days, 8.0% of four to seven days, and 7.1% of more than a week.
The primary reason for these service interruptions, according to roughly half of respondents (46.9%), was an area power outage. Another 22.1% say it was due to a natural disaster. Other causes were major equipment shutting down (17.7%) or other problems such as fire, construction and even water contamination (13.3%). No one who took the survey blamed a service interruption on a labor strike.
Roughly 68% of operators have had their facility assist another by temporarily supply textile services.
While some operators use a reciprocal agreement with another laundry in times of a temporary shutdown, another operator says, “[Keep] inventory levels where they need to be. I have a five-day par level to cover weekends, holidays and breakdown if needed.”
“If a major breakdown happens, you need good communication from the laundry manager to the customer,” says another operator.
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.