CHICAGO — The laundry and linen services industry is taking positive action to keep the business going in the face of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
Associations and organizations related to the industry have rescheduled networking and educational events and are providing informational resources online.
In addition, laundry equipment, product and services businesses are making every effort to provide what laundries need during this time while following federal, state and local guidelines.
Associations and organizations that support the laundry and linen services industry, including TRSA, the association for linen, uniform and facility services, the Association for Linen Management (ALM), the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA), and trade fair organizer Messe Frankfurt have made COVID-19 resources available and/or have rescheduled industry events.
TRSA continues to work with federal and state government officials to get the linen, uniform and facility services industry designated as an essential service in the midst of several state-mandated shutdowns of businesses deemed “non-essential” to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The association also has COVID-19 resources available.
ALM will be hosting a COVID-19 Industry Town Hall today (Thursday, March 26) at 2 p.m. Eastern. The event will provide an opportunity to ask questions (e-mailed prior to the webinar) related to infection prevention, environmental services, textiles and supplies, chemicals, and more.
Participating panelists include:
- CDC Recommendations/Information: Dr. Lynne Sehulster (retired).
- Laundry Operations: Charles Berge, Shared Hospital Laundry.
- Textiles and Supplies: Chuck Rossmiller and John Piazzi, Medline.
- Chemicals/Wash Process: Ryan Cotroneo, UNX.
- Environmental Services/Cleaning & Disinfection: Tiffany Brady, Creative Idea.
ALM also rescheduled its IMPACT 2020 Conference for Nov. 2-4, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, while the spring session of the Laundry & Linen College (Textile Care Services) has been rescheduled for June 22-26 in Richmond, Kentucky.
Because of rescheduling IMPACT 2020 to November, ALM has postponed the fall session of the Laundry & Linen College (Processing & Operations). New dates will be announced when available.
Information and resources provided by ALM can be found here.
TCATA postponed its Annual Conference, which was scheduled to take place at the end of April in South Carolina, until 2021. Resources provided by the association can be found here.
Finally, Messe Frankfurt has rescheduled Texcare International, which was scheduled for June 20-24 in Frankfurt, Germany. The quadrennial international trade fair will now take place Oct. 24-28 for the industry to showcase its innovations to a world-wide audience.
Messe Frankfurt still desires all market participants to enjoy the opportunities resulting from Texcare International in the current season.
Besides associations and organizations, companies that provide equipment, products and services to the industry are also taking steps to ensure laundry and linen services providers have the components needed to continue processing goods. The following are examples submitted to American Laundry News via press releases.
Equipment manufacturer Pellerin Milnor Corp. in Kenner, Louisiana, says employees will be positioned for parts and service support so that laundries can continue their operations, provided truck and delivery services continue to operate.
Additionally, many of its network of local dealers across the United states and Canada can also provide local service support. Dealers with parts inventory and service technicians are prepared to provide service within the possible constraints mandated by governmental authorities.
Hydro Systems, a provider of chemical dispensing equipment, software and services, based in Cincinnati, has published a free, educational white paper, “Dispensing Cleanliness During an Outbreak or Pandemic.” The white paper discusses the current state of the pandemic, cleaning best practices and the benefits of using chemical dispensing systems to combat an outbreak.
“From schools to hotels to office buildings, every facility in the U.S. has been impacted by COVID-19 in some shape or form and now requires frequent cleaning to mitigate the spread of infection,” says Matt Hayas, global product manager.
“Our free white paper provides insight on promoting health and wellness through cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing, while also outlining the effective role chemical dispensers can play before, during and after an outbreak.”
Laundry equipment manufacturer G.A. Braun in Syracuse, New York, says that it has had no supply interruptions as a result of the virus and feels confident in its ability to continue to manufacture products.
In most cases Braun has multiple approved sources for components that go into its machines, as well as products supporting the aftermarket parts business. However, should a disruption occur, Braun will immediately notify customers of any delays.
Management at Lavatec Laundry Technology Inc., a laundry equipment manufacturer, wants to reassure its customers that a process is in place to continue with business as normal as possible during the worldwide COVID-19 coronavirus situation.
“The past few weeks have been challenging for everyone as we find ourselves in uncharted territory. Based on the latest information issued by the CDC and the medical community, the pandemic will continue to be a fluid situation and we are prepared to manage and adjust accordingly,” says Mark Thrasher, president.
“We have been cautious in the approach to maintaining service to our customers, beginning with taking care of our employees. In accordance with recommended social distancing guidelines, we devised a plan to minimize contact where some are working from our headquarters and others from home.
“This is being done so we can continue to provide 24/7 customer support. We have an abundance of available equipment parts in the U.S. and we expect parts shipments to continue arriving from our factory in Germany.”
Hospitality textile provider Monarch Brands in Philadelphia notes that COVID-19 has elevated the need for cleaning supplies.
Recently deployed automation features and a split shift workforce ensures that Monarch Brands continues to meet demand while mitigating exposure to COVID-19. The company says says its warehouse is working in shifts to meet production goals while also mitigating the spread of COVID-19 throughout the entire staff.
“Safety is incredibly important to us,” says Hal Kanefsky. “The safety of our workers and the safety of our customers. We’ve been at this a while, selling wholesale rags for over 70 years, and bulk microfiber mops and cloths for over a decade. We never stop adding innovations to the warehouse to optimize production in the safest manner possible.”
Distributor HK Laundry Equipment Inc. in Armonk, New York, instituted a policy of “limited access” to its offices, requesting that customers call in advance. Office and sales personnel are now working virtually from home. Part shipments and parts pick-up will still be available, either directly to vehicles in a parts pick-up container by the front door.
Service technicians continue to service and repair laundry equipment with an immediate priority of servicing other essential businesses such as hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare facilities, fire houses, dry cleaners, laundromats and apartment buildings.
RELATED STORY, RESOURCES:
Linen, Uniform Services Recognized as Essential Services in Battle with COVID-19, March 23, 2020
American Laundry News Coronavirus Kiosk