Residential Laundry Services are currently considered as an essential service towards nursing and elderly homes. Despite the current Covid-19 crisis, the laundries that are focused on Residential Laundry Services see their volumes increased. Hans van Laarhoven, senior project manager with almost 30 years’ experience, explains.
Hans: “At the nursing and elderly homes and other healthcare institutions that are dealing with long stay residents, the staff can use the WEB Portal Residential Laundry Services. Within this WEB portal the resident’s details are recorded, recognizing the GDPR rules. All laundry items such as underwear, outer wear and other linen items can be marked with a heat seal label. Normally this contains a small data matrix QR code that makes the item unique.
The labeling feature is embedded in the WEB portal that the customer (nursing home) can use. There is only a need for a label printer that will be linked to the application and a heat seal press. From now on, the exact inventory of a resident can be monitored. Normally a washable personalized laundry bag is used for collecting and transporting the residential laundry. Often a weekly pick-up and delivery rhythm is covering the full laundry service”.
Soil Sorting at the laundry
At the laundry employees will receive the Residential Laundry and will verify the content of the laundry bags. In case that there are new items that have no label attached, the laundry staff will print a label and attach this to the item. At the touch screen the sorting instructions per item are shown. Even specific requirements from the resident can be honoured.
Hans: “Some residents want a special treatment like dry-cleaning. This can be handled against specific pricing. When all items are scanned into the laundry the tracking and tracing within the laundry starts. In most cases the process from soil sorting to finishing is fully automated”.
Finishing and Clean Sorting
At the finishing and quality check department the preferences of the resident are recognized, some want to have the shirts manually ironed and pressed, others like to have shirts finished in the tunnel finisher. Once all is clean, dry and finished as requested, the items are either sorted by means of a sorting system with hangers or sorted during manual folding.
Hans: “Many people who first visit a laundry with a hanger sorting system are impressed. Shirts, pants and sweaters are moving fast on hangers, but it still is a little strange to see 1 sock, 1 bra or 1 handkerchief passing on a hanger (sne picture).
After this sorting and the customer is completed, the last action is done. Based on the folded or hanger delivery agreement, items will be manually folded and the stack will be completed and hanging items are combined.
When most of the items will be returned in a folded manner, often a paternoster sorting (see picture) is used. Each resident will be sorted in 1 bin and during folding, the correct bin will be presented. When all is folded and sorted, the resident laundry is taken out of the paternoster and bundled to be returned to the resident”.
Transportation of the resident’s laundry is done in containers. Each container is pre-sorted per floor so the staff at the customer can easily deliver to each room. The costs of these laundry services are often automatically sent to the organization’s admin systems. The costs of the laundry services are then combined with all the other services.
Residential & Rent Services
Hans: “One of the new services that we see in this market is to rent laundry products to the individual residents. Think of the individual laundry bags, towels, napkins, sheets, pillow case and other items. Recently items such as one-way products are added as well. This additional service is reducing the need for specific logistics since all items are now directly delivered from laundry to room”.
Benefits of the Residential Laundry Services:
- Residential Laundry Inventory control: does one have sufficient items
- Environmental friendly; professional laundry and re-useable laundry bags
- Optimized logistics: lowest cost of handling and sorting
- Complete track and trace
- Modern WEB Portal
- No re-entry of information
- Better insights – improving efficiency and profitability