Cleveland, Tenn. — Bradley Rentals may not be a huge facility, but they’ve increased output in a big way by replacing a hand-held iron with an industrial flatwork ironer.
With the hand-held iron, the company only processed 75 pounds of linen and napkins per week. After installing the new ironer, Bradley Rentals’ production soared to more than 400 pounds of linen weekly – a substantial boon to business and labor productivity. Bradley Rentals rents table linens, napkins and silks to caterers for weddings, parties and banquets and also other rental companies, according to manager Tommy Rowe. Since the business started in 1992, all the linen was ironed by hand. “Handironing meant we were sacrificing both time and quality,” says Rowe.
Hand-Ironing Strangle Business
Before installing a Continental Pro-Series Flatwork Ironer, the laundry process was labor-intensive and time-consuming. Tedious handironing created a growth barrier for Bradley Rentals. The new ironer removed that roadblock.
Prior to installing an ironer it took an hour to hand-press four to five tablecloths. With the new ironer, the company churns out 20 to 30 tablecloths an hour. The results are tangible; improved production and revenue using less labor.
From Washer To Ironer With No Dryer Conditioning
Installing the ironer meant Bradley Rentals eliminated the expense of purchasing a new dryer. “With the ironer, linens travel straight from the washer to the ironer, curtailing time, labor and the cost of a dryer,” says Rowe. As a result, production improves and labor time decreases. Now, just two employees handle all the laundry and no dryer is needed – saving the business money.
The effects on production have been monumental for the facility. Without the unnecessary time in the dryer, linen can be processed for same-day delivery. Not only are linens processed quickly with the new ironer, they are prepared with a professional finish, according to Rowe. “With the hand-held iron, we were constantly forfeiting quality,” he says.
“Now, linens such as 120-inch rounds and chair covers are easily and flawlessly ironed with a single pass,” he says. The new ironer is an essential rung in Bradley Rentals’ ladder to success because it improved production using less labor. “The addition of this ironer is worth at least a person’s salary,” says Rowe. “Less people and less time means more money.”
By tossing out the hand-held iron in favor of a flatwork ironer, Bradley Rentals virtually turned the ironing aspect of linen rental from a burden to an easily managed profit center.
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Textile Services Industry Gets National Spotlight
WILIMGTON, Mass. — Textile service executive Ronald Croatti recently appeared on the CBS-TV show “Undercover Boss.” Croatti is CEO of UniFirst Corp., in Wilmington, Mass. For most Americans watching “Undercover Boss” it was their first view inside a commercial laundry, which typically process between 10 million and 25 million pounds of uniforms, table linens, bed sheets, towels and more every year “The reusable textile services business is the original green industry,” said Ricci. “Commercial laundries reuse linen instead of filing landfills with disposable alternatives and continually discover new, innovative means to reduce energy consumption and recycle water. Our huge economies of scale allow laundries to use about two-thirds less water, energy and detergent than alternatives, such as washing at home, while hygienically cleaning textile products, improving disease control and reducing contamination.”