- Written by Jordan Lander
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — At Mats for You, a 16-year-old textile rental company, the addition of five 90 pound capacity soft-mount washers significantly reduced utilities and boosted laundry productivity.For the company that processes an average of 30,000 pounds of laundry weekly, success in the laundry room meant growth for the business.
President Rodney Rixey explains the benefits of going from hard-mount to soft-mount. “We were just looking to replace the washers as they got older but we were pleasantly surprised by what the soft-mounts offered. Soft mounts are easier to relocate because there are no bolts to cut loose on the floor. And that helps in adjusting the washroom for growth when adding another piece of equipment.”
Rixey also says that the softmount washers have other benefits. “Our soft-mount’s high-speed extract spin out much more water than our old hard mounts. We’ve cut our dry-time from 28 minutes to 16 minutes a load.”
Less time in the dryer also means savings in utilities. “Even as our number of clients increases by about 10 each year, thanks to our washers, our natural gas consumption has stayed the same,” says Rixey. The combination of high-speed extract and reduced dry-time amplifies productivity, and less labor is required to finish the laundry. So we’re saving on drying time and gas,” he adds. “That has impacted our productivity. Especially on the nylon goods, we don’t send them to the dryer, we just send them to the ironer.“THE GROWTH OF A COMPANY
Mats for You provides mops, aprons, linens, kitchen towels, napkins and entrance mats to businesses such as convenience stores, medical facilities, retail stores and high-end restaurants. When the company started in 1992, the business operated out of a garage, according to Rixey. “My partner and I would take the laundry to a local drycleaner and then bring it back to the garage to fold,” he says. After six months, the business was large enough to relocate to a 900-squarefoot warehouse and handle its own laundry. Since its founding, Mats for You has tripled business.
When Mats for You first decided to do laundry on-premise over sending it out, they were operating with all used, hard-mount washers. “The used equipment was good enough to get the business going but we needed something to improve productivity.”
The business presently operates in a 7,000 square foot building. Seventeen employees work Monday through Thursday from 6:30am–4:30 pm using five 90-lb Continental washers, one 135-lb Milnor washer and an 85-lb UniMac. Additionally they have four 100-lb American dryers and one 150-lb Huebsch dryer. Their finishing department consists of two Chicago 110-inch single roll gas ironers.QUALITY EQUIPMENT FOR A QUALITY BUSINESS
As the equipment mix modifies with the success of the business, Mats for You’s high-quality service remains constant. “We’re a business that focus’ on quality and personal service,” says Rixey. “Our company has grown to about 450 customers, but we still focus on small businesses. Our competitors, who tend to go after large chains, are excluding the small operations. I’ve found that delivering quality service to these neglected companies is our niche.”
“Everything is hand folded,” says Rixey. “It keeps my customers happy. Our customers want high quality and we process high-end goods. Hand folding gives us the opportunity to make sure what we send out lives up to our standards. That’s why we have very, very, little turn-over in our clientele.”
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.
“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”
“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”
Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.
“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”