- 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
Gulf Coast Laundry Acquired by Swisher Hygine
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Swisher Hygiene Inc., a provider of hygiene and sanitation products and services, announced that it acquired Gulf Coast Laundry Services of Mississippi, LLC (“Gulf Coast Laundry Services”), a Mississippibased linen services company.
Gulf Coast Laundry Services provides linen rental and laundry services throughout southern Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, primarily to hotel, casino and resort customers. Concurrent with the acquisition, the founder of Gulf Coast Laundry Services, David Gross, will join Swisher Hygiene and contribute to the continued growth of its linen services business.
Total consideration paid by Swisher Hygiene in connection with the acquisition includes approximately $4.8 million in cash and the issuance of a convertible promissory note which may be converted into a maximum of 350,000 shares of Swisher Hygiene common stock subject to certain restrictions, including acceptance by the Toronto Stock Exchange.