Best Practices For Linen Management & Inventory

Best Practices For Linen Management & Inventory

Published on : July 3, 2022

What are the best practices for linen management?

  1. Monitor supply regularly
  2. Optimize linen use
  3. Customize to your schedule
  4. Use RFID technology
  5. Review management practices

Linen management seems to many as a fairly clean-cut process. You gather used linens, clean them, then store them for future use. However, this process is more complicated than you think. It involves a lot of moving parts, and meeting demands can be fairly complex.

Delivering the right quantity and quality of linens promptly is crucial for almost every kind of facility — which is why many of them rely on certain strategies to best meet these demands. If you aren’t familiar with the best practices for linen management, then keep reading.

Here are the five that you should think about implementing in your processes, to ensure linen management success:

Monitor supply regularly

Monitor supply regularly

The first practice is benchmarking your linen supply and use. By monitoring your supplies regularly, it becomes clear how much and how often you use certain linens. The costs of your linen management also become more apparent.

It’s important to set a benchmark to measure future use. This will help you cut back on linen hoarding or excess linen use. Tracking usage of clean laundry, and how long it takes to deal with used linens will also show you how effective your current linen management strategy is.

Likewise, regular monitoring will help you identify how many linens you are losing. Most facilities, no matter how attentive their staff is, or how stringent their practices are, will inevitably incur lost or damaged linens. For example, most hotels average 5 to 20% lost linens each month. You must monitor your inventory to identify potential problems with linen management and address linen loss.

Optimize linen use

The use of your linens, such as uniforms, towels, rugs, bathrobes, scrubs, and the like is unavoidable. But, there are a few sustainability practices you can use to ensure the best use of your linens throughout the day.

For example, you could offer guests the option to use the same blanket and comforters during their stay in your hotel, or until it’s unclean. This prevents you from having to reuse soiled linens to reduce costs, while also ensuring your customer’s comfort and cleanliness. Such practices will lighten the load on your inventory management, and make it more cost-effective.

Customize to your schedule

Depending on what kind of business you run, you will have different linen needs. For example, a hospital would have different medical staff, who will have different types of medical garments. And, they would need additional linens for special procedures, like surgeries. Furthermore, the more patients they have admitted into their facilities, the more linens they need to prepare, such as patient gowns, towels, blankets, and more.

So, you must draw up a schedule for linen use. This will help you prepare enough linens for the demands of the day. And, it will ensure you have enough different linens on hand for different types of scenarios.

Use RFID technology

Use RFID technology

RFID technology is one of the most powerful systems that you can add to your linen management process. RFID tags and scanners can track the entire lifecycle of each individual linen item, from purchasing through daily use to final discard.

This tech works by attaching RFID tags to the linens, which allows you to identify, count, and track them electronically. The system also automatically logs the inventory in real-time, giving you an accurate count of your linen storeroom supply at any time. These systems also offer extensive reporting capabilities based on data collected concerning linen use.

RFID tools like our AseTrak Tunner Reader are specially designed to be used in linen management. This RFID tunnel uses conveyor systems to allow for bulk reading of entire bags of linens. This makes it a fast and accurate way to manage inventory of cage/trolley contents, in compliance with laundry standards and environments. Such systems will help your business automatically track laundry activity, efficiently manage linen storerooms, and reduce linen losses and overcharges.

Review management practices

Even the most high-tech, best-laid plans can go awry every once in a while. Tools and equipment degrade, things change, and staff can become lax or forgetful. So, even if you do follow all of these best practices, you should make time to review them regularly.

Be sure to review your practices regularly, keep up with educating and training your employees on such practices, and use benchmarks to monitor your progress. Make a plan to review your processes every quarter, identify areas of improvement, and streamline where possible. Doing this will help you reap the most rewards from these best practices.

Key Takeaway

By applying the best practices for linen management to your facility, you can achieve more in terms of standards, quality, and efficiency. But, you don’t have to do it alone — contact ELID today and we can help you install the technology solutions you need to enhance your linen practices.