A laundry / linens service needing information finds a solution
WOODRIDGE, Illinois – Century Linen and Uniform was founded over 105 years ago in Amsterdam, New York, by Frank Robison and Willard Smith.
Today the company is owned and operated by the Smith family and has grown to include three factories serving healthcare, hospitality and industrial customers across New York State.
Shortly after Century Linen completed its new healthcare plant in Johnstown, New York, company executives realized they were strapped for resources and lacked the data to truly understand operational performance. overall of their plant.
They needed an operations management solution to help them automate the 50 hours per week they spent collecting and entering data into their custom Excel reports.
The solution was to use operations management software that improved access to real-time performance metrics, enabling data-driven operational improvements and increased productivity.
The problem was, what operating software should they work with?
According to Gary Fuller, executive vice president of Century Linen, “The biggest decision was to work with Brooch or use a solution offered by our equipment supplier. “
The company was already familiar with the solution from its equipment supplier, having installed it at one of its other sites. When the time came to decide, what led to choosing Spindle over extending its current solution?
“We broke it down to see what the differences were between the pricing and the features it provided,” Fuller says. “What were we getting in terms of data, reporting and support for our money.”
PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS
Originally, Century Linen & Uniform planned to install the hardware and wiring themselves, but soon realized that they had too many other projects and initiatives on their plate.
The factory was installing washers and dryers in two stages and looked to see if Spindle could help with the installation process.
“There was no problem shifting gears,” Fuller says. “It happened very quickly and very efficiently. This allowed our team to focus on the other facilities at hand.
Asked about his experience in the first few months with Spindle, he said, “I think there’s a learning curve, but it’s reasonable. There were not huge difficulties.
“In the first month, Spindle did a good job alerting us to what to watch out for, what to stay on top of and the most important things to focus on in the first five or six weeks. We’ve done a good job of responding and staying one step ahead. “
After looking for a solution that would save time through automation and access more powerful reports, Fuller believes Century Linen & Uniform got what they expected.
The team eliminated the roughly 50 hours per week of data collection and entry.
“We spend our time looking at the data and using it to our advantage,” Fuller says. “Rather than tracking the data, we are using it now.”
In terms of reporting, he says, “we now have the ability to look at our performance and opportunities by classification, job type, machine or team member. We can find out if someone is in the wrong place in the factory and determine if they perform better on dresses than towels. “
Because the Century Linen & Uniform team was doing several projects around the factory when Spindle was installed, Fuller was hesitant to say if they saw a return on their investment with Spindle, but one thing is for sure, since the team installed Spindle and completed their various projects around the plant, the team saw a linear improvement in Pound Per Operator Hour (PPOH).
The Century Linen team plans to focus on using more features in SpindleLIVE to explore their greatest areas of opportunity.
They plan to start delving into their historically poor performances and identify ways to help them start meeting standards.