Choosing the right healthcare linen, laundry and apparel service provider is a decision with many frightening consequences. You want reliability, honesty, and quality service, but how can you ensure that’s what you’ll get?
At Unitex, we love Halloween and haunted houses, but when it comes to laundry services, no one wants the creeps. Unfortunately, many of our competitors commit the following 10 ghoulish acts. Unlike Ghostbusters, this slime is real.
If you’re looking for a linen service provider that won’t make your hair stand up, be on the lookout for these scary habits. Or, avoid them by calling Unitex.
1. Incorrect Orders
There’s no hiding when it comes to incorrect product deliveries. Wrong sheets, scrubs that don’t fit, and missing laundry can seriously affect your business operations. Yet, this is a common occurrence with underprepared or mismanaged linen providers.
Incorrect orders not only throw your daily processes for a loop, but they disorient your employees, who are likely accustomed to working with certain items. When this happens, someone has to step forward, apologize for the unexpected change, and lead your crew through impromptu adjustment training.
Often times, staff need unnecessary additional contact with the provider to account for the missing or wrong items along with billing adjustments. All of these things take time, and these inefficiencies cost money.
2. Price Increases
Few things demonstrate a lack of professionalism like betraying a contract with hidden price increases. Not only does your bottom line take a hit, but that rate hike leads to time and energy looking for more honest service companies.
When your linen provider plays hostage with the materials you need to run your business, you know you’re in a bad situation. Depending on the strength of your contract, you might be able to get out, or you might just have to bear it. In either case, it’s time, money, and energy you’ll never see again.
3. Poor Laundering Practices
A disorderly linen service will make mistakes and send them to you with your delivery. It shouldn’t be part of your job to make sure the order is complete, that everything is cleaned to industry standards, and that there’s nothing in there that shouldn’t be. Yet, that’s what you’ll have to do if you work with an unreliable provider.
To top it off, you’re the one that ends up paying for their mistakes. If you miss a piece of tape or cleaner residue on a towel or sheet and it’s given to a customer, that becomes your mistake. All the customer will know is that when they visited your medical facility, they were given dirty or mishandled linens.
Something as innocuous as wrong labels to your customers is chaos to you. If you have linen going to various wards in your hospital and the labels are wrong, it’s a mess. Adult gowns are sent to the Pediatric ward, bed sheets meant for Oncology go to Cardiac, towels meant for Cardiac going to Geriatrics. That’s a real problem!
4. Unreliable Delivery Schedule
The only thing worse than mixed-up orders is the absence of them. With the mix up, you can bustle and piece the operation back together. Without anything, you have to scramble and your options are minimal at best.
There is, unfortunately, not much to do in this situation. All you can do is wait for the contract to expire and kick your provider to the curb. Until then, though, you can only brace for the backups, the stress, and the lost business.
5. Lack of Concern
With a competent provider, if something goes wrong with your order, you can talk to knowledgeable and helpful customer service representatives who make it their personal mission to fix your problem.
Now imagine you’re one of the two customer service reps for an incompetent linen provider. Your whole day is upset clients and angry phone calls. Before you can enter the last complaint into the system and send it to parts unknown, you get another call.
One more complaint in a sea of them means nothing. Quality service necessitates a rarity of service issues. If a complaint isn’t rare, it isn’t special. If it isn’t special, it’s being ignored.
6. Inferior and Irregular Products
To an incompetent provider, it makes sense to pay less for supplies and rent them out at premium rates. They’re going to make more money by spending less. Simple as that.
You can hope that your provider is smart enough to see the long-term advantages of putting the money down for quality materials so their clients aren’t upset, feel cheated, and leave as a result.
Unfortunately, mediocre linen services don’t set their priorities to cultivate long-term business satisfaction. What these services don’t realize is that, yes, reliable quality comes at a cost, but it’ll never be more expensive than treating clients like chumps.
At Unitex, we take pride in the decades-long partnerships we’ve had with our premium-quality suppliers. When good things last, good things happen. That’s stability you can enjoy.
7. Environmental Carelessness
If a service provider is irresponsible enough to overcharge, erratically deliver, and not care about any of it, they’re not giving the environment or their surrounding community a single thought.
Industrial laundering processes involve powerful chemical agents, substantial amounts of water and energy, and considerable transportation efforts. Tight monitoring and regulation of these factors are the only safeguards for the ecosystems and people around industrial laundry facilities.
If you don’t want to support ecological abuse, check that your linen service provider makes their self-awareness and conservation efforts clear.
8. Use of Antiquated Equipment
Another scary aspect of low-quality linen providers is their unwillingness to evolve. Nowhere is that more visible than in the equipment they use to clean your linens. Outdated, clunky, inefficient, even ineffectual machinery may be responsible for those consistently late orders and chronically-stained deliveries.
Outdated machinery isn’t simply a symptom of financial hardship. While a tight budget may well be a contributing factor, it’s persistence over three, five, ten years points to another cause: indifference.
There’s an old saying that goes “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” A low-quality linen provider may have even introduced you to it.
Your medical linen and uniform provider should put your needs first always. That means having the best and most efficient technology to better serve you.
9. Ethically Questionable Business Operations
Though we’ve touched on some sticky aspects of poor commercial linen practices, we haven’t addressed the dubious underbelly of their business. There’s a sad reality to the public perception of industrial laundry facilities as always-sweltering, laborious places where tragedy is just one mistake away from reality.
Unfortunately, there are stories to support those perceptions. Industrial laundry facilities will always be dangerous due to the nature and requirements of the business. The only thing that can keep those dangers at bay is training, personal protective equipment, and consistent and vigilant observation. All of which can be boiled down to time and money.
For any quality linen provider, these investments are not only worth it, but vital to successful operation of their facility. It’s up to owners and management to pushing for these requirements. If they don’t, your money could be feeding a monster.
10. Biological Contamination
Mold, fungus, and bacteria are in every environment. Without procedures to contend with them, they’ll be in your linens and uniforms. For a restaurant or hotel, the prospect of fungus-riddled linens is disgusting. For hospitals, it’s deadly.
The minimum requirement you should look for in a linen provider is a TRSA Hygienically Clean Healthcare Certification. Non-TRSA certified facilities have few, if any, third-party inspections to ensure the public that their linens are in safe hands.
Save your luck for that haunted house. Go with a credentialed linen provider like Unitex.
For Certified, Experienced, and Ready Medical Linen and Uniforms, Unitex Is Your Partner
If the list above sends a shiver down your spine, good! Choosing a medical linen and uniform provider is a much scarier decision than it sounds. The good news is, it’s not hard if you know what you want.
If you want dependability, quality materials and experience, customer service excellence, and professionalism, there’s no better choice than Unitex. Give us a call today at (914) 840-3200 and rest safely knowing your linen and uniforms are in the best hands.