OPL hotels, or hotels with on-property laundry, are protective of their operations because they’re handling their luxury hotel sheets and towels as efficiently as possible.
Even without exploring the benefits of outsourcing, they’re confident they’ve got everything covered. But do they?
More properties are shutting down their OPLs to save time, money and resources, so if you’re still in the laundry business yourself, it begs the question: Are you making one of the following OPL hotel mistakes?
If you’re a large-scale OPL hotel depending on a centralized laundry room, you’re one severe weather event or major equipment repair away from not being able to turn guest rooms. No redundancy in your laundry operation means no backup in case of emergency.
Partnering with a professional laundry service that has multiple facilities is the best backup available. Even if one plant is affected during a storm or emergency, the others in the network can absorb their linens to keep their hospitality clients running as smoothly as possible.
Sinking Money Into Dated Equipment
If yet another expensive repair to your commercial laundry equipment has you rearranging your budget for the rest of the year, it’s time to take a closer look at whether it’s time to get out of the laundry business once and for all.
Your machines, no matter how much you invest in them, are depreciating in value all the time. And by hanging on to older machines, you may be missing out on the latest energy efficiency technology that saves water, gas and electricity.
A commercial laundry service will have the most modern, green machines, from tunnel washers to dryers with sustainability sensors. It’s their business to do more laundry for less, and they’ll pass those savings on to their clients.
Underestimating Your True OPL Cost
How much does your property spend on your OPL every year? How did you arrive at that number? Did you include both direct and indirect, or hidden, costs?
Too often, properties calculate their OPL cost without taking into account everything that’s involved. The OPL Cost Calculator is a tool that gives a comprehensive overview of the true expenses, including:
- Direct labor
- Chemical supplies
- Utilities, including gas, electricity, water and sewer
- Maintenance and repairs
- Taxes, licenses and permits
- Consulting fees
- Legal fees
- Equipment and building depreciation
Once properties calculate the true cost of their OPL, it’s not uncommon for sticker shock to set in. Having a complete number allows for an accurate comparison with outsourcing costs – and the realization that they can’t actually do it any cheaper.
Lax Par Level Management
Properties that outsource their laundry learn quickly that being on top of par level management makes everyone’s lives easier, from the general manager to guests.
OPL hotels, on the other hand, don’t have the same structure and are more likely to slip into lax management, which includes:
- Having fewer than the recommended par level of four
- Not doing inventory regularly
- Doing inventory but not ordering along the way to replace lost or damaged linens
- Not properly planning for the high season
- Buying linens that aren’t designed to withstand commercial laundry equipment
A Chance to Learn from Your Mistakes
If you recognize some of these behaviors from your OPL hotel, you’ve got a golden opportunity to turn things around. Even if you don’t decide to outsource your laundry, we hope you’ll use this information to take a fresh look at your operation. A few small changes can make a big difference.