Par Level Management Series: How Buying Linens Saves Money

iStock-913371146Spending money on linens in the short term to save money in the long term is one of those par level management secrets you’ll just have to take our word for – for now.

When you see the savings stacking up, you’ll understand how that upfront investment in luxury hotel bedding, guest room and pool towels, and table linens pays off eventually.

For this installment in our par level management series, we investigate the ways that buying linens saves money.

Longer Linen Life

The recommended par linen level is four, and the fewer pars you have, the more strain you’re putting on your existing stock. Just like the tired business travelers who rely on you for a good night’s sleep, your linens need ample time to rest before you put them back to work.

Having enough pars means you aren’t constantly using the same linens and ending up sending them to the rag pile prematurely. The longer your linens last, the less often you’ll have to replace them. And the inverse is true: the shorter your linen lifespan, the more often you’ll be making linen orders.

Avoid Emergency Purchases

If you’ve ever had it happen, you’ll know exactly what we mean by “emergency purchases:” the linen stock calculation you so carefully made to get you through the leisure travel season is already depleted, and you need replacements – fast.

More than likely, that means you won’t have enough lead time to order from the supplier or manufacturer you trust most, and you’ll have to make do with who can order quickly, even if that means sacrificing quality.

Those lower quality sheets and towels will be mixed in with your high-quality inventory. Not only do you risk your guests noticing the difference, you’re setting yourself up for a potentially endless cycle of emergency ordering if you don’t take into account that lower quality means a shorter lifespan. If you rely on those last-minute linens to get you through the summer or season, you might end up short, over and over again.

Conducting a thorough monthly laundry inventory and buying linens as you go is a par level management best practice that builds in the lead time you need and ensures you’re never caught by surprise.   

Housekeeping Efficiency

If you don’t have enough pars, you’re one severe weather emergency or unexpected surge in demand away from disaster. Housekeeping staff won’t be able to turn rooms efficiently, and you’ll end up paying them to wait around for clean linens to arrive. And if they’re waiting, that likely means that your paying guests are, too.

Good par level management means staff will be equipped to work efficiently, even during an emergency. As a reminder, the recommended par level of four includes: one set in the guest room + one in storage + one in the laundry + one dirty that’s leaving the guest room.

Opportunity for Outsourcing

Perhaps the most effective way that buying linens saves money is that it positions your property to outsource your laundry and shut down your on-property operation.

To partner with a commercial laundry service, having enough pars is essential, and that’s a good thing. Laundry professionals are just that – professionals – at cleaning efficiently, lengthening linen lifecycle with high-tech equipment and chemical balance, and doing more with less.

If your property is convinced that you can do laundry cheaper yourselves, try out the OPL Cost Calculator to do the full math, taking into account both the direct and indirect costs of on-property laundry.

Spend to Save

Once your property has an effective system in place for linen selection inventory and ordering, par level management will become second nature. Staying on top of the process and spending more in the short term is the best way to guarantee savings in the long term.