CHICAGO — A raft of variables goes into the decisions to select and buy textile items for institutional or rental use. Each purchase reboots the process of determining if an item meets a customer’s quality needs and expectations as well as those of the laundry.
Nearly 94% of respondents to American Laundry News’ most recent Wire survey say they or members of their staff play a role in selecting and/or purchasing the textiles that their laundry processes.
Roughly 48% of respondents say their laundry processes customer-owned goods (COG) and rental textiles. Nearly 38% process virtually all COG, and the remaining 13.8% process virtually all rental goods.
Next to washability, which characteristic is most important in making product choices? Cost per use was favored by 36.7% of respondents, but durability was a close second at 33.3%. Twenty percent believe comfort or feeling good to the hand is most important, and 10% chose “other,” citing a combination of characteristics mentioned, plus product availability.
When asked for their position on the statement “When selecting a textile item, end-users or customers often choose price over quality,” the result was a virtual dead heat. Roughly 45% agree (9.7% “strongly,” 35.5% “somewhat”) and another 45% disagree (16.1% “strongly,” 29% “somewhat”). The remaining 9.7% neither agree nor disagree.
Loss of tensile strength (29%) and shrinkage (25.8%) are the signs of diminishing textile quality that the responding managers or their staff members tend to notice first. “Other” signs were selected by 16.1%, followed by color loss (12.9%), dye transfer or bleeding (9.7%), and pilling (6.5%).
Sixty-one percent of respondents say their laundry retains new, unwashed samples of the textiles it processes for use as a standard. Roughly 32.3% don’t retain samples, and 6.5% aren’t sure.
In comparing today’s textile offerings to those of a decade ago, 51.6% say there is little difference in processing demands, 25.8% say it’s more difficult to process today’s textiles, and 22.6% say it’s easier to process them.
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to participate anonymously in a brief industry survey each month. While it presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, the survey should not be considered scientific.
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