Laundry in the 4th Generation
The great-grandfather of Laurence Hakimi, today's Managing Director of the industrial laundry "Les Lavandières de Provence", laid the groundwork for the company back in 1930. Since 2006, the company, which has grown into an industrial enterprise, has been located in Rognac, a town with 12,000 inhabitants, near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. After almost 100 years of history, "Les Lavandières de Provence" is now run as a family business in its fourth generation.
"Our customers appreciate the exactness and transparency of the linen stocks we deliver. This is the service we provide. This establishes trust and long-term cooperation," explains Laurence Hakimi.
Laundry With Rental Services
As an industrial laundry for major customers in the hospitality industry, its customers include mainly restaurants and hotels, for which the laundry has established itself as a laundry rental company. "Les Lavandières de Provence" owns the linen and offers a rental and maintenance service.
Thousands of linen items such as bedsheets, duvet covers, towels, tablecloths, aprons, and kitchen linen are received, washed, maintained and shipped to customers on a daily basis. A total of 20 fulltime employees can process a volume of up to five tons of laundry per day at peak times.
The Daily Laundry Cycle
The work processes include: Incoming laundry, counting, sorting, washing, drying, ironing and folding of the laundry, order preparation, and delivery. The operating area is 1000 square meters.
The Challenge for “Les Lavandières de Provence”
Laurence Hakimi knows the challenging demands of managing large volumes of laundry. Repeated manual counting is time-consuming, error-prone and also costly. Inaccurate linen inventory means not knowing exactly how many items are available in the warehouse. This inaccuracy increases the risk of not being able to serve customer requests promptly. For Les Lavandières de Provence in particular, however, the biggest challenge was the increasing shrinkage of linen and the cost of new purchases.
The Decision for RFID Technology
Even before the pandemic, Laurence Hakimi began looking into RFID technology and analyzing its use in her own company. After a research phase, the entrepreneur decided on the HID Textile Services solution. The cloud-based software and industry-ready RFID tags and readers encouraged the decision.
“With today’s digital technologies and cloud infrastructures, businesses can bring almost any information and process management capability to anybody, anywhere,” said Hakimi. "And there is no reason why this should not apply to the management of linen".
In advance of the digital transformation, HID experts conducted an on-site analysis of the laundry processes and operations to determine what hardware was needed and where to position the RFID reader stations within the laundry cycle.