You know how it goes. A clean batch of garments, straight from the laundry service, and in no time the majority of garments is gone. Your employees like clean garments the whole week round, so when given the opportunity, they tend to hoard. Understandable, because the early bird catches the worm, as the saying goes. Employees are afraid that they will not have clean garments if they fail to stock up at the beginning of the week. A well-known phenomenon; but how to prevent hoarding and is it possible to provide enough garments for everyone throughout the week?
Distribution regulation and registration
The goal is to regulate the distribution of garments such, that users are always provided with clean garments when needed, whether that is a clean set for every shift, or a single set for the week. It is therefore important that users can trust that there is always workwear available, and not that they discover that their size is not available moments before starting their shift. For this reason, the flow of clean and dirty garments must be regulated. Regulated distribution of garments requires some form of registration.
One way to do this is to distribute garments over the counter. The employees behind the desk are responsible for keeping track of the inventory and registering the distribution and collection of garments. The occupation of this type of desk employees is increasingly becoming a point of attention. One option is to only deploy personnel at the counter at set times, such as only in the morning or during every change of shifts. However, in the current 24-hour economy, this is often no longer adequate. Distribution of garments must be available day-round. Yet, staffing the counter around the clock is neither an option, for this is very time consuming and therefore costly.
Automated distribution of garments
In order to provide garments 24/7 – while minimising hoarding – automated distribution of garments is a time and cost-efficient solution. LCT offers several types of systems, suitable for every type of company and adjustable for any space. The Chiptex Liner is perfect for storing garments that need to be hung. The OSL, Sizer and U-Cab are systems that store and distribute folded garments which can even be placed in a hallway.
Every user can collect garments from the system via the touchscreen using their personal card, quickly and easily, 24 hours a day. The system recognises the user and distributes the garments they are authorised to, in the right size. Once the shift is over, the user returns the garments to the relevant collection depot. The dirty garments are collected by the system and immediately deposited in the washing container.
These systems therefore enable 24-hour distribution and collection of garments. The distribution and collection process can be perfectly aligned with your wishes and needs. In short: your employees always have the right garments, at the frequency you want.
But how do you prevent users from taking out multiple sets at a time? For this, the systems use a credit system. In addition to only distributing garments the user is authorised to, it can issue a specified credit to each user.
This takes place at 3 different levels simultaneously:
- Per user
- Per item
- Per time unit
For example: a user is issued four credits, categorised at item level in two workwear pants and two workwear shirts. Once in possession of two shirts, this user cannot take out a third shirt, regardless of whether they are in possession of workwear pants. Then, it can be set the to the 3rdlevel, so the user can only take out one set of workwear pants or one workwear shirt every 24 hours. This user can now only take out one item or set per day, despite having two shirt credits. The credit system ensures that users can never take out more garments than necessary and therefore prevents shortages in garments for other colleagues.
A collection depot is supplied with every basic system on default. The goal of the garment collector is to collect used garments, thus updating the credit of the user. Once the garments are collected at the end of the shift, the user is guaranteed to have sufficient credit to take out a clean set of garments before the next shift.
Regulated supply and demand
Registering the garments that are administered and collected and deploying the credit system provides the user with a solid structure in terms of garments use. Regulating garments flows in this way does not only prevent hoarding, but tackles the issue at the root: if users can always take out the right garments, there is no longer a need for hoarding. By regulating supply and demand, a more constant flow of distribution can be safeguarded and the inventory can be reduced as a result.
Saving costs therefore works both ways. On the one hand you save on labour costs, on the other hand you have a better insight in the garments use and can therefore better manage the total garments required, for instance by reducing the amount of garments in circulation. Since hoarding can lead to the need for five or more garments sets per person, there are significant benefits with regard to efficiency when using an automated system for the distribution of garments.
Benefits of the LCT systems
In addition to increased cost efficiency, automated distribution of garments with LCT systems offers more benefits:
- 24/7 availability
- Transparency: insight in garments use and reporting tool
- Space efficient
- User friendly