Don’t Let Water and Energy Costs Cripple Your Commercial Laundry

For a commercial laundry operation, water and energy costs are now significant. Once any operating expense becomes a major drain on profitability, there is usually sufficient justification for management to reduce this expense. The good news for the operators of commercial laundries is that there are several things they can do to cut their water and energy costs without a major capital outlay.

Modern Washers Manufactured to be Energy Efficient

The modern washers used in most commercial laundries are designed to be both water and energy efficient. The 5 star energy rating system and the 5 star WELS water rating systems are both excellent indicators of the way in which a washer is using both energy and water. When it comes time to replace older washing machines, buying one with a 4 or 5 star rating will show immediate cost savings when the next energy or water account arrives.

At NLE Commercial, we supply and service quality brands of front load washers to suit all laundries from 25lb front load washers to 410lb pocket washers as well as continuous batch washers for large-scale commercial requirements. Our clients are always on the lookout for ways to reduce costs, so we also offer a 24-hour break down service to minimise expensive down time in the event of a malfunction.

Want to Reduce Water Charges?

Our clients have found that, in the case of saving water, behavioural changes following staff training can produce surprisingly large savings. Checking that staff members are loading machines as per the manufacturer’s instructions, for example, is something simple, but unless it is monitored, incorrect loading can use more water than necessary to produce the same result.

Another simple change is to instruct staff members to operate a washer only when it is fully loaded, provided that suits the needs of the client. Sometimes this may not be possible, but in a busy commercial laundry, the machines are operating most of the time so this could offer further savings. Checking the water level during the cycle and making sure it is the same as the manufacturer’s recommendation is another saving technique.

Ways to Reduce Energy Costs

Much of the energy consumed in commercial laundries is used to heat water. Establishing optimum load sizes for washers to save water will also save energy, as you are also optimising the energy used to heat the water. Also, a regular maintenance schedule requiring components to be replaced before they become a problem will also reduce energy costs.

A Water and Energy Audit Could be the Answer

If these methods don’t deliver the savings your operation is looking for, do a water and energy audit of your entire plant. Fixing any undiscovered maintenance issues should bring consumption into line with budget expectations.

Risk Management Programs Support Business Health

Very few businesses operate without risks and anyone thinking about setting up a new business or buying an existing one should always measure the level of risk against the perceived benefits. Those with the desire to be their own boss will always take those risks, but there is no need to do it blindly. Risk management is almost considered to be a science these days, so there are processes that, when properly followed, can reduce risk.

What are Typical Risks for the Laundry Industry?

Let’s use the laundry business as an example. We must first realise that the risks associated with owning a commercial laundry may be different from those faced by owners of a public laundromat. Commercial laundries are large, industrial-type enterprises with many employees, large and complex machinery and corporate clients such as hotels, hospitals, care facilities and the like.

A Reputation Built on Quality

For these laundries, there are many risks but a couple of obvious ones immediately come to mind. From a commercial point of view, not being able to maintain a high standard of hygiene would be a significant risk. Their reputation would be built on the quality of their work, so any laundry returned to clients that was not scrupulously clean could result in the cancellation of contracts and loss of income.

Managing work health and safety risks needs constant attention as commercial laundries without safety procedures could be dangerous places in which to work. Continuing to operate with outdated and inefficient machines is a major cause of both poor product and dangerous practices, and to continue operating in these conditions is a major risk.

New Laundry Equipment Part of Risk Management

Installing new, modern, quality commercial laundry equipment would immediately reduce those risks to something manageable. At NLE Commercial, we supply and install an industry-leading range of the best quality washers, dryers, ironers and other equipment available.

Public Laundromats Need to be Inviting

Owners of public laundromats face different levels of risk, although many risk components are similar to those of the commercial laundries. Customer service is the key for public laundromats, so keeping the machines and the premises clean and inviting to users is important. Failure to do this will risk customers taking their business elsewhere, resulting in a loss of revenue.

Regular Maintenance Keeps Machines Operating

Making a healthy profit depends on keeping all the machines operating, so just like a commercial laundry, regular maintenance of existing equipment will reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns. Calling on us to replace ageing and inefficient equipment with new machines will reduce to zero the likelihood of these breakdowns.

All business is risky, but with the right attitude to risk management, owners can be confident of operating successful businesses that make healthy profits and survive into the future.

First Impressions Count – a Routine to Keep Your Premises Clean

Have you ever walked into a business premises ready to buy their goods or services, only to be put off by untidy displays, dirty floors or other signs of an environment that is uncared for? No business can afford to have customers leaving with a poor impression. This type of news travels fast and can be very damaging to trade.

An Unkempt Business Drives Customers Away

Imagine, then, that this business is a laundry, and customers are bringing in their dirty washing, expecting to take home baskets of fresh, clean linen and clothing. How confident would they be that their washing is clean and germ-free, if the whole place looks grubby?

If you are the owner of this laundry, you probably delegated cleaning to a staff member and assumed that it was being done to the high standard you expect. When you find out what is really happening, what do you do?

A Regular Cleaning Routine is the Answer

While it is impractical for everything to be cleaned every day, you need to set a regular routine that keeps the premises clean and welcoming for customers. We know this works well because, at NLE Commercial, we supply industrial and commercial laundries with an industry-leading range of washers, dryers and other laundry equipment.

We also offer a 24-hour service by fully trained technicians who spend a lot of their time working in various industrial and commercial laundries. They see first-hand how efficient a regular cleaning routine is in keeping these busy premises clean.

Break Down a Big Job into Small Tasks

Depending on the size of the premises, we recommend that you break the area down section by section. Decide what needs cleaning in each section and how often. For example, areas out of sight like the tops of the windows will not need cleaning as often as the entrance floors.

Establish a Frequency that Suits the Task

Set a daily, weekly and monthly schedule then look at the high-traffic areas first. Floors in these areas, for example, may need mopping every day, while less used areas like store-rooms only need cleaning once a week. Unsightly rubbish should be removed daily, as it is a health and safety hazard.

Set it and Stick to It for a Professional Impression

Machines should be cleaned and maintained to the manufacturer’s specifications, so this must be part of the schedule. Dirty machines will lose customers. Tables in staff or customer areas should be wiped every day, while windows may only need cleaning once a week, or even less, depending on how much dust is in the general environment.

Whether the cleaning is part of staff duties or you engage a cleaning service, set a schedule and stick to it. Your premises will always look professional, even in the busiest times.

Want to Reduce Water Usage Costs? Here Are Some Ideas

If you are running a commercial laundry, you are always on the lookout for ways to save time and money. In this type of business, energy consumption makes up a sizeable portion of the operating budget, but valuable savings can also be made in water consumption. In a country as dry as ours, every drop of water is precious and even though at times we seem to be awash with it, we know that dry times are just around the corner.

Start by Assembling Some Factual Data

Like most cost-savings initiatives, it is best to start with a fact-finding exercise. The old business saying, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” applies just as appropriately to a commercial laundry than any other business. Do you have a process for tracking water consumption or does the water bill just get paid without being analysed and compared with earlier bills? Just because it is near budget does not mean it cannot be reduced.

Locate All the Water Meters

Here at NLE Commercial we supply and maintain a range of water-efficient commercial laundry equipment. Long-term customers have told us that managing water consumption is important to the financial success of their businesses. Their process for analysing water usage starts with locating all the water meters relative to their operations.

Look for Evidence of Hidden Leaks

Once that has been done, we recommend that you start collecting data by reading and recording every meter daily if possible, but at least twice a week. A sudden increase in consumption when laundry volumes remain the same points to a hidden leak, which is literally money going down the drain.

Benchmarking and a Water Savings Plan

Now that you have some reliable data, benchmark your business against others in the industry. This allows you to measure your business performance against others, which will highlight inefficiencies. Your water utility company should have benchmark information about your industry, and some of them offer a water management service to help you establish a water saving plan.

Get Ideas from Employees

Review your work methods and examine issues such as the amount of re-wash you are experiencing. A re-wash is water wasted and it may be reduced by a change in work methods. Involve your employees in the process as they may have some excellent ideas to save time, water and therefore money.

Replace Inefficient Washers

If your equipment is getting old, seriously consider replacing inefficient washers. The water efficiency ratings of commercial washers have continued to improve as new models come onto the market. We can help you with the right equipment for your laundry and the volumes you deal with. This is an important part of water efficiency and one that will recoup its initial outlay many times over.

Soiled Towels and Linen Need Vigorous Washing for Germ-free Results

Penicillin, the first true antibiotic, was first discovered in 1928, but it was not until World War II that it was produced in commercial quantities. Since then, many different types of antibiotics have been developed and, in Western countries, they are the first line of defence against most types of infections.

Is the ‘Super Bug’ Threat Real?

Now, the over-use of antibiotics has created a situation where they are no longer effective against some infections. Concerns are being expressed in the science and health communities that a ‘super bug’ could emerge for which there would be no defence, putting millions of lives at risk. In the face of such a threat, disease prevention has never been more important.

Commercial Equipment Needed for Bulk Cleaning

We have a role to play in protecting the general population from this threat. Hospitals, aged care facilities, resorts, hotels and the hospitality industry in general use large quantities of potentially infected towels and linen each day. At NLE Commercial, we supply top quality commercial and industrial laundry equipment that is designed to get bulk linen as clean as possible.

Home Laundry Equipment Not Designed for Bulk Loads

Our home laundry equipment is designed for less frequent and smaller loads than commercial machines, and while we can add bleach to each load to kill germs, it does not have the same effect as the washing cycle programmed into commercial washers. This is a longer, more vigorous cycle with higher washing temperatures than our home machines.

High Water Temperatures Most Effective Against Germs

There are three ways that a high water temperature increases washing effectiveness. First, it lowers the surface tension of the water, allowing it to soak more easily into the fibres. Second, these temperatures cause the fibres to separate, releasing dirt. Finally, the bleach, detergent and softeners programmed into commercial washers work more effectively in high temperatures.

Tests have shown that washing laundry in water temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius with detergent and bleach for 25 minutes will kill most bacteria, viruses and bed bugs. It will also kill the dust mites that are a major cause of asthma. None of them can withstand this heat and chemical mix.

Washing Moves Freely in Large Drums

The larger drums in the commercial machines also allow the water to wash around the linen more freely, dislodging all foreign material in the load so you can be confident that a wash done under these conditions is dirt and germ free.

While we are not making any outrageous claims about saving the world, we know that our commercial washers are manufactured to rigorous standards in a range of sizes. We also offer a 24-hour service by our fully trained technicians, so you can be confident that you have backup for any urgent repairs.

What Does The Future Hold For High Energy Users?

As energy costs continue to rise, every household and business in the country is on the lookout for practical ways to reduce their energy bills. This has provided the impetus for the growth of solar power as an alternative where it is practicable, and the higher the cost of electricity becomes, the more effort is being placed into the development of solar and other renewable energy sources.

What is the E3 Program?

To assist consumers to make energy efficient choices, the E3 Program was created in conjunction with Australian state and territory governments and the government of New Zealand. Its aim is to improve the efficiency of appliances in both countries to reduce energy bills and control emissions.

The Purpose of Energy Rating Labels

The major initiative and the one most familiar to consumers is the Energy Rating label that communicates the energy efficiency of an appliance by labelling it with a rating using stars. The higher the number of stars on the label, the more energy efficient the appliance, meaning lower energy bills and less emissions in the environment.

There are six-star and ten-star versions of the Energy Rating label, which also shows the annual energy consumption of every labelled appliance in kilowatts. This system provides consumers, retailers and suppliers with the information they need to make informed decisions when purchasing, selling and installing appliances.

Every Choice is Important

NLE Commercial provides electrical contracting services, and supplies laundry and cleaning equipment to commercial laundries. We are familiar with the E3 Program and the Energy Rating labelling system and we choose, where possible, only those appliances that have the highest energy ratings.

By supplying energy efficient appliances, we are assisting our clients to reduce their costs, which, in turn, help to make their businesses more profitable, and contribute to an overall reduction in emissions. This is one small way in which we can have a positive effect on the environment while keeping our customers happy.

Cleaning Equipment not a Major User of Energy

Most of the energy costs incurred by homes and businesses involve the use of heating and cooling appliances such as hot water systems and air conditioners. Commercial laundries use hot water in their washers and heating in the dryers, so it is in our best interests to help them reduce their energy consumption. Cleaners are not as hungry when it comes to using power, but every action contributes towards reducing the overall electricity bill.

As the effects of our warming atmosphere become more noticeable, pressure will build on businesses and households to do more to keep temperatures under control. We will be in the forefront of initiatives like the E3 Program to help our customers continue running successful businesses.

Faulty Wiring – Do Not Ignore These Early Indicators

While smoke alarms are an essential tool to warn occupiers of the presence of fire in their premises, there are other early warning signs that can prevent the incidence of fire. Alarms save lives because they alert people to danger, but property damage can still be extensive. Fortunately, there are a few early indicators that something is amiss with the electrical wiring in your premises.

Circuit Breakers that keep Tripping

A common one involves circuit breakers, which are designed to trip automatically, stopping the flow of electricity if there is an overload. This can happen every now and then if too many appliances are plugged into the same outlet. In one-off situations, the solution is to remove one of the appliances and plug it into another outlet.

When it happens often, however, it could be a short circuit caused by broken wires or wires touching each other. Circuit breakers that keep tripping on a regular basis should be checked out by a qualified electrician.

Switches or Outlets that Buzz

Sometimes occupiers assume that this buzzing is from fluorescent lights, which have a tendency to produce a similar noise. Do not assume that this is nothing to worry about. Buzzing can be caused by a loose connection in the wiring or an overloaded circuit. If the sound is in a switch or power outlet, call an electrician.

Flickering Lights – the Possibilities

We have all experienced this at some time. Most of the time it is a loose or faulty bulb that is the culprit. Replace the bulb with a new one, and if the flickering continues it will be either a connection problem somewhere in the circuit or something faulty in the actual fixture. As in all other circumstances, contact an electrician. Do not attempt to fix it yourself.

Mild Electric Shocks and Something Burning

These are two symptoms of the same problem – faulty wiring. Getting a mild shock could be a ground fault with the particular appliance, but it could also be a warning about the condition of the wiring in the premises. A smell of burning plastic coming from an outlet or switch is definitely a warning sign. Switch off the power at the main panel and call an electrician immediately.

These are all situations we have encountered at NLE Commercial. As suppliers and installers of commercial appliances such as dishwashers and laundry equipment, we have sometimes found during an installation that the existing wiring needs replacing. Because our work meets all Australian electrical safety standards, we are able to correct the wiring as part of the installation process.

We urge home and business owners not to ignore any of the signs mentioned, as a fire could be the end result.

What Is Quality And How Can It Be Identified?

As consumers, we all know what bad service feels like, but sometimes it is not as easy to quantify good service as it sounds. What does it really mean? Does it mean getting a product that does what was promised, getting a bargain, or being treated as someone who is important to that business and who deserves to feel satisfied?

How to Identify Good Service

We could ask that question of a dozen different people and receive a dozen different answers, but we usually know good service when we experience it because of the way it makes us feel. This is how we want our customers to feel when we finish their job. We want them to remember NLE Commercial as the company to contact for electrical maintenance work.

What are the Identifiers of Quality?

There are a number of reasons why we are confident in making such a claim. After many years working in our industry, we have identified several traits that are present in companies with a reputation for excellent service delivery.

A Quality Business is Professional

The first of these is professionalism, evidenced by membership of industry associations that require specific qualifications for admission. In our case, our electrical service team members belong to Master Electricians Australia and those in the group who do commercial work are also members of Safety Connect. These memberships keep our people up to date with changes to laws, rules and practices in the electrical industry.

The Customer is the Focus of the Enterprise

The second of these is a focus on customer service first and foremost. All industry quality standards place the customer at the centre of every interaction, as they are the reason for the continued existence of the business. We offer a range of services as a “one stop shop” giving our customers the convenience of making one contact, and the confidence that they are talking to experts.

Offer Services that Suit the Customer

The third attribute is the willingness to offer the customer a range of services outside normal working hours. Many businesses these days operate 24/7, and when a breakdown occurs in the middle of the night, they want someone who can respond quickly to get them up and running again. We offer an emergency break down service team of electrical technicians and after hours call out.

Back Your Skills with a Guarantee

There are other traits and attributes we could mention, but the final one we value is giving the customer a guarantee. Every business that gives a guarantee is telling the world that they are confident in the skills of their people. They don’t expect to be back fixing the work that has already been done. Just like those companies, we offer a 12 month guarantee on all work.

When you become one of our customers, you will truly experience reliability, quality work and excellent service.

In Search of Dependable Electrical Installation and Maintenance Service

When electrical systems and equipment in the home or business building fail, it is always important to entrust the repair work to a trustworthy service. There are many things that could go wrong in the repair, maintenance or installation of electrical systems or appliances. The homeowner or business owner will be made liable for any mishaps that may be due to a faulty electrical installation or repair work.

NLE understands the need to provide safe electrical services for homes or commercial establishments. The company offers clients a one-stop shop for all electrical contracting, maintenance and installation services. These services complement the company’s business of supplying household and commercial appliances such as laundry equipment, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners.

Service Quality Guaranteed

Service quality is of primary importance when it comes to selecting the right electrical service contractor. Electrical installation and servicing cannot be entrusted to non-professionals. The company’s electrical service crew belongs to a Master Electrician group specialising in various trades.

Top quality service can be expected from the company’s electrical group. The team can handle various tasks, including maintenance of laundry equipment, washers, dryers and ironers. The company’s electrical service group can also handle bulb replacement for all light fitting types such as energy efficient lamps.

The company has a dependable team of fully trained emergency breakdown service personnel for laundry equipment. They are in full compliance with AS/NZS 3760:2010 test tagging and safety inspection of electrical machines. They are also compliant with AS/NZS 3000:2007 for electrical installations as well as with Cat 5, Cat 6 data cabling and testing.

Commercial Electrical Service

NLE is also capable of handling commercial electrical installation and servicing. Its commercial electrical service workers are members of Master Electricians and Safety Connect. Belonging to such distinguished associations gives customers better assurance as to the type of service quality that the company offers.

The company also handles fit-outs for commercial establishments and business offices as well as for retail tenancy buildings. The company can provide the building owner some valuable assistance in achieving better energy efficiency in the facility, through lighting and control systems that are more economical. Services also include an emergency breakdown service as well as maintenance of the installed electrical systems for 12 months. This includes periodic testing of the emergency light and safety switches.

The company’s service comes with a 12-month guarantee on all work performed. Customers can avail of the company’s after hours call out. To find out more about the company’s electrical services, visit their website.