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.