You rely on the company you contract for uniform and linen rental services to do what they are supposed to do without you checking up on them. You expect clean, fresh uniforms on schedule. You expect your cleaning and maintenance supplies to be fully stocked. In short, you do not want to have to continually babysit your linen company.
That moment you realize it’s time to change linen and uniform services is likely not going to be until the damage has already been done. So it pays to know some of the warning signs suggesting that your linen company is not working in your best interests. Avoid that moment of surprising revelation by getting ahead of the game. If necessary, change linen companies before your current contractor has the opportunity to harm your business.
Issues with Communication
One of the first things to suffer in a souring outsourcing relationship is communication. It is a lot like a marriage. When you and your linen provider stop talking, it’s only a matter of time before problems start cropping up. This is a warning sign you should definitely pay attention to.
Your linen and uniform service should be frequently communicating with you in one way or another. Whether through a company newsletter, notes attached to your invoice, or just a quick e-mail to let you know about something new, regular communication demonstrates that the company is cognizant of its customers. A lack of regular communication indicates just the opposite.
Poor Company Management
You may not necessarily know everything about the internals of your linen provider, but it is pretty easy to identify poor management. A poorly managed linen company doesn’t provide top-notch service as a normal part of business. This is reflected in the sales office, route delivery personnel, and customer service reps.
How a company performs is a direct reflection of how it is managed. If the experience you’re having with your linen provider doesn’t meet your own standards of quality, there may be a management issue in the background.
The Lack of Attentiveness
Commercial linens and uniforms are a rather competitive business. Smaller, local firms are competing with larger firms like Utah-based Alsco. That competition naturally breeds a level of attentiveness. In other words, linen providers are supposed to be attentive to the needs of their customers. A lack of attentiveness signals an unwillingness or inability to compete.
Your linen and uniform service should be attentive to your every need. They should be quick to resolve problems as they arise. They should always be on hand to answer your questions. If your linen company is inattentive, you are already not getting the kind of service you deserve.
For uniform and linen service to be financially worthwhile it has to offer the customer some sort of tangible value. That moment you realize your linen service is lacking value is the moment you wonder why you’re paying for it. But don’t simply abandon the idea of linen service altogether. Rather, take a good look at your current vendor and what they are providing.
Professional linen service adds value when it is done properly. Maybe you just need a new provider. Thankfully, there are plenty out there to choose from.
Contracting for commercial linen and uniform services is becoming more common in the modern era of outsourcing. If your company currently enjoys linen service, ask yourself if there are any warning signs suggesting the relationship with your provider could go south in the future. Do not get caught by the surprise revelation that it’s time to change contractors after the damage has been done.