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Wed 24 Oct 2007 08:26 AM

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Keen, clean and green

Dubai-based Institutional Laundry Services is well prepared to deal with the growth in laundry outsourcing in the hospitality industry and is leading with way with its environmental policy.

Dubai-based Institutional Laundry Services is well prepared to deal with the growth in laundry outsourcing in the hospitality industry and is leading with way with its environmental policy.

Institutional Laundry Services (ILS) began operations at its factory in Jebel Ali industrial area in July, with more than 18,500m2 dedicated to laundry services for the hospitality industry.

New director of marketing and sales, Christoph Jung, says his firm sees things differently compared with existing laundry services.

"ILS has a very different perspective on laundry services, in that we really concentrate on the predicted growth of the industry. We've just come into the market, which is growing and is very demanding, and the idea is that we have a big plant which allows us to grow in terms of technology, as well as staff," he explains.

It is very clear now that something is wrong [with the environment] and we need to take care of our part and think about our actions.

Jung has worked mainly in Europe, but his experience of business management and administration drives his belief that ILS's management structure will succeed in the Middle East. It is this structure that makes the firm stand out from its competitors, and enables it to offer clients exactly what they require, he says.

"I think that hotels are outsourcing more of their laundry than ever before, and they can really save a lot of money and time if they use our services," he adds.

ILS offers laundry and dry cleaning services for large volumes of linen, staff uniforms and guests' clothing. The factory has been split into two laundries, one for flat linen and the second for garments, and Jung explains that during the first phase of the firm's growth it is able to process 30-40 tonnes of flat linen during an eight hour shift, and garments for 7500 people.

Quantity is not the only focus for ILS though, and Jung explains that the company aims to provide its customers with solutions catering specifically to their needs.

"We can work with our clients and offer a very wide range of services, which adhere to high standards. We also care about the environment a lot, about the sustainability issue, and we take care of our customer service," he says.

ILS is now implementing new management systems that will allow them to improve their customer service even more.

"We focus very much on service levels and the needs of our customers, and when it comes to the standards and the quality they are really the most important things for us. Our premises are designed especially for the needs of the operation and for the needs of the clients," says Jung.

"It's also important to us that we have a staff that enjoys working here, that's why we've got the shower rooms and the locker rooms and we do training with them. It's important that anyone who works for ILS understands the clients' needs."

ILS doesn't only rely on the management structure to provide quality customer service; the skills of operations manager, Anil Shah are of vital importance.

Shah is a qualified textile technologist and a certified laundry and dry-cleaning manager who has been involved with laundry in the hospitality sector for the past 17 years, working for a number of five-star hotel chains including Shangri-la, Sheraton, Oberoi and Taj Hotels in India.

Shah explains that hotels just don't have the space for the laundry operations required and so they are turning to express services like ILS.

It is the size of the firm's operation that has enabled it to combine its dedication to quality with a concern for the environment.

"Once you have a bulk production you are at an advantage because you can get the latest technology, so quality and processing improves and the cost of production goes down, and then comes the effect on natural resources such as water," he says.

ILS recycles heat and detergents to reduce energy consumption, uses LPG in place of oil as fuel, operates its dryers on steam rather than electricity, concentrates on the recycling and preservation of water, and uses Eco Lab as its chemical supplier.

"When the company was formed we always regarded the environment. It is very clear now that something is wrong and we need to take care of our part and think about our actions," explains Shah.

"A number of hotels - wherever you go - are very much environmentally conscious, and we are now thinking about going carbon neutral. In fact we've already done our studies."

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