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Tue 1 May 2007 11:35 AM

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The life of a laundry manager

Things can get pretty frantic when you are the laundry manager responsible for one of Dubai's busiest five-star business hotels, according to the Dusit Dubai's Anura Priyashantha.

As a laundry manager, what are the main challenges of your job?

With a large team and variety of jobs to be undertaken, it is imperative we maintain hotel standards at all time.

As a team, we work together to achieve and maintain high standards, managing variable work loads and engaging in open communication to ensure our guests receive the best attention and prompt service.

How many people work in your laundry department and how often do you conduct training with them?

We have 24 associates working in the laundry. We conduct training twice a month to reinforce operational aspects of the laundry, chemical handling and general communication of the hotel.

We also schedule additional training sessions if we introduce a new machine or detergent.

As a team, we work together to achieve and maintain high standards, managing variable work loads and engaging in open communication.

Laundry operations are a 24/7 job but which are the highest-demand periods for your facility?

The laundry is a 16-hour operation, which we have divided into two shifts. Our high-demand period is between 1pm and 4pm, due to the volume of guest laundry and room linen. Taking this into consideration, we obviously allocate more associates during these hours of operation.

What percentage of your laundry are guests' items?

The volume of guest laundry is currently estimated to be 30% of the total productivity.

What happens if a guest item is accidently lost or damaged?

The high standards and operation procedures minimise our risk of damages. On the rare occasion when an item is damaged, we follow a procedure - we will investigate the matter, advise the guests immediately, and compensate as necessary.

What are the benefits of operating an on-premises laundry (OPL) rather than outsourcing?

There are numerous benefits for operating an OPL. The most important is that it results in quicker service for our guests.

There are also great employment opportunities as a result, and cross exposure opportunities arise for the hotel team.

In addition, linen turnover is more efficient, we get fewer guests complaints and there is a reduction in transportation costs. It also saves time, energy and manpower.

What sort of equipment do you use in your laundry?

We have a variety of laundry machines including Unimac, Lapauw, Ajax and Union. Careful planning and research is carried out before we commit to purchasing any machines, and as a result, we always make informed decisions.

All the machines we have purchased all offer an excellent level of productivity and are well matched to our laundry requirements.

We also have a strong working relationship with our detergent suppliers, to ensure we are all working together towards a common goal.

Our product supplier is Johnson Diversey and we are confident with our choice because it's environment ally friendly and safe for guest laundry and room linen. Using a good detergent reflects in the end result of the product delivered.

What could be improved in your department to help things run more smoothly?

Our next area of improvement includes adding more economical, high-volume equipment to save water, energy and chemicals.

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