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Viewpoint - Why Your CFO Cares About Automated Laundry Operations

Running the Numbers Shows Bottom Line Impact of Manual Laundry Inaccuracies

March 21, 2012 – Why are CFOs in the hospitality and gaming industries giving a single thought to the laundry business?  Because the cost of keeping linens clean significantly affects a property’s profitability.  And, high-tech UHF-RFID laundry automation can give a healthy boost to the bottom line. Running the numbers in the following example offers a dollars-and-cents explanation.

Safeguarding a six-figure investment from five-figure losses
Hotel A is a 400-room, high-end, full-service property with an inventory of 40,000 linens valued at approximately $500,000.  This includes items such as towels and sheets for guest rooms, and table cloths for restaurant outlets and catering facilities. The property also maintains a $150,000 inventory of 5,000 uniforms for several hundred employees.
Laundry billing errors of only 2% can cost $20,000 annually
Because linens and uniforms are continuously reused, a significant percentage of the property’s inventory is cleaned every day.  Hotel A uses an outside laundry service, as do most similar properties, to clean about 8,500 items each day at an annual cleaning cost of approximating $1,000,000. Billing errors of only one or two percent can result in overcharges of $10,000-$20,000 a year.
The hotel distributes $150,000 worth of linens and uniforms seven days a week: $35,000 in uniforms go to employees; $15,000 in uniforms and $100,000 in linens go to the laundry service. The huge volume of items issued to employees and sent to the laundry creates loss rates that frequently surpass 10 percent, which adds up to $75,000 annually.  This is considerably greater than any hotel can justify as “normal shrinkage.”

Harvey Welles, president of InvoTech Systems

It is not surprising that controllers and CFOs demand accountability for laundry activity. Hotels have tried various methods over the years to gain some semblance of control.
In the past, accountability for uniforms has been successfully addressed by attaching barcode tags to uniforms to track individual garments and ensure that employees and the laundry provider returned uniforms to the hotel.  In 2007, Hotel A implemented InvoTech’s GIMS™ barcode Uniform System for apparel inventory tracking and to improve the overall uniform operations. Control has been established and losses have been largely eliminated by individually scanning the roughly 1,000 garments handled by the uniform department daily.
For linens, hand counts cannot keep up
Barcode tracking is not practical for linens because of the large number of items processed daily.  To gain better control, Hotel A manually sorts and counts soiled linens, recording how many items in each category go to the laundry. When clean linens are returned, items are again hand-counted and recorded to reconcile whether all items sent were returned.
To refine the analysis further, periodically the property physically inventories linens in its numerous housekeeping storerooms.  The entire process is labor intensive and inherently inaccurate due to human error both in counting and data keying.  To complicate matters, laundry deliveries consist of items picked up over several days. Suspected discrepancies are difficult, if not impossible, to validate, which often leads to disputes between the hotel and the outside laundry facility. Laundry mix-ups are also a problem.  This is clear because Hotel A frequently receives linens belonging to other businesses and other properties get Hotel A’s laundry.  Hotel A’s manual linen control efforts do limit inventory losses.  But the property still loses about $20,000 in linens annually after spending $40-$50,000 in labor costs for counting, recording, reconciling, and disputing errors.
Ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID technology cuts loss to virtually zero
Today, advances in ultra-high frequency RFID technology make laundry processing and real time tracking much more efficient.  UHF-RFID tracking laundry tags are easily attached to uniforms and linens and with them, inventory can be automatically read in bulk bins by UHF-RFID processing stations. When uniforms and linens are sent to the laundry and returned, the system automatically records each item as full laundry carts or racks of uniforms move past specialized UHF-RFID bulk processing readers. When employees pick up their uniforms, the system automatically records that event to further improve accountability and reduce losses.
A UHF-RFID system would reduce Hotel A’s uniform and linen losses to virtually zero and eliminate the labor associated with manual counting and data entry.  The result is a projected savings of at least $70,000 each year in operating expenses.  Annual savings would increase with the rise in linen, uniform, and labor costs. This gets a CFO’s attention.
For Hotel A, the UHF-RFID system has an ROI of less than 12 months and brings the added benefit of more accurate information about the hotel’s inventory. For example, Hotel A would have the ability to forecast on-going linen and uniform purchases and track each article’s aging to assure the hotel’s quality standards are maintained.
The numbers make a clear case
Hotel operators do not often see this kind of positive technology investment opportunity. The numbers make it easy to understand why CFOs are looking to the laundry room for increased profits through implementing automated UHF-RFID uniform and linen processing.

By Harvey Welles, president of InvoTech Systems.
Please click here for more information on GIMS™.

About InvoTech Systems
InvoTech Systems, Inc. – a Microsoft Certified Partner – is a leading provider of high quality and innovative inventory control systems for hotels, casinos, resorts, theme parks, and sports arenas.  The company’s GIMS™ asset management solution and tracking systems manage uniforms, linens, and laundries. Its SAMS™ systems manage security and guest services operations. Both GIMS™ and SAMS™ provide ultimate control and accountability, streamline operations, improve quality and loss control, and reduce labor. The GIMS™ ultra high frequency, radio frequency identification (UHF-RFID) system in particular, fully automates uniform and linen tracking. This allows managers to eliminate labor from cost centers and instead put staff to work enhancing revenues. The worldwide roster of more than 500 customers includes MGM Resorts International, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Hotels, Universal Studios, and Madison Square Garden. InvoTech Systems is rooted in a culture that emphasizes long-term client relationships, superior customer service, and on-going technology innovation and integration. For more information, please visit


InvoTech Systems, Inc.
Jeff Welles, Vice President
16530 Ventura Blvd., Suite 603
Encino, CA 91436 USA
Phone: 818-574-6866  
Email:  Sales(at)       
Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
180 River Springs Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 404-256-5512
Email:  Julie(at)

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Also See: High-Tech Innovation Defines Luxurious ARIA Resort & Casino, Even in Its Uniform Department Operations; ARIA Uses RFID Tracking for 125,000 Uniforms for Staff of 8,000 / February 2012

Odawa Casino Resort Installs InvoTech GIMS RFID Uniform Tracking System; New High-Tech Uniform Management System Helps Move Native American Company Forward; Reduces Costs in Non-Revenue Producing Department / February 2012

Revel Selects InvoTech GIMS Ultra-High Frequency RFID Uniform Tracking System; Revel's Opening Features Atlantic City's First UHF-RFID Uniform System / January 2012

The 5 Most Important Requirements for Successful Staff Tech Training; Cover These Essential Points with Your Vendor's Training Chief Before Instruction Starts; Researched by Jeff Welles, Vice President of InvoTech Systems / January 2012

Nation's Top Hotel School Gives Students Experience in RFID and Uniform Delivery Technology; Cornell University School of Hotel Administration Installs InvoTech's Ultra-High Frequency RFID with White Conveyors Uniform Delivery System in Statler Hotel / December 2011

Uniforms Add to the Showmanship at Award-Winning Rivers Casino; Thousands of Garments are Tracked with UHF-RFID Technology to Cut Labor Costs, Enable Hands-free Efficient Laundry Processing / December 2011

InvoTech’s GIMS™ Uniform Tracking System Put into Action at Omni Dallas Hotel; InvoTech Selected for Efficient Uniform Department Operations with UHF-RFID Technology that Cuts Labor Costs / November 2011

The Sycuan Casino Powers Growth for a Sovereign Indian Nation; Rich 12,000 Year-Old Heritage Safe Guarded with Savvy Control of Tribal Assets and Cost-Saving Uniform Inventory Tech / November 2011

Hotel Bel-Air Selects InvoTech's GIMS™ Uniform System and SAMS™ Security System; InvoTech Selected for Efficient Uniform Department Operations with UHF-RFID Technology and High-Tech Security with 'Green' Paperless Processes at Luxury Hotel / September 2011

Fallsview Casino Resort Selects InvoTech GIMS™ Ultra-High Frequency RFID Uniform Tracking System; 24x7Automated Uniform Tracking and Distribution Will Increase Efficiency, Save Staff Time / August 2011

Video: HITEC 2011 Recap from InvoTech – Busiest Show in Five Years; HITEC 2011 Attendees Shopped Systems that Save Time and Money; Ultra High Frequency RFID Solutions Tapped for Efficiency / August 2011

InvoTech Expands Macau Casino Hotel Presence; Leader in Inventory Control Systems Will Implement GIMS™ Uniform System in Sheraton, Shangri-La, St. Regis and Traders Properties / June 2011

MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas Manages 90,000-Piece Garment Inventory with InvoTech Uniform Tracking System; 'Barcodes Function as a License Plate for Clothes;' Accurate Inventory Software Reports Keep Departments on Budget; Uniforms Delivered Ready to Wear in 30 Seconds at Employee Clock-In / June 2011

Sycuan Casino Upgrades Garment Inventory Tracking System to InvoTech GIMS UHF-RFID; Sycuan Renovates Casino, Relies on Accurate Reports to Manage Tribal Assets of 20,000 Uniforms used by 1,600 Team Members / June 2011

InvoTech Announces GIMS™ UHF-RFID Linen and Uniform Tracking System; New UHF-RFID System (GIMS™) Eliminates Hand Counts, Creates Greater Laundry Efficiency, Reduces Lost Items to Save Money / May 2011

MSR-FSR Installs InvoTech’s GIMS UHF-RFID Asset Tracking System for Efficient Laundry Operations of Cleanroom Uniforms; Class 10 Cleanroom Article Provider Uses UHF-RFID Technology to Verify Stringent Ultra Cleanroom Standards / May 2011

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