John Gavigan, managing director of Arpal Gulf talks about the importance of avoiding the temptation of cutting corners when it comes to laundry solutions
The commercial and on-premise laundry (OPL) sectors in the UAE are quickly growing with some estimates saying there will be market growth of 20 per cent per annum.
There’s no doubt the Middle East has the potential to emerge as one of the leading commercial cleaning industries across the world in terms of quality, innovation and environmental responsibility.
If it meets its potential it should deliver major benefits to customers in terms of enhanced efficiency, reduced costs and access to the latest, most innovative laundry technology.
But if this is going to happen the industry needs to put in place quality standards and regulations to put it on a par with the very best in international practices.
The commercial laundry sector across the Middle East, with the exception of hospital linen in some countries, doesn’t operate with many quality control standards. In a highly competitive, fragmented and sometimes cut-throat market, this is a high risk approach to follow.
When there is no agreed standard practice in place and no real requirements for linen bug tests, it creates a clear risk to the end consumer and laundry employee.
There is always the risk that soiled textile articles will create a source of pathogenic microorganisms. But it goes without saying that if hygienic storage and handling procedures are followed, the risk of disease transmission and cross-contamination between clean and soiled articles is vastly reduced. However this cannot be guaranteed when no standards are in place.
For commercial laundry operators, neglecting to take every precaution in a highly fragmented and competitive marketplace is nothing less than a race to the bottom- it is essentially a vicious circle of overly aggressive price competition that is often at the expense of quality.
This does not make sense to us as suppliers who are totally committed to delivering the highest quality standards to all of our customers. It dramatically increases potential risks to the wider public as well as employees.
Laundry chemicals account for almost 5% of total laundry costs, it has to be asked: why take a risk on quality?