RFID has already revolutionized inventory management and asset tracking for clothes in retail stores. It is time to do the same in the laundry and textile industry. Nordic ID is proud to partner with many laundry and textile service providers in Europe – one of them being a large textile service company with extensive experience in the textile industry. The company is one of Europe’s leading textile service companies offering a wide range of textile services ranging from workwear, protective equipment, mats, restaurant and hotel textiles to industrial mats and towels.
Utilizing RFID and sensor technology, our partner has increased its competitiveness among textile service providers by offering effortless workwear management through a flexible storage solution. Besides differentiating the services from the competitors, digitalizing industrial textile care operations with RFID has enabled our partner company to improve the customer experience and the responsibility of the operations. RFID offers remarkable benefits for the whole value chain, from the manufacturer to the end user.
Like in all industries, companies are guided firmly to digitalization by customers, competitors, and partners. Our partner, a textile service company, had to keep up with digitalization too. Their traditional solutions were no longer competitive. The company took the leap toward digitalization with courage and succeeded. With the new concepts enabled by digitalization, the company is enhancing current service by tackling traditional challenges. Digitalization has enabled the company to offer a better customer experience, which has meant better textile flow, guaranteed textile availability, and flexibility for workwear users.
Our partner’s automatized workwear storage solution is based on RFID-tagged garments and RFID devices, making 24/7 self-service storage and distribution possible. This automated workwear storage solution is suitable for high-volume workwear users such as bakeries and factory workers.
The storage solution system tracks and collects information on the workers’ usage of their workwear. At the same time, the solution can provide real-time and accurate information about the flow, circulation, and amount of workwear.
For the workwear user, the storage solution works like a self-service loaning point for workwear. The clean workwear is brought to the customer’s premises and scanned into the storage. When the workwear user picks up their attire for the day, the storage solution identifies the loaned workwear and who has taken it. Later, when the garment is returned for washing, the system recognizes who is bringing the garment and which garment.
Digital development enables the textile service provider to offer worry-free, need-based, and even predictive textile services. The development work and technology have helped our partner company to think on a large scale and develop the services in a way that was previously impossible. The workwear service is an easy-to-use and worry-free solution that enables workwear customers to run their businesses smoothly without worrying about workwear management.
The textile service company has been able to optimize and save money on logistics as the right products are in the right place when needed. As they know how many items are at their customer, they’ve been able to cut the unnecessary logistics drives. They can have a pick-up for dirty laundry only when needed. With tracked inventory, the amount of workwear can be kept minimum. Also, the garment’s lifecycle gets longer as you can understand better how the garment is used, how many times, and why. This knowledge can then be utilized in product development.
First of all, cost efficiency is essential for every business. Users can’t hoard workwear outside the storage solution. If the number of used clothes is reduced, it directly affects the costs – the ability to reduce excess inventory in specific location results in reduced working capital and increased EBITDA. Not only money is saved, but time too, as the workwear management is automated and digitalized. The workwear storage and distribution solution minimizes the hassle, enables smoothly running operations, and improves the efficiency as the time spent managing the workwear flow decreases.
Secondly, the workwear storage solution enables guaranteed textile availability. The personnel always have clean, safe, and well-fitting clothes at their disposal, which improves work satisfaction.
Thirdly, we all know that having fewer clothes in the cycle is more ecological. Shared use increases the use of textiles and reduces the amount of waste. Centralizing services creates effectiveness that leads to more sustainable business. The laundry service provider can have a smaller carbon footprint compared to the situation where the end customer manages the workwear by itself. Furthermore, the collected data helps to make better and more sustainable decisions and designs.
The workwear service can benefit relatively large companies that require a lot of garments. Real-time information and data can enable operational flexibility for companies with considerable seasonal fluctuation or many seasonal workers. Workwear customers can easily monitor the amount of workwear in stock, in use, and in the laundry and adjust it as needed.
Above all, workwear management is a crucial safety and hygiene factor for some industries where hygiene, food, and product safety are monitored and controlled carefully. With the help of storage solution technology, the customer can train their employees on the correct use of their workwear. The models and quantities of work clothes can be defined for each group of employees. For example, if an employee tries to enter the production premises in the wrong work clothes, he will not be able to check the clothes out of the warehouse. Also, the information collected tells the end customer how long employees wear the same garment – this information is crucial in maintaining hygiene.
Developing the storage solution started a few years ago in close cooperation between the textile service company, Nordic ID, and a few pilot customers. RFID turned out to be the superior technology for our partner’s customers.
“Technology development was one factor behind the solution. The new generation UHF RFID -solutions enable several garments to be read rapidly and fluently. We do not develop the technology just for the sake of technology – all our solutions should serve our customers. This is also Nordic ID’s great strength. They are eager to break new ground, as well as has a genuine desire to understand both end customers and us.”