Tracking Laundry to Improve Operations and Customer Relations

Meritex receives, cleans, folds, and returns tens of thousands of linens each week for a dozen hotels. Only two of the hotels have custom linens; ten of the resorts have identical linens, and each hotel requires that Meritex clean and return the exact linens they send over. To track the linens they send and receive, Meritex implemented a RAIN RFID solution that delivered:

  • 99.9% receiving and dispatch accuracy
  • Increased visibility
  • Improved relations with customers

Meritex Profile:

Meritex Laundry is a commercial laundry business that was established in New Jersey in 1998. As a subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide, Meritex services 12 Hilton properties in New York and New Jersey. Meritex launders 35-40 million pounds of linens per year.

Impinj Solution Partner

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Tracking laundry improves relations and service for Meritex

Typically hotels use weight to track the amount of linens they send to be cleaned. However weight is an inexact measurement because soiled linens full of dirt and water that arrive at Meritex always weigh more that the clean linens Meritex returns. Hotels estimate how many linens they think they are sending over, but two batches of similar weights could have vastly different amounts of linens based on the amount of water content in each piece.

In reality, hotels relying on weight have little visibility into the exact amount of linens dispatched to the cleaners, but that does not prevent them from holding Meritex accountable for any "lost" laundry. Meritex was charged for any discrepancies between the hotel’s dispatch and receiving reports. Using the Impinj and Foundation Logic System linen tracking solution, Meritex added a RAIN RFID tracking system to ameliorate these issues. Here's how it works:

  • Meritex sewed RAIN RFID tags into all existing linens, and attaches tag-chips to new linens as they are manufactured
  • Pertinent information, like client and washing data, is embedded into the RAIN RFID tags
  • RAIN RFID read stations were installed where linens are picked up and dropped off so Impinj Speedway readers can collect data as laundry passes in and out of the facility 
  • Data is accumulated and made available for Meritex to improve operations, and to hotel management for accurate billing

With RAIN RFID, Meritex precisely tracks linens throughout their facility

  • Greater accuracy improves customer relations
    Soiled linen comes to Meritex on laundry carts in quantities ranging from 180-500 pieces. Speedway readers are able to read the linens, which are often damp, with accuracy around 99%. Foundation Logic’s software records all the items that were received. When linens are dispatched back to a hotel, the portal also reads with accuracy of nearly 100%. Meritex prints out reports that detail exactly which linens were received and which were returned, so hotels can clearly see if any items were not returned from the cleaners.
  • RAIN RFID data provides insight into workflow
    While Meritex previously looked up linen history in batches, with the RAIN RFID system they now have item-level visibility and can see exact details for each individual linen piece. Meritex can now look for trends in linen lifecycle based on article, number of washes, and hotel, and optimize processes accordingly. 
  • Data gives hotels insight into loss prevention
    Meritex is able to share data with their client hotels. The company is able to definitively show if linens are being lost at Meritex. With this data, hotels can more easily troubleshoot their shrinkage problem, instead of solely holding Meritex accountable for the losses.

Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, and automobile parts to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, and asset tracking. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of Things.

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