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The Commercial Laundry Sector, from 2019 to 2020

It’s a new year in the commercial laundry sector and it’s a good time to get a pulse check on where businesses in the industry want to go in 2020 while taking a look at 2019.

It’s important to look at influences outside of the industry to see how they are impacting companies and clientele alike. From the growth of medical cannabis legalization and its effects on hiring practices to rising concern over climate change, the commercial laundry industry is having to take a deep look at itself and see how it can change with the times moving forward.

Here’s a look at the commercial laundry industry and how it’s changing heading into 2020.

Climate Change and Commercial Laundry

Stakeholders in commercial laundry are starting to take note of the environmental impact that the industry has on their surroundings. From short- to long-term effects, commercial laundry businesses have had to alter the way they do business over time.

One major component of this topic is the availability of water and how it can be wasted in the commercial laundry process. All water is available for use and is recycled, but only a small percentage of water is usable and suitable for taking care of washing operations.

To operate in the changing climate and tap into better water usage, some laundries have already established their businesses with water filtration and recycling technologies, especially in areas where regulations are more strict. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand that 2020 is shaping up to be a year of increased attention to resource conservation and finding ways to hedge increased water costs through water recycling technology.

Drug Testing and Medical Cannabis

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states in the nation to approve recreational cannabis usage. Since then, 30 other states have approved cannabis in either medical or recreational usage. As part of some commercial launderers safety programs, pre-employment drug testing is being performed as well as random drug testing.

However, depending on the state and local laws, some businesses could find themselves in the middle of a lawsuit based on unlawful testing, or the unlawful termination of someone who was tested. For laundries who take steps to relieve someone of their employment because of drug testing results, having commercial laundry insurance can work in their favor, at least to provide the right resources for things like settlement payments and legal representation.

The issue with medical cannabis usage is its effects on workers while on the job. Businesses can have their own rules when it comes to using cannabis onsite, but if someone has to take cannabis for medical reasons before they go into work, the law usually falls on the employee’s side.

Moving forward, commercial launderers are spending more time on reasonable suspicion training for supervisors. This will help to limit risks presented by employees who may be under the influence of medical cannabis on the job.

Hiring and Pay

Depending on the region, some launderers may witness difficulty in hiring enough staff and finding reliable people to work at their plants. Staffing challenges are growing due to outside influences, like rising minimum wage legislation, and businesses are already staring down staffing gaps.

A lot of the roles that need to be filled at commercial launderers are entry-level roles, requiring less than a year (or no) experience in the industry. With several states considering an increase in minimum wage to $15, up from a national average of $7.25, businesses may not be able to shell out the money to pay employees, further pushing potential employees away.

Businesses in the industry can establish hiring and retention measurements that point out days it takes to fill a vacant position and turnover rates. With data in hand, businesses can use the metrics to set goals moving forward.

Recognizing and addressing the various challenges facing the laundry sector in 2020 can help to get ahead of the curve and limit risk and loss.

About Irving Weber Associates

At Irving Weber Associates, Inc., we understand what it takes to run a successful Dry Cleaner, Coin Operated Laundromat, Textile/Linen Supply business, Restoration, or Commercial Launderer, including investing in a comprehensive Insurance Program to ensure that they are financially protected against claims. Our program, Fabricare Advantage™, offers overall business insurance coverages including, Bailee,General Liability, Property, Site Pollution Liability, Boiler & Machinery Equipment Breakdown, Workers’ Compensation, Business Auto, and many more. For a detailed look at how we can help you safeguard your business with a custom-tailored package, please contact our experts today at (800) 243-1811.