Nick Dobrez | March 12th, 2021
The Problem: The opening of a new plant left Century Linen & Uniform Services strapped for resources and lacking the data to truly understand the overall operational performance of their plant.
The Solution: An operations management software that increased the access to real-time performance metrics, enabling data-driven operational improvements and increased productivity.
Century Linen and Uniform was founded over 105 years ago in Amsterdam New York by Frank Robison and Willard Smith. Today, Century Linen and Uniform is owned and operated by the Smith family and have grown to include three plants serving Healthcare, Hospitality, and Industrial customers across the state of New York.
Keep reading to learn how Century Linen and Uniform:
Soon after Century Linen and Uniform completed their new healthcare plant in Johnstown, NY, they knew they wanted an operations management solution to help them automate the estimated 50 hours a week they had spent collecting and inputting data into their custom built excel reports.
The problem was, which operations software do they work with?
According to Gary Fuller, the Executive Vice President at Century Linen & Uniform, “The biggest decision was to work with Spindle or use a solution our equipment provider offered.”
Century Linen and Uniform was already familiar with their equipment provider’s solution, having previously installed it in one of their other locations. When it came time to decide, what lead to the selection of Spindle over expanding their current solution?
“We broke it down to see what the differences were, between pricing and the features provided. What were we getting as far as the data, reporting, and the support for our money,” Gary said. “Spindle was the next level of what we were used to.”
Originally, Century Linen & Uniform planned to install the hardware and hardwiring themselves, but soon realized they had too many other projects and initiatives on their plate. The plant was installing their washers and dryers in two phases and reached out to see if Spindle could help with the installation process.
“There was no problem switching gears. It happened very quickly and very efficiently. It allowed our team to focus on the other installations at hand,” Gary said.
When asked about his experience during the first few months with Spindle Gary said, “I think there is a learning curve, but it’s reasonable. There were no huge difficulties. In the first month, Spindle did a good job of alerting us, what to watch for, what to stay on top of, and what the most important things to focus on in the first 5 or 6 weeks are. We did a good job responding and staying ahead of that.”
After setting out to find a solution that would save them time with automation and gain access to more powerful reports, Gary believes Century Linen & Uniform got what they were expecting.
The team has eliminated the ~50 hours a week of collecting and inputting data. “We’re spending our time looking at the data and use it to our advantage. Rather than tracking the data, we’re utilizing it now.”
In terms of reporting, Gary said, “We now have the ability to look at our performance and opportunities by classification, job type, machine or team members. We can discover whether someone is in the wrong place in the plant and figure out if they are performing better on gowns than on towels.”
Because the Century Linen & Uniform Team was doing multiple projects around the plant when Spindle was installed, Gary was hesitant to say whether they are seeing a return on investment with Spindle, but one thing is for certain - since the team installed Spindle and completed their various projects around the plant, the team has seen a linear PPOH improvement.
The team plans to focus on utilizing more features in SpindleLIVE to uncover their largest areas for opportunity. They plan to start diving into their historically poor performers and identifying ways to help coach them to start meeting standards.