Handling large volumes of drop off laundry

We are in the midst of our busiest time of the year at Liberty Laundry and I wanted to put up a post about how we handle our some of our largest drop off laundry customers.

We have two customers that bring in 400-800 pounds of laundry per week for a 5 week period. This puts our store to the test with regards to staffing and machine management. During these busy times it is our goal to insure walk-in customers have machines to use and also be able to complete the contract in a single day.

Using at least 3 people during the starting phase we make sure laundry is started quickly after it is dropped off. We have one person writing down information about the bags that were dropped off while another weighs each bag. The third person will start washers running staggering the start time by 5 minutes.

We stagger the start time because having 5 or 6 washers all stop and moved to the dryers at the same time does not do much good. We only have so many hands for folding, it makes more sense to pace the laundry with approximately the folding speed, this avoids a bottleneck at the folding phase.

We leave at least 50% of our machines open for walk-in customers. If these machinese get used by walk-in customers we start leaving additional machines open. We never want a customer to have to wait for an open washer at our store.

Once the laundry has been started and is beginning to enter dryers a forth or even fifth employee comes on duty to begin with the folding. We have 2-4 people folding and 1 starting new loads, moving laundry from washers to dryers and handling the front desk.

Using this method we have been able to complete drop off loads of nearly 800lbs of drop off laundry in less than 10 hours providing next day service to our largest customers.

If we get additional customer drop offs while we’re working through a large customer we will start them into the mix as well. While we need to make sure our large customers are delivered next day we can not sacrifice our smaller customers to do so.

That is how we handle our large customer drop offs at Liberty Laundry. We make sure our customers get the service they expect at the time the expect it.

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