Each day was a totally different experience and the people we met were so welcoming and really gave us a great insight into what they do and why they do it that way. Each of us on the Scholarship expressed how comfortable we were made to feel by the hosts and other guests.
Day 1 Wayne Wright welcomed us to Synergy and gave us an in-depth tour of the depot. We followed the whole process round and were asking questions throughout which he answered openly and honestly. A key point we all took away from Synergy was the choice of no shrink wrap – we discussed this at length with Wayne and made a list of pros and cons. It was great to see the differences between a HORECA depot compared to a healthcare depot. After the depot tour we were introduced to a lady in the office who managed all of their data analysis, she receives lots of information on a daily basis and the way she distributes this to the different teams was great to see.
Day 2 Guy Turvill welcomed us to Swiss Camplings. This was a great opportunity to speak with others from the Worshipful Company of Launderers to discuss the laundry industry and network. Before the tour of the depot, Guy gave us the background on Swiss Camplings and showed us a video of the progress made over the past 80 years; there were approx. 20 people to view the new depot in Cambridge. Craig Saunt showed the group around the depot, the knowledge he has on all the processes, machinery etc. was incredible. Once the depot tour was completed we had a Q&A session, which was really great. We all discussed the impact of sustainability and what we can do as an industry to improve our carbon footprint, we also discussed Covid and how it has impacted all our businesses. I also posed the question as to why Swiss use a gas boiler rather than steam, this was a great topic as both forms of energy have their pros and cons.
Day 3 Simon Fry welcomed us to Mirconclean. I must admit, this factory is nothing like I had seen before. We were all asked to wear hair nets and a white coat while walking round the depot. I was taken back with the advanced technology they use at Mirconclean. The usage of RFID chips was great to see. Working within the healthcare sector, I now see the importance as to why Mirconclean do things the way they do. Everything in that depot was made to measure for the purpose of Healthcare. We then had a presentation by Simon which outlined the history of the family business and future plans.
Throughout all of our visits, the big subject was sustainability and staffing issues since Covid. It was great to speak with others within the industry and find out what they felt was working, or introducing and trialling in these areas.
I learned a great deal over the 3 days, and although when I first applied for the Travelling Scholarship, I wanted to visit TexCare in Frankfurt, I think I have gained more knowledge from visiting the UK based laundries. Thank you so much for organising such a fantastic three days.