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Laguna Phuket cleans up in dirty laundry trade

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PHUKET: Part of the pleasure of holidaying in a good hotel is that you don’t have to do your own laundry. Yet
someone has to do it for you and for all the other guests. Can you just imagine what a gigantic pile of dirty clothes all the resorts in Phuket generate? But where some see nothing but a lot of dirty laundry, others spot a business opportunity.

Twelve tonnes – this is how much dirty laundry is processed in one day by the Laguna Service laundry operations. And that’s on a slow day, in the low season. Come the high tide of the tourist season and this amount doubles. No wonder that the second biggest industrial laundry in Phuket never ceases operations.

“We work seven days a week, 365 days a year,” says Anthony Loh, Laguna Service Senior AVP. “Room linens constitute the majority of laundry with restaurant linens coming in second,” he adds and continues to explain that the average lifespan of a bed sheet in a big hotel is about one year, or 120 laundry cycles. But not when it’s Laguna Service that takes care of the washing.

“Thanks to Laguna’s technology, this can be expanded for up to two years. We use steam-driven equipment that is gentler on clothes and our washing machines have a lower rotation rate than those you’re used to at home helping to extend the life of the fabric,” says Loh.

Quality service and care for the customers’ fabrics is just one thing that Laguna Service prides itself on. To showcase the other, I’m invited on a tour of the compounds. The first things that catches my eye when inspecting the massive, industrial-type boilers are the nearby rows upon rows of LPG tanks.

“All our operations are fueled with LPG, which is better for the environment. We also perform our own water treatment,” explains Loh.

“Being environmentally friendly is very important to us and to Laguna’s company wide CSR depart-
ment,” he adds.

This care extends to the laundry’s own staff. To limit workers’ exposure to chemicals, most of the operations are automatized. Laguna Service first served exclusively the hotels within Laguna Phuket grounds, using this opportunity to gain experience and to perfect its processes. It was 10 years ago that a decision was made to enter the open market and start aiming at customers outside Laguna.

“But we didn’t just open the flood gates, for the sake of making money,” says Loh. “We wanted to ensure a progressive growth so we approached just two hotels and didn’t advertise – depending entirely on word-of-mouth marketing.”

It worked. Today, 14 hotels outsource their laundry operations to Laguna Service, seven of them outside of Laguna Phuket. Loh believes that its time to take another step up.

“We believe we have reached another level allowing, us to provide more. With 10 years’ of experience in working with outside customers and going through both the highs and the lows of the industry, we feel that the quality of our service has reached a level that allows us to expand without compromising it,” he explains.

The motivations behind this move are bigger than just looking for more revenue: Laguna Service has ambitions to set new standards in Phuket’s industrial laundry services.

“Our ambition is to help develop the whole industry here. We see a lot of small and medium-sized commercial laundries coming up, many of them entering the business just for profit, without regard
for the environment or quality of service. We would like to influence the whole industry to raise their
standards,” says Loh.

“We cannot service everybody but we want hotels to be aware of what quality service is; what is ‘care’ for the associates and what environmentally-friendly operations are,” he concludes.

Laguna Laundry Service can be reached on 076-271313, Email: laundrycv@lagunaphuket.com

— Maciek Klimowicz

 

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