National Laundry Group (NLG) Conference Report

The Laundry & Cleaning Today team attended the NLG Conference, held at the DoubleTree Hilton hotel in Leeds in December. Tina Gleed reports back from the event.

It was a return to Leeds for the Christmas meeting for the National Laundry Group in December 2023.

The hotel bedecked in decorations in the style of the candy cane theme was the perfect venue to take us into the holiday break. Over 50 delegates, including over 20 laundries, braved the cold and miserable weather to join Alastair McCrae, CEO of the NLG, deliver the conference in the usual enjoyable and relaxed style.

With Richard Haworth and Washing Systems UK sponsoring this event, the conference kicked off with a welcome from Richard Haworth’s Rod Nutter to introduce the first guest speaker Kelly Hobson, managing director of Shape Tomorrow, an organisation to help businesses work towards their sustainability goals.

Hobson spoke of her work with Richard Haworth helping the business through Scopes 1-3 on their journey to understand environmental and societal impact in operating the business.

Shape Tomorrow helps educate businesses by offering support to achieving long-term sustainability goals and to create a baseline developing a managerial roadmap going forward. Hobson continued, by using the teams and resources, future success will be driven by your people. Shape Tomorrow has seven impact promises – actively reduce emissions, support thriving forests, encourage better farming of raw materials, work with partners to establish best practice, eliminate waste to landfill, help local communities achieve a better future and promoting a people first workplace. They educate clients such as Richard Haworth in supporting “no landfill” by making small positive changes.

Hobson said: “Whatever your company puts in place, please shout about it.” Hobson concluded with small changes every company can make a to start or continue on their sustainability journey.

Servicing over 600 laundries, established in 1989, Paul Tungate, operations manager and Michael Taylor, technical consultant of Washing Systems UK, spoke of their current setup and goals to improve efficiency. With their own certified labs, WSI are part of a large Japanese based company who also service the likes of John Frieda and Molton Brown. With only six people running the UK based team, WSI have a simple philosophy – great customer service, consultants who will work with you, no fixed term contracts and transparency at all times. Their wash formulas work quickly and efficiently with an aim to reduce overall wash times, using less water. TRU-UV can be implemented with very little work involved. Their team of microbiologists and chemical engineers work to global certification standards.

Stuart Boyd of LTC Worldwide informed guests about reject analysis. He advised to check your operations surrounding re-washing. Identify your rejects, why are they being rejected? Do they need to be re-washed? Do they need to be re-ironed? This should help improve overall functionality within the workplace. Said Boyd, “know your products”. This is crucial to eradicate incorrect use, overuse and spillages. Training of course playing a massive factor into abolishing these issues in the workplace. Boyd also recommended keeping samples for two to three months, so if any problems arise, you can get a credit back from the supplier. Valuable and thought-provoking information for guests. Attendees were next greeted by humorous Dave Keeling from Laughology. Keeling gave a positive outlook on how to manage stress, whilst keeping the audience amused with questions to increase serotonin. His interactive exercises helped guests understand that it’s wasting energy worrying over things they cannot control. To help keep stress levels at bay, it was suggested to stop working late, stop stressing and worrying – but instead to take control, get some organisation flowing – make a list said Keeling. Continue to keep that happy relationship with your clients and staff, for repeat business, friendships and a happy workforce!

After an evening of good food, entertainment and networking, day two of the conference got under way.

The TSA (Textiles Services Association) updated everyone on their works with the government. Sustainability is always at their core and Pasha the Pillowcase has been making its way in educating laundries and the hospitality sector. If you have yet to see the Pasha the Pillowcase journey video, you can find this on the TSA website. The TSA also remain passionate on training and education within the industry and shared their idea to invite schools and job centres into laundries. Management and training courses in textiles were also on the list for continuing education.

The Laundry & Cleaning Today team attended the NLG Conference, held at the DoubleTree Hilton hotel in Leeds in December. Tina Gleed reports back from the event.

It was a return to Leeds for the Christmas meeting for the National Laundry Group in December 2023.

The hotel bedecked in decorations in the style of the candy cane theme was the perfect venue to take us into the holiday break. Over 50 delegates, including over 20 laundries, braved the cold and miserable weather to join Alastair McCrae, CEO of the NLG, deliver the conference in the usual enjoyable and relaxed style.

With Richard Haworth and Washing Systems UK sponsoring this event, the conference kicked off with a welcome from Richard Haworth’s Rod Nutter to introduce the first guest speaker Kelly Hobson, managing director of Shape Tomorrow, an organisation to help businesses work towards their sustainability goals.

Hobson spoke of her work with Richard Haworth helping the business through Scopes 1-3 on their journey to understand environmental and societal impact in operating the business.

Shape Tomorrow helps educate businesses by offering support to achieving long-term sustainability goals and to create a baseline developing a managerial roadmap going forward. Hobson continued, by using the teams and resources, future success will be driven by your people. Shape Tomorrow has seven impact promises – actively reduce emissions, support thriving forests, encourage better farming of raw materials, work with partners to establish best practice, eliminate waste to landfill, help local communities achieve a better future and promoting a people first workplace. They educate clients such as Richard Haworth in supporting “no landfill” by making small positive changes.

Hobson said: “Whatever your company puts in place, please shout about it.” Hobson concluded with small changes every company can make a to start or continue on their sustainability journey.

Servicing over 600 laundries, established in 1989, Paul Tungate, operations manager and Michael Taylor, technical consultant of Washing Systems UK, spoke of their current setup and goals to improve efficiency. With their own certified labs, WSI are part of a large Japanese based company who also service the likes of John Frieda and Molton Brown. With only six people running the UK based team, WSI have a simple philosophy – great customer service, consultants who will work with you, no fixed term contracts and transparency at all times. Their wash formulas work quickly and efficiently with an aim to reduce overall wash times, using less water. TRU-UV can be implemented with very little work involved. Their team of microbiologists and chemical engineers work to global certification standards.

Stuart Boyd of LTC Worldwide informed guests about reject analysis. He advised to check your operations surrounding re-washing. Identify your rejects, why are they being rejected? Do they need to be re-washed? Do they need to be re-ironed? This should help improve overall functionality within the workplace. Said Boyd, “know your products”. This is crucial to eradicate incorrect use, overuse and spillages. Training of course playing a massive factor into abolishing these issues in the workplace. Boyd also recommended keeping samples for two to three months, so if any problems arise, you can get a credit back from the supplier. Valuable and thought-provoking information for guests. Attendees were next greeted by humorous Dave Keeling from Laughology. Keeling gave a positive outlook on how to manage stress, whilst keeping the audience amused with questions to increase serotonin. His interactive exercises helped guests understand that it’s wasting energy worrying over things they cannot control. To help keep stress levels at bay, it was suggested to stop working late, stop stressing and worrying – but instead to take control, get some organisation flowing – make a list said Keeling. Continue to keep that happy relationship with your clients and staff, for repeat business, friendships and a happy workforce!

After an evening of good food, entertainment and networking, day two of the conference got under way.

The TSA (Textiles Services Association) updated everyone on their works with the government. Sustainability is always at their core and Pasha the Pillowcase has been making its way in educating laundries and the hospitality sector. If you have yet to see the Pasha the Pillowcase journey video, you can find this on the TSA website. The TSA also remain passionate on training and education within the industry and shared their idea to invite schools and job centres into laundries. Management and training courses in textiles were also on the list for continuing education.

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