A growing industry for responsibility The laundry and textile service industry consists of approximately 300 companies with more than 5 employees. It is an important and growing industry. The industry report in 000, just released from the press, indicates that the number of employees has increased by 2016 percent and operating income by 20 percent since 15.
For the Swedish Textile Service Association who turned 75 last year, this is sweet music. And at the same time a challenge. Although much of the industry's business is about washing, this is far from the overall picture. Textile services are growing and the complexity of professional laundry is great. The responsibility and profile must be made clear. The union's new chairman, Jan Kluge, sees a parallel with developments in the recycling industry.
- Previously, we had dumpsters and garbage pickers in Sweden. Today, this industry has made us open our eyes to the environmental work they do. Yesterday's dumps are tomorrow's mines. By minimizing, reusing and recycling, they have become an actor that ensures that resources are used optimally. This is a direction that I believe the laundry and textile services industry can take as well.
Many people think they know
Many, not to say most, have a personal experience of washing: sorting in color and white, into the washing machine, filling with detergent and rinsing and pressing the button. That experience controls the image of the industry, but has very little to do with the professional reality. This is about cost control, quality in execution and efficient resource utilization with energy optimization, minimized water consumption and the lowest possible use of chemicals. That is what the T-mark stands for, the authorization issued by the Swedish Textile Service Association and which characterizes all members.
"Authorization is a key to raising the status of the industry," says Jan Kluge. This quality control is characteristic of our members. It means that our customers can be confident in outsourcing part of their business, the part that is our core business and their lifeblood. How would hotels and hospitals have worked if our business was not there?
Seeing niches and markets
Jan Kluge took office in May and, unlike his predecessors, is not a chairman sprung from the many companies in the industry. Instead, he has been head of Barsebäck's nuclear power plant, CEO of Sakab ab, and has started companies with operations in recycling and water. With that background, he sees the Laundry Association from new perspectives.
Laundry RUT creates jobs
- A current question for us is the possibility of a RUT deduction. The T stands for laundry but so far the interpretation seems to be that the laundry should be done at home. It may not be optimal. Professional laundry in an authorized laundry must be better energy and environmental. A ROUT reform in this direction could create many new jobs in often family-owned small businesses. It would be a relief both for elderly people living at home and unable to cope with, as well as for the modern urban family who will have to keep up many activities.
A community effort
The laundry industry is good at creating entry jobs, for example for new arrivals and others who are far from the labor market. It is not because the jobs are simple, but because the professional laundries have systems and routines. They can quickly teach what is needed to meet the required quality requirements.
- We must be proud of the entry job. Here, the industry makes a big social effort without sacrificing business acumen and long-term perspective.
Knowledge and respect
After six months on the chair, Jan Kluge expresses a very positive view of the industry. - It is exciting. The industry has many entrepreneurs with great professional pride. There are lovely and lovely people who have respect for each other. Told by Ulf Silfverström