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The power of RFID technology

Posted on 07-Jan-2019

The textile and linen rental industry has undergone radical modernisation in recent years and is more technologically-advanced than ever before. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is one of the latest advancements that is revolutionising the sector and the service we here at CLEAN can offer our customers.

The power of RFID technology

What is RFID?

RFID uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track chips containing electronically-stored information sewn into the fabric.

Instead of scanning every individual item by hand, assorted linens can be scanned in one go via CLEAN’s RFID archway scanner before being scanned again once sorted into their various item categories. The items are then scanned into the hotel via an RFID archway installed at delivery points whilst stock counts are taken in linen rooms using hand held scanners with all the information recorded then updated in the Cloud. This dramatically reduces the number of hours spent manually sorting linen and offers a far more reliable counting and tracking method for stock.

What are the benefits?

The hotel industry requires a monumental volume of linen and keeping track of it can present logistical challenges. CLEAN alone delivers over five million linen items each week to customers across England and Wales.

Without clean linen, hotels can’t sell bedrooms and housekeeping teams need to ensure they have an adequate supply on-site at all times. Tracking linen stock movements using RFID technology helps alleviate this pressure in an instant.

It allows customers to be in complete control of their linen stock and can even inform the laundry when a new delivery is required. This can be done by simply scanning clean stock stored in linen rooms to create an inventory that is uploaded to the cloud and forms the basis for the items that will be ordered the next day. After use in guest bedrooms each full cage of used linen is also scanned out of the hotel in a matter of seconds, again this data is uploaded to the cloud, so the laundry knows what is being returned to them. Being able to monitor stock levels so quickly and efficiently benefits both sides of the hotel and linen provider partnership. One of the main advantages for hoteliers is that they don’t have to manually count and sort the laundry which significantly reduces labour costs.

Automated ordering saves time

We use RFID technology to calculate the exact amount of stock required by analysing the projected usage, the agreed par holding, and the actual stock held on the premises. An order is generated automatically then picked and packed and delivered on the next scheduled delivery.

RFID technology increases transparency for both parties because the linen is scanned in and out of both the hotel and laundry. Daily linen room inventories are taken using hand held scanners. Therefore when counts come up short and items disappear from the system it is easier to identify any spikes or trends related to linen loss or abuse and work with hoteliers and their housekeeping teams to reduce it. It is always best to rotate stock regularly to ensure that the linen used in guest bedrooms is in the best condition in terms of being as freshly laundered as possible. RFID technology allows stock that has been stored at the hotel for longer periods to be identified.


Quality control can also reach higher levels of accuracy because the laundry is able to analyse and monitor the journey of individual items. This means it can identify when an item is reaching the end of its lifespan, so it can be replaced immediately. This results in fewer items being rejected manually during the laundry process and provides hotels with a further increased level of service efficiency.

Key benefits of RFID technology applied to linen rental:

  • Automated stock ordering based upon actual usage and projected need
  • Effortless identification, location and tracking of items
  • Hotels have complete control of their stock flow and ordering requirements
  • Confidence that what will be delivered will be the correct amount required once it is scanned out of the laundry
  • Deliveries and collections are counted quickly and accurately
  • Reduces manual labour, leading to overall time and cost savings
  • Head housekeepers have peace of mind, knowing their deliveries and stock is accounted for
  • Keeps stock rotation on track to keep quality and freshness of the linen at the highest
  • Identifies lost linen items
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    At CLEAN we are dedicated to providing exceptional levels of customer service at all times and providing a high-quality linen service our customers can always rely on.

    If you would like to get more information about our use of RFID technology and working with CLEAN, get in touch.


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    Winner of The Green Apple Bronze Award in 2017 for Environmental Best Practice Service Industries category for our project 'Developing a Super-laundry'. Winner of ‘Most Innovative Company’ 2017 at the Laundry And Drycleaning Awards (LADAs) recognising companies, individuals, services and products that showcase a new level of customer service and professionalism within the industry. Awarded the ‘Sustainable Supplier’ title at the 2017 Footprint Awards; recognising organisations at every stage in the food supply chain from growers, producers, manufacturers and distributors, through to all hospitality and foodservice operators in both public and private sectors, their suppliers and other stakeholders. CLEAN has joined the list of inspirational British companies to feature as a 2016 finalist in the Amazon Growing Business Awards 2016: shortlist in the 'Company of the Year – Larger Firm category'. Winner of ‘Commercial Laundry of the Year’ 2016 at the Laundry And Drycleaning Awards (LADAs) recognising companies, individuals, services and products that showcase a new level of customer service and professionalism within the industry. Winner of The Green Apple Gold Award in 2015 for Environmental Best Practice for our Environmental Improvement project 'Eco-friendly laundry services focused on creating sustainability'. RoSPA Gold Merit Award (achieving Gold Standard for a 5th consecutive year). Recognised internationally, the RoSPA Awards have become one of the most sought after accolades for many organisations from every industry sector.