We recently wrote about hotel laundry emergency preparedness, so it feels like good time to also talk about par level management in the context of disaster planning.
Many of the reasons and approaches we hammer home related to good par level management are heightened during an internal or external emergency when access to freshly laundered linens might be compromised.
When disaster strikes, you’ll be grateful for basics like having enough pars, protecting your linen supply and conducting inventory consistently.
Extra Pars: Your New Best Friend
The goal of effective par level management is having enough pars on hand to run your property day-to-day, protect the investment in your luxury hotel bedding and towels and to be able to say you expected the unexpected.
If a natural disaster or equipment failure renders your on-property laundry, or OPL, totally or partially out of commission, you’ll be grateful to have enough pars to get you through.
A reminder that the par level best practice is to have four on hand at all times that represents:
- One clean in the guest room
- One in the closet to be used next
- One dirty that’s being removed from a guest room
- One already in the laundry
Having all four gives you flexibility in how you manage your linen inventory during and after an emergency. Not having enough means you’ll be stuck with no options when guests are counting on you most.
Monthly Linen Inventory: Break Out the Party Hats
Speaking of your linen inventory — you’re conducting an audit every month, right?
Because good par level management requires a rolling knowledge of exactly how many pars you have and how many you have on order.
Laundry inventory best practices include conducting inventory on a regular monthly schedule, maintaining good communication with staff and reordering to replace losses as you go.
Riding out an emergency with relatively few disruptions because you were on top of your inventory will have you breaking out the party hats during your next monthly tally.
Stepped-up Security: Linens on Lockdown
Good storage security is another example of a par level management best practice that becomes crucial during an emergency when linens may be in short supply.
If you don’t have a centralized, locked linen storage or secured laundry carts for staff, guests who are looking to stockpile fresh towels during an emergency are much more likely to help themselves.
Even if you don’t have a central linen storage location, you can and should still have reliable locks on all storage and protocols in place for staff to lock up every time they go in and out.
Partner with a Laundry Service: The Best Best Practice
Perhaps the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to turn rooms and keep your property up and running during and after an emergency is to outsource your laundry to a provider with multiple plants.
Crown Linen didn’t miss a single laundry delivery during Hurricane Irma in 2017, despite the fact that three out of our five facilities lost power. The secret to our success was collaboration with clients and being able to shift their linens to our unaffected plants.
Through constant communication, we were able to work with hotels to temporarily scale back their dirty linens through things like changing only essentials in guest rooms instead of every item.
Emergency Planning: This is Not a Drill
As we’ve mentioned, hotels play a special role in their greater communities’ emergency planning. In addition to emergency preparedness specific to your property, you need to be ready to house evacuees, emergency workers, the media and perhaps your own staff.