Santiago Hernández, manager of Mogan Laundry: “RFID is the ultimate technology”

Santiago Hernández, manager of Mogan Laundry, located in Gran Canaria, started working in this area in 1988. Since then, he has experienced, first hand, the evolution of the sector: from doing everything by hand to using the current technological advances. For example, back in those days it took up to two hours to unload a truck, while now it is done in ten minutes. And then there is the arrival of the RFID system, which has become a daily reality for laundries, including this one. We have interviewed him to learn more about this process and what the usual tasks in a laundry are.

How did you get the company started?

We began our activity in 1988. As with everything, in the beginning it was hard, but we faced it with great enthusiasm. We worked manually; everything was done by hand, from washing to ironing. What I remember most is that I had to work somewhere else to make ends meet—I was a local policeman at the time—and my sister also lent a hand.

How has laundry equipment evolved since then?

We used to have to move the clothes ourselves from the washing machines to the spin dryers, and from there to the dryers. The ironing, too, was done manually. Therefore, the evolution of the equipment has been very satisfactory for our work. Nowadays, clothes go directly from the laundry to ironing and even the machine ironing is 50% better than if it were done by a person. Transport has also changed: it used to take two hours to unload a truck and now it takes ten minutes.

What needs to be taken into account when it comes to improving the washing processes? How do you take care of the clothes that come in?

The clothes are first classified by hotel, then by type—towels, sheets, etc.—and finally they are washed. We take care of them exhaustively; if there is a specific stain, we deal with it so that it does not interfere in the washing process of the rest of the clothes. It is important in the washing process to use the recommended amount of chemicals so that the clothes are kept in perfect condition. The amount of products to be used is determined automatically according to the number of kilos of clothes. I have been working with an international company, a pioneer in textile care, for years and it’s going very well.

How many kilos of textiles do you wash per day?

We’ve gone from 200 kilos in the beginning to 9,000 kilos nowadays. During peak season, we wash around 11,000 kilos from 25 hotels, in addition to clothes from tourist apartments and restaurants. In fact, we still have some customers who started working with us when we first opened the company’s doors for business.

What features should the washing equipment have?

Above all, they need to be reliable—to not break down too much—and the manufacturer should not mislead us: everything has to be as specified. For example, if a washing machine is supposed to be made of stainless steel, it must be stainless steel and not iron, one of the worst enemies of these machines. But besides the washing machines themselves, the human team is fundamental, since people are better than machines. They receive information and training so that they know everything: from operating the washing machines and handling the product to avoiding injuries.

How do technologies such as RFID help improve your work?

It’s the ultimate technology. It allows us to know what leaves the hotel and what goes into the laundry. At exit, all items are checked again and this ensures that the client gets back everything they sent to us. By doing so, the customer trusts the laundry much more because they know nothing will go missing. That’s why RFID is so great: our customers are certain that their textiles are in good hands.

What has the installation of this system for textiles meant for your laundry?

First of all, we now know whether any clothes we receive get lost and, if so, where. In addition, we know the life of the clothes and whether we are washing them properly. The system, which Resuinsa installed for us, has opened up a world of possibilities, even improving our performance by approximately 20%. I find the system’s outbound booth, which lets us know how many clothes leave the laundry, very useful and I think hotels should also have theirs. This way we would have the perfect system, one that would help hotels keep count and know, for example, whether a towel is still on their premises or not. This is why this is going to be the future of industrial laundry. Besides, since we invoice hotels for the clean clothes, we know exactly how many kilos we need to charge them for, so there is even greater transparency. What I mean is that many of the clothes are wet when they arrive, and they weigh more. Since our invoices use the amount of dry, washed kilos, they are based on reality.