At Snowhite Laundry, the objective for the last sixty years has been to offer commercial laundry and dry-cleaning services that reflect the client’s needs. Since its inception, Snowhite Laundry has successfully progressed from a small homebased operation to a largescale commercial laundry and dry-cleaning company with a workforce of up to eighty employees, working on a twoshift basis Monday to Saturday.
An independent, familyowned and operated company, Snowhite Laundry offers stability and continuity with 60 years of uninterrupted service to clients. A quick look at the Snowhite Laundry client list shows that the company works with Malta’s leading establishments in a variety of sectors including healthcare, hospitality and catering.
The roots of Snowhite Laundry go back to 1955 when the parents of the current owners started their laundry business from their residential premises. In the initial years, the company’s activities were focused mainly on providing a laundry service to the British services stationed on the Maltese islands. Following Malta’s independence and the eventual departure of the British servicemen, the company shifted its focus in the late 1970’s to provide laundry services to the growing hotel and restaurant sector, while also providing dry-cleaning services to the domestic market.
The company moved into its current premises at Tal- Hlas, Qormi in 1990 – a 4,000 square-metre purpose-built processing plant. This move resulted in a faster turnaround in both laundry and dry-cleaning departments, the introduction of a wider range of washes and treatments, improved finishing, and a wider market penetration.
Investments in Innovative Technologies
A key competitive advantage of the company is the vision and innovative behaviour of management – continuously adapting to change and taking advantage of the latest technologies available.
The company’s vision and insight into the needs and developments of the market is perhaps best demonstrated in the installation of Malta’s first computerised tunnel batch washer in 1995 to deal with the growing demands of an extensive client base. The investment in tunnel washing technology allowed the company to cope with greater demand yet, at the same time, improve the quality of service.
The 14-module, 50kg computerised tunnel batch washer (also known as continuous batch washer – CBW), supplied by German industry-leader Lavatec, gave Snowhite Laundry an efficiency factor unrivalled in the local market due to its level of automation and energy efficiency. Leading international laundry technicians calculate that a tunnel batch washer can save between 60% and 70% of the water used by conventional washing machines. Washing machines drain water after each process, while the water flow in a tunnel washer is constant and a significant portion of the water is recovered after the final rinse. Consequently, heating needs are reduced and, with less water to heat, less energy is consumed.
Tunnel batch washers generate considerably more agitation and “fall” than smaller washers normally used by on-site laundries. Washing large loads improves economies of scale and is another reason why an off-site laundry provider is able to do laundry at less cost.
Significant benefits are also gained with regards to the use of linen. The adoption of tunnel washing technology can greatly increase the lifespan of linen through shorter processing time, minimal use of chemicals, and automatic handling of goods. This is in contrast to standard washing machines where manual loading and tugging causes significant harm to linen fibres, resulting in torn linen, loose strands, and an overall reduction of usefulness over the long term.
Ten years on, the company has once again its current capacity. Amongst other plans, this involved the investment in a second tunnel batch washer and supporting equipment as well as the reorganisation of existing operational lines.
The investment in additional tunnel washing technology has provided a number of operational benefits to the company, not least of which will be increased flexibility and efficiency gains. The new machinery has doubled existing capacity in order to handle the upsurge in demand projected during the busy summer season.
Expertise in laundry and dry-cleaning
The laundry and drycleaning process involves the coordination of a number of sub-processes, necessitating sophisticated equipment, reliable staff and a high degree of washing know-how.
Choosing the ideal loading levels, time frames, water temperatures, chemical and detergent combinations for each type of linen is an art perfected with experience and patience over time. An error in any one of these parameters will lead to significant wastage in time and resources. Incorrect washing formulas will result in stained and damaged linen, reducing overall usefulness.
Linen hire services
With a solid reputation for precise scheduling and optimum washing levels, Snowhite Laundry is an active service partner to a wide variety of businesses and institutions. This idea of partnership extends to areas as diverse as the healthcare and hospitality industries. Linen hire is an example of Snowhite Laundry’s commitment to client support and service partnership. The company offers linen hire services to select commercial clients which include hotels and restaurants. In this way, the capital costs of purchasing bed linen, towelling, and table linen are borne by the laundry, thereby releasing client cash flow for investment in core activities such as guest services. Snowhite Laundry has been providing the finest quality laundry and dry-cleaning services to households and businesses in Malta and Gozo since 1955.
As a family-run business, Snowhite Laundry seeks to offer a more personal service than its competitors and takes considerable pride in continuously seeking to improve and develop the services it offers. This involves identifying linen requirements, achieving hygiene standards, and meeting delivery times.
Before approaching a reputable provider, it is beneficial for clients to have a written plan that specifies what they are looking for in a commercial laundry service. The plan should include expectations of quality and service. Partnering with vendors that understand the unique needs of clients, and don’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach, is the key to maximising value.