Walk on…24 February 2021
…walk on through the storm, hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of change, says Industrial Laundry Equipment’s Richard Brown. With almost 18 years’ experience in the laundry industry with Warner Howard, Laundryserv, Girbau and now ILE, he shares his thoughts on the current situation
For everybody, 2020 was a strange year of change for reasons we are all now far too familiar with. Our industry was affected as hard as any and we still continue to feel the force of the storm as we move through 2021.
The hospitality sector has suffered at the hands of nigh on 12 months of complete lockdown with a few optimistically open but short-lived bright spells in between. Hospitals and the care sector have remained operational but have suffered the full force of the storm and under appalling levels of stress. The laundry industry has seen mixed fortunes with some companies adapting and being able to offer their services to the busy sectors.
With the turn of 2020 we had all looked forward to a bright and successful year and Industrial Laundry Equipment (ILE) were doing this from a position of a newly formed company which, while registered in 2019, had not been free to trade until 2020. So, with hunger and excitement we made ourselves known to the industry and started the process of trying to gain a market share in an already well-established marketplace. This was going to be difficult with working restrictions extending until August 2020, but we were unperturbed and made a good start as word started to filter out. Then came the storm that we all find ourselves in the midst of until this day..
So, what do you do when you are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, new in an established market place and under restrictions? Walk on! That’s what you do. Well, it’s what we did and we are not only still here but we are now strong and well established despite all of the things stacked against us.
This industry is a remarkable industry with people who help and support one another and this has been apparent throughout the past 12 months as we have seen laundries fight on, diversify and some have even grown while faced with extreme difficulties.
ILE intends to become a well-established, recognised and trusted name within the industry and has already gone a long way towards achieving this. A very important factor is the equipment that a company supplies and ILE has a phenomenal range of products including 10kg-120kg washers and dryers, three types of ironers which have return feed options through to 6 roll high production machines, feeders, folders, stackers and full tunnel batch systems that meet the highest European specifications. However, there is no need to just take our word for it as we have already supplied many of these machines in to fully operational environments who are used to using well known equipment and are well placed to pass judgement.
Industrial Laundry Equipment has been extremely successful to date and has supplied ILE equipment to a lot of different customers and different sectors including the NHS, HM Prison Service, the clothing manufacturing industry, independent laundries, hotels and food processing facilities. We have supplied a large number of Premium washers, economy washers, dryers, 3 x multi roll gas ironers, feeders, folders, stackers, wrapping machines with shrink tunnels and towel folders. This means ILE brand machines are tried and tested in the UK market and that we can show you how well they perform.
Taking the initiative
During the quieter lock-down periods, Industrial Laundry Equipment has taken the initiative and strengthened their offering by developing equipment with our manufacturing partners. ILE brand equipment is made to the highest standards, with known brand parts and is completely exclusive to us.
Our Premium washers retain their high build quality and full stainless-steel covers but now also come with colour touchscreens as standard.
The Economy range of washers has seen a face-lift with new doors, new stronger door handles, 10 inch colour touch-screens and a host of other improvements to help provide a better solution even if you have a more modest budget.
The fully automatic heavy-duty dryers have been fitted with touchscreens and humidity sensors to allow for automatic drying and cooldown. We have also adopted the more efficient Infra-red, radiant burner as our standard choice.
Already possessing a very efficient and reliable range of 1,2 or 3 roll rigid chest calendar ironers available in 3m, 3.3m and 3.5m widths and with 800 / 1300mm rollers, wasn’t good enough so we have upgraded and refined these too! We’ve added higher specification motor gearboxes, more powerful thermal oil pumps capable of dealing with temperatures of up to 350C, colour touchscreens and a number of extra upgrades to ensure an enviable machine.
We didn’t stop there, though, as we believe good relationships are key to success, so as well as strengthening our manufacturing ties, we have formed strong working arrangements with a number of UK companies. From the beginning we have worked closely with M. Saul Electrical, which has been responsible for the M&E work on a large number of installations and have consistently gone over and above to support us and our customers.
We have now begun to work very closely with Tech2serv Ltd which has become the official ILE equipment dealer for the South and South West. Tech2serv also works as installation, service and commissioning engineers for ILE. The vast amount of experience and knowledge the comany has on feeders, folders and ironers makes for a great partnership. Shane Weir, managing director of Tech2serv, said: “After seeing the ILE equipment in the flesh, I was incredibly impressed with the range and quality, so when offered the chance to become official dealers, we jumped at it. I have immense first hand experience working with key UK and international manufacturers, so am well placed to compare, and this equipment is a good as any.”
Another great achievement has been ILE’s relationship with one of the industry’s other recent success stories – the ever-expanding Washco, which recently began to work with ILE on larger projects where our experience and equipment complements that of Washco. Debbie Jones, sales manager for Washco, said: “I have known Richard and Debbie Brown, sales and service director at ILE, for a long time, so have followed the growth of ILE with excitement. Having seen their equipment in use, the calendar ironers, feeders, folders and stackers immediately stood out as something that we would be interested in being able to offer to our customers and help us to move in to other sectors.” This has already proven to be the case as the partnership has recently successfully been awarded a government tender for a 2 roll ironer.
ILE also works closely with Gary Thwaites from Cumbria Repair, a bearing change specialist with a vast amount of experience, specifically within industrial laundries. Cumbria repair has recently become an ILE dealer for the North West. Gary said: “I have maintained some of this equipment previously and one site has been using both the premium and economy washers for at least five years with a lot of success. Since ILE has worked with the manufacturers, I have been amazed at the level of investment and equipment improvement/development. Having visited ILE’s warehouse, I was shocked at seeing dozens of 100kg + washers and thousands of pounds worth of spares in their stock. I think they must have the largest stock of this size machines in the country.”
ILE has proved beyond doubt that with hard work, belief and commitment you really can hold your head up high! If we can do it in these uncertain times, so can you! And remember…Don’t be afraid of a change.”
www.ile.ltd 01455 332005 [email protected]