The Society of Hospital Linen Services and Laundry Managers (SHLMSM) conference, in its 70th year since its inauguration in 1951, got off to a good start in its first meeting since 2019 with plenty of positive spirit and the feeling of a new era dawning. Plenty of changes have been made since that date which include a brand new council and a snappy new website. The occasion also attracted more delegates than previously.
NEW REGIME: From left to right – Ross Weir, Dave Grimshaw, Steve Anderton, Ron McLean and Tim Meadows
Conference was launched on 28 October in Dudley, West Midlands, by president John Gallagher, a position he has held since 2009. He welcomed delegates and thanked previous committee members, now retired, Ian Hargreaves and Lynn Fort, among others, for their contribution to the Society’s achievements over the years. He told attendees to expect a new approach from the council that will be “adapting itself to the membership and not as regimented as before”.
• Dave Grimshaw, national chairman and general manager at Salisbury Linen Services, stepped up to introduce the new council, namely:
• Society secretary, Tim Meadows, Interweave Textiles
• Supplier representative, Ron McLean, James Walker Textiles
• National treasurer, Steve Anderton, LTC Worldwide
• Membership secretary, Ross Weir, HJ Weir Engineering
“They are all extremely enthusiastic and determined people who want only the best for the Society,” said Grimshaw.
“Although it may have appeared to people that during the pandemic there was not a lot happening on behalf of the members of the society by the new committee, it could not be further from the truth. We have restructured the Societies finances, relaunched the new website and been involved with many other things including part of the NHS national uniform consultation, which was led by NHS logistics, the results of which will be released soon.”
Grimshaw: told delegates: “We have a completely new updated website located at textilemanager.co.uk which gives our members every opportunity to get involved and have their say through the various platforms available to us. It is your website, not ours. Please use it.” Chipping in, Tim Meadows added: “It is very good, more organised and more transparent.” Check it out at https://textilemanager.co.uk/
Tendering a solution
Of great interest to laundry managers and suppliers alike was Jon Hampton’s presentation on ‘Both sides of tendering’. “Tenders are a dark art,” he said as he set up to look at them from both sides of the fence. “We are all facing pressure at the moment. What is best value?”
Contractor Best Practice
Routes to tender
Achieving best value
Weighting and evaluation
Resource, timescale & communication
Supplier best practice
How to tender for Government opportunities
Tech response guidance
Commercial response guidance
Reducing commercial exposure
Future tendering requirements
The paper was designed to answer questions for anybody who may be at some time or another be carrying out a tendering process. He first explained the nitty gritty of frameworks and then outlined in detail the two sides of the process from writing the tender, in the first instance as a potential customer, and then how a supplier would best respond to it. Hampton outline the many dos and don’ts as well as adding the weight of his experience in this area throughout his career in healthcare. For example, he advised that tenders be extended with as much information as possible and that clarity is paramount. He advised suppliers to ask as many questions as they need to.
Takeaways from this presentation are that CSR and in particular carbon neutrality is going to score more points in the tendering process going forward. He warned suppliers that just because they had been suppliers for years that did not protect them from the new points allocations.
He explained: “Technical evaluation is normally 60-70%. Now more attention is going to be put on carbon reduction planning and social values. From April 2022 all NHS tenders must include a minimum of 10% on these areas. If you know the process will change, do factor it in.”
“Sustainability is going to account for more points. If you don’t score well in that area you will be out.” He also advised that although these changes are scheduled for 2023 they are on the forms now so suppliers beware.”
Hampton also urged tenders to be based on TSA’s Textile Service Cost Index.
“You could do your own DIY compliant procedure but you need also need an awful lot of time and resources to do this,” adding, “you can get a consultant…but at a huge cost.”
A forum followed in which wide-ranging topics were discussed including the perennial problem of how to halt and/or mitigate the effects of missing and lost garments.
• A full report on the conference and forum will appear in the December UK edition of LCN.