TSA National Congress gets under way

10 November 2021

The Textile Services Association (TSA) National Congress at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club in the West Midlands (10 November), sees the TSA bring together the senior decision makers from within the industry. The event is targeted at owners, CEOs and senior directors of the association’s membership.

TSA National Congress, a smaller, more condensed event than September’s TSA National Conference with high quality papers on industry themes, has brought in one-time MP and now celebrity train traveller Michael Portillo as keynote speaker. More on Portillo’s contribution in a separate report.

Michael Portillo is pictured with TSA CEO David Stevens (centre) and chair Charlie Betteridge (right).

The morning’s work commenced with a welcome from TSA CEO David Stevens who thanked loyal sponsors and outlined the bones of the day’s business. He joked that alcohol was being provided on the tables during the session, but obviously, in these Covid-19 times in the form of hand sanitiser. Moving swiftly on, Steven introduced TSA’s Emma Andersson who updated the room on ongoing work with the TSA’s Laundry Cost Index.

“We have had many discussions with members, the boar, and our cost index experts Simon Fry & Scott Inglis due to the high-cost pressures. First of all, the latest cost index for Quarter 2 is up and has been published on our website. It shows an annual increase of almost 6% in comparison to the previous index which was 3.26%. However, this is still not as high as you may be experiencing,” said Andersson.

“To tackle this our accountants carried out an anonymous wage survey as the current cost index only tracks National Living Wage. We had a great response rate of 86% based on membership turnover so thank you for all your quick responses as we were able to summarise the results very quickly.

“The results from the survey, as expected, did not show a big increase from October 2019 to October 2020, however, looking at October 2020 to October 2021, as anticipated, we saw some larger increases for example: 25% for drivers and 14% for production.

“As labour is normally weighted at 40% in our cost index we proportioned each of the four categories based on an average laundry. This resulted in an overall average increase of 14.25% for labour.

“Looking at this 14.25% increase in labour and adding this increase in alone into the current cost index pushes the annual increase of the cost index into double digits This is without thoroughly looking at the other costs like textiles, energy and diesel for example, as well as insurance and pensions as mentioned on our board call last week.

“It has been agreed by the board to keep the cost index as it is, it has stood the test of time and is credible. Therefore, to strongly communicate not only the increases in labour but also the other costs mentioned on the previous slide we have created a stronger bulletin to sit alongside the cost index as it will fill the gap until the indices we track catch up. So please do make use of this to really communicate these exceptional circumstances as we have now added some real weight to the wording as asked by the board,” said Andersson.

• LCN will continue to report on the Congress, with more highlights coming up including Michael Portillo’s fascinating and often controversial keynote address; a hospitality panel with big name hotel operators and UK Hospitality participating; the economic outlook through the eyes of Martin Sartorius, principal economist from the CBI; the Global Impact of TSA Research Project, with Professor Katie Laird, Dr Lucy Owen from De Montfort University and Simon Fry, Micronclean chairman. Brand builder Adrian Walcott is a multi-award-winner with over 20 years’ experience, including senior leadership roles at Eurostar, Barclays, Unilever and Nestle. He will share the stage with Martin Roach is an award-winning designer and strategist who has worked primarily around the subject of identity for over 20 years.

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