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How to Control Your Hotel's Linen Inventory (Part 3 of 4)

How to Control Your Hotel's Linen Inventory (Part 3 of 4)

Posted by Judd Uhre on Sep 14th 2022

To effectively control linen inventory, the executive housekeeper must establish standard policies and procedures governing linen storage, issuance, and movement through the laundry cycle. The executive housekeeper must maintain a good relationship with the laundry manager to keep track of the linen inventory. Communication is key to avoiding shortages or overages of linen. By working together, the executive housekeeper and laundry manager can keep the linen inventory accurate and up-to-date. Below are some tips to help ensure efficient and effective management of your hotel's linen inventory.

Storage

Hotel inventory storage is essential to keeping a smoothly running operation. This is especially true when it comes to linen. A hotel's linen supply constantly moves between guest rooms and laundry facilities. Laundered linens should rest in storage for at least 24 hours before being used. This helps increase the useful life of linens and provides an opportunity for wrinkles to smooth out in permanent press fabrics. 
Linen is typically stored in the department's main linen room, in distribution rooms near the laundry, and also in floor linen closets for easy access by room attendants. This ensures that all linens are adequately stored and easily accessible when needed.
There are several things you can do to ensure that your linen inventory is well-stored.

  1. ensure that your linen storage room is kept relatively humidity-free and has adequate ventilation. This will help to prevent damage to the fabric.
  2. keep shelves smooth and free of any obstructions that could damage the fabric. Organize shelves by linen type to make it easier to find what you need.
  3. make sure that there is enough space in the linen storage room to prevent linens from being crushed or crowded. This will also help to prevent damage.
  4. keep the linen storage room locked at all times. This will help to prevent theft or loss.
  5. take special security measures with new linens that are stored in the main linen room but have not yet been introduced into service. This will help to ensure that they are not damaged or lost before they can be used.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your hotel's linen inventory is not only well stored but also well-controlled.

Issuing

One area that is often overlooked is the control of linen distribution. An effective method for controlling linen is maintaining floor pars for all floor linen closets. This means having a set number of linens (towels, sheets, etc.) that need to be stocked in each closet at all times. By having this set number, it will be easier to keep track of what needs to be replenished and when. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your linen closet is always stocked and ready for business. 

  1. Establish a linen par for each floor. This will help you know how much linen to keep on hand at all times. 
  2. Develop an issuing procedure so that each floor linen closet is stocked with its par amount at the start of each day. This will help you track what is being used and what needs to be replenished.
  3. Train your staff on the importance of good inventory control. They should know how to care for the linen properly and how to report any shortages.

This method can help to ensure that there are never any shortages of linens and that the hotel is always well-stocked. 

It's important for hotels to have inventory controls in place for their housekeeping departments. This helps to ensure that the right amount of linens and other supplies are on hand and that they're being used efficiently. 

The front desk occupancy report is a valuable tool that can be used to determine linen distribution requirements for each floor linen closet. With information from this report, the executive housekeeper can create a linen distribution list that indicates how much linen is needed to bring each floor linen closet back up to par for the next day. This list functions as a requisition form for replenishing floor pars. The list is delivered to the laundry manager, who sets aside the required amount of clean linens and stores excess clean linens in the laundry distribution room. By taking the time to review the occupancy report and create a distribution list, the hotel can ensure that each floor is properly stocked with the necessary amount of linen. This will help to reduce waste and keep costs down.

Some hotels control inventory by having a room attendant record the number of soiled linens that are removed from guestrooms each day. This information can be compared to the hotel's occupancy report to ensure everything matches up. Another way to control inventory is to have a member of the housekeeping staff re-stock the floor linen closets to par at the end of each day shift. This ensures that each closet is on par and prepared for the next day's work. Supervisors can also spot-check the closets to make sure that standard procedures are being followed. By having these controls in place, hotels can ensure that they're using their housekeeping supplies in the most efficient way possible.

Hotel housekeeping staff are responsible for maintaining inventory levels of clean linens and towels, as well as ensuring that all damaged linens are properly replaced. To maintain accurate inventory levels, housekeeping staff should keep track of all linen items that are sent to be replaced. A special linen replacement request form should be filled out detailing the type of linen involved, the nature of the damage, the linen closet in which it was stored, and the name of the room attendant who noted the damage. This form should be hand-delivered to the main linen room or housekeeping office so that the laundry manager can increase the floor distribution count the next day to accommodate the need for replacement.

It's important to have good inventory control procedures in place for hotel table linens. A par stock level should be established for all linens used in each food and beverage outlet, and soiled linens should be counted nightly. A list of items to be sent to the laundry should be prepared, and both the laundry manager and the executive housekeeper can use the list as a control and as an issue order for the next day. Table linens should be brought back up to par on a daily basis, and linen needs for special events can be noted on the nightly count sheet for inclusion on the next day's delivery.