There’s a lot that happened for Yamamoto in 2022! This year, we got to go to the Clean Show for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. At the Clean Show, we also showed off some exciting new machines and product ideas we wish to implement this year fully. However, even as Yamamoto North America is celebrating a happy end of 2022, the laundry industry is still contending with challenges from years past. As we look toward the future of the laundry industry, we have some ideas of where industry trends are heading and how Yamamoto plans on helping laundry operators adapt!
2022’s Biggest Challenges
Many of the challenges the laundry and linen services industry faced this past year (and the last few) have thankfully begun to change for the better. However, there are still issues linen cleaning and production facilities will continue to see into 2023, with an end not yet in sight. An example of these laundry industry woes has been a problem other industries have faced: labor shortages. Unfortunately, filling open positions has proven difficult due to initial pandemic restrictions and now low unemployment.
Additionally, while shipping problems and material shortages have significantly improved throughout 2022, they still have a long way to go. Both challenges have led to reduced production across the board regarding linen, machinery, cleaners, components and more. While the situation continues to improve, manufacturers are looking for ways to “future-proof” their facility if shipping is bottlenecked again.
Finally, with utility costs on the rise and inflation significantly impacting the price of goods, laundry and linen manufacturing facilities have had to adjust their finances. For some facilities, this meant raising the cost of goods. For others, this meant fewer goods produced. Overall, inflation has proven problematic for the laundry and linen service industry, as it has for everyone else.
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
It’s unfortunate to admit, but those part of the laundry industry (including Yamamoto) believe most of the same challenges will continue to plague businesses and manufacturers through most of 2023 and potentially beyond. As such, many industrial laundries have begun to shrink operations to survive and adapt. Rather than spend time and money on expanding operations outward, much of the laundry industry has begun to focus on business closer to home, serving smaller territories as a result. However, for this trend to continue and for businesses to be successful, advancements in industrial cleaning equipment must be made. Thankfully, Yamamoto NA has been thinking ahead!
How Yamamoto is Adapting
To best cater to the likely trend of laundry facilities shrinking their operations, Yamamoto is producing smaller, high-volume equipment. Our more-compact industrial washing machines will allow laundry operators to fit more into less. Furthermore, high-volume capacities lend to greater productivity, reducing the loads required to complete daily linen cleaning.
Also, Yamamoto is investing more in ”re-use” technology to reduce labor and utility usage. Our latest tech and upcoming machines include features like water reclaims, heat exchangers, multi-pass drying, etc. Although these features intend to significantly reduce the need for water, electricity and labor when operating laundry equipment, it has another benefit: a reduced carbon footprint! Yamamoto hopes to change the culture of laundry by making a significant improvement on our “green thumb” as an industry.
Lastly, Yamamoto has made recent strides in automation as we bring our new Towel Folder to market. Such automation further allows laundry operators to streamline the linen cleaning process and reduce required labor. If finding new employees continues to be a challenge for laundry facilities, some automation can fill in the gaps.
The Future of the Laundry Industry
Yamamoto has always been behind some of the best innovations in industrial cleaning technology. We continually push the envelope for what’s possible for modern-day laundry operations. Our 70-plus years in laundry machine manufacturing have led us to produce innovative, durable, and efficient washer designs for affordable prices. For the best laundry equipment that matches the direction of the laundry and linen services industries, business owners rely on Yamamoto North America. To learn more about our products and how they can help your facility survive and thrive, call today at 866-204-0519 for a quote. Our main office is located at 507 W Olive St, Bloomington, IL 61701, serving clients throughout the United States.