Case Study

University Medical Center Freiburg

University Medical Center Freiburg drastically reduces uniform replacement costs with Polytex Workwear Management Solutions

Background

The University Medical Center Freiburg is one of the largest hospitals in Europe. Serving as both a teaching hospital and part of the university’s research unit, the hospital is built in a pavilion structure, with clinics in 11 different buildings across its Freiburg, Germany campus.

University Medical Center Freiburg building

Top Five Achievements

Using Polytex technology, the University Medical Center Freiburg was able to achieve these goals:

  1. Reduce garment inventory levels
  2. Optimize usage by keeping all uniforms in circulation
  3. Improve efficiency of garment distribution operations
  4. Ensure clean uniforms are available whenever needed
  5. Fast return on investment (ROI)
University Medical Center Freiburg review on Polytex automated workwear system

Customer Testimonials

In view of the surrounding infrastructure we have determined that the system from Polytex Technologies is the ideal approach for the Freiburg University Clinic. We have eventually installed it step by step in all of our facilities. Polytex is very fair regarding service and maintenance and that is also a very important factor.

Robert Borggräfe,


Services Manager, The University Medical Center Freiburg

Customer Needs

University Medical Center Freiburg used to provide around 6000 employees with a mixture of nametagged and pooled garments. Each person was assigned several uniforms, but the garments could not be tracked, and many disappeared. This system was inefficient and expensive, with annual inventory costs running into the hundreds of thousands of Euros. The University Medical Center Freiburg needed an intelligent and automated garment management system that could be installed in multiple locations, within easy reach of employees.

Requirements

  • Keep uniforms in use: The medical center wanted to improve their inventory management and usage tracking capabilities, to prevent uniforms being stockpiled in employees’ lockers or going missing.
  • Reduce garment purchases: Along with minimizing inventory, the medical center wanted to reduce the costs of replacing garments that “mysteriously disappeared”.
  • Streamline access to workwear: The new system had to be quick and easy to operate, even by temporary staff who might be unfamiliar with it.
  • Utilize existing infrastructure: The clinic wanted to use its automated transport system, so the new system had to work with folded garments, rather than garments on hangers.

The Solution

To address its workwear challenges, the University Medical Center Freiburg decided to launch a pilot project for the kitchen staff, involving several elements:

  • Switched to unisex uniforms: Facilitates use of pooled, instead of personal, uniforms.
  • Installed an initial Polytex solution, with an automatic uniform dispensing machine and return unit in the kitchen department: Provides staff with convenient, 24/7 access to clean uniforms and saves valuable space, thanks to the small-footprint units.
  • Expanded the program: Now more than 30 Polytex machines are installed across the campus.
  • Implemented full monitoring and control of inventory and usage: Using employees’ existing ID cards, now programmed with uniform limits, the system tracks daily dispensing and return patterns and identifies peak consumption times. This helps in managing inventory and controlling laundry service costs.

Results

Installing a campus-wide automated Polytex workwear management system gave the University Medical Center Freiburg the control and cost savings it sought.

Hundreds of thousands of Euros in annual cost savings
With an accountability system in place, uniforms no longer “mysteriously disappeared”, with the savings on replacement uniforms alone easily covering the cost of the Polytex system.
Full control over workwear allocation
Using personal ID cards programmed with uniform limits stops employees from keeping extra uniforms for themselves, freeing up the inventory for all to use.
Increased efficiency
Simple operation means even temporary staff learn how to use the machine quickly, while staff are happy with the enhanced convenience and lightened workload.
Improved access to clean clothes
With dispensing and return units in handy locations, and accurate usage tracking, workers now have easy access to clean uniforms whenever they need.

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