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European Hotels Deploying RFID-enabled App for Linen Management

The Acuity Connect app, used with handheld RFID readers, enables hotels or other linen-using companies to leverage the tags on their towels, bedding or uniforms to track inventory at their facilities.
By Claire Swedberg

When soiled linens are sent back to the service provider, the hotel employee can use a handheld device once more to read the tags of the items being sent for laundry services. In that way, the hotel has an up-to-date inventory list of what is onsite.

If the hotel chooses to share its data with the laundry service provider, it could also forward the data to that company regarding what specific items are being sent back for laundering. The service provider could then use that information to create a replenishment list. The hotel can also conduct inventory checks by dispatching a worker with a handheld reader through the rooms and storage areas to identify what linens are on hand, and which ones may have gone missing.

The benefits for hotels can be found in the analytics, Morini says. For instance, a company using Acuity Connect can not only ensure that it never runs out of linens, but also identify when it has linens onsite that are not being used. In that way, the hotel and the service provider can better optimize what products they keep onsite, and thus order more or fewer of specific items accordingly.

At present, 25 to 30 laundry service providers across Europe are using the Acuity system, and many hotels could use the tags already on the products they receive from those companies. Invengo sends its EPC UHF laundry tags to its customers' linen manufacturers, so that they can be applied as products are being made.

Since each RFID tag has a unique ID number encoded on it, the linen company—and now the hotel as well—can use that tag to track the product's lifetime. This includes such details as when an item was manufactured, how often it was laundered and when it needed to be discarded.

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