Handling and Preventing Missing Items

Here’s how I handle and try to prevent missing clothing items from orders.
Handling and Preventing Missing Items
photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko
Table of Contents

Providing excellent customer service and ensuring customers receive their orders in perfect condition is important.

But, let’s be honest, mistakes happen.

One of the most common of those mistakes is missing clothing from client orders.

So today, I’m going to provide tips on how to handle missing clothing items and how to reduce the likelihood of those errors happening in the future.

Set Up a Process to Reduce Missing Items

One of the most effective ways to reduce errors and missing items is to set up a process that ensures all items are accounted for before, during, and after the cleaning process.

Here are some steps to set up your own process:

  • Use a Barcode/Qr Code System: Track the items that come in and out of your laundromat with a Barcode system. This will make it easier to keep track of items, reduce errors, and quickly identify any missing items.
  • Check Items Carefully: Ensure that your team checks each item thoroughly during the sorting process and before placing it in the washing machine or dryer, especially if you offer dry cleaning at your store. The last thing you want is a client's dry cleaning getting washed by accident. Trust me when I tell you. This will help to identify any damages, missing buttons, or other issues that may cause the item to be misplaced or lost. Document anything you find or notice and communicate it to the client.
  • Train Your Team: Show your team how to handle items carefully and double-check each item before it is returned to the customer. This will help to ensure that items are properly handled and that the chances of errors are reduced.
  • Weigh the Order: Match the weights of the order pre- and post-processing to confirm that all items were returned. Some will say it makes no sense to weigh the bag before and after processing because the weights won't match. It’s best to have a point of reference of the weight before and after processing.
  • Use the Wash and Fold Slip: Ensure all the proper steps and instructions are followed with a Wash and Fold slip. See the issue Prevent Errors in Your Wash and Fold for more information and a downloadable template.
  • Use a Tagging System: Have a clear system for tagging every bag, table, cart, machine, and anything else that is used to hold or process garments during the process.

Client Services When Things Go Wrong

Despite your best efforts, there will be times when an item goes missing or is damaged. When this happens it is important to handle the matter with sensitivity and professionalism. 

Here are some suggested practices you can use:

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