The Hands That Process

Choosing between a Single Processor or Assembly Line Model for processing your laundry orders.
The Hands That Process
photo by Anton Savinov
Table of Contents
In: Wash N Fold

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How we process orders can significantly impact our efficiency, client satisfaction, and bottom-line revenue.

Two common models of processing orders are the single processor model and the assembly line model. 

Let's look at both and consider some real-world examples to discuss the factors that influence our choice of which to use in our business.

Single Processor Model

In the single-processor model, one person handles the entire order from start to finish. This model is like a craftsman's approach, where the person who washes the clothes also dries, folds, and packs them.

  • Pros: It leads to a high level of quality control and personal touch, like having a personal chef prepare your meal from start to finish. The result can be a highly personalized service with a strong sense of ownership and pride from the team members. It's also easier to correct and catch mistakes, and it's effective with the typical layout of a laundromat.
  • Cons: This model can be time-consuming and requires the person to be skilled at every stage of the process. It's like asking the chef to also serve the food and wash the dishes. This can limit the number of orders you can handle and increase the training time for new hires, and it's only scalable to a certain extent.

Real-world example:

A small laundromat or laundromat with a low to medium wash and fold service volume might opt for this model. A team member might focus on the store and the order form from beginning to end, ensuring consistent and high-quality service.

Assembly Line Model

With the assembly line model, each person handles a specific part of the process. This model is similar to a factory production line where each person specializes in one part of the process.

  • Pros: Can be highly efficient and scalable. Allows for specialization, which can lead to increased proficiency and speed. Like having a team of chefs, each responsible for a different part of the meal. It also allows for lower training time, increased output volume capacity, and an increased probability of catching errors due to multiple people examining the order at each stage.
  • Cons: This model can lead to a higher probability of errors as more hands touch each order. It also requires more coordination, can potentially lead to less personalization, and could be more efficient with the layout of a typical laundromat. It can also lead to boredom, with team members doing the same routine every shift.

Real-world example:

A large, high-volume laundromat might opt for this model. It might have a dedicated washer, dryer, and folder, allowing it to process a high volume of orders quickly and efficiently.

The Right Model

Your business model and resources should dictate the choice between these and how you want to run your business. 

For example, if you have a small store with one attendant, the single processor model might be your only option. But if you have a larger store with multiple attendants, the assembly line model might be more efficient.

Both the single processor and assembly line models have their place in the laundry business. The key is to understand your resources and business goals and choose the model that best fits your needs.

That's all I got for today.

P.S. If this editorial gave you any value, do me a huge favor, and take this short survey to help me improve it for you and others.

Thinking about, the thinking of laundry

From the thoughts of the businessman and author, Michael Gerber

Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant

Got questions or insights to share?
Leave me a voicemail at ‪(929) 276-1661‬

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