Global Milestone for TRSA with Launch of Middle East Chapter

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TRSA, the North America-based worldwide Association of Linen, Uniform and Facility Services, has formed a Middle East chapter. Launched with Dubai-based TRSA member Rent-A-Towel (RNT), the chapter’s initial activities will include certifying laundries to the Hygienically Clean standard and developing professional-development programs for managers and supervisors customized to the region’s local market, practices and conditions.

The chapter will operate in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen.

“Identifying and partnering with a local member that understands both TRSA’s core competencies and the regional market provides an opportunity for further professionalizing and promoting the value of commercial laundering,” said TRSA President & CEO Joseph Ricci, CAE. “The partnership with Rent-A-Towel helps expand TRSA’s impact and growth globally.”

The chapter provides local laundries with regional information-sharing and networking, as well as access to TRSA’s expansive knowledge base of industry trends and best practices to improve efficiencies and market growth. Most laundry in the region is currently processed in on-premise laundries (OPLs) in hotels and hospitals. TRSA activities will guide chapter members in adapting techniques typical of larger-scale (outsourced) laundries that improve hygiene, maintain plant safety and health, conserve resources, and otherwise positively impact customers and employees as laundry operations evolve.

TRSA’s certification programs offer the most immediate potential to help regional laundries improve operational processes and efficiencies. TRSA’s Hygienically Clean designations are the quantified, validated standards and measures for hygienically clean textiles in North America since 2011. These recognize a laundry’s commitment to cleanliness through plant inspection and third-party quantified biological testing. Also, for laundries, TRSA is rolling out a Safety and Health certification. To recognize responsible corporate leadership in laundry sustainability and conservation, TRSA Clean Green certification acknowledges commitment to improving water- and energy-efficiency and adoption of best-management practices for reusing, reclaiming and recycling resources. TRSA certifies individuals with the Certified Professional Laundry Manager (CPLM) designation through classroom and self-study.

“We will be working with our North American-based consultants to educate and train regional inspectors and monitor performance standards,” stated Ricci. “RNT will identify experienced professionals to train and laboratories for ongoing testing. They have already identified laundries seeking certification and we hope to get started quickly.”

Industry education opportunities for the chapter include adapting TRSA’s Professional Management Institute (PMI), the 30+-year-old in-person program based on TRSA members’ continuing collaboration to develop best practices and metrics for laundry production. The latest edition of TRSA’s copyrighted text, Laundry Operations & Management©, is a key PMI resource.

Rent-A-Towel (RNT) is pioneering linen rental services in Dubai by aggregating on-premise and off-premise commercial laundries for production while the company’s own linen-management and logistics capabilities serve hotels and other customers. Rent-A-Towel uses eco-friendly linen with antimicrobial treatment and provides RFID-enabled linen for tracking and billing. “Having established a leadership position in providing antimicrobial linen and building linen management platforms, RNT has recognized the importance of bringing the best practices in the laundry space for the region. Hence, we approached TRSA about starting a chapter in our area as a means of training our partners in world-recognized industry best practices. By recruiting, training and certifying laundries in this region, RNT hopes to have the largest TRSA certified laundry network for the benefit of our customers,” said RNT CEO Narayanan Raghavan. “Every country is looking for a common forum where the business owners and the senior management team can collaborate and share ideas for improvement in processes.”

Mr. Ricci added that, “We look forward to learning the management priorities of the laundry management teams throughout the region and supporting their professional development. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of our industry worldwide to sustainability: providing sufficient inventory levels of hygienically clean reusable textiles and reducing natural resource depletion through the most efficient laundry practices. TRSA is committed to advancing these causes globally.”