SunFresh Linen is one of the country’s largest laundry and linen hire services, with operations in South East Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Victoria. Each week their 500 employees launder over 2.1 million pieces of laundry for some of the biggest names in Australian hospitality and healthcare.
But it didn’t start that way.
In 1998, the George family purchased a small laundry in Ipswich, Queensland. The laundry had been in business since the 1960s, but it was rundown and in dire need of care. Over the years – and with a lot of elbow grease – they worked to transform the once washed-out operation into a modern facility with the friendly feel and service of a family business.
In 2006, the Ipswich factory went through a major equipment upgrade. New sorting, washing and ironing machines increased productivity so much that three years later, a second factory was on the cards. This factory in Darra, Queensland became SunFresh Linen’s new headquarters – and the original Ipswich site was decommissioned.
Almost ten years later, SunFresh Linen expanded into the healthcare market, taking over Wesley Linen Services in 2018. In September that year, they also added a new worksite in Sunshine West, Victoria, and started production of linen orders for Melbourne customers.
Moving into the future
Strong ethics and customer focus sit at the heart of this company, and a huge part of that is sustainability. Today, the business is run by brothers Steven, Lawrence and Daniel George, who’ve invested heavily in water and environmental planning. They installed a full-plant water recycling system and state-of-the-art equipment to reduce water and energy consumption – while doubling production capacity.
They’re proof that business can succeed not just in spite of ethics, but because of them. But, as project manager Megan Pang points out, some of their old systems had lagged and weren’t as efficient as the rest of the business.
"The system was sufficient when we were a small business, but we’re a large business now and we need more: reporting, security, performance – we couldn’t extract that from our old system."
System lacked data visibility, security and integration
It just couldn’t handle a full load
SunFresh Linen had been using the same old system since it was established, which struggled to process large amounts of data. This meant simple financial tasks took far too long to complete.
“Each day, we would generate data from our ordering system and dump it into our main financial software. We’d also have to generate an ADF file for invoicing and transfer that.”
“It was three steps that were really time-consuming, and with a busy factory – the data is huge!” explains Megan.
The business tried to integrate more systems to support its growing operation. The additions only made things clunky and inefficient, without delivering the user management features needed to control permissions.
Goal: reduce admin, operate more effectively
Time to throw in the towel on the old system
With their old system at the end of its lifecycle, MYOB Advanced had the features SunFresh needed to get efficient and get growing. Simplifying admin processes has completely changed the way the business operates.
“With MYOB Advanced, we don’t have to go through and extract or manipulate data from Excel anymore,” says Megan. It’s faster and we’ve been able to simplify and streamline many admin processes.”
The company also implemented MYOB Advanced’s Customer Self-Service Portal. Customers place orders online directly, which speeds up order processing.
“It’s really easy to use and gives our customers more control over their orders,” Megan adds.
Streamlined processes, increased worker capabilities
System will lead business into the future
Megan says the benefits of a streamlined system extend to the shop floor.
“Our staff have said that not having to log in to three different systems to get their job done has been the most beneficial change.”
“It’s a very powerful tool, but we have the right documentation, training and support in place for our employees so they can use the system to its full potential in their jobs.”
Improved user access management
In the past, the business had little control over manager approvals – something which often blurred the lines of responsibility.
“Before, everybody had a access, everyone could do everything,” Megan says. Now, each role only has access to the information needed to do the job, “putting ownership and responsibility back where it should be” and improving data integrity and security."
Big win: better customer service
With their systems well-integrated and improved system stability, SunFresh Linen continues to provide the high-quality service that customers expect. Megan says having everything in one system makes it easy to quickly handle any order discrepancies.
“If a customer raises an issue, our account manager can come back to our system and find all the information they need to get things sorted.”
“There’s transparency – all the details are in the system and they can see in real-time what’s happening in different parts of the business.”
Seamless integrations, access to real-time insights
An integrated system was also key to providing management with the accurate financial information they needed to propel the business forward.
“Things like productivity, how we can improve the factory surroundings. Before we didn’t have the time to analyse and make improvements in other areas,” Megan says.
Now that they’ve stabilised their system, they have more time to focus on other valuable business improvements.
“I think now that we’ve got the basics set up, once we’ve finished integrating the health sector into our online ordering system, we can start investing in higher-level reporting capabilities.”
SunFresh Linen’s squeaky-clean record
- A family-owned business since 1998
- Expanding from a small laundry to operations in three states
- Sustainable water and energy consumption are key
- Ethics contribute to profitability
Improvements with Advanced
- Simplified admin means faster business operations
- Staff see benefits of a single, efficient system
- Online ordering gives customers more control
- Refined user access promotes ownership and responsibility
- Order discrepancies quickly handled
- Accurate data propel business forward
- More time to focus on other business improvements