Zetes' customer is a leading premium brand of health clubs combining fitness, wellness and spa. The company manages a stock of 100,000 towels, which are used by members during their visit at the club. With no system in place to manage and control these returnable assets, the company lost 25% of all towels every year. In addition, club staff spent excessive time on the manual inventory process. The implementation of the ZetesOlympus Track And Trace solution rapidly brought important cost- and time savings: 98% of all assets remain in circulation and inventory time has been reduced to 5 minute
A towel for each customer
Founded in 1980 and serving 250,000 members, the group of health clubs is active throughout Europe with over 80 health clubs in about 10 countries. As a service to their members, every visitor receives 2 towels, to be used for free during his or her visit. Members are asked to return the towels at the end of each visit.
Before, there was no system in place to control whether the towels were actually returned. Inventory and control was done manually by club staff.
Towel management prone to human error
The manual towel management process was very prone to human error, for two reasons:
Security problem of lost assets
There was no automated system to guarantee all towels were returned and counted. Only relying on a visual check of the staff to get the assets back after usage, the customer was losing around 25% of its towel assets every year.
Logistics problem of too much time spent on inventory
After usage, towels were manually counted before the assets could be sent onto the laundry company.
Every few days, 2 hours were spent on inventory and 25 minutes on the physical exchange of towels between the clubs and the laundry company.
In need of a solution to achieve full visibility of their assets, the company had difficulties in finding the right partner for the job. Their laundry company then recommended Zetes, with whom they were working to track all towels during transportation. Zetes presented the concept of tracking and tracing returnable assets with the ZetesOlympus Track And Trace solution, using RFID technology.
Tracking returnable towel assets with ZetesOlympus using RFID
ZetesOlympus Track And Trace using RFID technology proved to be the ideal solution to get full visibility and control of the towel assets.
Using the solution, all towels are identified with a unique RFID tag. Because the laundry company cleans the towels very frequently, the RFID tags needed to be very durable, resisting the mechanical cleaning system.
Functionalities of the system
Process of solving the security problem of lost assets
Each towel gets a unique RFID tag number and each health club member gets 2 of these towels when he shows his ID card to the receptionist. The information is read with a Nordic RFID table reader. After usage, the member leaves the towels in a trolley. At the end of the day, when the health club does a count of the towels that need to be sent to the laundry company, they check if all members returned their two towels. This is done with Motorola handheld devices.
Process of solving the logistics problem of too much time spent on inventory
All the outbound and inbound movements between the clubs and the laundry are registered with the Motorola handheld devices. The data is stored in the ZetesOlympus repository. The total count of towels before laundry pick-up triggers a request of clean towels to be delivered next time.
Zetes delivered a packaged solution, including hardware and software. It handled the project from A to Z: from analysis, the implementation, hosting, to the follow-up and maintenance. The delivery time was around 8 weeks.
The solution is sold in a 'pay per use' SaaS model (software as a service).
Saving time and money
19 health clubs in Portugal now have full visibility on their towel assets. They know how many towels are in the clubs, in between the clubs and the laundry company, in the laundry company and how many times each towel is used.
Having this data in the ZetesOlympus repository solves both the security and the logistics issue. Knowing how many towels are in the club, prevents losses. And knowing how many times each towel is used, is crucial to the follow-up on the engagements in the service level agreement with the laundry company owning the towels as well.
For the Zetes customer it was simple: last year they spent more money on new towels than it would have cost them to implement the solution. Zetes estimates a ROI in 8 to 9 months. The direct impact on saving time and money is striking already:
From losing 25% of towels each year to only losing 2 or 3%.
- From spending 2 hours for inventory every few days to only 5 minutes.
- From spending 25 minutes for the physical exchange of the towels between the clubs and the laundry company to only 1 to 2 minutes.
Future plans are even being developed to improve towel security 'inside' the clubs to get even more visibility and control over the assets. Internal security will be increased by adding reading points at the health clubs and by changing the layout of the clubs with more delivery points and fixed RFID readers, to have online real-time information.
The choice for ZetesOlympus Track And Trace was one for a unique packaged proven solution with direct impact on the improvement of asset tracking.