Case Study

Minimize workwear distribution manpower and reduce inventory

UNILIVER FOOD FACTORIES minimize workwear distribution manpower and reduce inventory, improve employee convenience, efficiency and satisfaction, improve hygiene, reduced crowding, and earn operations management peace of mind.

Background

Unilever makes some of the world’s best-known brands and has operations in 190 countries. In Israel, it operates several production sites, including two factories on the same campus in Safed. In one of the factories, the company produces chocolate products, while the other is dedicated to crackers and pretzel snacks. The factories operate 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, employing a total of 250 people.

Unilever food factory building

Top Five Achievements

With its Polytex automated garment management system, Unilever was able to achieve its goals:

  1. 25% reduction in workwear inventory
  2. Clean clothing available around the clock
  3. Higher employee satisfaction
  4. Peace of mind for management
  5. Improved hygiene and reduced crowding
Unilever Customer Review

Customer Testimonials

As a food manufacturer, Unilever is constantly seeking ways to increase hygiene and efficiency. Polytex has proven to be an effective partner on both counts by enabling us to minimize workwear distribution manpower and reduce inventory – even as we’ve increased workwear availability! Now our workers change their clothes whenever they need, enabling us to improve hygiene

Yariv Ben Arush


Safed Factory Manager, Unilever

Customer Needs

With an outside contractor providing employee workwear and twice-weekly laundry services, Unilever employed three people to distribute and collect workwear around the clock. Going to the storeroom was time-consuming and inconvenient for workers, particularly when they needed to replace soiled clothing midshift. Inventory management was difficult, with the result that workers often kept multiple sets of clothing as backup. Unilever looked for a way to make workwear more accessible and make managing it more efficient, while also reducing inventory requirements.

Requirements

Unilever needed to reduce its workwear costs and improve employees’ convenience and efficiency.

  • Efficiently manage workwear costs and processes: Unilever aimed to reduce its workwear inventory by better controlling distribution and collection.
  • Improve employee convenience and efficiency: The company wanted to reduce the hassle and time involved with receiving and returning workwear, while ensuring availability any time of the day or night.
  • Eliminate manual processes: Unilever wanted to distribute clothing without needing storeroom staff to be on hand all the time. This enabled them to channel the manpower and effort to more valuable tasks.
  • Facilitate more frequent clothing changes: With hygiene and clean appearance always a priority in its food factories, Unilever needed a fast and easy way for workers to replace soiled workwear items.

The Solution

Unilever the Polytex solution of garment dispensing and return in a central area used by everyone working in the two factories.

  • Controlled distribution: Employees are required to return workwear items before being able to take clean items. They use their employee ID cards to access the machines, ensuring full monitor and control as well as accountability.
  • Limitless exchanges: Employees may replace soiled garments as often as needed, even multiple times in a shift.
  • Efficient management: Reports generated by Polytex’s web-based Total-Care Manager application enable managers to analyze consumption patterns and keep an eye on inventory levels in real time.

Results

Unilever has been using Polytex’s automated workwear management system for several years. It has gained sizable cost savings through lower inventory requirements and improved convenience for employees and management. The current factory - manager has a decade of experience with Polytex, including at another Unilever food factory.

Reduced costs
With employees required to return workwear items to get clean ones, Unilever needs 25% less inventory, resulting in significant annual cost savings.
Higher level of hygiene
Clean workwear is always easily accessible, so workers change clothing as soon as it gets dirty, not just between shifts
Labor savings
Efficiency, just one person is assigned part-time to stocking the Polytex machines, among other duties.
Peace of mind
Managers can control inventory and are confident that workwear is stored hygienically and is always available. In 2020 and into 2021, managers particularly appreciated knowing that their workwear management system would always be working as, unlike human workers, there was no risk it would be sent into quarantine.

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