José Luis Jacques
Director General
Lavartex
/
View from the Top

Reusable Medical Clothes in a Non-Disposable World

By Andrea Villar | Tue, 08/25/2020 - 09:21

Q: What is the main value derived from Lavartex’s products and services?

A: Lavartex is a company backed by 98 years of history and continuous innovation. We constantly analyze best international practices and adopt them. We are also generators of ideas and proposals for the industry. We want to be recognized for the value of our services and not be seen as a commodity. The company is not just an industrial laundry. We consider ourselves as a hospital and surgery clothing supplier. We now make uniforms for doctors and nurses. We provide a comprehensive solution for everything that has to do with textiles in hospitals. All our textiles are reusable and are ours, which means that the hospital does not buy clothes or need to have a laundry. We offer a comprehensive service and that benefits the hospital because it can focus its CAPEX on its core business and not on buying clothes.

We have smart clothes, like an operating room uniform that repels liquids and protects the medical staff and the patient. It also has active carbon fibers to dissipate the conductivity within operating rooms. Soldering irons are used to heal wounds in operating rooms and we provide the doctor with uniforms that help to prevent the static generation. 

Another added value of Lavartex is that we pack and sterilize surgical clothing at our plants, where we have confined and specialized spaces equal to Sterilization and Equipment Centers (CEYE). This saves the hospital time and we ensure quality thanks to our more than 15 years of expertise in this area.

Q: How do you stand out from your competitors that offer similar services?

A: Our real competitors are big companies that sell disposable products. These have a great disadvantage against reusable products in the context of limited world resources. Unfortunately, in our sector there is a worrying level of improvisation and some hospitals buy these products for the low prices.

Q: Is Lavartex technology created in in-house laboratories or in partnership with someone else?

A: We work following both schemes. We do not have scientists, we have process engineers. We have an engineering department that is constantly looking for improvements. We have a continuous management and improvement system, which is why we are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. In addition, our marketing department is constantly looking for new products. We not only seek to ensure cleanliness and quality but also the comfort of doctors. Our reusable uniforms with natural fibers like cotton are not as heavy as disposable uniforms. We care about comfort and protection and that is why we care about design and manufacture products with smart textiles.

Q: How relevant is Lavartex’s presence in the pharmaceutical sector?

A: We serve more than 1,000 public and private hospitals. Pharmaceutical is our third division. In this area, we focus on textile rentals and washing solutions. As for industry uniforms, we participate in the automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, food and beverages industries because they require a significant degree of specialization. For example, one of our customers is Audi, for which we make a uniform for the paint booth that uses smart textiles to dissipate conductivity. We give these uniforms constant maintenance and they are also customized. Other customers include Volkswagen, Mead Johnson, Splenda and El Globo.

Lavartex is a leasing model with maintenance and a logistics and control system that guarantees that what our customers use is hygienic. Last year, we certified in NMX-040, which is the first standard in the sector that specifies the maximum number of microorganisms that a garment can have. For example, a cloth napkin that comes in contact with people's mouths, if not processed correctly, will have a high number of microorganisms. The same thing applies to a gown in a pharmaceutical laboratory.

Q: What are Lavartex's investment plans for 2020?

A: Lavartex will continue to invest in technology at around 30 percent of our CAPEX. We are also transforming digitally to understand the retail market. We have always participated in the market of large hospitals, restaurants and hotel chains. Now, we will enter the retail market and we will attend small restaurants, small clinics and offices.

The only way to achieve an economy of scale in these small offices is by selling a combination of services. For example, a gynecologist needs retaining rugs to prevent dust from entering the office, uniforms for nurses, someone washing them and ironing, surgical packages for small procedures, as well as handwashing chemicals and sanitizers. If they buy this combination, we can go once a week to replace inventory. This makes small businesses a profitable area for Lavartex.

Our foremost objective is to continue improving the perception that customers have of our products and services. That is why we have worked so hard to improve our value offering. We measure this through a series of surveys that our clients fill out. We have to continue investing in technology, digitalizing our experience and improving our products to reduce wear.

 

Lavartex, founded in 1922, is a leading provider of specialized textile rental & washing solutions. It offers world-class integral services for hospitals, hotels, restaurants, sports clubs and manufacturing facilities

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst

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