Senior Vice President and Group Management Team Member Lindstrom Finland
Immediately see increase in need for hygiene across businesses
Headquartered in Finland, Helsinki, Lindström Group is a textile rental service company in Europe and Asia. It offers solutions for the cleanliness and interior design of facilities, corporate clothing and protection. In an interview with Fibre2fashion, Anupam Chakrabarty, SVP – Lindstrom, Finland, speaks about the market dynamics of rental services worldwide along with the opportunities the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the industry.
What is the size of the textile rental services industry worldwide? At what rate is it growing?
Well, there are no scientific study of the exact size of the textile rental services industry. However, it is good to note that the potential for textile rental services are extremely large with every industry having the need of textiles, whether as uniforms, or flat linen, or simple things as textile mats of the floor. The penetration of rental services, however, differ between countries with the penetration in developed markets being much higher than countries like China and India, where the services have started developing over the last decade only. And therefore the growth rate also differs between countries, with countries where the services have been recently introduced like Asia, the growth rates are in the range of 20 to 30 per cent compared to developed economies where the growth rates vary between 2 to 5 per cent.
How does your supply chain network work? What regions of the world is part of your supply chain?
Well, for Lindstrom which is operating in 24 countries today spanning Europe and Asia, with a large amount of textile procurement annually, it is quite important to have a very effective supply chain network. Currently, bulk of our procurements are done from Asia and Africa as well as some European countries.
How agile is your supply chain? What steps do you take to ensure transparency at every stage?
Our supply chain is an essential part of the seamless service that we provide to our customers and that includes different parts – our fabric and garment suppliers, our central warehouses where finished stocks are maintained for our end customers, our stock points in our business units as well as our own ‘Production on Demand’ manufacturing units called Prodem. Having these different elements in our supply chain enables us to be agile enough to meet the customers’ expectations at all times.
Which business sectors do you cater to? How do the solutions differ across the sectors?
Globally, we are catering to many many different business sectors including Food and Food Processing, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Automobiles, Engineering, Facility Management, Retail, Electronics, Hotels and Restaurants, to name a few. To these different segments we service them with our workwear services, mat services, hotel textile services, washroom services, industrial wiper services, cleanroom services and restaurant textile services. Different industries use different service portfolios but even within one portfolio like workwear services, the needs could be very different for different industry segments like hygiene requirement could be the key in Food Industry, whereas in Metals and Mining it could be the safety needs and in Retail the need for brand image in addition to hygiene.
What is the annual production capacity of the various products you supply? Will you be expanding the capacities in the future?
With an agile supply chain in place, we are able to ensure that production capacity is not a constraint for any of the products in our service concept. With regards to the servicing capacity, we work in a very modular concept and are able to expand the capacity requirement in any unit in any country in a very short span of time to meet our customers’ expectations. This is an ongoing exercise and we are constantly increasing our capacities across all markets.
Which are your major international markets? Apart from that, are you planning to expand to any other regions in the near future?
With a history of 170+ years in Finland, it is one of our biggest markets and contributes to about half of the group turnover. Additionally, we currently operate in 23 other countries in Europe and Asia with China, India, Russia and UK being some of the countries with the fastest growth.
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