When Derek Watson and Lynn Gillespie set up X-Press Laundry in West Lothian eight years ago the business started with one 7.5 kg washers, a Speed Queen dryer and a one metre wide ironer. The business has always focused on serving the catering industry, largely via organisations providing a comprehensive range of support services to caterers. X-Press has always worked extremely hard to deliver to the expectations of this demanding market and the business grew rapidly.
Within three years the company had added a 22 kg washer and was working double shifts to cope with the demand. The bottleneck was the ironer. The first machine X-Press bought was inadequate. Derek Watson says ‘our customers’ quality standards are high and so are our productivity standards and the machine didn’t conform to either.’ Then X-Press contacted Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems.
‘Armstrong’s service and understanding of our requirements was exceptional’ says Derek. X-Press visited a hotel in Hamilton and two professional sites in the south of England to see the Armstrong products in action and talk to their owners. They settled on a LACO 500 3 metre return feed gas heated ironer.
‘The LACO doubled our capacity and still we continued to grow’ says Derek Watson. ‘Then, five years on, we had a fright when our 22 kg washer broke down. We reckoned we needed a similar sized back-up machine. We talked to several suppliers and again when we contacted Armstrong they responded within hours.
The FS23 is an excellent machine and we found it competitively priced. Although we thought we were buying it as a back-up, in fact it has again doubled our capacity. We run it for eight to ten loads a day and we have operated over 500 cycles in the first two months.’ Based on a service ethos that just will not let a customer down, whatever the effort involved, X-Press continues to expand and is now looking for bigger premises.
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