The Whiddon Group – Ozone Technologies

Not-for-profit residential aged care Service Company THE WHIDDON GROUP operates in centers across regional, rural and remote NSW with over 2000 clients and some 1700 employees.

The organisation’s philosophy is based on ‘helping clients live how they want to live and in the process stay connected to people, activities, and communities’. As such, the organisation believes that ageing should be a rich and rewarding journey for everyone involved.

Services at Whiddon include residential and in-home care as well as independent retirement living villages. It commenced in 1923 when a small group of freemasons began visiting elderly masons in their communities to provide care and support. Twenty-four years later, a Mrs Ethel Easton Symonds donated 21 acres of land for The Frank Whiddon Masonic Homes of NSW.

Making a difference in people’s lives and being an environmentally sustainable organisation form the central focus of the Whiddon organisation. To improve sustainability, Whiddon has implemented ozone in a number of their laundries.

The previous laundry operation at Whiddonutiliseda corona discharge method – an old technology which caused inconsistent wash results, breakdowns and spare parts issues, and was overly expensive. By comparison, OTEK uses new technology creating ozone via Ultra Violet Lamps and a simple injection method which makes for better results overall, including productivity hour’s savings and monthly usage savings on dryers, water, labour time and utilities. Best of all, it is safe not like others for any applications even in small CBD laundries.

OTEK was first implemented at Whiddon’s Narrabri and Wee Waa sites in 2010 based on its utilisation of sophisticated equipment which, because of its advanced technology, requires less maintenance, with the outcome being significant cost savings. It is a completely natural way of improving laundry procedures resulting in significant financial and environmental savings via a combination of energy and water conservation, improved workflow and streamlined operations.

The poor service of the previous supplier compared to the product quality, attention to detail and back-up service of Ozone Technologies were viewed as vital reasons by Whiddon for the change of supplier.

The fact that the OTEK system is also Australian made and owned was also an issue in Whiddon’s decision to work with Ozone Technologies. Sites that have benefited from the change of supplier are Glenfield, the largest of the Whiddon sites, plus Redhead and Temora. In the last five years, OTEK has also been installed at several sites which did not previously utilize ozone in the laundry, namely at Wingham, Largs, Maclean and Kelso. The areas of Casino and Grafton are future sites to be installed with the OTEK.

Ensuring an environmentally sustainable operation has meant that each of the sites where the OTEK system has been installed has resulted in less chemicals, water and energy being used. Wash cycle times have also decreased significantly.

The running of the laundry operations at Whiddon’s 11 sites will all be conducted in conjunction with Ozone Technologies and the OTEK set-up. According to Hans Kang, General Manager Building Services for The Whiddon Group: “OTEK has worked wonderfully well delivering significant cost savings and, in the process, the service delivered by Ozone Technologies has been top-notch. They have demonstrated sheer professionalism in every aspect of laundry services. I am very confident to say OTEK has raised the bar in the industry and this journey to be continued. Such professionalism and attention to detail is unfortunately all too rare in today’s business world.”

Michael Madden, Facilities Operations Manager for Whiddon, said: “Ozone Technologies goes beyond the level of expectancy required when it comes to value added service.

Being that Whiddon has multiple aged care facilities spread across some of the most isolated areas of NSW can create some logistical challenges to any business. However, it is evident with OTEK Technologies that these challenges have never posed an issue with regards to their servicing commitments to Whiddon nor has it limited their ability to effectively manage and react to any sites direct request for assistance. It is in saying that, for these reasons and more they have consistently done well in their ongoing 6 monthly to annual supplier performance reviews year in, year out.

What stands out from their direct competitors is they are a genuine customer focused business willing to put client’s needs first. They understand the importance of client/ supplier relationships and the value in proactive engagement and providing feedback.

For any business considering Ozone within their Laundry, I would not hesitate in recommending OTEK Technologies as their preferred choice of supplier both for installs and in long term servicing commitments.

Ozone Technologies also provides annual servicing for all sites and bacteria testing to ensure they comply with Australian Standards for disinfection and the company is always on hand to respond to any issues immediately. In addition, the company is constantly monitoring and improving business procedures in order to reduce costs wherever feasible by changing service runs, training maintenance staff to replace equipment parts and having back-up systems in place so that laundries can continue processing linen even in the event of a breakdown.