A Kannegiesser ironer line - nothing for small laundries? Michael Thomas sees it differently: "Even my peers said, 'With the size of your operation, you're bound to get in over your head!' But it has paid off."
Together with his son Manuel, Michael Thomas owns and operates Gajewski Laundry in Hartmannsdorf near Chemnitz in east Germany. Despite the resistance, even from their own family, the two opted for an ironer line from Kannegiesser. The system consists of the EMV feeding machine, the HPM heating band ironer, and the RFL-J folding machine. "Based on what I know today, I would do it all over again," says Michael Thomas today with full conviction.
Gajewski Laundry is a classic family business with 10 employees. Michael Thomas was new to the laundry business when he joined his father-in-law's company in 1989. In 1999, he took over until he and his son Manuel started running the business together in 2016. The laundry's customers include many small hotels, restaurants, retirement homes, garages and workshops, hospitals and private homes.
A well thought out decision
"If you choose a Kannegiesser product, it's usually a more expensive investment," says Manuel Thomas with a cheeky smile on his face. "Small companies then look for cheaper alternatives. Usually they are punished for this later on. I always say that quality has its price.” One of the decisive factors in making the right choice is honest and competent advice. "The guidance from Kannegiesser and Mr. Oltscher was very important to us. He talked us through it very calmly and met with us several times until I made this decision," acknowledges Michael Thomas.
Productive despite diversity
A large variety of customer laundry can quickly be overwhelming. For Michael Thomas, however, this is no longer a problem: "The ironer heats up and also cools down again very quickly.” And that is also necessary at Gajewski Laundry: "Compared to some large laundries, which may only have 2-3 processing programs, we run 49 different programs here," says Manuel Thomas. The flexible heating band quickly adjusts the temperature to the specific needs of different articles, ensuring the ideal ironing temperature for each article protecting the textiles.
"We had two ironers and didn't get the job done because they were too small. We had to get that into our heads first," recalls Michael Thomas. This was one of the reasons why a new ironer from Kannegiesser was chosen. Previously, six employees were working on two ironers, but now only three employees are needed on one. "The machine produces three times what I managed before. That's a good number."