When it came time to go to college, Eric Monroe was unsure of what to study. He knew that he was pretty good with people and liked to lead, but he couldn’t do what he really wanted. “Before I went to college, I wanted to become a commercial airline pilot,” he recalled. “I had a really bad accident when I was 14 and broke my neck. Some complications from that accident have left me with a little bit of color blindness and some other things. Anyway, long story short, with what I had happen there was no way anybody was ever going to put me in an airplane.”
By the time the exhibit hall closed on Sunday afternoon, the Southwest Drycleaners Association’s (SDA) Showcase 2023 had seen over 460 attendees gather together to view 89 exhibit booths. The two-day event took place at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas in late April. Visitors came as far as Canada and the Netherlands to take part in the only live equipment show of the year.
Coming up soon, the Midwest Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (MWDLI) will host its Summer Summit, which will feature educational seminars, social events, a silent auction and some time for gambling and golf. The event will be held from Aug. 4 to 6 at the French Lick Resort and Casino located in Indiana.
Next month, the Southwest Drycleaners Association will be gathering in St. Louis, MO, for its Board of Directors and Executive Committee meetings on July 28 and 29. During that time, the association will also enlist James Peuster of The Route Pros to present a seminar on “It’s Time to Get Serious About Wash - Dry - Fold.”
As a business owner, it’s easy to find yourself focusing on demand activities instead of planned activities. Planned activities are projects that improve your business and help it grow, such as developing a more efficient workflow, buying new equipment, updating your website, or looking for a new location. Demand activities are emergent problems that need to be solved immediately, like being short-staffed, broken equipment, a utility outage, an ink load, or unexpected production volume.
We are all likely familiar with two similar clichés, though they have diametrically-opposed philosophies: “Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves” and “Pennywise and dollar foolish.” The latter describes someone who does not take care of the pennies. Which best describes you? Years ago, I learned to micromanage the heck out of this business when I worked for my father in his cleaning business.
With summer upon us, your drycleaning machine’s cooling system will be under greater stress. It doesn’t matter if you are using a water tower, chiller, or city water for cooling; conditions that weren’t an issue during the cooler months may become problems as the ambient (surrounding) temperature rises. Most of the cooling problems will rear their ugly heads during the drying segment of the drycleaning cycle. Drying, in the drycleaning machine sense, is all about moving heat energy.
This column will be a little different from all the past times we have been together. To start, I would like to thank the folks at the Southwest Drycleaners Association’s (SDA) Showcase in Dallas this past month, and especially to Amin Bata, the conference chairman. I thoroughly enjoyed the folks I got to meet and the chance to be one of the speakers presenting the “Eight Drivers of Value.”
Many who know me are aware I have always had several business interests going at any one time. In the past two years, I have sold two of these.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most versatile chemical agents a drycleaner can use. In my consultations, I find most drycleaners do not use hydrogen peroxide to its full potential. They use it in a very limited way by applying it to a fabric, adding ammonia and heating. This is not the only way of using hydrogen peroxide, nor the best way.
I am a big fan of open expression. While I try to keep profanity to a minimum, every now and again I throw a curse word in to highlight a point or add some sophomoric humor. If you watch any television shows these days, you will realize that “The Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV” by George Carlin is hopelessly old-fashioned. Those words were: s***t, p**s, f***k, c****t, c***********er, m********er and t**s. I hear those words all the time, sometimes from members of Congress and the President. Darn
During the recent Cleaners Showcase exposition (hosted by the Southwest Drycleaners Association at the Irving Convention Center), it was evident that many drycleaners are back on the offensive again, displaying an interest in purchasing newer and better technology in an effort to gain a competitive edge in their marketplace. When not visiting the exhibit booths, many attendees sought out answers and ideas from a wide variety of expert speakers whose programs covered so many topics that we couldn’t possibly report it all. However, it was evident that there have been many positive signs for the industry in 2023.
Now, Model-7D EZPress™ users can apply barcode labels or text labels to personal clothing at 330° F in only four seconds.
Our original presses and all competitors’ presses apply labels at 380° to 420° in eight to 12 seconds. Our new press gives you a major improvement in productivity, resulting in half of the normal application time and a temperature reduction of over 50°. This lower temperature will dramatically reduce the risk of damaging delicate and expensive garments.
Dr. Julie King, executive dean for the School of Digital Technologies and Arts at Staffordshire University, has been named the new chair of the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ABSCI). Additionally, Garry Knox, sustainability director at GreenEarth Cleaning, has been appointed as vice-chair alongside existing vice-chair Jonty Wilson.
The Southern California Cleaners Association (SCCA) met recently to listen to a panel of drycleaners with over 120 years experience in the industry discuss how they have continued to survive and pivot over the years.
The panel consisted of Jacob Jahn (Pico Cleaners, Los Angeles), David Suber (Perfect Cleaners, Los Angeles), Shawn Basseri (Steamer Cleaners, Sherman Oaks), and Mike Fahar (United Fabricare, Compton).
In late March, America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) hosted a Live Accelerator meeting in Louisville, KY, which focused on the theme of “convenience,” – as affiliates explores various strategies and tools to drive business growth and enhance the client experience. The three-day event was hosted by Nu-Yale Cleaners.
The Drycleaning and Laundry Institute recently announced graduates from the Indtroduction to Drycleaning Class and the Advanced Drycleaning Class
Lapels Cleaners, an innovative, 100% sustainable garment care company headquartered in Naples, FL, recently announced the opening of its location at 1226 NW Maynard Rd. in Cary, NC. Previously, the location had been Mee Cleaners. Now, Jay Singh is the new owner of the drycleaning plant and store.
If you have stayed at a major chain hotel property in Houston, chances are you’ve experienced having bright white linen and towels courtesy of Imperial Linen Services, Inc. (ILS). Located in suburban Stafford, TX, they have played a major role in Houston’s hospitality sector for 80 years. For the past ten, ILS has teamed with UNX-Christeyns as its washroom chemistry partner to deliver a superior solution that is winning over their customers
After 40 years in the engineering field and the commercial laundry business, Vinny Samuel is forecasting a banner year for JVK Operations with a huge increase in volume – a payoff for adding more LAVATEC equipment.
“We processed 36 million pounds of laundry last year. I anticipate we will add another eight million more by the ends of 2023,” said Samuel, president of the company headquartered in Amityville, NY, who co-owns it with Mike Connell. They have another processing plant in New Jersey, just south of Philadelphia. The company operated three plants with a combined 80,000 sq. ft. of space to keep the work flowing.
Recently, Platinum Dry Cleaners of Naples, FL, was named a finalist for the 2023 “Distinguished Entrepreneur Award of Southwest Florida.” The business is a full service dryclean and laundry operation with two retail locations and 12 delivery routes, a 12,000 sq. ft. processing facility and 40 employees.
Eagle Star Equipment of Troy, MI, was recently named the 2022 Poseidon Textile Care Systems (Poseidon) Distributor of the Year for superior sales and customer support.
Led by Michael “Stucky” Szczotka, Eagle Star is a full-service distributor of quality solutions for the textile care, vended laundry and on-premise laundry markets.
The company has more than 47 years in the industry, offering drycleaning and laundry planning, equipment, installation, parts and service.
Bob Barry, president/CEO of ZIPS Franchising, LLC, announced that it has added four new members to its corporate team headquartered in Savage, MD, including:
Mike Waintraub, director of business development, is the former founder/operator of Captain Dry Clean and Princeton Linen Supply of central New Jersey. Early in his career, he was a Corporate Client Relationship Manager with UBS Wealth Management. He holds a degree in Business/Corporate Communications from William Patterson University of New Jersey;
Chris White, executive director of America’s Best Cleaners, has achieved the Certified Mastermind Group Facilitator designation from The Success Alliance, leading the way for professional development and growth opportunities for the ABC affiliate community. White began the program in 2021 and received his official certification in December of 2022. However, ABC has been focussed on promoting its affiliates’ achievements and initiatives, which is why White chose to delay the announcement.
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