Employee Training

Christmas Wish List

Christmas column 2016

I know that I say this every year, and I’ll say it again.  I can’t believe that its December again and I’m writing my annual Christmas wish list.

Throughout the year, I come up with ideas and sometimes just passing thoughts about how to make a drycleaner’s job easier.  Are we missing some products that would improve quality, service or presentation of what we produce that would make our customers happier or our lives easier.  Sometimes, my dreams come true.  That’s exciting.  Years ago, I asked for an “on-board” computer to measure productivity on shirt units.  Unipress, among others, made that a reality a few years ago.  I wanted a more comfortable environment for pressers and Sankosha, among others, made that a reality.  I never forget about the maintenance guy and as a result, shirt equipment is much easier to work on these days.  Packaging and presentation are important to me and to your customer; much has been done to improve that.  The industry has come a very long way since I entered into it 4 decades ago.

Judging your own Quality

I was at a car dealer the other day.  The business manager sat at his desk while he dutifully went about his job.  All that I could see was his shirt.  It was awful.  It is virtually impossible to be kinder than that.  It was a (supposedly) white shirt with French cuffs.  He wore cuff links.  There were at least  three major pressing errors and the shirt was dingy and many shades away from white.  The French cuffs weren’t folded at the proper place and the cuffs themselves were hardly “off-white”, they were gray.  It was hard to believe that anyone would put that shirt on and wear it.   I can’t believe that I was such a geek to be paying that much attention.  But it really isn’t because I am in the garment care industry.  The shirt looked awful.  It was hard not to notice.  It was even a bit too small for him and that was most noticeable at the cuffs. I hate to mock this guy, but he probably felt like a pseudo big shot because he sent his shirts out to the cleaners.  His cleaner did him no favors.  I wanted to snap a picture, but I don’t think that the shirt would have looked as bad in print as it did in person.  So I will swap out the picture in exchange for the thousand words.  I was tempted to say, “Who does your shirts?”  But if I had asked him, chances are high that I would have heard of the cleaner (this occurred about 30 miles from my home) and I cannot imagine what my rebuttal to his answer could have been.  “Oh yeah, I know the guy.  He does a terrible shirt and you should be embarrassed.”  I was certain that whoever his cleaner is, he is definitely not a client because the shirt was pressed on an old-fashioned 3 piece unit and I don’t have any clients around here that still use a sleever, so I took some comfort in that.  Some of what was wrong with this shirt cannot be blamed on the cleaner.  It was old and spent.  I figure the shirt was 10-12 years old.  The lack of a good fit can only be attributed to the wearer.  So what were the defects?

Your first line of defense against poor quality…

The first line of defense against poor quality is proper moisture retention, and then retaining that! You probably have a blown-sleeve shirt unit. Twenty years ago, they were the anomaly, but this is no longer true. Sleevers have gone the way of video tapes….and moisture retention around 30%-40%. Oddly enough, blown sleeves need significantly more retained moisture than hard-pressed sleeves; at least 50%, 60% in many cases. But your defense against poor quality doesn’t stop there. Keeping the dampness in, is a critical, oft overlooked, step.

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