Production Management & Workflow

How to raise your labor cost without really trying.

How to raise your labor cost without really trying.

It seems that this should be a column that I write in the middle of the slow season.  But you are reading this in the middle of the busiest time of year.  This is the time that you’ve looked forward to all year.  Now is when you have the most amount of cash left over at the end of the bills.  But let’s try to learn some lessons from this busy time and perhaps that will translate into real cash savings come the dog days of summer.

Let’s fast-forward into the future, to the summer of 2018.


Creative Ways to use Rope Ties

In 1989, at the Clean Show in Dallas (remember the snow?  And the 18 degrees?!), I stumbled upon a product called No-Knot cords, an early incarnation of today’s Rope Tie.  Years later, I learned that the product was originally invented to wash roll towels.  You don’t see these much anymore, but if there were already 50 US states when you were born, you probably need a short introduction to roll towels.  Instead of a paper towel dispenser in a restroom, there was a towel dispenser.  This dispenser had a real cotton fabric towel hanging out of the bottom of it.  It didn’t have a visible end.  The towel disappeared back into the dispenser.  What you saw was a hanging loop of fabric with the clean part in front of you and the soiled part of the towel would roll back into the dispenser.  When you pulled of the clean part of the towel, the front roller would unroll the clean towel and the rear roller would wind up the soiled towel.  The laundry would tie up and secure the soccer-ball size dirty towel roll with a No-Knot cord and wash the big ball of fabric as such.  When it came time to finish the toweling, the roll was released from the “rope-tie” and the length was fed into the ironer.  On the opposite end of the ironer, the towel was wound onto a spool with a crank and was then ready for re-use.  There was a small amount of rope-tie usage for shirts in the 60’s, but it never caught out, but I did revive the product in the late 1990’s.  The No-Knot cord was refined into a more sophisticated product in the late 1990’s by MBH Enterprises.  The latest version of the product was invented by yours truly and is marketed exclusively by Cleaner’s Supply.  What MBH brought to the table nearly 20 years ago, was the spring-loaded button, in 5 colors.  This is something that we were unable to do successfully with No-Knot cords.


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.


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