By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems
As we struggle to return our businesses to a feeling of normality and try to pretend the past couple of years have been a bad dream, we must remember we cannot leave it all to chance. When we compete for market share, we often do the obvious things to stay we are a step ahead of our competitors. We guarantee on-time service and quality work. We spend money on store beautification, employee training, DLI classes, and modern equipment. These are all key expenditures and highly recommended but we can also run out of ideas. We can look around our brand-new plant with brand-new, state-of-the-art equipment, stocked full of terrific, fully-trained, dynamic employees and think, “What now?”
It can get difficult to compete when you know you’re doing a great job and your competitors are as well. You aren’t going to cut prices and wouldn’t play that game anyway. You know you are worth the prices you charge for the service that you provide. What do you do?
Many of you know celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse is my cousin. Today, I going to tear a page out of his playbook; let’s “kick it up a notch!” and raise the level your quality in ways you might not have thought of before. The goal is to set you apart from the other players in your town.
Don’t be afraid to let your customers know how much you’re paying attention to their garments! Customers come to you because they care about their clothes. Show them you care as well.
Here are some examples.
The latest fashion in shirts is designer print inside the cuffs of dress shirts, but after only a few washings, the inner fabric wrinkles as in Figure One. Because these shirts are often worn with the cuffs folded over, the unsightly wrinkles show. In the shirt department, it will take a little bit longer to press both sides of these cuffs but the results are worth it once you get the problem rectified. In the drycleaning department where many of these shirts are done, the remedy is not much more than awareness. Pressers need to be trained that the inside of the cuffs is part of the outside these days because of the way they are worn.
It is important to remember to replace missing or broken buttons but you really kick it up a notch if you trim loose threads!
Speaking of replacing missing or broken buttons, that’s not just for shirts (and neither are loose threads). As you can see in Figure Three, the broken button really distracts from the appeal of this Hugo Boss jacket. Whether you charge for this or not is a business decision, but I certainly would make sure customers know how attentive you are.
Next is my personal pet-peeve. I really hate it when any of the pockets in my trousers are pressed with wrinkles or bunches in them. See Figure Four.
Conversely, it feels great to put your hand in a neatly pressed pocket! There’s nothing like it!
When two layers of fabric lay over one another – like a lapel or a collar or layers of a blouse – we press all of the layers, right? Not always, has been my findings. Look at Figure Six. The bottom layer has an imprint from the top layer. The best quality drycleaner will remove that imprint.
When you get a garment with stitching like this, it won’t be easy to stretch out the wrinkles, but when you do it you will set yourself apart from your competition, just like all of the other ideas here. They are examples of how to take yourself from Good to Great in 2022! Happy New Year!
Don Desrosiers has been in the drycleaning and shirt laundering business since 1978. He is a work-flow engineer and a management consultant who provides services to shirt launderers and drycleaners through Tailwind Systems. He is a member of the Society of Professional Consultants and winner of DLI’s Commitment to Professionalism award. He can be reached at 40 Winchester Ln, Suite #5, Fall River, MA 02721, by cell (508) 965-3163, or email at email@example.com. The Tailwind web site is http://www.tailwindsystems.com/