Q1 2022

Take Your Quality to New Levels

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?”

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Q4 2021

What Good Can Come of This?

By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

Maybe this whole COVID thing is close to being behind us. Hopefully the lessons learned will stay with us for a lifetime. Whenever something monumental occurs, it is very important to gather some sort of lesson from it. Sometimes it can take a very long time, especially when a lot of healing needs to happen first. When 1,500 people died on the Titantic in 1912, it took a long time for people in that era to make sense of the tragedy. Similarly, COVID-19 has killed more than four million people at the time of this writing. Eventually, we will want to know how many people it has saved. On a more local level, COVID-19 has cost you a lot and there needs to be a lesson in there somewhere. Twenty years ago I published a piece about 9/11. Here is what I wrote then:

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Q3 2021

Formulate Your Way to Success with Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

Formulate Your Way to Success

By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

I received an interesting telephone call today that prompted the idea for this column. It’s all about math. You probably hated math in school and never thought you’d really need it. When the pocket calculator came out in 1974, you probably became certain that even if you did need math, you wouldn’t have to struggle with formulas. Sadly, neither Casio nor Radio Shack have built-in functions for g-force or moisture retention or anything else important to you. Continue reading “Formulate Your Way to Success with Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems”

Q1 2021

Striking Your Perfect Balance Between Cost, Price, and Quality

by Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

What’s the difference between the drycleaner who offers all garments for one low price and the drycleaner who charges full retail, along with upcharges for designer brands, delicate fabrics, stains and special handling?

What’s the difference between the drycleaner who offers all garments same day and the drycleaner who learned long ago that buying drycleaning service is completely different than buying a quart of milk or a loaf of bread? If the goal is to make garments ready to wear for customers, it just may take more – and dare I say much more – than the confines of an eight-hour day. If that is the goal, what is the difference between the top-service drycleaner and the one who guarantees all garments same day?

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Q3 2020

Kick Your Quality Up a Notch by Don Desrosiers

Let’s look at our quality and see if we can raise the bar.  Or, in the words of my famous cousin Emeril Lagasse, “Let’s kick it up a notch!”

When we justify higher prices to ourselves or our customers, we say we produce a higher quality product than the discounter around the corner.  However, we render ourselves speechless when we mystery shop that competitor and learn they do a darn good job.

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Q1 2020

Defend Your Business Through Self-Reinvention

By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

Maybe you haven’t realized this yet, but business has an evil, cruel underbelly.  The secret to success in business is to provide quality and service at a palatable price.  This is true regardless of your product. Customers want you to do it right, do it fast, and do it cheap.  Maybe that’s too crude for some, so I led with: they want good quality, good service at a price that they think is affordable.  You can pick any two, and it won’t be so difficult.  Doing three is the challenge.

For most school systems, 65% constitutes a passing grade, just barely.  If doing two out of three is your choice, you pass but just barely with a 66% grade.  As Meatloaf said, “Two outta three ain’t bad.”  But it isn’t great, either. However, three out of three is a Herculean task, let me tell ya!

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Q4 2019

Management Can Drive You Crazy

By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

A long time ago, someone probably told you, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”  It’s the kind of wisdom everybody knows, but still you must hear every now and again as sort of a reminder.  It’s true, you know.  Two wrongs, never make a right!  But guess what?  Employees think two wrongs do make a right and they try to get us to believe they are right.  This is one of the reasons why management makes us crazy.  Here are some examples: Continue reading “Management Can Drive You Crazy”

Q3 2019

What If There Were No Clean Show?

By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems

A decade or two ago, high-level cost groups were more popular than they are now. The highest profile ones were made up of the top tier drycleaners nationwide, even worldwide. They would meet annually at exotic locales such as Sydney and Maui. I knew many of the members. I couldn’t help wondering why groups like this lost their momentum some years ago. Was it a signal indicating the end of the industry?  Was it a way to show apathy on the part of the world’s biggest players?  Or were these big players becoming more reclusive?  Something was changing.

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