TRUSSVILLE, Ala. — One day, Alex Yearout decided to start upgrading his business, Complete Cleaners, one step at a time.
“First I had to upgrade my computer system,” Yearout says in a calm voice, chatting over the phone with American Drycleaner recently.
His is a noticeably unhurried voice saying: “That led me to research new technology and that led to automation,” he adds.
“One thing leads to another often enough,” he postulates, saying, “When you go from manual assembly to automated assembly, that naturally just led to an overhaul.”
The Cleaners wanted to improve productivity.
“We did an overhaul in stages,” Yearout explains. “Mark-in, inspection, send-to-bagging, all done in bits and pieces, so we could get used to everything on our own pace.”
A customized SUV-OAS solution to address issues regarding space and the quantity of garments needing assembly, from White Conveyors, was part of this overhaul.
Yearout says with a calm laugh: “Now we heat-seal our brains out!”
Before his upgrade decision, his plant didn’t have the room to manually assemble so they were using his dry store and making three to four trips a day, he points out. That was rushing. Not any more. The new system allows him to assemble in a 100 sq. ft. space.
What’s the upshot?
Yearout says: “We can identify garments better. So we have better personal relationships with customers and we can research their names and see how often a piece comes in.
“We are keeping a better inventory for our customers. Labor intensity has decreased in mark-in and inspection. We have more time to look at garments, and do it better,” he remarks.
Alex Yearout is a drycleaning owner who sounds calm and collected over the phone.
“We weaned off the old way,” he yawns over the phone line. He sounds truly happy saying it.
“And for each other’s sake, we are smoother.”