CHICAGO — Finishing is one of the best parts of a drycleaning operation to make a client’s order look its finest.
In today’s conclusion of this article, Steve Berglund, the owner of Mastercraft® Natural Garment Cleaning, Fresno, California, discusses the benefits of cross-training staff.
A dry cleaner’s team is so important to its business, and this is especially true in the finishing department. The skill and knowledge of these team members is vital.
“For finishing, my cleaner spotter is also a counter person and trained to do silks as well as pants and laundered shirts,” says Berglund. “I’m very lucky to have her.”
His company began as a One Hour Martinizing® franchise in the early 1960s when his father was the franchise representative for central California. The younger Berglund began operating plants in the local area with the Mastercraft® Dry Cleaning name in 1970 and with nine locations and 75 employees; the main plant covered 6,000 square feet.
Eventually, he changed the name to Mastercraft® Natural Garment Cleaning. He currently has seven employees. With sales down 50%, he operates with a cleaner presser who opens and provides counter help as needed in the morning, a silk presser who is on call depending on daily volume, and a counter person who comes in late mornings and closes at the end of the day.
“Everyone is cross-trained except my silk and shirt pressers,” Berglund says about his employees’ roles. “They don’t wait counter or do assembly.
“For pressing, I installed easy-to-reach hand irons at the silk press, the end of the pants legger, and the steam table.”
About that steam table, it began leaking steam after a while and proved difficult to repair. “I would still recommend (adding) it because it is a nice, wide surface for hand touching with a hand iron next to it.”
Berglund hopes that his employees understand how important they are to him and to his business.
Richard Aviles, whose Kingbridge Cleaners finishing department in New York City was the focus of Part 1 of this article, offers some closing comments about finishing: “It is of the utmost importance that every station be clean, orderly, with the proper lighting and a happy place for everyone to work.”
Providing customers with the finest quality that one can produce will never go out of style, he says, and will help ensure your business survives for generations to come.