CHICAGO — While it’s great to gain new customers, expanding the services you offer could help you generate more profit from the clients you already have. Better still, since you’ll be adding value for the people who already use your services, you’ll be able to generate more customer loyalty and keep their business coming through your door.
In Part 1, we explored new services that might move the needle on your profitabilty. Today, to find areas where you can expand your services, we'll take a look at your plant to see what areas could be augmented with a minimal investment.
Find New Equipment Solutions
Wetcleaning Systems — One of the easiest ways to increase production to handle new or expand wash/dry/fold, route and textile restoration services is through a wetcleaning system. It can be less expensive than an additional drycleaning machine and can clean virtually any item or garment in a shorter time.
Not only can a wetcleaning system streamline the wash/dry/fold business, water is often the best way to restore garments damaged by soot, smoke or water. Thanks to low upfront and operating costs, a wetcleaning system, depending on volume, will have a 24-month-or-less ROI.
Tensioning Equipment — Garment finishing is becoming a lost art. Fortunately, technology is helping solve the problem of finding experienced finishers. Today’s tensioning equipment does a fantastic job with minimal training. In fact, the hardest thing to teach employees is what not to press.
If you’re having trouble finding pressers, whether you’re actively trying to expand your business or not, investing in new tensioning equipment is strongly recommended. Trust me — the garments will fly through the plant. It’s another investment that should pay for itself within two years.
Garment Management System — Garment management has really grown over the years. When properly set up, it tracks a customer’s order from drop-off until it is returned to them. These systems are no longer only for large plants or multi-store operators. The automated matching systems can actually be more of a benefit to the smaller stores because they typically run with a smaller workforce. The automated matching system acts like an extra employee who never calls in sick or takes a break. Larger operations can take it a step further and go with the automatic bagging stations, another example of an extra “employee.”
Restoration businesses, for example, need a complex garment-management system because their orders tend to require long-term storage. Having an accurate way to track these orders is an absolute must.
The labor savings allow automated matching and bagging systems to pay for themselves in less than a year. Operations can replace an employee and allow their pressers to go home when they are done pressing, rather than having them pitch in to match the clothes on the rack.
Embrace Your Distributor’s Knowledge
To help you sort it all out and pinpoint new potential markets in your area, reach out to your equipment distributor. This is key because your distributor knows the market trends, can help identify bottlenecks in your plant, and can recommend appropriate products to ensure you start off on the right foot.
For Part 1 of this series, click HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected] .