ARUBA — The Round Table of Launderers and Dry Cleaners, an informal group of top executives in the laundry and drycleaning business that meets twice annually to discuss industry best practices and exchange ideas across the conference table, gathered here earlier this spring.
“We find great value in the exchanging of ideas in our group and we see the value of bringing in successful people outside of our industry,” notes Gary Glover, president of Puritan Cleaners, and Round Table chairman. “This year, we brought in Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion, who presented a full-day session on inbound marketing, which is a great opportunity for us all.”
The week-long event began with an opening dinner followed by member-led sessions regarding route growth; best and worst ideas from the past year; an in-depth introspective of sales, expenses and margins; and more, notes Glover.
Tripp Penninger of Tripp’s Fine Cleaners joined the group as an invitee this year. “Knowing some of the members, I had high expectations coming in, but the information exchanged and the bond of this group confirms that this group will make a positive difference in our operations and our profitability.”
Round Table members include Zengeler Cleaners (Chicago), Red Hanger Cleaners (Salt Lake City), Puritan Cleaners (Richmond, Va.), Pratt-Abbott Cleaners (Westbrook, Maine), Porter’s Cleaners (Bossier City, La.), Pilgrim Cleaners (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Model Cleaners (Charleroi, Pa.), Max I. Walker Cleaners (Omaha, Neb.), Hallmark Cleaners (Jackson, Miss.), Dependable Cleaners (Denver), Classic Cleaners (Indianapolis), Avon Cleaners (Dallas), Anton’s Cleaners (Boston), Admiral Cleaners (Annapolis, Md.), and A Cleaner World/Shores Cleaners (High Point, N.C.).
Each company comes to the conference with a presentation and returns with valuable, for-members-only materials from all companies.
At the closing dinner, Glover passed the gavel and chairmanship to Rob Walker of Max I. Walker Cleaners.
“The exchanging of ideas is the lifeblood of this group,” says Walker, “so all of us are expected to take an active part in the presentation of at least one subject to be considered part of the ‘price of admission.’”
Walker reports the group’s 2018 annual conference will take place at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
Round Table member companies represent 379 stores, 108 routes, and more than 2,100 employees who profitably process over 20 million pieces per year, the group reports. While membership is limited, the Round Table says it is open to adding one or two new members for 2018.