CONCORD, N.C. — Surviving these last several months can be viewed as a badge of pride, because the piece count disappeared overnight. But what does the future hold?

If the consumer has been doing garments at home and income is now diverted to obligations, we are going to have to give customers a strong reason to use our service.

As you re-establish your identity in the marketplace, consider an attitude of being a destination, rather than one of the many.

In Part 1, we examined the importance of assessing your facility’s work areas, as well as the right types of immersion to use on various stains to set you apart from the competition (and the options customers have at home).

Take this time to make an inspection of your drycleaning machine. Pay close attention to the flow of solvent and air through the system. Start with adequate solvent in the base tank, because when the solvent level is too low, some particulate matter can mix with the solvent and clog your filtration. Under normal circumstances, these larger pieces will lay on the bottom until they are cleaned out by hand.

Test the solvent flow to be sure that the wheel fills to capacity in about 1 minute. If it takes longer than 1½ minutes to fill the wheel, you have a problem that should be corrected. Poor solvent turnover will lead to streaks, swales, and even redeposition.

Take the time to follow the outside air taken in by the machine. Most machines have several filters, including initial air intake, before the heating coil, and before the cooling coil.

Poor air circulation will result in inadequate and uneven drying, leaving swales and a chemical smell in the items. If the programmed drying time isn’t getting the job done, you have a problem that should be corrected.

It is easy to become complacent with the customer service area. Look closely at anything that is mounted in your windows. Replace decals that are faded, worn or out of date. Many times, you will find that posters have faded with time and need to be replaced.

Over time your workflow may have changed when it comes to inspection, assembly and bagging. You can try out any changes while volume is returning to normal, without the “burden” of the normal workload.

Use this time. Don’t waste it. There will soon come a time when the garment care industry will find its new reality. It may or may not resemble what we had before. Wishing for yesterday will do no good. Make adjustments that you have considered from time to time now.

Remain flexible in the coming months by paying close attention to new trends in customer attitudes. Don’t just survive—seize the moment and prosper. 

To read Part 1, go HERE.