CHICAGO — Performing their own plant maintenance is nothing new for the majority of drycleaners who responded to this month’s Wire survey. Half of the drycleaners polled said they perform “most” of their plant’s basic maintenance, while another 28.3% perform “all” of their maintenance.
Thirteen percent perform a “little” of their plant maintenance while the remaining 8.7% perform “none.”
And even though performing maintenance seems to be fairly common among the drycleaners polled, having a formal, written maintenance schedule is not. Only 36.2% have such a schedule; 63.8% perform their maintenance tasks without one.
The type of work they perform ranges from the most basic cleaning and parts replacement to “All, everything, if it needs doing, I do it,” according to one respondent.
“Fixing leaks, bad steam traps, filter changes, lights, analyzing problems via equipment manuals,” summarized one drycleaner. “If I can’t fix it, then I call an expert, but I usually know what needs to be done when I do.”
On occasions when they need to rely on professional, factory or distributor repair technicians, the experiences are “good” for 47.8% of respondents. Another 30.4% say they are “great” and always get the job done. The remaining 21.7% classified them as “fair,” depending on the job and who did it. No one who took the survey reported having had a poor repair experience.
“Maintaining your equipment properly is one of the most important things you can do to remain profitable,” one drycleaner advises.
“All drycleaning operators should have basic mechanical knowledge of every aspect of the plant,” says another. “Preventative maintenance must be believed as a cost savings, not an expense, even though it is for accounting purposes. It pays to know local codes or have access to someone who does. Mechanical creativity is a must. If you don’t have these skills, find somebody who does!”
While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief industry survey anonymously online each month. All drycleaners are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.