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(Virtually) Stronger Together

Online management group aims to bring cleaners together to compare notes and strategies

LAUREL, Md. — Management groups can be a valuable tool for cleaners wanting to fine-tune their businesses and share ideas with non-competing companies. However, the expenses involved in traveling to other facilities — both monetarily and from a time standpoint — have kept many cleaners from taking advantage of this process. Add to this the travel restrictions that the pandemic has forced on everyone over the past year, the idea of virtual management groups becomes much more appealing.

This is the thinking behind the Inner Circle, a new program sponsored by the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI). The Inner Circle will bring cleaners from across the country together to compare notes, review their figures and explore areas where they can improve. Best of all, this is done without the time or expense of traveling.

“Management groups are traditionally cost-prohibitive for a lot of our members,” says Mary Scalco, CEO of DLI. “With the virus cutting into our ability to travel and our overall shift to offering more digital connections, we realized we could help a lot more members with new, virtual management groups.”  

This program’s main focus is to bring non-competing cleaners together to analyze their numbers and see where inefficiencies might exist, find where resources could be better utilized, and share ideas for new opportunities.

“It’s a lot like going to the doctor,” Scalco says. “Many people don’t like to go to the doctor, but they need to hear a professional tell them the hard truths. Taking a close look at how your numbers compare can help you identify weaknesses or areas for improvement. It’s not a critical analysis so much as constructive encouragement,” she said.

DLI has partnered with Ascend Consulting Group and its managing director, Diana Vollmer, to help facilitate the group.

“With over 20 years’ experience running similar management groups specifically for drycleaning business owners, I know firsthand that everyone who participates wins,” Vollmer says. “The price of participation is dwarfed by the gains you can make by being involved. Being 100% open and honest will yield the best results and assure we will help you draw a realistic roadmap to increased profits.”

The fee to join the Inner Circle group is $99/month for DLI members and $198/month for non-members. For more information, visit https://www.dlionline.org/dlis-inner-circle.