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2012 Panel of Experts Ready to Answer Industry Questions (Part 1 of 4)

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(Image credit: Alissa Ausmann)

This year’s contributors introduce themselves, describe their operations, identify challenges, and list their accomplishments for 2011

Healthcare Laundry: Scott Beaton, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

I am the Kaiser Permanente Northern California regional product manager for linen and laundry, overseeing and maintaining a system that serves 21 Northern California hospitals with more than 27 million pounds processed annually.

Previously, I was operations manager for Sodexo in Stockton, Calif., one of the largest COG healthcare laundries in its laundry division. The plant processed more than 44 million pounds of linen per year while serving 30 hospital and 47 clinic customers in accordance with HLAC and Title 22 healthcare standards.

scott beatonI’ve been in the commercial laundry industry for more than 20 years, having operated healthcare, hospitality and uniform plants throughout the West. I developed and implemented initiatives that contributed to increases in productivity and quality at each location while operating in union and nonunion environments.

I began my career at ARAMARK as a group merchandise control manager and worked at several different facilities throughout the Southwest in merchandise control and production. I later joined UniFirst Corp., where, as Western regional production trainer, I was responsible for the development of production managers and the implementation of all production-related best practices and procedures in the region.

My goals this year include enhancing the patient care experience and healing environment through enhanced linen quality and product upgrades. I also plan to increase the velocity and utilization of products by training stakeholders through the implementation of best practices at the user level while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint.

It’s an honor to be selected for this Panel. I hope to share the benefit of my experience with you.

Equipment/Supplies Distribution: Steve Clark, Laundry Equipment Services Inc.

Most of my laundry knowledge comes from hands-on experience, which I hope to be able to share while serving on this panel.

steve clarkI grew up in the laundry industry; my father worked for Economics Laboratory for 32 years. I began transporting and installing laundry equipment when I was 16, and worked as a service technician for Ecolab in my early 20s. The latter position allowed me to understand general laundry procedures, applications, and the challenges that laundries face on a daily basis.

After several years, I decided to move into sales as a territory manager with Diversey and explored the chemical aspects of the industry. All of this experience primed me to open Laundry Equipment Services Inc., a commercial/industrial laundry equipment sales and service company. We supply new and refurbished equipment, as well as ancillary items, to hospitals, hotels, resorts, nursing homes, prisons, Laundromats, etc. We also have a large coin-operated division and parts department.

Operating LES allows me the diversity of managing a great group of employees, training customers, designing locations, constructing and/or rebuilding laundry facilities, and doing so within budgets. We focus on proper equipment sizing, correct equipment mixes, professional installations and continuous service after the sale.

Because so many of our customers are financially challenged by the economy, we’re forced to continually look for ways that they can save money. Our biggest challenge is keeping our customers operating safely while maintaining quality with the lowest costs possible, but it’s one we conquer.

Textile/Uniform Rental: David Dersheimer, SITEX Corp.

I am the plant manager for SITEX Corp. in Henderson, Ky. SITEX is a well-established uniform and linen rental company that has been serving customers in Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and Indiana for more than 50 years. We provide outstanding image programs for our customers and reference that in our company’s tag line – SITEX, The Image Makers.

dave dersheimerI am responsible for the day-to-day production, maintenance, and safety of our Henderson operation. I’ve been with SITEX for six years.

I’ve been in the commercial laundry industry on the production side for 29 years, and have worked for companies that produced from 3 million to 30 million pounds annually. I served one company briefly as a service manager. I have extensive experience in work measurement and production standards, as well as safety.

One of our challenges over the last couple of years has been dealing with the continued increase in the cost of raw materials that go into our end products. With the volatility in the cotton and petroleum markets, we have all seen price increases on our rental textiles as well as processing supplies.

SITEX has been able to maintain operating expenses by carefully researching alternate textile products and operational supplies and procedures. We have been able to offer our customers alternate and, in some cases, better products to suit their needs. I would consider this challenge met to be a success.

I am excited about what 2012 holds for my company and our industry, and I am proud to have been selected to serve on this panel. I hope that my experience and input helps my peers not only meet but exceed their expectations in 2012.

Tomorrow: Introductions to representatives of the consulting services, commercial laundry, and uniforms/workwear manufacturing sectors.

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