ROANOKE, Va. — The Clean Show started in 1975. I first attended the event in 1977 and only missed the show when it was in Dallas some years later.
I have been asked over the years why I say, “The Clean Show is an essential event for all those involved in the laundry industry.” People have tried to point out that even with the speed of technology, two years is too short a time to develop meaningful improvements in equipment. I would counter and say that I have never failed to come away from a Clean Show experience without at least one major improvement to my operation.
The educational programs put on by the sponsoring associations provide a fertile ground for self-reflection and improvement. The discussions held during the day and late into the evening provide valuable opportunities for joint problem-solving activities. The wealth of industry knowledge that can be found at the Clean Show is unbeatable.
I have often advocated spending whatever time it takes to carefully cover the entire Clean Show, particularly all the small booths. Over the years, some of my best finds have been found in this area.
I stumbled upon a concrete floor resurfacing system at one of the last Clean Shows in Chicago and helped solve a significant problem at the time for my laundry in Milwaukee.
I stumbled upon the Laundry Loops company a number of years back and was able to use its product in a number of ways in my laundry in Roanoke, Va.
This last Clean Show, I spent time at the SonicAire booth and became convinced its product could greatly decrease my lint problem. After installation, I am glad to say it works as advertised.
I also spent time at two booths that had automatic bagging machines. Being a healthcare laundry, my challenge was to find a way to use this technology in the operation. After working with customers, the laundry now bags washcloths, bar towels, cleaning cloths, yellow microfiber towels, green microfiber towels, blue microfiber towels and two sizes of flat microfiber mops. While both companies’ machines were impressive, the one we believed fit our operation the best was chosen.
I have always spent time at all the textile vendor booths and must admit that my knowledge of emerging trends and available products helped me steer my healthcare organization into longer-lasting, more energy-efficient textile products. Some products that I could see no practical application for when I was first introduced to them are now operational staples. The challenge, as always, is to keep an open mind.
After the Clean Show in Atlanta in 2015, I began the process of looking at a new productivity management system. The current system is out of date and needs to be replaced. We purchased the system in 2003 and have operated it continuously ever since. But in computer technology, 13 years is a very long time. We have been evaluating two systems for possible implementation. I have recommended that my successor get to make the final decision and that a system be chosen early
I hope you can see by this column that there is so much to see and so much to learn at each and every Clean Show. It truly should be considered a can’t-miss event.