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Clean Show Value Based on Willingness to Participate Fully

Eric Frederick |

ROANOKE, Va. — The Clean Show is just around the corner. Like so many other major events in our life, what we get out of attending Clean will be based on our expectations.

The Clean Show will provide all attendees a chance to see the latest laundry equipment on the market. It will provide hours of education and unparalleled opportunities to network with others in the industry. What key concerns will you bring with you to New Orleans?

The Clean Show will provide me with an opportunity to discuss with a number of textile suppliers the new, specialized healthcare linen being developed to help reduce bed sores. This linen is extremely expensive and can be a challenge to wash, process and package for delivery.

I hope to get guidance from the linen companies and other managers in attendance about the best wash formula and the easiest way to process the linen. Now seems like a poor time to enter into long-term fixed price contracts for linen rental. But this linen is being marketed to the nursing staff and skin care specialists, and it is up to us to figure out how best to handle it.

I will be looking for ways to reduce my operation’s energy consumption. Alternative fuel vehicles will be of great interest. I will explore ways to reduce energy at each stage of my operation, from the boiler room to delivery.

Going hand in hand with this will be attempts to make the operation more eco-friendly. How can I, as a trained environmentalist, reduce my impact? Part of this “section” will include how to make sure I get maximum life from my textiles without negatively impacting the environment.

I will be looking for ideas on how to create more flexible contracts that will allow me to partner with my customers to meet the challenges facing us in the world market. Many of us grow nervous when we see the rapid escalation of gas prices. How soon they will go up again is anyone’s guess, but it does appear to be far from a stable commodity.

I will look for labor-savings equipment, and network with other managers about labor-savings procedures. Wages continue to go up every year, and we must find ways to improve our workers’ productivity or lose our competitive edge.

I will revisit the real-time productivity monitoring system that was first shown at Clean 2011. The ability to give continuous feedback to employees about how they are performing minute to minute is appealing. And making such information available to my management staff should help improve their training and oversight of the workflow through the laundry.

Through networking, I will develop a list of employee recruitment techniques that really work. And I will enter into discussions about employee training and motivation. This show provides a unique opportunity to investigate what others are doing in other parts of the country and even around the world.

The Clean Show is that rare time when the entire laundry industry comes together in a special learning environment. We can come with our specific lists of equipment we want to see or vendors we like to visit, but the show is so much more. The value of attendance will be determined by your willingness to fully participate in the educational and networking opportunities available only at an all-industry show.

Make plans now to be there all three days, because the full value of the show cannot be realized without investing the proper time. Educational programs will be offered every day. Networking opportunities begin with breakfast and end when you return to your room at night. Make the most of your travel and registration by getting full value from this year’s show.

About the author

Eric Frederick

Carilion Laundry Service

Director of Laundry Services

Eric Frederick is director of laundry services for Carilion Laundry Service, Roanoke, Va., and past president of the National Association of Institutional Linen Management (NAILM), now called the Association for Linen Management (ALM). He’s a two-time association manager of the year. You can reach him by e-mail at efrederick@carilion.com.

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