Healthcare Laundry: Gregory Gicewicz, Sterile Surgical Systems, Tumwater, Wash.

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Gregory Gicewicz

Gregory Gicewicz

Clean 2019 just ended, and you are on the flight home from The Big Easy. Motivation is high. You have a brain full of operation-enhancing ideas to bring to the home team. 

You are armed with a stack of 150 business cards and lots of cute tchotchkes from vendors. You have seen shiny new robotic feeders and folders that promise to improve productivity. You were sold the benefits of quick-drying, anti-microbial linens. You witnessed washing technology that uses less water, chemistry and heat, all while producing cleaner textiles faster. 

You discovered tools to help manage linen inventories. You even met with an operator that shared her plant’s processes for achieving a 170 PPOH! 

Now it is time to bring the secret sauces from Clean and put them to work in you plant. Now it’s time to make a plan to leverage your Clean experience for your operation. 

Start by organizing the collateral you received, including brochures, business cards and handouts, while they are fresh in your mind. It is a good idea to scan and tag business cards so you can search them electronically. 

I suggest organizing your follow-ups into logical categories such as:

  • Plant Efficiency
  • Customer/Sales
  • Employee 
  • Plant Hygiene

Then rank, in importance, opportunities in these areas. Share contacts and findings with relevant team members. Did you see a new folding line that will help your finish efficiency? Bring in your production and engineering teams and share your findings. Set follow-up meetings with company representatives. 

Did you see innovative textiles that may help several of your healthcare accounts? Share with your sales team and schedule a customer demonstration. See if the manufacturer will send one of their expert representatives to the demonstration. 

Determine if you can use these innovations to create a new, more profitable SKU or better yet improve customer satisfaction. Share with your engineering and production team to ensure your plant can handle these.

Remember, you have limited resources for new initiatives and projects. Once you have shown your team the wares from the Clean Show, prioritize what makes sense to implement when. Creating cost/benefit matrices can be a helpful way to quantify where it makes the most sense to focus. 

At a minimum, account for the below fields and be sure to weight them appropriately: 

  • External Cost—What you will pay the vendor?
  • Internal Cost—What it will cost your team to implement?
  • Timeline—How long this will take?
  • Risk—What can possibly go wrong? Include impact and likelihood.
  • Internal Savings—How much you will save internally?
  • Revenue Gain—How much new revenue you will realize?
  • Internal and External Financial Protection—How much revenue this will protect?

Remember, the real-world implementations are never as good as the showroom floor demonstrations. If it can go wrong, it will.

With good planning, collaboration and strategizing, turn those sleek Clean Show gadgets into dividend-paying improvements to your entire laundry ecosystem! 

Uniforms/Workwear Manufacturing: Scott Delin, Fashion Seal Healthcare, Seminole, Fla.

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Scott Delin

Scott Delin

Wow, hard to believe Clean is here and gone already. 

Prior to attending Clean 2019 as owner-operators and decision makers, I am willing to bet that most of us met and sat with our internal management teams several times. During these meetings we discussed and developed a game plan of what we wanted to focus on while attending Clean 2019 in order to make our operations run smoother and more efficiently, while hopefully giving us an edge over our competition.  

We discussed areas in our operations that needed to be addressed and improved and then developed our wish list of items, new technologic ideas, as well as vendors, we wanted to visit while attending Clean 2019.  

Our task at hand was to visit vendors, meet with them, discover new ideas and concepts, and ultimately determine what will help us increase productivity and become better at what we do and improve products offered to our customers.  

What new ideas, machinery, technology and new products could we discover and learn from our one-on-one meetings to make our businesses run smoother and be more profitable in today’s ever-changing competitive business environment? Innovative technology in processing equipment geared to assist our facilities in producing more with less labor and less energy? New chemical technology that will clean and sanitize soiled linen and/or uniforms while reducing our costs and replacements? 

What new fabrics and uniforms did we stumble upon that will give us the edge over our competition? What new distribution systems did we find that will help us get product into the hands of our customers quicker? What new fabrics did we stumble across that could change the landscape of scrubs and other apparel being offered to the market? 

After several long, grueling days of walking the aisles meeting and speaking to many vendors our follow-up lists got longer and longer. Now that the show is finally over and our visits to Bourbon Street and Café Du Monde for beignets are in the rearview mirror and behind us, the tedious task of follow up begins. 

It is important that as a team we sit and discuss what we saw, liked and disliked. Maybe what we initially thought would work and improve our operation, while meeting and talking with the vendors exhibiting at Clean 2019 our opinions changed because we stumbled upon and discovered something better and more efficient.  

It is important to get feedback from our team members, as everyone sees something from a different perspective. It is also important that we follow up and make sure the ideas discussed are addressed and determine if they would indeed help our daily operations or hinder them.  

Let’s not forget the costs as well and how they will impact our bottom line. 

We also want to make sure we align ourselves with vendors that follow up with us as well. Strong relationships lead to successful partners and ultimately growth.

From a vendor perspective, it is imperative that we, too, follow up with our leads and the customers/operators we met at Clean 2019. Good, thorough follow-up leads to strong business relationships and, at times, instant gratification. Good reputable vendors are the key to our success. They bring us the ideas and the solutions to the “what ifs” in our daily operations.  

Bottom line here is that good, thorough follow up, both internally and externally, leads to a stronger successful business.

Miss Part 1 with advice from commercial laundry, equipment/supply distribution and equipment manufacturing experts? Click HERE to read it.