Improvements are Constant in the Laundry Game

(Image licensed by Ingram Image)

You are here

Improvements are Constant in the Laundry Game

Author writes that like baseball players, operators should strive to be better

TULSA, Okla. — I have written in the past about how I love this time of year. 

No bundling up to go to work. Doors in the plant can be left open without fear of a wintery blast coming through them. The plant floor is a comfortable temperature to work in. 

Of course, the best part of spring is it’s baseball season. I do love me some baseball. The sounds and action of a live baseball game are worth the long winter’s wait.

When my grandson was around 18 months old, I took him to his first Major League Baseball game. He was on sensory overload. 

All the sounds around him. The beer man letting us know who had the coldest beer. Hot dog vendor peddling his dogs, the obnoxious fan who has a comment on every move the players make. 

My grandson had his head on a swivel, smiling ear to ear. He made it through all nine innings but was quickly asleep on my shoulder before we made it back to the car. 

Whenever possible, I like to get to the games as early as the gates will open. These are the very best baseball players in the world. They can hit further, throw harder and catch better than any other human on our planet. 

It is amazing to see each one of them hit the ball out of the ballpark and do it five of 10 hits in warm-up. The pitchers are popping the catcher’s mitt on every throw. I just love that sound. 

Their coaches standing by to consult them on every pitch or swing of the bat.

Wait a minute, why would the greatest athletes in the world need coaching? They have already thrown a million pitches in their lifetime, hit a million pitches since tee ball. 

We have already established that there is no one better in the world than these players at baseball. Yet, they are getting coached after every pitch. Why do they need so much coaching?

The answer is simple. They are never as good as they can be. There is always improvement to be made.

The same can be said about the laundry business. 

There are always improvements to be made—both improvements in the quality of the product we produce or improvements in the working environment employees are working in. We never have the perfect setup. 

We may be performing these tasks at the best we know how today, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve in the future. We may feel our quality is the best in the market today, but that doesn’t mean that our competition may not make a breakthrough and soar right by us if we are overly satisfied with our current product line or finished product.

Another major aspect of baseball is the mental game. Players must learn to handle pressure and the changing situations of the game. 

It is just as important for laundry managers to constantly be working on our mental game. The situation in the laundries is changing day to day and how we handle them sets up our present and future successes. 

One bad interaction with an employee, while it may help you make it through today, can have grave consequences on future employees’ thoughts concerning your management skills and abilities. 

We should always be working on these skills. Books and seminars are good sources to help with these skills. Joining peer groups of other laundry managers is also a good source of personal and professional growth.

Like every good baseball player, we should always strive to be better and always be coachable.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].