BEACON FALLS, Conn. — In the business world, medical community or the sports and entertainment industry, experience is often the harbinger for success.
For Vinny Samuel, his 40 years in the engineering field and the commercial laundry business are paying off.
With the recent addition of more LAVATEC equipment, he’s forecasting a banner year for JVK Operations with a huge increase in volume.
“We processed 36 million pounds of laundry last year,” says Samuel, who is the president and co-owns the company with Mike Connell. “I anticipate we will add another eight million more by the end of 2023.”
JVK is headquartered and operates two facilities in Amityville, New York, on Long Island, and has another processing plant in New Jersey, just south of Philadelphia. The three plants combined offer 80,000 square feet of space to keep the work flowing.
FROM PLANT ENGINEER, DESIGNER TO SUCCESSFUL OWNER
Samuel has achieved success for JVK by developing a well-designed blueprint.
He began working in the industry after arriving in the United States with business and engineering degrees. He gained experience at several companies, starting as a plant engineer in 1985 and later designing laundry plants around the world.
After learning the ins and outs of the business, it was time for Samuel to open his own company in 2004.
“We have been servicing healthcare institutions almost since the first day,” he says. “Today it accounts for 50% of our business, and the other half is hospitality driven.”
JVK services customers on Long Island and in other parts of New York, in addition to New Jersey, the Philadelphia market and some customers in Connecticut.
Known for processing customer-owned goods (COG), they handle the linen and garment rental side of the business with a lot washing program. By keeping client linen separated, they find it improves overall lot integrity and boosts customer satisfaction.
A PARTNERSHIP THAT WORKS
Samuel takes pride in the high-quality work JVK provides its customers, believing it forms a winning combination with timely delivery and the best customer service possible.
To achieve this, the foundation begins with the equipment on his floors. He determined years ago that partnering with LAVATEC gives him the best return on his investment.
“There are many manufacturers of laundry equipment, but during my association with them the past 35 years LAVATEC has displayed a very consistent manufacturing process,” shares Samuel.
“I believe in getting it right the first time is best, and I have seen them keep the production standards at a higher level. They haven’t chased the unnecessary goals for cosmetics. Instead, they’ve kept it simple and safe with user-friendly controls.”
Starting in 2008, JVK installed a new 200-pound, LT90 tunnel washing system with 16 compartments at its Amityville processing facility. Recent upgrades include six 330-pound capacity dryers that are now helping operations to run more efficiently.
“Our tunnels are a perfect fit for these dryers,” says Samuel. “We have already seen a 40% utility savings by doing all the work with six dryers instead of 10.”
Another tunnel washer JVK employs is a model built 27 years ago that Samuel purchased and has run regularly since 2008.
All told, they now utilize five LAVATEC tunnel washing systems and 20 dryers to go with six LAVAPress press extractors.
“It still runs very efficiently and is a perfect example of what I think about LAVATEC equipment,” Samuel says about the older tunnel system.
“The quality of materials which were used many years ago have proven to be better than any other manufacturer.”
Having a machine of that age providing output every day is remarkable unto itself. Operating it at a high-performance level also means having available access to parts, a task that Samuel says is uncomplicated.
“LAVATEC machines are built so the maintenance is simple and easy, and we keep track of each and every part,” he points out. “We also have a preventive maintenance policy in place to replace any sensitive parts prior to them breaking down.
“In accordance with the quality of our equipment, we study and plan ahead. That’s why we have trained our technicians this way to maintain the equipment.”
When the need arises, Samuel says he and his staff are confident in LAVATEC’s abilities to resolve any issues, and this makes for a strong partnership.
“We keep in touch with their engineering and service departments, and from time to time we ask them for support of the older equipment,” he shares. “Surprisingly, they deliver all the parts for us, no matter what we need.
“Commercial laundry businesses do not attract highly educated engineers or technical personnel. It is a struggle for every laundry with the issue of retaining knowledgeable employees because they are in such high demand.
“That’s why it is important that LAVATEC’s equipment is simple to maintain, and the training for our operators and technicians is helpful and fairly easy.”
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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].