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Survey: 50% of Operators Say 2010 Throughput Better Than Expected

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ALN Wire Survey Chart
ALN Wire Survey Chart

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ALN Wire Survey Chart
ALN Wire Survey Chart

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Fifty percent of respondents to American Laundry News’ final Wire survey for 2010 said their laundry’s poundage this year was “much higher” (7.7%) or “somewhat higher” (42.3%) in comparison to 2009 figures.
Approximately 23% reported processing “virtually the same amount,” 15.4% reported processing “somewhat less,” and the remaining 11.5% lamented processing “much less.”
Total estimated production for 2010 ranged by operation from 270,000 pounds to 20 million pounds, according to these anonymous responses.
Taking the economy into consideration, 23.1% said their operation’s throughput was better than they had expected, while another 65.4% said it was about what they expected. Roughly 12% said their throughput was worse than expected.
Operators whose production rose attributed it primarily to gaining institutional business or increasing total accounts (82.4%). Improved management/marketing ideas (35.3%); adding, replacing or rebuilding production equipment (29.4%); and redesigning workflow (29.4%) were other important factors. Respondents could choose any or all among several suggested factors or offer their own.
Improving transportation/distribution (11.8%), adding production workers (5.9%) and expanding or relocating to a larger site (5.9%) also helped boost production. Nearly 18% of respondents cited other reasons, including higher census numbers.
The primary cause for falling short of annual goals or expectations this year, according to every respondent who suffered such a setback, was a “slowing or loss of business due to economy.” Other causes cited were marketing efforts (33%), staff productivity (22%) and maintenance efforts (11%).
No one blamed poor results on capabilities of equipment, administrative indifference or lack of support, or regulatory changes.
Finally, respondents were asked how they would grade their 2010 management performance, and how their boss would grade them. Respondents were tougher on themselves than they think their bosses would be. Forty-six percent think their superiors would give them an A but only 31% would give themselves that grade.
While the American Laundry News Wire survey presents a snapshot of the trade audience’s viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to participate anonymously in a brief industry survey each month. While it presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, the survey should not be considered scientific.
The entire American Laundry News audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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