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Survey: 63% of Operators Say 2011 Throughput Better Than Expected

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — More than 63% of respondents to American Laundry News’ final Wire survey for 2011 said their laundry’s poundage this year was “much higher” (5.3%) or “somewhat higher” (57.9%) in comparison to 2010 figures.

Approximately 11% reported processing “virtually the same amount,” 15.8% reported processing “somewhat less,” and the remaining 10.5% lamented processing “much less.”

Total estimated production for 2011 ranged by operation from 500,000 pounds to 10.5 million pounds, according to these anonymous responses.

Operators whose production rose attributed it primarily to gaining institutional business or increasing total accounts (83.3%). Adding more production workers (16.7%); adding, replacing or rebuilding production equipment (8.3%); improving transportation/distribution (8.3%); and redesigning workflow (8.3%) were other factors. (Respondents could choose any or all among several suggested factors or offer their own.)

The primary cause for falling short of annual goals or expectations this year, according to 80% of respondents who suffered such a setback, was a “slowing or loss of business due to economy.” Other causes cited were “other” (20%), maintenance efforts (10%), and staff productivity (10%).

No one blamed poor results on capabilities of equipment, marketing efforts, regulatory changes, or administrative indifference or lack of support.

Finally, respondents were asked how they thought their boss would grade their 2011 managerial performance. The majority believed they would receive a B (61.1%), while another one-third said they would receive an A. The remainder said they would receive a D (5.6%).

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

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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