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Survey: Laundry Managers Split on Top Priority for 2013

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — For January’s AmericanLaundryNews.com Wire survey, respondents had the opportunity to look back at 2012 plus examine their priorities for 2013.

More than half of respondents say business was good (41.7%) or great (16.7%) last year, while another 25% say 2012 business was average. The remainder—16.7%—call it below average.

Regardless of how their individual operation fared, 75% say 2012 turned out as they expected. Approximately 17% didn’t expect last year’s business results, and 8.3% weren’t sure what to expect in 2012.

Virtually every operation polled experienced some degree of success in meeting 2012 goals, according to the survey results. More than half of operators polled (58.3%) said they met “some” of their goals last year, and 33.3% said they had met “all of our goals.” Just 8.3% reported they did not accomplish any of their goals. No one who took the survey said they didn’t set any goals last year.

Building on quality staff and “other”—most often described as creating greater production capacity—is the top laundry priority for equal shares of 25% of respondents, while equal shares of 16.7% are intent on improving distribution or route management, or marketing their service to attract more business.

The remaining shares of 8.3% see adding or replacing equipment, or increasing productivity, as their No. 1 laundry/linen priority for 2013.

Respondents are confident they will accomplish their chief task. Twenty-five percent say they will, “without a doubt.” Roughly 58% say there is a “good chance,” and the remaining 16.7% put their chances at “50-50.”

Respondents had the opportunity to share the “best” and “worst” things that happened to their operations in 2012.

Some of the “best”:

  • “Finding successful candidates for chief engineer and controller.”
  • “Bought some new equipment.”
  • “Cotton (prices) stabilized.”
  • “Opened a new plant.”

And some of the “worst”:

  • “Dryer fire.”
  • “Customers falling behind on payments.”
  • “The shutdown for installation of new equipment.”
  • “The growing pains of opening a new plant.”

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 the 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.

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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