CHICAGO — When it comes to knowing how to do their job, laundry managers and operators are confident in their industry knowledge.
That’s what most respondents indicated in this month’s American Laundry News Your Views survey.
In fact, 41.5% of respondents believe that they are “more knowledgeable than most managers and operators” in the industry. Only 14.7% say that they are “extremely knowledgeable,” while 26.8% of respondents believe that they are on equal footing as their peers when it comes to being in-the-know about the industry.
The survey revealed several sources of industry knowledge for managers and operators.
Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents (70%) have “attended or participated in an industry-related educational session.” These sessions have included webinars, service schools, and conference sessions and seminars.
Several respondents indicated that they prefer live events.
“I prefer educational sessions,” writes a respondent. “Webinars are fine for brushing up on current trends.”
Another agrees: “Live presentations where audience participation is active is most effective for me.”
Roughly two-thirds of respondents (65.9%) have “attended or participated in a training or certification program specific to laundry/linen or textile services management.”
About 58.3% of those who took the survey have been certified. Among them are the Association for Linen Management’s (ALM) Registered Laundry and Linen Director (RLLD) and Certified Laundry and Linen Manager (CLLM) certifications, as well as the Textile Rental Services Association’s (TRSA) Maintenance Management Institute (MMI) certification.
For some respondents, their knowledge comes not only from education, but also from experience.
“I have CLLM, RLLD and 24 years experience in the laundry industry,” writes a respondent.
Managers and operators who don’t take part in continuing education do a lot of reading, according to survey responses. Another popular option is networking with other managers and operators.
“I meet with a group of four to six operators,” writes a respondent. “We meet monthly to discuss issues and concerns.”
However, some of those who took the survey aren’t too concerned about formal education.
One respondent writes, “Self education to be the best works for me.”
Another writes, “The industry doesn’t change that much. There are products that are considered by their manufacturer to be innovative that never catch on.”
While the majority of managers and operators who took the survey are confident in their industry knowledge, 14.6% believe they need to “brush up on a few things.”
Laundry chemistry (chosen by 26.8%) is the leading area of which respondents believe they need to learn more. Sales and marketing education came in at 19.5%, while 17.1% of respondents want to learn more about operating costs.
Other areas mentioned include computerized management systems, leading from the CEO level, and safety.
One respondent writes, “I want to know more about all of them. I have a thirst for knowledge. After 26 years in the industry, I am still learning new things.”
“All of it,” agrees another respondent, “but I think service is the big training need for all.”
Much of the service-oriented aspect of the laundry business is carried on by employees—those running the machinery and the delivery service. A large number of respondents (75.6%) believe that education and training for employees is “extremely valuable.”
And perhaps that’s a good thing for the 2.4% of managers and operators who say they’re “so busy running my operation that I don’t have time to learn about the industry.”
While the Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.
Subscribers to American Laundry News e-mails 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 identify industry trends.