b'PAGE 4 / NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE / JANUARY 2020National A national newspaperBPSC for drycleaners and launderers communications inc.lothesline January, 2020 N Publisher ofVolume 61 Number 4ATIONAL C LOTHESLINEGood luck in 2020. Youll need it 1001 Easton Rd., Suite 107Willow Grove, PA 19090As the new year begins, its time to take stock of our lives. We pick apart the past year and prepare for the next one. Its Phone: (215) 830-8467also a good time for business owners to reflect on what is working, what is not, and what obstacles lie ahead. Unfortunately, the Fax: (215) 830-8490drycleaning industry doesnt appear as if itll be getting any easier any time soon. info@natclo.comA quick search of drycleaning in the news today reveals that, among other things, drycleaning remains interesting. In Web: www.natclo.comDecember, some long-time cleaning businesses closed down, such as 74-year-old Coolidge Cleaners of Arizona that closed dueto health issues with the family who owned it, and in Toledo, Ohio, Lincoln Drive-In Cleaners opted to shut down after 65 PUBLISHERyears in service. These incidents confirm what the U.S. census figures have already noted: the size of the industry continues to Carol Membergdecrease.Other headlines indicate that even those who remain open still face a wide variety of challenges cars continue to crash EDITORthrough drycleaning storefronts with reckless abandon, robbers continue to target the industry that is heavy on cash flow, and Hal Horningover in San Jose, a fire burned down Bonita Cleaners for what the owner believed was a total loss. CONTRIBUTING WRITERIts not an industry for the timid as danger seems to lurk around every corner. Fortunately, not all headlines declare doom Chris Pollayand inevitable tragedy. You have to look closer, dig a little deeper to see some good signs, as well. Franchises continue toexpand, which might not be the best news for the mom-and-pop shops, but its evidence that growth can be achieved even in MANAGING DIRECTORthis hostile market. Meanwhile, fresh new batches of professional cleaners are still coming into the industry, as evidenced by Leslie Schaefferthe Drycleaning and Laundry Institutes recent 367th General Drycleaning course session. Other drycleaners are creating ADVERTISINGpublicity by expanding their business and offering interesting new enticements, such as craft coffee or fashion rental cleaning,and its almost impossible to keep track of all of the businesses offering Coats for Kids charity drives to help the Richard Cappounderprivileged this time of year. GRAPHIC DESIGNIn other words, things arent really that different than theyve always been. Robert Zengeler, who passed away at 89, Mary Castro-Regancould attest to that fact, as could this months profile, Jeff Protheroe. Both men come from rare drycleaning companies withmore than 100 years of history. They faced depressions, recessions, wars, polyester, changing technology, home drycleaning, NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE is notCasual Friday, environmental regulations and even strange unforseen threats that can hurt a business (such as spotted owls!). owned or operated by any nationalThreats arise generation after generation. The hard truth is, success in the drycleaning industry has never been easy, but the or regional trade association. Adver-good news is that it also means it will never be boring. Good luck out there in 2020.When you have it all figur tisers are solely responsible for state-ed out ments made in their advertising.NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE (USOne of the pitfalls of running a successful business is coming to believe that you have it all figured out. Whatever it is that ISSN #07446306) is an independentyoure doing, you must be doing it right because otherwise you wouldnt still be here. Right? trade newspaper published monthlyWell, maybe. Or maybe you had it all figured out a few years ago, got complacent and while you were not paying by BPS Communications Inc. Period-attention some things began slipping. Or maybe you only think you have it all down but in reality you are leaving potential ical Postage paid at Willow Grove,profits on the table, or worse, letting them slide into a competitors pocket. PA, and at an additional mailing of-Do you really know? Do you really know, for example, how much it costs to produce a clean and pressed shirt? Or a fice.Postmaster:Sendaddressdrycleaned suit? Do you know how many pieces per hour are processed in your shirt department or your drycleaningdepartment? Do you keep tabs on labor productivity from day to day, week to week and month to month and find out why those changes to: The National Clothes-numbers vary or how they could be improved? line, 1001 Easton Rd., Suite 107, Wil-Do you really know who your top customers are? Can you rank your Top 10 or Top 50 not by who you think they are but low Grove, PA 19090.what they actually spend. And if one of the top customers stops coming in, how long does it take to realize it? By the same Subscription price for anyone ac-token, can you list the last 10 or last 50 first-time customers and tell what has been done to get them to return? tivelyengagedinthedrycleaningIf you can answer yes to all these questions, you are halfway there. Only halfway? Knowing where you are is the starting and laundry industry in the Unitedpoint, but where are you going? Most cleaners can point to the things they do well and they build on those strengths. But are States: $35; Canada $40 (US); All oth-you aware of your weaknesses? It is those weak spots that leave you vulnerable to a competitor. Common complaints aboutdrycleaners include inconsistent quality, inconvenient hours and confusing pricing. How do you rate in those areas? A weak ers, $75 (US).spot in any of these areas is a point of attack for a competitor. ThisnewspaperispublishedinWe all know that many cleaners have closed over the past few years, but there are some new players, too. Some are well two separate sections. If you do notheeled. Others are enterprising and aggressive entrepreneurs who are taking aim at what they see as an industry that has not receive both sections, please notifykeept up with changes in consumer demands and expectations. Even if they dont succeed, they can wreak havoc with you our office.while they are trying. So take a hard and honest look at those areas where you may be vulnerable. Shore up your weaknessesbefore you find yourself playing catch-up with a competitor who also has it all figured out.2020 BPS Communications Inc.ContentsNews & Features Columns6 Up and down EconomyThe last 103 years have been 18 Don Desroisers Training a shirt presser takes tooa roller coaster ride at times for a Hoquiam, WA, cleaners long, and, lets face it, the process itself is a giant pain 8 Obituaries: Robert Zengeler, Sr., William Frank KollmanHappy New Year!**Note: It willRountreeThe industry lost two long-time advocates 22 more likely to happen if you follow these ten resolutionsRegions Bruce Grossman People would often avoid blowing30 gaskets if they followed these maintenance tips16 NortheastNCA hosts early 2020 class offerings; Fashion Dan Eisen Enzymes from spotting chemicals canapp teams up with several New York drycleaners 32 break down protein stains into a flushable sugar20 SouthBrian Rashid speaks in Atlanta this month; NCALCplans pair of meetings in January, April Departments28 MidwestWFI lines up busy schedule for 2020; MWDLIplans Night with the Pacers on March 20SouthwestAn eleven-year old launches Kostumes for Kids 26 Newsmakers 33 Dateline31 drive; SDA to host Cleaners Showcase this April'