The show is over. Now the work begins Many convention-goers who just spent days at the Clean Show shaking various hands and conversing in the air-conditioned halls of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans were quick to post about the experience on social media. Meanwhile, the packed educational sessions revealed a strong desire from attendees to learn and improve. There was a lot of enthusiasm to be found everywhere. Combine that with the fun social events and the after-hours release of steam on the streets of the French Quarter, it’s hard not to leave the Big Easy with a big list of not-so-easy tasks facing you back home. Fortunately, though, once you leave a particularly successful show like Clean 2019, it is often accompanied by a renewed sense of inspiration and dedication to go back and try new strategies, install upgraded equipment or even offer a new service. This sense of purpose is perhaps the biggest intangible result of a trade show. It also might be the most important. The day-to-day grind of working in a tough industry such as drycleaning can leave one feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and more than a little disoriented. However, nothing recharges your batteries like taking a step back from your business to talk to others in your field who have faced similar challenges and obstacles. That, and listening to some divine jazz music while sipping on a hearty hurricane, is usually enough for a person to be able to decompress. So, now comes the crucial step: the follow-through. It’s best to strike while the iron is hot (a cliche and a pun!) and the motivation is high, especially since you’ve just invested a considerable sum to attend the show. You have now seen all of the latest there is to offer and if Clean didn’t have what you were looking for, well, it might not be invented yet. If that is the case, that would mean waiting another two years for the next show. Hopefully that isn’t the case because two years can be a lifetime in BST (Business Standard Time), especially in a highly competitive market. For those who are ready to invest in their business now, however, try not to put off your newly-formed plans until things slow down and “all the fires are out.” That will never happen. Chaos is always just around the corner just waiting for a spark to ignite. The only thing procrastination guarantees is that putting your problems aside will allow them to grow bigger (and, inevitably, multiply). We could go on, but as Walt Disney was known to say, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” A deadly weapon that can kill a business In his column this month, Frank Kollman puts it bluntly: “Promotion without training is like giving a supervisor a dangerous weapon to put you out of business.” He is specifically talking about the hazards of rewarding top employees by promoting them to supervisory positions where the skills they bring to the job, regardless of how well suited they were to being a drycleaner/spotter, CSR or finisher, aren’t adequate for managing people, particularly in today’s environment with layer upon layer of regulations and lawyers who gear their practices to helping employees “get what’s coming to them.” The pitfalls are many. Just take a look at his column on page 18 where he lists nine sticky personnel situations that have no easy answer — and where the seemingly sensible solution could be both wrong and costly. Are your managers equipped to handle these situations? Are you? But it’s not just untrained managers who can posses a deadly weapon capable of putting you out of business. Untrained employees at any position can be a threat, too. What about the CSR who is off-putting to customers? If they don’t know how to greet customers, handle their garments, ask the right questions and make sure customers leave feeling good about the experience, how many times do you think that customer will return? Do they know how to respond to complaints? Are they well versed in the services you offer and know how to sell them to customers? Even the best efforts of a CSR at the counter can be undermined by untrained staff in the back. Many times a customer will bargain a garment to the cleaner because of a stain that they can’t remove. Is your staff knowledgeable on stain removal? If they have a question about how to proceed, do they know where to get help? It’s readily available if one knows where to look. Don’t let that garment that a customer brought in to be “saved” end up being totally ruined. That’s definitely bad for business. No doubt an untrained person in any position has the power to harm the business. And you can’t really blame them. Whose job was it to see that they were properly trained and supervised? If your goal is cheap labor or super quick training, you are ignoring the larger picture. The better your training and development program, the more likely you are to retain employees and see better results, growth and stability. Your employee culture begins and ends with you. How much time and effort do you spend training them? Are you willing to put in as much effort as you believe they should? BPS communications inc. Publisher of NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE 1001 Easton Rd., Suite 107 Willow Grove, PA 19090 Phone: (215) 830-8467 Fax: (215) 830-8490 Web: PUBLISHER Carol Memberg EDITOR Hal Horning CONTRIBUTING WRITER Chris Pollay MANAGING DIRECTOR Leslie Schaeffer ADVERTISING Richard Cappo GRAPHIC DESIGN Mary Castro-Regan NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE is not owned or operated by any national or regional trade association. Adver- tisers are solely responsible for state- ments made in their advertising. NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE (US ISSN #07446306) is an independent trade newspaper published monthly by BPS Communications Inc. Period- ical Postage paid at Willow Grove, PA, and at an additional mailing of- fice. Postmaster: Send address changes to: The National Clothes- line, 1001 Easton Rd., Suite 107, Wil- low Grove, PA 19090. •Subscription price for anyone ac- tively engaged in the drycleaning and laundry industry in the United States: $35; Canada $40 (US); All oth- ers, $75 (US). •This newspaper is published in two separate sections. If you do not receive both sections, please notify our office. © 2019 BPS Communications Inc. A national newspaper for drycleaners and launderers July, 2019 Volume 60 Number 10 National Clothesline PAGE 4 / NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE / JULY, 2019 Regions Departments Contents News & Features Columns 8 Don Desrosiers Over the years, the Clean Show has been a paradigm of the best the industry offers 6 Half science, half art The Wernicks each bring very different skills to their Oakwood the Greener Cleaner plant 24West The Clean Show is over, but TCATA’s Annual Management and Education Conference is up next 20South Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Act up for a ten-year extension; SEFA votes to move 2020 show to Orlando 16Midwest Those attending the MWDLI show in August still can beat the early registration deadline this month 37A boost for Big Brothers Big Sisters GreenEarth and Lapels culminated clothes drives to support the charity 18 Frank Kollman Promoting employees without training could lead to big problems down the road 22 Dan Eisen Always test fabrics properly before subjecting them to various cleaning procedures Newsmakers 32 26Midatlantic Five installments of DLI’s introductory and advanced drycleaning classes remain on 2019’s schedule 34 Bruce Grossman What are some steps you can take to stop losing steam and wasting energy? 30Northeast NCA training opportunities highlight coming months; NEFA ready to tee off Clean Classic soon Dateline 36 Information Central 36