Taking care of messy clothes is much easier than taking care of the messy business. You as a laundry owner can very well manage the cleaning of clothes well but what happens after they are cleaned? Even the most managed laundry business set ups are haunted with problems like lost clothes, wrong deliveries, missing tags and lack of customer communication. This definitely results in unhappy customers and eventually unhappy business owners.
The dry cleaning business performance is low and reason these problems exist is not the incapability of the business owner or the inefficiency of your staff but the ‘ancient’ tools and techniques used in the management. Let’s discuss these some of these problems and the reasons behind them.
The dry cleaning business performance results bad and the first reason would be Customer Dissatisfaction. Being in a highly competitive service business, customer satisfaction is the point of ‘make-or-break’ which means that it can either make you Invincible or make it easier for your competitors. Talking about competitive, there is a huge competition which exists in the market so the Scope of Expansion is very limited. Add Poor Business Management over that and it becomes a recipe for disaster. Poor business management comes from the manual style of working where there is mostly one person trying to manage everything on his own, so the business becomes Dependent on Your Physical Presence. And if you are managing everything (well…at least trying to), How do you take out Time for Yourself?
Acknowledging the problems is the first step on the road to success, or more like half-a-step. Identification of the cause(s) of problems is what defines your journey to Business Success. Don’t worry! You don’t have to go all Sherlock on your problems now. We have identified the Causes for you.
Dry cleaning business performance depends upon some of the following points-
- Infinite Record Books – Okay, infinite might be an exaggeration but a dry cleaner maintains AT LEAST 3-4 record books. Order Book, Cash Book, Workshop Register, this book, that book. So many books. Seems more like a library than a dry cleaning store.
- Wrong Deliveries – Some garments are not unpacked for months after dry cleaning and if you deliver a wrong garment in such an order, good luck finding where it went. By the time it will be identified, you would have already paid Compensation and Lost a customer.
- Manual Garment Tagging – Tagging is a huge ‘bottleneck’ in a laundry and dry cleaning store operations. Even after investing huge amounts of Time, Money and Manpower we are only able to produce tags which give Incomplete information, are prone to errors due to human dependency and put your Brand in a poor light.
- Losing of Clothes – Numerous reasons lead to the loss of garments. It may be employee pilferage or wrong delivery. It may even be Poor Garment Tracking (or a lack thereof), but whatever may be the reason it definitely leads to Customer Dissatisfaction and Compensations.
- No Record of Accounts Receivables – It’s ironic how even after having mountains of record books, it is difficult for a Laundry or Dry Cleaning Business owner to keep track of his accounts receivables. All that hard earned money just sitting there in figures, buried in the bill books instead of being in your pocket.
- Manual Account Keeping – An average dry cleaner spends around 2 hours a day to maintain accounts. If we assume that you work 25 days in a month, It brings the total close to 500 hours spent on an activity which no one likes.
- Lack of Customer Communication – Have you ever had to send back a waiting customer just because his order wasn’t ready? Take it from me, as a customer it happened to me once. Never went back to that dry cleaner again. My new Dry Cleaner sends a ‘Garments Ready’ SMS, which is probably easier for the dry cleaners as well.
- Stocktaking – Keeping track of all the garments in your store is a huge task, especially since there is no method for a Laundry or Dry cleaning business owner to handle stock taking. That is the reason why most of us avoid doing it all together. That’s the same as inviting notorious employees to steal from you.
- Workload Management – How do you determine the delivery dates for your orders? Most of us do it on gut basis or take a buffer of a certain standard number of day which is predetermined (also based on gut). I wonder how can someone’s ‘gut’ store and process such crucial data. If only there was a proper system of Workload Management, hmmmm…
Now you must be thinking, “Great. You identified the problems. Big Deal. How do I SOLVE these problems?”. Well, for that you’ll have to wait. The fruit of patience is sweet and We’re about to show you the entire orchard of fruits. You just have to be smart enough to reach out and grab one for yourself.
In our next article, we will discuss the solution to these problems and more than that, I’ll tell you The Best Way To Manage Your Dry Cleaning/Laundry Business. Stay Tuned! 😉
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