The National : THE NATIONAL Apr - Jun 2013
Without a town STEDs system, we dump our water into an evaporation basin of about 6 times our plant area. This basin is covered by reeds and is quite lush. Frogs are happily croaking at dusk giving us a good feeling. Readings have to be logged attaining EPA requirements on temperature, BODs, PH, conductivity and TDS. Maintaining our plant is a priority. We do our plant preventative maintenance to eliminate down time. Band- aiding will only be done until a part arrives that we may not carry. Normally, an extra day is required to receive parts from suppliers interstate as most goods are shipped to Adelaide and then on to us in the rural areas. I must say though that most suppliers with spares for laundry equipment are very good at getting them to you as soon as possible. But I still can’t work out how something can come from Queensland in 24 hours and something from Sydney or Melbourne in 48 hours. Engineering expertise from equipment manufacturers is expensive as extra time in travelling to us is compounded on the bill. I acknowledge that this is not avoidable as labour hours still need to be charged even when travelling. Not long after moving to the Riverland I advertised both locally and in Adelaide for a laundry engineer without any success. I looked at what other prospects we could use for our engineering and maintenance. At that time for electrical, we used an electrician who came in with his multimeter, started at the circuit breaker box and moved slowly towards the problem machine. Some two hours later he indicated we might have a problem with some electronic piece but wasn’t sure. This was totally unsuitable and I had to look at some other way. We are fortunate now to have on-call an electrician who is also a qualified electrical fitter. Where he did his apprenticeship his manager had the attitude if you were sent to fix something and found that it was not electrical didn’t mean that you didn’t fix it. He responds most times immediately, enabling us to keep production running. His knowledge of our equipment is now well established and valued. Tradesmen are in short supply because of the mines. Just like Adelaide, a lot of tradies have been lured to the big money of the mining industry, leaving a large gap in most trades. Textile supplies are generally similar to city laundries. We use the same type of textiles from the same suppliers. Most suppliers provide a freight-free or a fixed freight charge into a capital city and then we have the extra cost of freight to the rural area. The same goes for everything else, chemicals, packaging supplies, spare parts and consumables. Any thing we buy locally has freight charges included in the unit price even down to a bolt and nut. Cotton prices continue to climb, and so do the cost of finished goods. We are facing a fundamental change in the way the textile industry operates. For the past decade, prices have been incredibly stable due to manufacturing relocating to low labor-cost countries. But several factors are combining to drive the cost of textiles higher. The first and most obvious is the worldwide shortage of quality cotton. Domestic production is down because many cotton fields were switched to crops that could help produce bio-fuels. Bad weather in India and Pakistan also reduced the yield and quality of the fibre. China has become a major consumer of cotton and is a more active trader in the world market. The current political unrest in Egypt may hurt the cotton crop there. We have lost the ability to relocate manufacturing facilities to lower-cost countries. Textile mill workers are earning higher salaries. 20 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER APRIL MAY JUNE 2013 Brenton and Joy Lemon get their elegance on at Martindale Hall with Stanley and Vasla Govendor, ALSCO.
THE NATIONAL Jan - Jul 2014
THE NATIONAL Jan - Mar 2013