The National : APRIL MAY JUNE 2016
THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER APRIL MAY JUNE 2016 21 This shirt needed to be soaked in 120 degree water and Sodium Perborate Tetrahydrate for a couple of hours. It hasn’t been white in many years. I'm going to guess that the shirt was washed loosely, in cold/warm water with detergent from Sam’s Club. If the shirt had not had obvious machine-pressed defects, caused by a machine that I am familiar with, I would have guessed that the shirt was cared for at home, but it's embarrassing that a garment care professional actually tended to this shirt. Undoubtedly, there was no legitimate touch-up or inspection at this plant. Ok, maybe there was, but if so, they completely skipped over this shirt. And I certainly hope that this is a 99 cent shirt. Those of us that do a good job and charge a fair price, tend to presume that the 99 cent shirt guy is a hack, doing a lousy bang-and-hang job. So, enough beating up on the guy who had the courage wear this rag. I did not embarrass him in person and the chance that he reads this print in this publication or on the internet is incredibly minute. It's probably far less than 1 in a billion chance. There is no value in beating him up anyway. The guy that pressed it probably doesn't read this magazine anyway. And the inspector is blind so no chance there either. But it begs the question: how, and when, do you judge the quality of your shirts? There are 3 specific places in your plant where you can gather a very clear picture of your quality level. 1. Hot off the press. As soon as the shirt is taken off the shirt unit and placed on a hanger, take a good look at it. What do you think? In my horrific example, every defect that I describe would have been very obvious at this point. 2. After the touch-up person has handled them. Shirts have come off the press and been inspected by a touch-up person. Sometimes, this person misunderstands their job as “touch every shirt and do something to it.” This leads to diminished quality. If shirts look good directly off the press, but not so good after touch-up, it's easy to find the problem area. The exact cause could be: a. Too many shirts hanging around. This leads to hot-off-the-press shirts getting crushed among other ones. When the shirts are hot, it doesn’t take much to make a mess of them. The warmth in the fabric of a perfectly pressed shirt can wreak havoc in no time. Also, because of all the moisture in the air in some plants, the cotton fabric can re-absorb it from the atmosphere and make a crisp shirt limp. b. Or it could be that the touch-up person is handling every shirt and making a mess of it while trying to make it better. I have seen a great number a touch-up people take and very good shirt and turn it into a pretty good shirt. And you paid extra for that. c. And sometimes, the shirt looks good after touch-up but hangs around too long waiting to be assembled. It loses its crispness and gets rough-handled during assembly. So the last place to check your quality is... 3. After it has been packaged. All along the processes in your drycleaning department and in your shirt department, if someone misses something, then another person catches it. If the cleaner misses a stain, the presser sees it and returns it. If a presser botches something, the inspector catches it. But what if the inspector (or the last person to see a piece before it is bagged) misses something? Who catches that? Who double- checks the inspector? No one? Wrong. The customer does. Don’t bank on your customer being anything like the guy at the car dealership. "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got."
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JULY - AUGUST 2016