The More A Plant Works Together, The Easier All Work Becomes

There is a fine line between a number of operations that we perform in a drycleaning plant. There are many areas where one operation will affect other operations and procedures throughout the plant. For instance, the customer sales person can either increase the customer base or allow it to decline, depending on the attitude and knowledge they present to the customer.

The way a garment is marked and where it is marked will affect several operations throughout the plant. If the garments are stapled to the care tag, this would make it almost impossible for the spotter or cleaner to read the care label and the garments fiber content. Stapling the marking tag to the care label will also not allow the finisher to finish the garment without a seam impression or wrinkling. The next area that is affected will be the assembly of the garments as most care labels on dresses, blouses and other top garments will be at the top of the garment around the neckline. Guess what happens next? The game of “Let’s find the marking tag” is started. The garment is lifted from the hanger in order to see the tag number. The garment is dropped and the way it lands on the hanger is the way it stays. It is probably still wet from the “touch-up” (read steaming of the garment with the iron held sideways”). This is the way it dries and that is the way the customer gets it.

The counter sales person can do wonders in finding out about spots and stains, their age, location and what it was that got onto the fabric. This will be a big help to the cleaner, spotter and inspector if they know where to look to see if there was complete removal…. or damage. If it is also marked on the invoice then the inspector will know where to look so the counter sales person can point out its removal to the customer.

The entire plant is dependent on the actions of each and every individual and works best if all know their jobs and understands how they fit into the overall operation of the business. Cleaners and spotters affect the finishers because if they do not examine each garment before sending to the finishers there will certainly be a percentage of garments that are nearly finished when the spot or stain shows up and the garment needs to go back to the spotting department or the entire garment needs re-cleaning. When the spotter gets the garment back that is mostly pressed they can cause a lot of extra work if they do not hang the garment and work only on the area where the stain is. Too frequently the garment will be wadded up and all the prior finishing is wasted. At the end of the day there is a mad scramble to find the stragglers, then re-press them. The worst-case scenario is when the spots are simply pressed into the garment and a “Sorry But” tag is placed on the hanger…by the presser or inspector.

If the maintenance person does not change the press pads regularly then this can severely affect the finished garment and produces hard finishes, seam impressions and shine. A press that is not working to perfection can not only produce inferior finishes on garments but can add tremendously to operator fatigue and this affects the operator’s attitude of how good the garments look and what they even think of their jobs.

Every operation in a drycleaning plant affects each individual and ultimately the customer who has the authority to simply take his business to another cleaner, who cares about business and realizes that the best work comes from a clean and well run plant with knowledgeable employees who sincerely care about their jobs and realize that the customer does have a choice of where they take their clothes.

Work Flow

Here is an ideal workflow for your plant:

Greet or acknowledge immediately.

Receive incoming garments and count them while glancing at them for spots or stains.

Ask if there is anything unusual on the garments. Agree with the customer the number of garments.

Make ticket, preferably by listing garments.

Tag garments with plastic strings, not staples or safety pins.

Have preset locations for every different type of garment.

Place in hamper, place stained garments over the side of the basket for the cleaner to look at before cleaning.

The cleaner will make sure his machine is up-to-date with maintenance, even cleaning filters after each load and solvent is clear.

Inspect each garment very thoroughly after cleaning and spot the easy ones while setting the heavily stained garments aside when there is enough time to spot them correctly.

Sort garments and deliver to pressers and finishers.

Pressers to finish each garment professionally.

DO NOT “TOUCH UP” minor defects with the iron held sideways!

Make sure each garment is completely dry when put on a slick rail or screw conveyer.

Thoroughly inspect each garment according to an inspection chart.

Inspect at least 20 garments at a time.

Assemble the inspected garments; pass on to bagging.