Management groups have traditionally been expensive for many members. In addition to fees, travel, meals, lodging and entertainment costs add up quickly as participants visit each other’s businesses for tours and day-long face-to-face meetings. While those aspects of being in a group are educational with the ability to see other operations, the current situation precludes travel and meetings. That simple fact gave rise to the idea of virtual management groups – and a major byproduct of removing those costs is affordability.
“Management groups are traditionally cost-prohibitive for a lot of our members,” said Mary Scalco, DLI’s CEO. “With the virus cutting into our ability to travel and our overall shift to offering more digital connections, we realized we could help a lot more members with new, virtual management groups.”
At their core, management groups bring a small group of non-competing cleaners together to analyze each other’s numbers to establish baseline figures. For example, if there are five members in a group and four of them are spending 33% on labor costs but the fifth member is spending 50%, that helps the fifth member understand that that cost could be high and more importantly why they may be high.
“It’s a lot like going to the doctor,” Scalco said. “Many people don’t like to go to the doctor but they need to hear a professional tell them the hard truths. Taking a close look at how your numbers compare can help you identify weaknesses or areas for improvement. It’s not a critical analysis so much as constructive encouragement,“ she said.
U.S. price-fixing law prohibits DLI from suggesting prices for member drycleaners. The topic is so touchy that the Institute won’t come anywhere near it with a proverbial 10-foot pole. That is why DLI partnered with Ascend Consulting Group, led by Diana Vollmer, formerly of Methods for Management. Vollmer has a long history of bringing non-competing cleaners together to spot opportunities for improvement and identify irregularities in their operational data.
“With over 20 years’ experience running similar management groups specifically for drycleaning business owners. I know firsthand that Everyone who participates wins. The price of participation is dwarfed by the gains you can make by being involved. Being 100% open and honest will yield the best results and assure we will help you draw a realistic roadmap to increased profits.”
Not-So Silent Partners
DLI’s Inner Circle gives members a confidential and structured method of getting together to assess each other’s performance and share observations. Quarterly half-day meetings will be held online and hosted by Vollmer, whose experience in this field spans decades. Group meetings constitute a tool for increased profitability offering members benchmarks and best practices that participants can use to implement practical tactics and strategies to improve overall performance. Participants gain access to multiple perspectives in the form of informal auditors without hiring a costly review board service.
A link to DLI’s Inner Circle program is on the DLIonline.org homepage. All cleaners are invited to join the groups at $198 / month and a 50% discount is available to DLI members bringing participation costs to just $99 / month.
DLI exists to help member drycleaners succeed.
Learn more at www.DLIonline.org