Fabricare 2012 is Educational and Historical By: Kenney Slatten

For those around my age, do you remember “be there or be square” clique? Yep, so it is with the grand California show in July, Fabricare 2012. Always considered, along with the SDA show, to be among the best, CFI as it was known at the time, always put on great shows. We still do. The only difference is that the numbers have dwindled due to massive sellouts of plants the past two decades and less member/non member participation. However, the shows are still great and a lot is to be learned from attending. What better way to keep in touch with industry people and see the latest equipment, developments and education? You should give up one weekend every two years for this momentous event.

“Meet Your Current And Oncoming DLI President”

This year’s show has an added benefit by having the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s Board of Directors meeting and annual membership open meeting. Now is the time to meet and greet the directors who make a voting difference on your behalf. We don’t always reach an accord but let it be known that this fine group of volunteers are out there watching your back and promoting our beloved international association. You will recognize them on the floor by their traditional DLI white jackets. Meet the current and outgoing President Charlie Smith of Virginia and upcoming DLI President Jan Barlow of Michigan. These good people take several weeks out of their busy schedules at their own plants to volunteer their time and money to serve you. Meet and greet them. This board meeting represents a changing of the guard as is done each summer. You can also meet the presidents and boards of RMFA and WSDLA as well as CCA.

Additionally, the Colorado based Rocky Mountain Fabricare Association and the Arizona based Western Cleaners & Launderers Association will be on board for” membership open board meeting.” There will be a lot of people at this show that you hear about and read about and they are your representation. Stop by any association booth and visit. See where your membership dollars go. You might just be amazed.

“Educational Benefits Far Outweigh Any Advertising”

When education marks the identification of a well-trained certified operator, manager or staff, everyone realizes that you have invested well in your staff and they will serve your customers better and make a difference in quality work for your company. These things should be advertised. Who do you think gets the nod when the public inquires to us about a good quality plant? Naturally, the member plants are given the nod since they deserve it and most likely have invested in their staff and company. That kind of professionalism is the mark of quality!

However, no matter the advantages of location or quality of product, you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear! Friendliness and knowledgeable counter staff is a key advantage your plant will have over its competition. No amount of adequate praise can befit an owner who will invest in counter staff. Quality work will be represented by your qualified and trained cleaners and pressers, but the product is made or damned by the CSR. No one can afford to take that risk. This is not an absentee ownership business. When you lose sight of your business or think it will run itself, you have a problem.

“Why Park Your Car In Your Customer’s Spot?”

I am constantly amazed, for instance, of the blunt and sorry smack in the face of your customers by an owner who parks their expensive automobile in the front of their plant. I know all the stories and all the excuses about why an owner will do this and frankly, they all stink. Is your pride worth sticking your customers hard spent money in your business smack in their face? What a sign of arrogance and stupidity this is! Park the wretched thing somewhere else. It may even occur to these Emmy Award winners that what few spaces they have in front of their store might be better reserved for paying customers. Yikes, this really gets my gander! What is wrong with these people? I have seen dozens of examples of this over the years. Most recently, I went into a store that had two parking spots for customers and the owner parked her Jaguar in one of them. Stunning.

If ya’ll ride over to Long Beach this year, you can cash in on some of those wonderful educational classes and seminars. How neat it is that DLI and CCA brings those educational seminars to you, as you are getting a FREE pass to the show. Take advantage of this, mark your calendar and “be there or be square!”
I’m headin’ to the wagon now, these boots are killin’ me!

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