ABC group tackles labor challenges

ABC group tackles labor challenges

ABC group tackles labor challenges

Affiliates of America’s Best Cleaners who clear their calendars every year for the group’s annual meeting in September were rewarded this year when they gathered at The Landing Rivers Casino in Schenedtady, NY.

Best Cleaners New York hosted the Sept. 11-13 meeting where the theme was labor.

Affiliates were greeted with a trip to The Van Dyck for a beer tasting with three local brewers, Mad Jacks Brewing Company, Wolf Hollow Brewery, and Great Flats Brewery, as well as a Q&A panel with the brewery owners that focused on the labor challenges they are experiencing.

Day Two began with a trolley trip to the headquarters and plant of Best Cleaners. Affiliates were given free reign for a complete inspection within the main production plant and retail store.

Then it was back to the hotel for a detailed debrief and development of a comprehensive improvement plan.

After a lunch break, affiliates dug in for several informative sessions led by ABC partners and vendors. With the tone of the event set by ABC that quality is the first priority, ABC Technical Trainer Liz Davies led with a presentation on “Benchmarking Production and Quality.”

The remainder of the afternoon featured presentations by industry vendors on how to improve quality and productivity with efficiencies from ticket to bagging. Presenters included Paulo Rocha of Miele, Richard Fitzpatrick of Kreussler Inc., Bill Odorizzi and Wesley Nelson of Sankosha and Nathaniel Dubaski of Metalprogetti.

Following a dinner at Cornell’s in Little Italy, the affiliates departed for what was billed as a “surprise event” that turned out to be a private drycleaning themed improv show in which the affiliates were encouraged to participate and show off their comedy chops.

The third and final day opened with Toran Brown of SPOT Business Systems speaking on “Client to Technician Communication to Quality Control and PPOH.” A 15-minute recess was granted immediately after to allow affiliates to catch up on their notes and let the information soak in.

Dave Troemel of BeCreative360 then educated the audience on the power of customer reviews.

The meeting host, Tim McCann, invited local business leaders Jim Harris of Janitronics and Matt Mazzone of the Mazzone Group to discuss their solutions to productive labor.

After lunch, ABC partners Catherine McCann and Chris White took the stage. McCann delivered her thesis on organizational structure, incentives, and KPIs entitled “Management for the Future,” while White addressed intentional management systems and quality control with a presentation focused on management and forecasting.

The day then wrapped up with an open forum that allowed affiliates to take the stage and present a new successful program or a business challenge they are facing.

Tim McCann, CEO of Best Companies, had quite a bit to say about the event.

“Hosting owners and leaders of the continent’s leading garment care businesses created energy and focus to improve every element of our operation prior to the conference,” said McCann. “These brilliant and humble leaders respectfully found and communicated hundreds of action items that will improve our product, systems, and profitability.

“The ROI for hosting for this conference is the highest ROI of any effort, program or tactic that we’ve ever taken,” he added. “In addition to the direct benefits to Best Companies, we also had the benefit of reaching into our community to build and strengthen relationships in Schenectady and across the region.”

Affiliate Kurt Lucero of the Cleanery had an experience to remember, as well. “It truly was a fantastic meeting with great speakers, guests and presenters. It is such a privilege to share, contribute and learn from the best drycleaning entrepreneurs in the United States.”

Affiliate Laurie Corona of Greene’s Cleaners said she found value in the labor theme of the meeting.

“The focus on labor at the fall ABC meeting was key because it covered an area that we are all struggling with in the current economic climate,” Corona said. “I came away from the meeting with some insights on how businesses in other industries handle labor struggles, as well as some great ideas I can implement to run a strong organization with fewer people. ABC has been integral in helping me approach my business from a strategic mindset.”

America’s Best Cleaners is a certification agency and a team of consultants who assist owners, managers, and team members to realize their full potential while striving for continued personal and professional success. For more information, visit

This article was originally written by a writer at

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