This year's Clean Show was the 40th and biggest yet, attracting over 12,000 attendees to the Las Vegas Convention Center from June 5-8, 2017.
According to American Laundry News, the exhibit space was sold out to 481 vendors of all types of products for laundry and linen service providers, covering 227,006 square feet of convention center space – the largest booth space sales since the show was held in Las Vegas 10 years ago.
Six members of the Roscoe Team attended Clean Show 2017. Below are the highlights of what we saw and learned, as well as a word about the show itself.
Clean Show Background & Roscoe Roots
The Clean Show is held in the US every two years and includes educational forums, vendor exhibits and is the largest show of its kind in the world. Two smaller shows are held in the off years in Germany and Milan. The Clean Show is so large that it can only be held in convention centers large enough to set up laundry equipment so it can run and accommodate live steam.
Don Buik, the father of current Roscoe President Jim Buik (who attended the show), was one of the signatories of the original Clean Show in 1977 while he served as the President of ILL (which then became UTSA, then TRSA).
Automation & ROI
The main theme of Clean Show 2017 was utilizing new equipment and upgrades to automate more processes, reduce labor costs and enhance our quality of service with a good return on investment (ROI).
The Roscoe Team reviewed some upgrades to the packaging equipment we own to speed up the process and increase safety. We saw dryers with a special coating so nothing sticks or clings to the sides, ensuring proper airflow and faster drying. We also looked at a piece of equipment from Ellis that can polish water after treatment for water reuse or replace our current DAF technology. We saw new floor mat machines that automatically wash, dry and roll different mat sizes but are waiting to see how they are developed and implemented, instead of jumping into a purchase. We also looked at a new trolley system for storing and transporting garments throughout our facility.
Our CFO, Terry Trimble, looked at a lot of equipment. This is helping him formulate Roscoe's capital expenditure plan for the next few years.
- Complete Comfort II: this anti-fatigue floor mat is 100% nitrile rubber and is antimicrobial treated to reduce odor and inhibit bacteria growth
- Wet Step: this floor mat is designed specifically for showers, pools, saunas – it has draining holes, is fully antimicrobial and is suitable for indoor or outdoor use
- Mountville Mobile App: the new app will provide an easy way for users to upload and view existing mat designs as well as to create their own proofs to speed up the process when ordering logo mats
One of our branded merchandise providers, Red Kap, will be adding the Timberland work shoe line. Tiberlines shoes, along with Wrangler and some new high-visibility work uniform options, are great additions for us so that we can be a one-stop image apparel shop for our customers.
Penn Emblem, Thermaseal and Thermopatch all have options for heat transfers that we can use in-house for mainly image apparel but also for our work uniform rental garments. We have samples and will be test washing. Increased customer value stems from quicker turns and possibly additional, more cost-effective options for embellishment.
We saw a lot of microfiber products and we continue to look for opportunities for converting our cotton towel products to microfiber. As we've experienced with towels and dust mops, microfiber is more absorbent, lasts longer and provides a better ROI than cotton.
Two Roscoe Team members attended the TRSA session on hygienically clean. Although we have already begun the process of getting certified, we did learn some new language that will help us to explain, implement and prepare for the certification.
The networking was also great. The Roscoe Team spent a majority of our time talking and learning with vendors and fellow launderers. We compared notes and we even banded together with a few other launderers to bring one vendor's attention to the importance of an issue with their product of which they were not aware.
We also chatted with a Canadian laundry about how their new tandem boiler system is working, which allows you to run 100 horsepower when you need it but shuts down one of the boilers when you don't, saving natural gas. We then talked to 2-3 vendors selling a product, then stumbled upon the original manufacturer that supplies both of them – going directly to the source could provide better pricing and value to our customers.
It was also good to spend time away from the business and to have conversations amongst ourselves that we are often too busy to have here back at our facility.
Hearing both from speakers and attendees helped us to consider different perspectives of our business. For example, though we have always been an industry leader in training our personnel, we learned a few things that could improve our training even more.
Jim went to an educational conference on family business succession planning and best practices. The session was put on by the Family Business Consulting Group, which we've worked with for 20 years – the room was packed and there was a lot of good discussion.
Two Roscoe Team members attended the women in industry luncheon, with keynote speaker Shavon Lindley from Women Evolution Foundation. She talked about qualities to possess in being a successful woman executive. It was informative, based on neurological differences and was good to hear about some things we're already doing.
See you in 2019 at the next Clean Show!