Roscoe Blog

Recent Work Uniform Rental Acquisitions Erode Quality of Service

Mark Stedman - Friday, May 12, 2017

Unifirst Acquires Arrow Work Uniform Rental Service

Cintas Acquires G&K Work Uniform Rental Service

Over the past several months, there has been a lot of change and disruption in the laundry industry servicing the Chicago Metro market.

In September, 2016 Arrow Uniform was acquired by Unifirst. Arrow was a family owned business that serviced a large regional area to include Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In August, 2016 Cintas announced the acquisition of G&K Services, which was recently completed in March, 2017. G&K currently operates as a division of Cintas and this particular acquisition was the largest ever in the history of the laundry industry.

What This Means for You

If you currently utilize a textile rental service, what does this mean for you?

Arrow and G&K customers affected by these acquisitions have seen turnover of delivery personnel, deterioration of service and changes in billing. We've heard the following from G&K customers, now a division of Cintas, and past Arrow customers, now being serviced by Unifirst...

  • Driver turnover has been rampant to the point of having a new delivery person every few weeks
  • Uniforms picked up for cleaning are not returned the following week, which causes a shortage of uniforms for their customers, even though they are getting charged for the uniforms that were never delivered; they then have to go back and forth in trying to get credits issued to their account
  • There is a lack of accountability, due in large part to employee turnover, where they aren't getting resolution to ongoing issues and they do not know who to contact for assistance
  • We're being told that they are continually having to retrain new drivers on the logistics of servicing their account and feel they're just starting over week after week with new personnel
  • Many have already seen changes in the billing, where others are just waiting for changes to occur.

If companies were already using Cintas, Unifirst or another national supplier prior to these acquisitions, the big are getting bigger so if you feel like a number now – it's going to get worse.

The Independent Option

If not already using our service, we hope you're open to exploring what a local, independent rental service provider can do for you? Consider The Roscoe Company:

  • Family-owned (four generations) and based in Chicago
  • Among highest customer satisfaction levels in the textile rental industry
  • Average Route Service Rep (driver) tenure of 16 years
  • Recognized by the laundry industry and State of Illinois as sustainability leader
  • ISO 9001:2008 Certified, HACCP Compliant and TRSA Clean Green Certified
  • Proven RFID tracking system and internal quality inspection process
  • 1-hour response policy and dedicated service team assignment
  • Broad line for rent or purchase: uniforms, mats, towels, mops and restroom supplies

Annual industry research consistently shows that customers are 3-4 times more satisfied when using a local, independent rental service like Roscoe versus national chains when it comes to quality of personnel, product quality, fair billing, and value for cost.

Would you like us to show you the difference and provide a rental service proposal?


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