The laundry industry, like every other business, has experienced dramatic changes in technology. At the same time, it's a people-centered business where customer service is the key differentiator. As a fourth-generation family business, that's an intuitive value at Roscoe.
We have evolved into a state-of-the-art facility, but our value has always been in our people and the pride they bring to their work. Recently, Operations Team Leader Miriam Avila, a longtime Roscoe employee, and Business Analyst Julia Buik, daughter of President Jim Buik and a fourth-generation member of the family business, spoke with American Laundry News editor Matt Poe about what the future holds for Roscoe and the industry.
Among other topics, the two discussed how technology and fresh ideas from generation to generation have helped Roscoe stay at the forefront of both technology and customer service. Here are a few key takeaways:
Challenging the Status Quo
Buik grew up with technology and witnessed her father's fascination with computers, as well as his efforts to push his father to introduce more technology into the business.
“Roscoe has always been pushing for more technology through my dad. It was, ‘Let’s barcode-tape everything,’” said Buik, describing the early technological advances that later became radio frequency chips, and then ultra-high radio frequency chips.
Such efficiencies didn't just make things faster, Buik observed. Sophisticated tracking lets customers know exactly where their garments are in the process. "It can only make the customer’s experience better," Buik said.
And that, the women agreed, is the whole point. Technology is just one part of improving the customer experience. "You're always going to have the human factor in there," Avila said. "No matter how fancy or sophisticated you get ... you still need that personal touch."
State-of-the-Art Equipment and a Long-term Plan
Roscoe has been experimenting with technology and fine-tuning its capabilities for decades, moving from hand-sorting to machine-assisted sorting to the state-of-the-art German Kannegiesser sorting system that debuted in December.
It was a team effort that required years of careful planning and training, along with major renovations to the building.
The two women described the transition period during which garments had to be sorted by hand while the new system was being installed. Avila's 23 years of experience meant she was able to manage the all-hands-on-deck effort in a way that made the transition seamless for customers. "We kept joking that Miriam was going back to her very first job," said Buik.
Photo: American Laundry News
To learn more about what cutting-edge technology and first-rate customer service could do for your work uniform program, click here to connect with one of our team members.