Like most things for 2020, this year’s IMPACT Conference was a new adventure, asserts a report from the Association for Linen Managment (ALM). Set in one of the most beautiful and adventure-loving areas of the United States, Colorado Springs, it was also one of the most difficult ALM has ever produced. Cancelling would obviously have been easier, but the encouragement to hold a hybrid event, both in-person and virtual, was overwhelming from across the industry.
First-time IMPACT attendee, Paolo Idurot, production manager at Ottawa Regional Hospital Linen Services, was impressed by his virtual experience: “What an IMPACT this conference has made on my journey of learning in this industry!”
In-person attendees were clearly delighted to be in the presence of industry colleagues after months of isolation and were especially enamoured with the setting of the one-of-a-kind Broadmoor Hotel among the breath taking Rocky Mountains. The hotel, a laundry member of ALM, was responsive to last-minute changes, enabling us to adhere to social distancing requirements and safety recommendations, as well as handling our technology needs.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the hybrid 2020 IMPACT Conference in Colorado Springs,” said Kathy Harris, an in-person attendee from Sea Island Resort. “Because the sessions were available for virtual attendees as well, it enabled all attendees, including hospitality, the opportunity to continue learning. It was great to hear what others are doing to help manage Covid challenges and what measures various operations have put in place. And it was nice to see people in person after being quarantined, even if it was in a socially distanced manner.”
Perhaps the greatest responses, from both virtual and in-person attendees, came from Tuesday’s general session, Benchmarking: A Business Essential. Cara Walton, engagement manager with Harbour Results, Inc., an operational and strategic advisory firm, shared outcomes derived from five years of benchmarking data collection from the tool and die manufacturing industry. That industry shares many common attributes with the textile care industry, such as focus on production, throughput, and plant efficiency. Analysis revealed that tool and die companies making decisions derived from benchmarking data were 16% more efficient than those that failed to participate in benchmarking. Clearly demonstrating the added value external benchmarking brings to an operation.
Harbour Result’s analysis of early anonymous data from LaundryMarks® revealed that profitability and operational size are not necessarily correlated; bigger, alone, doesn’t equate to better. Secondly, data revealed that automation alone does not drive profitability. As the number of laundries participating in LaundryMarks® continues to grow, the value of using benchmarked data to make informed business decisions, driving proactive planning, and identifying strengths and weaknesses will place those laundries at a competitive advantage. Don’t worry if you missed this session, registered attendees may watch it now from the IMPACT app, and the presentation is also available for purchase on ALM’s website, under About ALM, Online Store.
ALM leadership is looking to host the next IMPACT Educational Conference in fall 2021. Full details on the location and dates will be forthcoming. With the Clean Show moving to July 2022 multiple options are being considered. No matter the challenge, ALM will get the job done.