THIS past Easter weekend, believe it or not, we had some snow up in our area as once again good old Mother Nature decided she was not through with us just yet. As I was going out to run some errands, I grabbed a coat to keep me warm. My choice was not just any old ordinary coat, though; I picked a lightweight hiking jacket given to me at our year-end national sales meeting. To my delight, I was quite pleased with how light and warm this coat was as it repelled the light snowfall while I jetted from car to store and back.
As I reached into my coat pocket to grab my car keys, I pulled out the original tag that came with the coat and started to read about the fabrics used to manufacture this wonder product. My thoughts immediately turned to fabric technology today and how it continues to impact and change our business as we all look for ways to increase our capacity to keep up with the changing demands of our customers.
Generally speaking, when technology comes to mind, we think of machinery, speed and efficiency. As laundry operators and uniform providers, we look for fabrics that last longer, dry quicker and wear better, giving our customers a product that is stylish, comfortable and, most critically, very cost competitive. Fabric technology has come a long way toward satisfying all these goals over the past few years and continues to change and evolve daily at a feverish pace. We also need to keep in mind that as fabric technology continues to change, so also is machinery and chemical technology changing.
Today, lighter, more energy efficient, longer-lasting fabrics are being developed and introduced into our marketplace as alternatives to the older heavyweight fabrics with a shorter life span. These fabrics are being introduced for use in everything from micro-fiber mops and towels to bed linens, uniforms, patient apparel and other products Moving forward, the demands of technology for fabrics in the healthcare industry begin with lighter weight fabrics and those with moisture-wicking features. Additionally, fluid repellent properties are crucial to Reusable Protective Apparel (RPA) gowns.
In addition to engendering a new mindset around the products themselves, these advances will produce a new mindset around product care. Overall, more energy efficient new fabric technology processes differently than traditional fabrics and leads operators to look at processing procedures, equipment and chemicals used in daily operations. As competition continues to heat up, aren’t we all looking for that one edge that separates us from the rest of the pack? Aren’t we all looking for ways to increase our sales while keeping our processing costs down, thus ultimately adding to our bottom line? I realize that not all of us are into this new technology craze, but one thing is for sure, if you aren’t, I can almost guarantee your competition is. We as owner operators owe it to our customers, employees and all of our company stakeholders to investigate all sorts of new technology out there, whether it is for uniforms, mops, mats, linens, equipment or chemicals. We need to look at everything if we want to survive going forward.
Scott Delin, Vice President of Sales
Fashion Seal Healthcare®, a signature brand of Superior Uniform Group®
Contact Scott at (610) 442-0880 or