TRSA and WATS Collaborate on Midwest Production Summit

Posted May 3, 2024 at 4:31 pm



TRSA held the second in its series of new Regional Production Summit and Plant Tour events, featuring a uniform design aimed at making a quality program more accessible to all members by bringing it to a central location within their region. The second program was held in collaboration with WATS on May 1-2 in Milwaukee.

The Midwest Summit kicked off with a keynote session from Nancy Roberts, the CEO and founder of The DISC Wizard. Roberts gave a rundown on what emotional intelligence (EQ) is, the five traits of emotionally intelligent people and how attendees could use this knowledge to become more effective leaders. Roberts also gave attendees the option to complete an EQ evaluation beforehand and implemented how the audience scored in EQ traits into the presentation to fully cater her presentation to the audience.

Roberts was followed by a presentation from Jessica Leigh, customer success manager at Spindle, with a focus on a production manager’s role in preventative maintenance. In this session, audience members learned how to save labor and energy costs by scheduling preventive maintenance during normal working hours. They also were given real-world examples of how preventative maintenance has been overlooked in different aspects of a laundry organization and what happened as a result. Finally, Leigh stressed the importance of scheduled meetings between production and maintenance staff members in keeping an organization flowing effectively and safely.

Don Bock, an industry consultant, followed with a presentation on “Fire Safety – Strategies for Prevention.” Bock delivered a comprehensive report on common sources of fire in laundries and the best strategies to prevent them. He also provided an explanation on different fire suppression systems a laundry may use.

Christopher Stammer, CEO of Volu Interactive, then gave a presentation on leadership skills and challenged the audience to consider whether they conduct themselves as captain or crew. As a United States Coast Guard licensed Master Captain and “aspiring professional sailor,” Stammer used real-world examples where ship captains have found themselves in catastrophic circumstances by not making informed decisions that a captain should have considered to avoid disaster. Stammer then led the audience through an exercise where they ranked a number of survival items that may be provided in a shipwreck in order of importance for survival, in a thought exercise used to illustrate the importance of collaboration while avoiding “group-think” in decision making as a leader. Stammer ended with tips on how to decipher your team’s individual desires and align those desires with incentives to maximize the performance of an organization.

Following Stammer was Keith Ware, an industry consultant, who delivered a presentation on process improvement and root-cause analysis. Ware began by explaining the basics of root-cause analysis. He then stressed the importance of thinking outside of the box when problem solving and building a team that is collaborative to streamline process improvement. To illustrate this point, Ware broke the audience up into groups and challenged them to build the highest structure out of marshmallows, dry spaghetti and pipe cleaners in five minutes. The audience was then given time to sit-in on and contribute to facilitated roundtables to discuss common issues and collaborate on strategies for improvement. Topics included EQ, leadership development and safety.

The first day of sessions ended with a panel discussion between Doug Roskopf, vice president of operations at ITU AbsorbTech Inc.; Chris Gibson, general manager at UniFirst Corp.; and Andrew Leonard, operations manager at Gunderson Group. The panel was facilitated by Ken Koepper, director of membership and industry relations at TRSA.

On May 2, Alsco Uniforms and Superior Health Linens opened the doors to two of their local locations to give attendees a tour of their facilities.

The third program in this series will be held on Oct. 15-16, in Newark, NJ, for members in the Northeast region. Click here to learn more about the Northeast Summit.

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