Learn The PROS Of Adding Automated Tagging To Your Dry Cleaners Process

Profitability is everything in business. So is productivity. The more you get done with a specified time, the more profitable your business. That’s as true for big companies as it is for small and single store businesses.

One way to increase profitability and productivity at your dry cleaners, you need to find strategies to streamline and simplify processing operations cost-effectively. That’s a sure-fire strategy for success.

Opportunities to boost productivity and profitability, however, don’t always have to mean major changes to store operations. They can mean making small changes that save you short amounts of time during a workday.

These short amounts of time can add up over the course of a day—especially if it’s a busy one.

This new-found time is valuable—very valuable. It’s time you can spend doing more important things, like helping customers with orders.

That, in turn, can help build customer loyalty and increase word-of-mouth advertising—boosting growth at your storefront and increasing your store’s profitability.

Processing Clothes Manually can be Costly

One business area where you can save time is during assembly. The term “assembly” refers to the identifying, tagging, ordering, and returning of garments. This area of your business is often among the most overlooked of all processing operations.

It shouldn’t be. Processing clothes correctly is critical to delivering excellent customer service. After all, the tag you place on each garment is the only link you have to your customer. Lose that link and it can cost you.

Basically, you have two ways to process clothing dropped off at your store: manually or using an automated system. Many dry cleaners still process clothes manually.

It’s a system that dry cleaner owners and managers are both familiar with and comfortable using. And it’s been getting the job done for years.


Steps in Manually Processing Clothes

While each storefront’s manual processing systems may differ in some respects, most take basically the same steps to check in clothes manually.

After customers drop their clothes off, an employee takes the garment or garments to the collection center along with a duplicate copy of a customer’s receipt.

An employee then starts making out tags for each garment. That involves writing the right information on each ticket. Tags carry vital information, such as:

  • Customer identity
  • Order Number
  • Service to be performed
  • Due date
  • Any additional order information (if required)

After writing the vital information on the tag, the employee then attaches the tag to the clothing. The garment is now ready to be processed.

With luck, the tags will remain on the clothes right through cleaning, and the customer will pick up the clothes on the day appointed and /or be delivered to the customer at home on time and in good condition.

Error-Prone and Time Consuming

While manual tagging is simple and straightforward, it’s also error-prone. The system is so full of holes that it’s easy to make a mistake—especially if employees aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing.

If there’s a lot of clothes to tag, for example, or it’s busy with customers coming in and out, employees can get confused and write the wrong information down on the ticket, attach the wrong tags to clothes, or miss tagging a piece of clothing.

Manual processing is also time-confusing. It takes anywhere from three to five minutes to write out the tag and attach it to each garment properly— sometimes more. If you have a busy day, the time you spend tagging garments adds up.

That’s all time you could spend with customers answering questions, telling them about new services, or discussing potential specials that might be coming up or are going on. Even taking time to talk about local events builds customer relations.

Tagging mistakes can also cost you money. Replacing lost clothes is expensive. That’s money that comes directly out of your pocket. Given the price of clothes these days, that’s something you want to keep to a minimum.

Boosting Customer Service and Customer Relations

The “holes” in manually processing clothes during assembly is why more and more dry cleaners are replacing the manual approach with a POS software solution that includes an automated garment tagging feature.

Automated tagging systems use barcodes to help track garments through every stage of the assembly process—from store to workshop and back again. Some tagging systems even let you print your brand on the tag. That’s great advertising for you and your storefront.

With an automated garment tagging system, you can use either preprinted barcodes rolls (single use) or heat-sealed tags (multi-use) to track their customers’ orders.

With a heat seal printer, you can easily add a barcode to your customer’s clothes. Typically, barcodes last up to 500 washes.

Using barcoded tags printed through the POS system eliminates garment losses. It also eliminates delivery mistakes. That gives you an almost foolproof system for intaking, processing, and delivering customer garments.


Adding Garment Tracking Creates Powerful Tool

Adding an automated garment tracking system, like Enlite’s LARA, to a POS with an automated tagging feature creates a powerful tool that provides numerous benefits. These include:

  • Speeds garment intake
  • Eliminates tagging errors
  • Cuts assembly time dramatically
  • Increases employee efficiency
  • Streamlines operations significantly
  • Facilitates employee training time

Benefits like these can’t help but boost customer service to the next level, build customer loyalty, and generate word-of-mouth advertising. Do these three things and you’ll boost not only productivity but also profitability.


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