Our industry is inherently green. Professionally maintaining and recycling textile products such as uniforms, floor mats, mops, and towels on a week to week basis helps us keep these products out of landfills as long as possible.
Plymate has implemented several “green” best practices in addition to our already green industry. With Earth Day approaching this weekend, we thought we’d share a few ways we help preserve our planet:
Reuse hangers and recycle damaged hangers
Recycle all paper, plastic, and ink cartridges
Reclaim heat from our water used in processing
We use environmentally friendly detergents.
We continuously evaluate the routing of our service vehicles in order to minimize our miles and therefore our carbon footprint by using a state of the art Inthinc GPS system.
Our production team works four 10-hour days versus five 8-hour days, which results in considerable reduction in gas and electric.
We sell products made from recycled material.
We’re doing everything we can to protect our planet, and we hope our commitment to being green inspires you and your company to think green also!
One of the luxuries of being an independent company is being able to make decisions internally. Apart from deciding on technological and capital investments, we also get to decide how we want to give back to the community that gives so much to us.
Shelby County United Fund For You (SCUFFY) is one of our greatest community commitments.
SCUFFY is the annual United Way campaign that helps raise funds so that local non-profit agencies can operate and serve county residents throughout the year. All monies raised/donated stay in Shelby County. This is also one of the most successful United Way campaigns in the Midwest, if not, the entire United States. In the 2017 SCUFFY drive, Plymate was able to donate over $15,000 from co-worker contributions and a Plymate match!
This year’s drive has a goal of $830,000 which Plymate plans to help reach by raising our goal to $15,500. Our co-workers are able to contribute by participating in jeans week (wear jeans for $5 a day!), purchasing a SCUFFY lunch put on by volunteers here at Plymate, payroll deductions, and general donations.
Next month, our leadership team will spend the day volunteering to paint at some of the non-profit buildings who benefit from SCUFFY. We look forward to giving back to SCUFFY each year and are thankful to our co-workers who believe in SCUFFY as much as we do.
Plymate has 3 national competitors and even fewer statewide competitors. So, what have we done to stay in business for 87 years against the national suppliers? We’ve continuously invested in our company, our people, our technology, and our training.
Earlier this month, we invested in two of our key managers by sending them to a training trip in Orlando, FL. Our Sales Manager, Kevin Bunch, and Director of Service, Tim Uhlmansiek, spent a couple of days sharing best ideas and learning Customer Onboarding practices. They also had the chance to tour the Disney World Linen Laundry.
Plymate is a member of a sales management group, the CSC Smart Group, and service management group, SECURE Group—all members are independently owned uniform/linen/mat service companies—no national suppliers allowed.
Aligning ourselves in peer networking groups like this has allowed us to be the leading Indiana Independent company for over 87 years. This investment will continue to help us grow at the exceptional pace we are growing accustomed to.
A new year means new goals. Our last blog of 2017 talked about our accomplishments as an organization from a safety perspective. We celebrated over 100 days without a lost-time accident, which is a huge feat in our industry. We are incredibly proud of our safety program here at Plymate and hope to extend that no-lost time record this year, and we want to arm you with the tools to reach your safety goals too.
Last year we made the decision to stock 5 different styles of visibility garments in order to serve our customers better. Having worked closely with utility services, trash collection crews, roadway construction, warehouses, factories, and wrecker services, we know the importance of adhering to ANSI regulated classes for your uniforms to protect your co-workers and business.
Do you know your classification?
Type O, Class 1
Parking/Service Location Workers
Oil & Gas extraction Workers
Type R, Class 2
Ship Cargo Loading Operations
Utility and railway workers
School crossing guards
Delivery vehicle drivers
High-volume parking and toll gate personnel
Trash collection and recycling operations
Type R, Class 3
Roadway Construction personnel and flaggers
Survey Crews Type P, Class 2 & 3
We get it—image matters. That’s why we picked top of the line safety garments that look good, feel good, and have the capability to have your logo prominently featured.
Safety First is more than just the catchy slogan we were taught when we were younger. It’s something that businesses practice when they place warning labels on their products; it’s something our teachers taught us when they told us not to run with the scissors; it’s what our parents instilled in us when they wouldn’t move the car until your seatbelt was on.
At Plymate, we take safety just as seriously. That’s why we were recently able to celebrate over 365 days without a lost-time accident. How is that possible? It’s possible because we make safety a priority.
We do more than just slap posters up on the walls warning people to watch their step. We have an interactive safety training program headed up by a Safety Committee to ensure things are up to snuff according to OSHA and Plymate Standards.
Why is it important to create a safe work environment? It’s been proven that employees are often happier with a safer work environment. There’s less stress involved in their day to day jobs, and they often feel more valued. From an employers’ standpoint, a safe work environment means less time an employee is out with injury, less workers comp, and ultimately ensures less business cost.
Here are some ways we ensure a safe work environment that helped us achieve 365 days without a lost-time accident:
Create a Safety Committee!
The committee should be comprised of employees from all departments and levels of the business
Conduct regular safety checks
Have all new hires complete an extensive safety training course specific to their role
Identify potential hazards within the facility, such as new equipment or building Expansion areas
Enforce safe driving practices to anyone driving a company car
All of our service vehicles have an in cab coaching system called InThinc which helps coach safe driving practices
Investigate all accidents to see what could have been done to prevent it and what can be changed to prevent future accidents
The end of summer 2017 was a trying time for some of our fellow Americans. As we all know, 3 hurricanes hit 3 different American locations in as many months. Here in Indiana, we know the destruction a tornado can cause, and can only imagine the devastation of a massive hurricane. Our hearts were, and still are, hurting for our friends, family, and fellow citizens in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico who lost everything.
In an effort to help, our co-workers organized a pitch-in lunch to benefit the hurricane victims. Homemade goodies and meals were donated and sold to other co-workers for the cause. Between purchased goodies and a 3-to-1 matched donation by Plymate, Inc., we were able to give a sizable donation to the Red Cross. This is in addition to individual donations made to various organizations throughout surrounding counties, whether those donations were monetary or physical.
We would also like to take a moment to recognize one of our peers, Ace Image Wear, who has a location in Texas that was affected by Hurricane Harvey. A donation by Plymate was also made to help them with their rebuilding process.
Many in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida are still in need. If you feel compelled, please consider donating to www.redcross.org
Thank you to our co-workers and Plymate, Inc. family who helped our fellow Americans in their time of need. You are what makes Plymate the company that it is today.
Here at Plymate, we believe that the resources and training we allocate to our Large Account Specialist Service Representative allows us to provide our top customers with a unique and customized array of services.
You already know that we value our small-town, family owned company.
You know that Plymate provides you with top-notch uniform and mat services. But did you know that we’ve been around long enough to be your grandfather? Or in some cases, your great-grandfather?
Just like your grandfather, or great-grandfather would say, we’ve been around the block a time or two. We know what works and doesn’t work. Our age provides us with loads of wisdom and knowledge about our industry. So as a result, we find ourselves doing things our competitors can’t, don’t, or won’t do.
One of the things we’ve learned in our old age is that having a service representative dedicated specifically to our large accounts makes a difference. We astutely named that position our “Large Account Specialist”, and that Large Account Specialist is Tim Shepherdson.
Tim has been part of the Plymate team since 1998. He services 1-3 large account customers per day, versus our regular service reps who make approximately 25 stops per day. This approach ensures that Tim will have the necessary time within each of his accounts to “do all the little things” that can really make the difference.
What are all those little things, you ask? Well, Tim loves to:
Dedicate the time and space necessary on our trucks, for your products
Know the ins-and-outs of your business so you don’t have to worry about anything when he arrives
Save you money by reviewing invoices frequently to update them according to turnover
Deliver key employees extra services such as placing shirts in their offices
Conduct uniform fittings as needed
Clean out lockers
Meet and create relationships with you and your employees for a better all-around experience
In addition to all the things that Tim provides you with as your Account Specialist, you also get a dedicated support team from our office. Behind Tim, you’ve got: 1 dedicated Director of Service, 1 dedicated District Manager, 1 dedicated Route Specialist (should Tim be off work for any reason), 2 dedicated support staff members in our home office, 3 dedicated Plymate family members available to help in any way they can.
We know there are plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to your uniform and mat supplier, but why swim with the sharks?
To our customers, the face of Plymate is our service representatives. Their customer service skills, training, efficiency and safety are key to the success of Plymate. Due to the nature of the job, these coworkers are largely unsupervised for the bulk of the day, so in addition to extensive and on-going training, Plymate has implemented a new tool to help monitor driving habits and improve the safety and efficiency of our route service personnel. Inthinc driver safety technology monitors driving performance in order to improve driver safety habits and awareness.
The Inthinc program monitors speed, braking and other key indicators of safe driving, and provides verbal cues to the driver. These verbal cues act as a virtual coach alerting drivers in real time, helping them to adopt safer driving habits. According to Inthinc, a typical company will see an 86% reduction in speeding, 89% reduction is aggressive driving, 90% reduction in accidents and 88% reduction in seat belt violations.
With 18 delivery trucks driving 8,000 miles per week, these types of improvements in safety, efficiency and compliance can have a significant impact on our company and protect our most valuable assets – the people in the trucks.
Usually the discussion about large vs. small business revolves around the “personal touch” or the value of relationships. At Plymate we talk about it too. A lot. And we believe it. But let’s face it, if you can’t measure it, it’s pretty hard to convince someone of the validity.
So let’s look at the numbers and see if we can make a case that Smaller is Better.
The following chart is based upon a survey by Market Measurement, an independent research company:
These numbers show that smaller, independent textile rental companies perform measurably (and significantly) better than national companies in three key areas of concern for uniform customers. So score a win for Smaller is Better.
So where might being small be a disadvantage? Most people would say “cost of goods” or “buying power.” Good point, but Plymate is a member of the CSC Network, an association of independent laundries, which negotiates pricing for the group. Independents, as it turns out, collectively account for the largest single share of market, 42%. When the Cintas/G&K acquisition is complete, the company will have 31% market share. (Report by North American Equity Research for J.P. Morgan.) So while the big guys are a monster standing alone, the independents combined — not so small after all.
Personal attention, superior service, and competitive pricing – maybe you need to look at the little guy.
We made many equipment upgrades during our recent 7,200 sq. ft. expansion, but our customers will probably notice the greatest impact from our RFID garment tracking process, which allows us to follow a garment from the moment it arrives until it is loaded back on our truck for delivery.
One of the most frequent complaints we hear when talking to prospects is incomplete uniform deliveries, wrong uniforms, and “lost” garments. With our system, those problems are solved before they can even happen.
Here is a virtual tour of how RFID tracking works to help us achieve superior accuracy and efficiency:
Plymate once again is a technology leader in bringing innovation and efficiency to our customers. Let us know how we can help you.