Meet the GBPA18’s outstanding PTC showcases: Karl Chehade DryCleaning (Australia)

For the coming period, we will present you week by week, the most outstanding PTC showcases that were officially nominated for The Global Best Practices Awards Program 2018. The profiles of these companies are also present in the WOPCOM platform, which you can access here.

Karl Chehade DryCleaning (Australia)

A successful story of excellence in laundry service

From a self-called humble start in 1957, Karl Chehade Dry Cleaning has evolved over more than 60 years into one of Australia’s largest & environmentally friendliest dry cleaning companies. The wonderful business claims to be seen as leader in terms of energy consumption and sustainability.

The list of sustainable practices & measures employed by KCDC is simply too long for it all to fit into this profile. When your rate of production per labour hour is the highest in any of your markets, while your CO2 emission per KG produced is the lowest, one has a sense of pride.

Drive-through & 24/7 laundry service

KCDC offers a large array of dry cleaning and laundry services to its customer base: from general garments to bridal wear and from leather to soft furnishings. To meet the needs of the modern costumer, the company has 55 locations in Queensland and South Australia of which 14 are drive-through locations, with the added convenience of lockers and conveyors.

But that is not all; throughout Brisbane and Adelaide KCDC offers free pickup and delivery, servicing a potential 1450,000 households and businesses. Customers can make use of a smartphone App for placing orders, checking order history and alerts when the order is ready for collection.

Hubs & Spokes

In each of its markets, KCDC operates a centralized factory with daily distribution to its retail network of stores and B2B customers. This ‘Hub & Spoke’ model of distribution is also mirrored at a retail level with routes and lockers.

For over 10 years, the company has had a successful franchise model in place. Never has there been a franchise turnover and 50% of the franchisees are now multiple storeowners. Not only the franchisees are profiting from the successful model, franchise stores have been growing at a quicker rate than company owned stores. Needless to say it has assisted the organization’s growth at a costumer level.

Extensive quality checks

Both consumers & potential franchisees have appeared sensitive to KCDC’s core values of quality & sustainability. The first is ensured by the engagement of Methods for Management International (MFMI), a management consulting agency for the dry cleaning industry. The company’s quality systems and processes are constantly updated in line with the ‘World’s Best Practices’ for this industry.

Following the logic: “Each process has an outcome and we constantly measure critical processes and outcomes”, the management team “Team KC” monitors on a weekly basis a number of specific KPI’s which are specifically relevant to their strategies for quality, efficiency and growth. The online system even allows for determination of the individual employee that last finished any item.

There is more in place to ensure the consistent quality of KCDC’s service! All employees are trained internally with a time proven on-boarding program that ensures consistency in processes and training outcomes for all new employees. Central to this is an internal mentoring program.

One of the most environmental friendly dry cleaners in the southern hemisphere

The people at KCDC believe it is their duty to leave this planet in a better state than when they arrived, so reads their environmental statement. An important means for this, is the use of dedicated ecologically friendly cleaning machinery and processes.

Since 2005, the company has been using these processes exclusively for their dry cleaning. For wet cleaning, non-phosphate detergents are utilized; this prevents the by-products from entering the ecosystem.

Reducing emissions at the source

KCDC has installed its own solar powered plants that generate 90% of all of its water heating requirements. This means minimal gas consumption with respect to hot water and steam usage. In addition to these hot-water solar plants, they use solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to minimize electricity consumption and to offset peak energy demand.

CO2 emissions are further reduced by the development of programs and detergents that work with cool water. In their drycleaning, they use an efficient filtration system with tonsil instead of continuous distillation. Also, more efficient cleaning programs and high extraction speeds to reduce drying times are incorporated.

For the reduction of primary energy, KCDC has developed a proprietary technology that enables co-generation to offset new energy. This means the use of ‘wasted energy’ in order to reduce the consumption of ‘primary’ energy.

Furthermore, ‘Power Factor Correction’ has been introduced to further eliminate peak energy consumption. This technology reduces high demand energy needs, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions at the source of power production.

The Australian Olive Company

It is safe to say that KCDC values the reduction of emissions and the use of renewable energy immensely. On their website, a moving clock informs you on the kilograms of CO2 that have been saved by the organization so far.

To offset most of its remaining emissions, KCDC invests in agri-businesses. The group completely owns and operates the Australian Olive Company. The aim is to nurture an organization that is ‘carbon neutral’ by planting an equivalent amount of CO2 consuming plants that offset the CO2 emissions.

Adelaide Fashion Festival

In addition to several ‘best practices’ that organize the recycling of waste within the organization, KCDC has developed a ‘reuse, repurpose, recycle’ initiative that is showcased at the Adelaide Fashion Festival. The emphasis is on how unwanted stock can be reused through design hire and how it can be repurposed. The latter is done by showing how garments can be ‘made to be made again’.