Meet the GBPAP18’s outstanding PTC showcases: Jan’s Professional Dry Cleaners (USA)

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.

Jan’s Professional Dry Cleaners (USA)

A successful story of serving the community

From a staff of one (Jan herself) to a staff of 20 people, a plant that has been expanded four times, tremendous service diversification and more certificates than can be counted on one hand; Jan’s story is one of success. From day one, that story has also involved an incredible commitment to the environment and to the community. Jan has participated in numerous efforts to improve practices in the textile cleaning industry and has made it her mission to not only educate her employees, but the whole community.

JPC’s services, a continuous growth, both in terms of coverage and quality

JPC opened its doors in 1982 and spent the first years exploring several development options to determine optimal operations and service models for the business. Because the market in which JPC operates is not well populated, the company has expanded into geographically adjacent areas to increase demographics.

By 1987, JPC had settled into its current services, offering coin laundry facilities, dry cleaning, shirt laundry, wedding and antique dress preservation, fire and flood restoration, leather care, off-site shoe repair and an on-site seamstress for minor repairs. Today, the sewing and alterations department is much bigger. The department moved from a 3×2 sewing room to a 1,000 square foot house, complete with a drapery table for making custom draperies.

Drapery services include in-home take down, pick up and transport to the plant for cleaning, and re-delivery and re-hanging. “Recently, the company has also started selling and manufacturing to meet different window covering needs”. This takes place under the name: Jan’s Custom Window Fashions and the company has an interior designer and drapery installer on staff.

Sympathy for other working women, who never have time to go to the dry cleaner, led to JPC’s pick up and delivery service. The focus was on customers’ places of employment and within a year JPC was serving 100-150 businesses. Today, JPC has 6 delivery vans, serves over 1500 customers in 13 counties and thus serves about a 60- mile radius, five days a week.

Certified Garment Care Professional

Jan is a Certified Garment Care Professional and there are fewer than 100 of those in the world! To receive this certification, you must have completed three others: Certified Professional Cleaner, Certified Professional Wetcleaner and Certified Environmental Drycleaner.

For this certification, the dry cleaner is tested on various environmental topics, including regulation, proper waste handling, occupational safety and health, safe operation of dry cleaning equipment, and other Federal regulatory requirements. Recertification takes place every 3 years.

There is more in Jan’s trophy cabinet: the Award of Excellence Cleaner, by DLI, and Greener Cleaner certification, by the National Cleaners Association. For the first, JPC submits swatches of fabric for rigorous inspection annually. For the Greener Cleaner certification, the State of Michigan conducts an annual inspection to ensure Environmental compliance.

Strong commitment to environmental issues

JPC’s commitment to environmental protection came early in the company’s development. In 1985, JPC upgraded its dry-cleaning equipment to a totally closed machine that did not vent exhaust into the atmosphere. In 1993, carbon filters were added and in 2000, the company added a hydrocarbon process that allowed for reduction of the use of PERC.

In the mid-1990’s, JPC became involved in efforts to provide realistic assessment of and solutions to environmental problems facing the dry cleaning industry. Jan participated in the Dry cleaning Industry Environmental Legislation Roundtable in Denver in 1995. Seventy dry cleaners, association executives and allied trades people explored problems facing the industry through Superfund legislation and other environmental requirements and sought consensus on an environmental action plan.

In 1997, together with a contingent of dry cleaners, Jan proposed a Small Business Remediation Act to legislators in Washington DC. The bill was aimed at establishing liability limits for ground water and soil contamination from dry cleaning solvents. Furthermore, as president of both MILD in 1999 and of DLI in 2013, Jan has been instrumental in environmental planning and training on state and national level.

In addition to this impressive resume, JPC has a lot more in place to ensure a responsible handling of the environment. This is not only done by state of the art equipment (e.g. automated soap injection machines), recycling (e.g. cooling water, waste & hangers) and strict maintenance and operational procedures, but also by carrying out research. A research on an alcohol solvent, substantiated that the sludge can be categorized as industrial waste and not hazardous waste.

Employee and community education

Education and training has always been a primary focus at JPC. Jan has developed training manuals for the staff herself. Also, a team-management concept was developed. This allows employees to make everyday decisions within their areas. Employees with recognized potential are cross-trained in all aspects of plant operation.

But Jan not only shares her knowledge with her employees. Over the past decades, she has presented on program panels on several topics, conducted management trainings and seminars on goal setting and planning and much more. On behalf of JPC, Jan has also made numerous presentations to community and educational organizations about the professional fabricare business. Jan has furthered JPC’s connections and commitment to education in the local community by being involved in developing and presiding over the Clio Area Educational Foundation (CAEF).

Pay it forward

JPC is also a strong community supporter in the Clio area, amongst others through corporate sponsorships, employee participation in community events and JPC’s cooperation in several charitable projects. Jan believes that ‘volunteerism is infectious’ and encourages employees enthusiasm and personal contributions. It can be concluded that, over the years, JPC has always ‘paid it forward’ with community, civic and charitable organizations.