Editorial – The frontier of dry-cleaning between innovation and opportunity

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Given the exceptional current situation from the sanitary and economical point of view, we decided to publish a letter written by an entrepreneur working in the dry-cleaning sector. As his experience and energy, and the example he has become could be useful to all of us, we are happy to grant more visibility to his letter by publishing it as an Editorial of Detergo

An open letter to Detergo

My name is Rocco Lamoglie and I have been the owner of a laundry called Lavanderia Lampo, based in Mortara near Pavia since 1987. The choice to create an itinerant type of a business, that is without a shop nor the big shop windows overlooking a town square, unlike any other dry-cleaner’s, has characterized the entire growth of my company: thanks to the itinerant service, it is me who goes look for a client, whereas if I have a store, I need to wait for a client to come. The decision had been, on the one hand, an expression of my way of life, of my continuous searchfor operativity. On the other hand, it resulted from my
previous experience of a door-to-door salesman. It had been a fortunate choice as after only a couple of years, the business grew significantly and the initially acquired
turnover doubled.
Moving on, I realized that there were peaks and downs in terms of work volumes during a year. The intent was to stabilize the turnover during the different periods of time. Therefore, I decided to become an agent of my own business: a briefcase in hand carrying presentations, price lists and a list of laundries to visit. However, also that did not turn out as a satisfactory solution because all the laundries have the same seasonal work pattern in
terms of turnover! At that point, I realized I needed to look for constant,stable work throughout a year, outside the traditional borders of the sector that deals with private clients almost exclusively. The first contacts with municipalized companies and with the Municipality of Milan allowed to acquire the first work contracts within the direction I had been hoping for. Those initial contracts started with small volumes and were subjected to tenders. Still, it is always necessary to seize every single opportunity to later evaluate their quality and effectiveness. I believe that it is essential to take risks in business and step up your game.
Needless to say, we need to be innovative not only by changing the machines, equipment and washing methods, but also by making an effort to create innovative processes that derive from the needs of the market but are to be later proposed to potential clients.
The successes did not take long to show up. We signed contracts with companies like Nestlé, Bayer, Intesa San Paolo, Ente Nazionale Risi, ENAV, Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Lufthansa and many more. The prior investment in hard work and courage brought
remarkable results. Strategy, planning and digital innovation (a website or
other) are definitely crucial for a business, but the real strength is having in mind a very clear point of arrival at all times. Consistency can make even the negative experiences teach us something, e.g. negotiate better or perceive clients’ needs better.
Even if only one out of 10 business contacts will initially sign a contract, this percentage is bound to increase with time, according to my experience. I have always tried to introduce my ideas and projects to the associations of the sector, and I have recently also been appointed the President of Lombardy Region Drycleaners within the Confartigianato Association.
My intervention today wanted to reflect a call, a warning but also the best wishes to everyone: my work has given me extraordinary satisfaction and I believe that everything
I have obtained can be accomplished by others, too. Those who remain still have probably already reached a comfortable life or they have benefited from other
opportunities. Not me. So, I took my road in 1987 and have been moving on ever since.
Best wishes

Rocco Lamoglie
The owner of the Lavanderia Lampo in Mortara

 

DETERGO

NOVEMBER 2020