There might be dirtier jobs than the repair of hydraulic cylinders and hoses used on heavy equipment and machinery, but there aren't too many of them.
"I'm sure there are worse, but we've got to be up there," says Robert Lawson, owner of Fluid Tech Hydraulic Services in Pomona. "On a scale of 1 to 10, we're a 7 or an 8," he said.
Lawson's service employees spend their days working with cylinders and hoses used in heavy equipment like bulldozers, excavators and commercial machinery – and a river of oil and grease. So when Lawson was having trouble with his work uniform rental program, it was not a small thing. Lawson, who used four different uniform companies before switching to Budget Uniform eight months ago, had more than his share of problems.
"Maybe Your Expectations are Too High"
There was constant turnover of delivery drivers and chronic problems with missing uniforms. "We were going five or six days without uniforms for half the people," Lawson recalls. Employees had the choice of wearing dirty uniforms or trying to launder them at home. Worse, he says, was that when uniforms were delivered "they weren't too clean to begin with."
It was a constant source of distraction to the business, with Lawson finding himself repeatedly in the position of having to explain and complain to one company after another, most of them big national providers. Once, he tried to make his point to a company representative by wiping a supposedly clean uniform on a piece of white paper. "I did it in front of him and grease came off of it," Lawson recalls. "He said, 'Maybe your expectations are too high.'"
Consistency and Quality
As a small business owner who has made it a priority to meet his clients' expectations for 20 years, Lawson didn't think much of that argument. When a work uniform provider tells you that expecting your uniforms to be clean is asking too much, you know you've got the wrong work uniform provider.
Lawson finally decided he'd be better off parting ways with his uniform supplier. Lawson was convinced he could do better. He knew the standard of customer service he maintains for his own customers. "Consistency and quality," he says. "If you can do it right the first week of the month, you should be able to do it right the second, the third and the fourth."
"Absolutely Perfect Service"
When Lawson spoke with Budget CEO Steve Shrager, he knew he had finally met a work uniform provider who shared his idea of what customer service is all about.
"As an owner, I know how to run my company and I just had a hunch talking to him on the phone," Lawson said. "He said, 'I stand by my product.' He just convinced me that they cared and I liked the idea that it's a little bit smaller company like we are. I'd been with the big national companies."
Lawson's hunch paid off: "Absolutely perfect service and the uniforms are clean. I don't have to call them."
At Budget Uniform, we don't think that's too much to ask for, especially when that's what our customers work so hard to provide to their customers. They have the right to expect a work uniform service that works as hard as they do. And that's what we provide.
If you're not getting that from your work uniform provider, it's not your expectations that need changing. It's your work uniform provider.