1ST Quarter WATS NEWS Print

    President's Report

    Happy New Year Everyone! 

    I think all of are happy to see 2020 behind us.  Too many things happened last year that we have never seen before, and wish to never see again.  There are aspects of 2020 that are carrying over and it looks like 2021 will have new developments that we have never seen either. 

    A year ago, I had never used Zoom.  Now I am on it a couple of times a day.  A lot of people are tired of it.  I actually like it for one-on-one talks.  It makes just talking on the phone with someone feel so … primitive.  But not for large groups.  It just is not even close to the same to zoom with a big group.  I miss in-person events.  Not just for the scheduled event itself, but for the pre-game and post-game interactions. 

    I miss the snarky conversations that happen at registration tables, on the putting green or in the buffet line.  I miss the valuable sharing talks that happen over breakfast, at breaks or in the hour before dinner.  And I miss getting good stuff from speakers. 

    For 2021, I am looking forward to the calendar of WATS event.   There are many good reasons that we should have great attendance at this year’s events.   We just need the virus to cooperate.

    We have pushed back the WATS Brewers Game into August this year in hopes that by that time we will be able to have more fans in the stadium again.  The game will be held on August 25th, 2021.  As of now we are in the Northwest Mutual Lodge as the Brewers might be using our normal location as a bullpen for the 2021 season.  If this is to change and we are able to move back to the Aurora Health Care Bullen Section we will.  Tickets are all-inclusive.  The difference this year is it will be a 7:10pm start versus our usual day game.  Mark your calendars for the event and get signed up now! 

    WAM is finalizing our Fall Conference for Tuesday, September 21st and Wednesday, September 22nd.   This coming year will be in Elkhart Lake, WI at The Osthoff Resort.  For those of you have not yet been to Elkhart Lake, what a great little town this is.  Our golf outing will be held on Wednesday at Quit Qui Oc Golf Club just a minute away from the resort.  We are still working on speakers at this time and if you have any suggestions please reach out and let us know.  I certainly am looking forward to attending these events and seeing everyone again!

    Again, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or suggestions on how our association can be more successful.  We would love to see you at some, if not all of our events.

    Stay warm and don’t overdo it shoveling!!

    Jim Leef

    President WATS


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    WATS Brewers Game


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    Ecolab Ad


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    Tingue, Brown & Co. Press Release

    Press release

    Peachtree City, GA: Tingue, Brown & Co. announces the acquisition of Toronto-based Cramer Co. by its Canadian subsidiary, Tingue Canada, effective January 15, 2021.

    Ty Acton, Tingue’s president, shared, “We’re very happy for David Cramer, who ran a terrific business starting back in 1978.  We’re also excited for the opportunity to expand our service to Canadian laundry operators going forward.”

    Tingue has had a presence in the Canadian laundry market since the 1970’s as well, having first worked through a variety of distributors, before eventually recognizing that its direct sales effort was what the market demanded.

    Tingue expanded on its investment in its Canadian customers when it opened an office and warehouse in Orillia, Ontario in 2015. Acton explains, “Our Canadian friends have told us for years that we need local representation and a local distribution center in order to succeed.” As part of this new deal, Tingue Canada has made a long-term commitment to Cramer Co’s convenient Toronto-area location.  Several of Cramer Co.’s key employees will join the established Tingue Canada team, led by Orillia, Ontario’s Patrick Robertson, who joined Tingue Canada in 2013.

    David Tingue, CEO of Tingue, Brown & Co., added, “Ty has done an exemplary job navigating the two parties through this international acquisition process.  We have coveted the Canadian laundry market for a long time and this acquisition is yet another example of the financial commitment we are willing to make to serve the laundry industry.”

    For more information, please contact Ty Acton, president, at [email protected], or (800) 829-3864.


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    Standard Operating Procedures: Key to Enhanced Performance

    Article Provided by TRSA

    If you want to achieve continuous improvement for your linen, uniform and facility services company, a good place to start is developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and work instructions. The benefits of having SOPs in place include standardization, communication and clarity between departments, plus a regular process for training and onboarding new employees. SOPs also can help your company show customers that your quality system is sound. Another plus is that they can help staff meet qualifications for certification programs, such as Hygienically Clean.

    Creating such documentation policies and procedures takes a concentrated effort both to develop and maintain SOPs and work instructions. Savvy operators will carefully weigh where they apply their efforts. Not all processes will need a procedure, but some critical and complex processes may need more than one. For many purposes, an SOP can include elements of both a high-level procedure (What and Who) with work instructions (How).

    A template with fields for standard information is an important tool. It can provide a standardized thought process for anyone writing a procedure to follow. A basic template should include the following elements:

    Title: What is the SOP documenting?

    Scope: Specific departments, locations and workgroups that the SOP affects.

    Responsible: Title of manager responsible for ensuring that the SOP is carried out. Be sure to use titles, not names of people (“Plant Manager” not “Jackie Smith”) in the documents.

    Date: Include the date of the latest revision of the SOP. A rigorous revision-control protocol is to state that only the electronic version of the document is valid, and any printed copies are considered as potentially out of date. (This level of control is typically not needed if SOPs don’t change often, and if producing and managing hard copies is controlled.)

    Purpose: How the procedure links to overall policies and its overall goal.

    Signature/Approval: Optional, but good to have approved by manager to confirm that the procedure is correct.

    Version Description: Optional. A short table describing historical dated changes to the SOP.

    Procedure: The actual procedural description, which is the main body of the procedure.

    When writing the procedure, use simple, straightforward language. Ideally, keep the language to an eighth-grade level, so most can understand it. There are readability calculators online that can help you check the grade level. Use photos and pictures to illustrate the correct way of doing things.

    Using flow charts and diagrams is a good way to convey information concisely. I particularly like “swimlane” charts, which are perfect for showing hand-offs between departments. The swimlane chart can be used for high-level procedures (“Who” does “What”), and they can be supplemented with lower-level work instructions as needed for detailed explanation. For example, above is a swimlane chart showing the process for onboarding a new wearer for a garment program. Each block in the diagram could be further described with its own work instruction or perhaps a section of instruction in the same document, providing detail on how to perform that specific task.

    Organizing the documented policies, SOPs and work instructions is important and can be challenging. Some companies create a numbering system based on departments; some number their SOPs to correspond to sections of the Hygienically Clean standard. The documents should be stored on a shared drive, with permissions to edit restricted to one or a few people. Others can be given read-only access, so they can use the SOPs in their daily work and with onboarding new employees. Finally, operators should establish a system for periodic review/renewal of the procedures – at least annually and have a system in place for anyone to suggest changes to the SOPs.

    Creating and maintaining SOPs takes a commitment, but the benefits to your organization are great. A systematic process of documenting and refining SOPs is a great way to ensure enhanced performance in your operations.

    A more detailed version of this article by Audrey Carmichael, a senior client consultant with Six Disciplines Consulting Services, Findlay, OH, is slated to appear in the March issue of Textile Services magazine. Click here for a recent interview with Carmichael on quality manuals. Readers may contact Carmichael at [email protected].


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    2021 WATS Fall Conference


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    Evers signs bill with PPP-related tax break once criticized as ‘double benefit’

    Businesses that got tax-free federal funds for business expenses will be able to receive a state income tax deduction on those expenses under legislation that Gov. Tony Evers signed Thursday.

    Evers applied his signature to AB-2 and issued a statement highlighting $480 million in tax savings included in the legislation, Wisconsin’s first new state law for 2021.

    The legislation — originally a routine revision of the state tax code primarily to match changes in the federal code — took on added attention after lawmakers added language to help recipients of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), instituted in 2020 to help small businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Please click here to read the entire article!


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