The comparatively young age of the United States makes it difficult to find businesses that have been operating for hundreds of years. Unlike European countries, we just do not have that kind of history here. For this reason and others, we are deeply proud that Alsco has been serving customers for 130 years now, and our success is no accident.
Keeping any business going for 130 years is a monumental feat. What might start out as a family business does not necessarily stay that way as it passes from one generation to the next. Successive generations may have no interest in keeping the business going, leading to a sale or shutdown. And even if the business remains intact, markets inevitably change. Sometimes a business goes under simply because it has lost its usefulness.
How, then, have we managed to continue thriving for so long? We can safely say that the secret to our success cannot be found in a single principle or activity. A tremendous number of factors go into building what we have built. And, of course, our business continues to evolve.
Success Requires Innovation
Ongoing business success over multiple generations requires a willingness to innovate. This principle is easily observed in our industry. When Alsco first launched back in 1889, our focus was on uniform rental. We were the first company to offer such a service in the United States, and we have continued to do very well in the uniform rental space. But over the years, we have also evolved and innovated. We started with uniforms but eventually expanded to include hospital linens, restaurant linens, floorcare products, washroom products and even first-aid kits.
Along the way, we have also contributed to many of the process innovations that have made the linen industry so successful. A good example is our recent effort to help design and establish standards for certified hygienically clean linens. As an innovator, we have played a significant role in defining “hygienically clean” and determining certification requirements. With Alsco’s new NSF International hygienically clean certified table linens, you never have to wonder how clean your table linens really are. The NSF mark is a trusted symbol in the industry and certifies that Alsco’s laundering and handling processes have been tested and meet NSF International’s requirements for hygienically clean and safer table linens.
Success Requires Teamwork
The best uniform rental service in the world will not succeed for 130 years if staff members do not work together. Alsco is not just one person. The company’s existence does not rely solely on senior management. Every Alsco staff member, from route driver to plant worker, is an important member of the team. We rely on everyone’s effort and input to serve our customers with pride.
Success Requires Happy Customers
Ultimately, we are sustained by those loyal customers who trust us to provide them with high-quality products and services. Much of what we do consists of converting new customers into loyal partners who would never think about using anyone other than Alsco.
Each of our team members knows the importance of ensuring customers’ happiness. We all know that without you, there would be no Alsco. We only succeed as a company when our customers are happy with the products and services we provide.
We could go on about all the factors that have contributed to our history of success, but the point is that you do not survive in this industry for 130 years by being terrible at what you do. We have a long history because we take great pride in the service we provide. Over the past 12 decades, we have established a reputation of being among the best in the business.