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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Uniform Company and "Document Management" - From Creation to Destruction

In a past life, I worked for Cintas - a uniform company.

I sold uniform programs which  generated weekly revenue over a contracted time period. We manufactured our own uniforms, like an OEM.

Once a week, our trucks would come out to customer site, collect dirty uniforms, bring them back to the plant and wash them - this was part of our basic service.

Not only did we clean the uniforms, we would inspect and automatically repair or replace worn garments - this was one of our 'value added' services.

For all this, the weekly charge was around  a buck and a half per change of uniform - approximately 15.00/week/employee.  

If the employees paid, we called it a self-funded benefit of employment. If the company paid 100% we called it a company supported, corporate identity program.

The point is 'recurring revenue'.  Each week our trucks would touch every single customer.  Recognizing the potential, the company started adding soap dispensers and air fresheners to their rug and towel programs.  Then the company bought the second largest First Aid kit provider.  I didn't even know there was such a thing.

Soon, in addition to logo'd uniforms, we were renting mop heads, selling embroidered golf shirts and hats out of a catalog. 

You see, the company recognized the value of customer contact AND recurring revenue - at a significant profit.

Not long after, Cintas bought a document archiving and destruction company - that's right, from uniforms to 'document management'.

You see the brain trust at Cintas understood that when providing a service 'nothing is out of scope' and when you sit still, you get run over.

If Cintas had started an MpS Company five years ago, today they would own the North American space, providing everything from toner to video content management - not stuck in Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Heck, they would have had everything from Documentum to hard copy archiving, scan on demand,  to document destruction services - hey, wait a minute...

When everything is 'in scope', we see ALL the convergence, not just the clash between IT/VARs and copier dealers.

And when we finally see all the converging force, true and complete Transformation is possible.

Snatch the pebble...

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Greg Walters, Incorporated