NEW ORLEANS — The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s (DLI) first session of the day focused on the voluntary certification program it launched at the 2005 Clean Show in The Award of Excellence Helped My Business, And It Can Help Yours.
DLI president “Dryclean Dave” Silliman led the session, discussing the added credibility an AOE certification can lend drycleaners. Operators must pass rigorous testing to earn the designation, and must do so every year to maintain their AOE status.
Once they do so, the added prestige gives drycleaners a variety of brand- and business-building benefits, DLI officials said. Starting with an announcement in the local media, AOE can be publicized to make an operation the first choice in consumers’ minds.
DLI also debuted a number of additional icons for AOE members to indicate that a member cleaner has passed the association’s other certifications, passed a voluntary facility inspection, or has demonstrated excellence in stain removal, cleaning and community service.
Influential early on in drafting the AOE rules, Silliman emphasized the power of its money-back guarantee in winning customers. While it’s a tenet that sounds like it could cost a lot of money, he said he has never had to pay. And cleaners good enough to be AOE-certified probably won’t, either.