Service Care in Healthcare & Hospitality
“Quality, service, cleanliness and value” – such are the principles that distinguish greatness according to Cavett Robert, the late author, entrepreneur and founder of the National Speakers Association. He once said, “No one cares how much you know about your product or service until they know how much you care about their problem.” For more than a century, Morgan Services’ success has been compelled by consummate care in the eliminating of problems particularly confronted by their customers in hospitality and healthcare. Though quality, service and value all connote to its expertise, the company’s approach to cleanliness definitely helps distinguish its industrial greatness.
It has been said that image is everything, and for more than 125 years, a company with home offices in Chicago has prospered by perfecting the practice: “we make businesses look better.”TM But for that matter, Morgan Services also helps business function better, saving their customers from unnecessary expenditures of time, money and frustration in the process. Though it is largely regarded as a high quality textile rental-service company that provides linens, apparel and other product services critical to the hospitality and healthcare industries, operations at Morgan actually encompass much more. Beyond its strict adherence to the rigorous regulatory requirements that govern laundry services provided to healthcare, beyond its tending to the table and bed linens that add aesthetic allure to the most opulent of restaurants and resorts, Morgan is in fact, more than a mere linen and uniform rental company. It is the very conduit from which those in hospitality, healthcare and environmental services actually source so much of the materials needed in their respective operations. For hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers, the Morgan Healthcare Division is a supplier of the scrub suits, lab coats, patient gowns, bed linens, towels and you-name-it in terms of textiles touched by the industry. In hospitality the Morgan Hospitality Division is also the supplier of the napkins, tablecloths, bedding, towels, washcloths, staff garments and so much more. Morgan maintains one of the most extensive inventories of textile goods and other products for rent to the hospitality and medical industries, and the services it provides in the cleaning and maintenance of those materials has been distinguished among best practices in the industry. It’s emergence as an industry leader, however, has been prompted by certain expertise in adaptation and vigilance in the changing of market trends. To explain that facet, President and C.O.O. Tim Simmons, explains just how much the company has evolved over the course of time. Simmons’ story is a once-upon-a-time tale that dates back to the 1800s when Morgan was known for fulfilling linen services to the passenger trains traversing the nation. “That was our primary business, cleaning the linens used in the Pullman cars, and that’s why you see so many of our locations established in the proximity of train depots,” explains Simmons.
From Mayflower to Morgan
The Morgan story actually dates back much further, to 1620, when the Mayflower arrived off the coast of what would become Massachusetts. The ship’s cooper (one skilled in the construction of barrels) was a man named John Alden; in fact, this is the very same man credited as the first from the Mayflower to step foot on Plymouth Rock. He later married Priscilla Mullins, whose family were also passengers aboard the Mayflower. John and Priscilla went on to become crucial figures in the earliest history of the efforts to colonize America, and they may have been the most prolific in terms of the progeny produced by any of those early settlers. They had ten children who went on to raise their own respective families. Generations later led to a descendent named Kendrick E. Morgan. Kendrick Morgan’s wife had a cousin named John Spoor who, in 1888, tasked Morgan with the directing of a laundering business he had established in St. Louis, Missouri. Indicative of the era, Morgan deployed horse and buggy teams to collect and deliver laundry it cleaned for the railroad enterprise of Wagner Palace Car Company. Spoor would later become a manager of Wagner while Morgan continued to operate the laundry. By 1889, Wagner merged with Pullman Company and the laundry business was boosted in the process. After transitioning to a new home office in Chicago in the 1920s, it became known as Morgan Linen and Laundry Services, until principals simply settled for Morgan Services. Kendrick’s son, Alden Kendrick Morgan, went on to run the organization for a time, then followed his son, John Alden Morgan, whose leadership over a following period of decades saw this enterprise transition into entirely new areas of expertise. John Alden Morgan’s Son-in-Law, Richard Senior, and Grandson Alden Senior serve respectively as CEO & Chairman and VP of Finance & Administration of Morgan Services today. Though company operations bear little resemblance to the processes of old, it still functions as a friendly family business by retaining well-honed family values involving respect, fair dealing and making good on the assurances provided to customers as well as coworkers who are referred to as members.
Yet, as Simmons observes, much of Morgan’s achievements can be credited to a rare measure of flexibility and speed in responding to the dynamics of change occurring in the market. This would certainly prove beneficial during the 1930s and 1940s when the call to duty of our nation’s military also prompted dutiful response from Morgan to provide laundry services critical to the comfort of the U.S. troops as they were transported from place to place across the country. But in this same era, the company had increasingly observed the diminishing rates of passengers aboard the trains it had so long served. Intent to diversify their customer base, Morgan transitioned into the hospitality industry. Their customers, comprised by restaurants and hotels, soon discovered that Morgan’s services not only offered cost-effective means of maintaining and cleaning their textile concerns, but also eliminated time formerly spent dealing with it all, so they could now better concentrate on their own core services. While these considerations are crucial in hospitality, they are especially critical to operators in healthcare.
Hospitals once dedicated huge segments of facility space, time and personnel tending to laundry needs. While the maintaining of textiles is just as important at hotels as it is at hospitals, the fact remains that hospitals undergo greater regulatory scrutiny and subject to stiff penalties when found non-compliant, because people can become gravely ill, or even die, when proper procedures aren’t followed. Yet, as Simmons also asserts, the investment in resources and setting aside of necessary space to accommodate laundry services increasingly compelled hospitals to reevaluate their approach. Those spaces could be dedicated to more productive purposes in terms of patient care. Even as hospitals began waking up to the advantages of outsourcing, there was an increasing proliferation of private physicians opening their own specialty clinics in the late 70’s and early 80’s that also needed specialized laundry care. Throughout the shifting of eras of operation, Morgan Services not only responded to the opportunities, but resolved to distinguish the quality of its services from that provided by any other.
Morgan presently operates from more than 20 locations spanning the United States, from Boston to California, processing more than 65 million pounds of laundry per year. To do so, it deploys state-of-the-art technology with the most innovative of automated systems to help with the monitoring, measuring and achieving levels of efficiency rivaling anyone in their industry. Yet, for all that sophisticated machinery, Morgan still applies the human touch in terms of spurring the best efforts of its members routinely recognizing the hard work they perform and honoring their achievements in service to the company and its customers. The company website not only features content about the services provided by Morgan, yet also pays tribute to the various teams fulfilling important roles.
In respect to their services to healthcare, Morgan has secured accreditation by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) and expects to have all of its plants accredited next year. This certification is only awarded to enterprises after submitting to a rigorous review of all operational systems and demonstrating proof of its adherence to the strictest of protocols involving the processing of laundry. The certification process involves every manner of examination, from the way textiles are sorted and cleaned to the way that air is circulated through a plant. It analyzes the way in which water is filtered, the way workers come in contact with textiles as well as the way they are trained in performing necessary protocols. HLAC accreditation ultimately encompasses much more, but as Simmons says, “We undertook accreditation to provide a level of assurance to hospitals that we’re processing linens in accordance with strict guidelines that assure delivery of a quality product.”
“There’s a strict process of meeting special parameters, and if you don’t, you don’t get accredited. More importantly, we think these procedures are necessary for patient and employee safety. We’re going to do what is necessary to ensure we’re compliant and our customers are being served the way they should be served,” says Simmons.
In addition to its HLAC accreditation, Morgan Services was the very first coast-to-coast linen and uniform enterprise to achieve “Clean Green” Certification from the industry authority known as the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA). Morgan has been honored by the TRSA for achieving efficiencies in water and energy conservation and embracing best management practices for the reusing, reclaiming and recycling of resources. While Morgan practices reflect the company’s attention to environmental sustainability, Simmons says the company is equally, if not more, focused on patient safety. He says Morgan Services members take great pride and dedication in their role to help reduce the likelihood of hospital-acquired infections.
While that prompts the industry’s best practices in laundry care, it has also led Morgan Services to become a leading provider of supplies through its divisions of healthcare, hospitality and environmental services. The company website at www.morganservices.com features an array of microfiber products, mats, specialty cleaning cloths, mops as well as other environmental service products. They also provide all manner of color and style in the way of hospital or hospitality apparel. Simmons says a team is deployed in each division to help customers determine the best colors and styles to suit their respective operation. Uniforms can even be equipped with RF chips which accommodate tracking and usage patterns associated with the lifecycle of the garment. This feature is a real convenience at facilities where scrub suits seem to go missing too soon.
Partners in Professionalism
After 125 years of operation, Morgan Services has also prospered by forming strategic relationships which augment its ability to so effectively serve its customers. For example, the company has maintained a long-term relationship with Ellis, an industry leading manufacturer of washing machines and other laundry equipment. Morgan Services has also worked closely with another family-owned industry leader in Tingue, Brown & Co., a global supplier and manufacturer of high-quality finishing equipment products such as flatwork ironer products and textile materials designed to promote high throughput rates with low maintenance, important energy savings and safety for workers.
As for the products supplied by Morgan Services, it has formed relationships with companies that operate throughout the world in an effort to source the materials representative of the quality standards which have so successfully defined its own operations. The company maintains a close relationship with Florida-based Fashion Seal, a leading producer of apparel for healthcare who has also helped develop the catalog of available goods accessed through Morgan Service’s website. In hospitality, Simmons says Morgan Services has maintained a long relationship with another company known as Baltic Linens whose services are described as invaluable. Other companies, like Venus Textiles, provide specialty product to meet unique customer needs.
Because of Morgan Services’ standards, Simmons says it is very “difficult” to secure Morgan’s business. Yet, for those who can deliver on quality and expectations, Simmons says the company practices loyalty, to the extent that is also difficult to lose their business. Morgan Services is a crucial professional partner to many companies due to the range of customers served by Morgan. From hospitality to healthcare, Morgan Services provides means for a number of companies to more efficiently see their products penetrate into the market, and that’s made a difference to companies in America, as well as India, Cambodia, Pakistan and the Caribbean.
As for the future, Simmons says the company is always seeking new opportunities, but exercises caution. “We know what we do well, and we’re not trying to be the biggest in our industry, just the best.”
He says the company is not presently looking to expand into new locations or markets, but isn’t opposed to anything in the way of a right opportunity. He hints of upcoming potential to expand on services already being provided to its current customer base, referring to a new product, or service, which will enable Morgan Services to more greatly deliver on solutions that mitigate hospital-acquired infections. As to what that product actually is, well, Simmons excitement for the future may only be outmatched by his intent to keep a secret.
“Some people admitted to a hospital will acquire nosocomial infections like pneumonia or “superbug” infections.” We are near final development of a product and service that will help healthcare facilities address this problem. Based on initial reaction of healthcare professionals, there is a great deal of interest. They appreciate what we are developing to help them reduce the potential for hospital acquired infections,” says Simmons, while refusing to reveal more details. Even as the company prepares for the launch of this new – thing – all can be sure that the company will continue to emphasize quality, operational excellence and critical attention to customer service just as it has for the last 125 years.
“Our mission is to be the best company in our service area as seen through the eyes of our target customers,” says Simmons. “That isn’t a company slogan … that’s who we are and what we do, everyday.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Morgan Services
Preferred Vendor of Choice:
- Venus Group
- Alliant Systems
- United Textile Distribution
- Ellis Corporation
- Standard Textile
- Leonard Automatics