ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Multiple presentations delivering guidelines for planning textile services business continuation following major disruptions such as natural catastrophes and equipment/supply failures highlight the agenda for TRSA’s Production Summit and Plant Tours, Oct. 25-26 at Harrah’s New Orleans. As memories of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina linger in the city, New Orleans is a fitting backdrop for discussions featuring local officials and launderers offering firsthand testimony to the importance of anticipating the worst.
Attendees will see how two laundry operations in the area are equipped and organized in this respect as the program includes visits to nearby facilities of Starr Textile Services, a linen supplier and drycleaner for hotels, and TLC Services, which serves largely food and beverage customers.
Chief among the Summit sessions will be a facilitated Tabletop Exercise in which attendees will be divided into small groups, each presented with a hypothetical, industry-specific disaster scenario. Groups will envision solutions to minimize economic damage from the misfortune and rebuild the physical plant. Participants’ crisis-response skills will be tested as new information regarding the scenario is presented later in the session.
Not only will this simulation challenge attendees to address surprise challenges, it will be an opportunity to work closely with industry colleagues, a plus for peer networking. The exercise promises to be a no-fault, creative and fun discussion environment, learning best practices that will be invaluable when needed.
Facilitating the exercise will be Andrew Sachs of DCMC Partners, Freeport, Maine. An expert in identifying and prioritizing recovery needs in the wake of disasters, Sachs is a trusted advisor to government and corporate executives. He supports their efforts at the state, national, and corporate levels to address complex public policy and operational challenges related to economic and physical recovery. He’s secured and managed billions in recovery funding on behalf of clients.
Among the recent disasters in which he’s had a leading public role:
Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2011)
Superstorm Sandy (2011)
Midwest Floods of 2008
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005)
Sachs’ more recent high-profile roles have been with private sector organizations in consultation with public officials. Previously he held leadership positions at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) heading program outreach as well as serving as a special assistant in the Response and Recovery Directorate.
Besides the Tabletop Exercise, other sessions offering advice on contending with catastrophes include:
Disaster Plan Case Study
Disaster Planning Considerations
Disaster Recovery First-Hand Accounts (Panel)
Public Safety Perspectives (Opening Session)
Following the plant tours on Wednesday, Oct. 26, Production Summit attendees are welcome to participate in TRSA’s Maintenance Management Institute (MMI), also at Harrah’s New Orleans, concluding Friday. MMI brings launderers up to speed on best practices for prediction, prevention and repair used by engineers and other personnel responsible for minimizing downtime and maximizing equipment life. Also on the MMI agenda is an optional tour of laundry machinery maker Pellerin Milnor Corp., recognized as one of the most significant outbound (export) manufacturers in the New Orleans area.