Spin Linen is Chamber's Small Business 2/12/13 02/12/13 10:06:00 AM
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Angie McGee has “some stuff in the hopper” for her “small business,” planning to continue its double-digit growth.
By Dan McCann
– Photo by Jim Ferguson
Spin Linen Management:
Small Business With Big Plans for Growth
The Daily Record
She fought it. Then, she embraced it. Then, she – and the family business – flourished.
“I don’t think small; I think pretty big. I’ve got some stuff in the hopper,” said Angie McGee, president of Spin Linen Management.
Honored as the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for February, Spin Linen Management (formerly Spic and Span Linen Supply) is a full-service linen supply company, catering primarily to the hospitality and healthcare industries.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being different from our competition. I don’t ever claim to be the low cost person. I consider myself fair and reasonable,” said McGee. “I have full disclosure with my customers, and I look at our relationships as partnerships. We want to partner with people who want to partner with us.”
Brothers Gus and Vic Shiro founded the original company in 1932. McGee’s father, Del Ringling, and grandfather, Mike Nisker, bought them out 47 years later – and grew the operation 400 percent during their 25-year tenure.
Though McGee grew up in the business, she said she had “no intention of staying in the business.” After college, she spent several years in Chicago learning sales and experiencing different industries. But, when the “dotcom bubble” burst and Chicago’s economy took the hit, she realized there was comfort in linen.
“I said, ‘You know, the linen business isn’t so bad.’ They don’t really suffer the peaks and valleys that a lot of other industries do because people always need linens. So, I worked for a couple of different linen supply companies in Chicago, and I learned how the big guys did it,” she said.
With that knowledge in tow, McGee returned to Omaha and, in 2005, purchased the company from her father.
“Since that time, we’ve more than doubled in sales,” she said. McGee attributes much of that growth to inroads the company has made in the healthcare industry.
“From the knowledge that I gained in Chicago, I saw a real opportunity there. I’ve spent the last five years really driving that side of the business. It now accounts for about 40 percent of our revenue,” she explained.
Today, Spin Linen Management is one of only two Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC)-certified linen facilities in Nebraska. That means its linens and uniforms are prepared, washed, sanitized, packaged and documented according to HLAC standards, which helps hospitals and healthcare facilities reduce cross-contamination and increase patient safety.
“In the last year, we’ve picked up quite a few new surgery centers. We just landed a huge deal with Alegent back in August. Healthcare is definitely where we’re seeing our growth, and we had about 12 percent growth last year,” said McGee. “We anticipate double digit growth again this year.”
McGee changed the company name to Spin Linen Management (from Spic and Span Linen Supply) two years ago, in part, to be “taken more seriously by the healthcare market.” It was also an opportunity for the company to re-evaluate and clearly define its culture – “What are we best at and how do we set ourselves apart?”
“For us, it’s that we manage linens better than anybody else. Even though we may not be the lowest on a unit price basis, we make sure those inventories are managed correctly so that we can keep your costs down,” said McGee.
Backed by a team of about 40 people, McGee said she seeks out employees who are innovative, independent and focused on providing superior customer service.
“We’re going to show clients that service does matter; that it is worth something; and we’re going to do it better than anyone else,” she said.
That dedication to customer care is earning Spin Linen Management community recognition. McGee said she was shocked – and very honored – to receive the Chamber’s latest Small Business of the Month Award.
“My team is very excited. I think it speaks to the fact that we’re trying to get noticed as the local provider in the market and a community contributor. I like to think of myself as someone who helps with the economy in Omaha,” she said.
McGee hopes to make an even bigger impact on the economy in the future. With the right team in place, she said she can focus less on day-to-day operations and more on outside-the-box, big picture, long-term goal planning.
“This is not a lifestyle business for me. I am very growth-oriented. I’d like to see this be a $20-million company someday,” she said.