Keep pushing forward
Discipline is an essential component to serving in the military and it’s also key to success in the corporate world. Coffey certainly has plenty of discipline, but there’s another aspect to his approach that keeps both him and his team pushing forward to reach even greater heights.
“There is no destination. That’s how you avoid a letdown after seeing success,” Coffey says. “There is no finish line. The modernization of our business has continued for the entire 10-year period that I’ve been here. Our culture is one of continuous improvement. The goal and objective is to constantly be improving the way we operate the business and the way we think about it.”
Coffey says he’s constantly looking for better ways to service his customers.
In 2013, the company acquired Coinamatic, Canada’s largest provider of multifamily laundry services. It was a transaction that joined two companies that are leaders in the industry. In August 2014, WASH announced the acquisition of American Meter & Appliance, expanding the company’s footprint into the Pacific Northwest region.
The moves continue to broaden the company’s reach, but the focus must always stay on the customer.
“I learned quickly that although I have 450,000 washers and dryers installed, my product isn’t washers and dryers,” Coffey says. “It’s customer service. That’s delivered by people. Because it’s delivered by people, my focus is on the people who provide that service.”
Coffey’s approach to leadership was recognized when he was named a semifinalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2014 Greater Los Angeles Awards.
“It’s a great personal honor to be recognized by such a prestigious awards program for my work at WASH,” Coffey says. “Ultimately, this is what transforms the laundry experience for our customers and keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive in our 67-year-old company.”
As he looks to the future, Coffey has ambitious goals he has every intention of reaching.
“As I said, there has never been a destination,” Coffey says. “From an enterprise perspective, we’re worth almost $1 billion now. So I want to build a $2 billion company and then a $3 billion company. There is no, ‘I’ve reached the finish line.’ By not having a finish line, you’re never done.” ●
- Stay true to who you are.
- Take advantage of your opportunities.
- Don’t focus on the finish line.
The Coffey File
Born: Chicago. I grew up in southeast Michigan.
Education: La Salle University, Philadelphia
Honors: The following are awards received by WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems.
■ Winner of Best Laundry Service Provider Readers Choice Award, Apartment Finance Today.
■ Whirlpool Best of the Best Award.
■ ENERGY STAR Partner.
■ Speed Queen Multi-Housing Award of Excellence.
■ Maytag Star Performer Award.
■ Maytag Multi-Housing Excellence Award (four-time winner).
Seven tips to stay green while doing laundry:
■ Wash in cold water.
■ Reduce and reuse packaging.
■ Only wash full loads.
■ Separate towels.
■ Avoid chlorine bleach.
■ Whiten with lemon juice.
■ Remove lint.