George H. Rawlinson got the first rinse cycle started in 1917. Today, New System is lead by Mark Rawlinson, President of New System.
Q: What are your earliest memories of the family business?
A: My earliest memories are sitting around the dinner table and my father and grandfather talking about the business. From there, I have fond memories of sorting hangers as a middle-schooler and working on summer breaks and holidays. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I’ve done every job along the way to becoming President of New System.
Q: Your great-grandfather was quite the innovator having developed the first garment press back in the mid-1930s. How does his legacy continue today?
A: Developing innovative ways to deliver top-notch service to our customers continues on today through our use of the latest technology and constantly improving the efficiency of our systems with the latest equipment, from cutting edge computer systems to our use of RFID technology for tracking individual items. Our guys on the road even use specialized handhelds that provide the most-up-to date information on their customer orders.
Q: A 4th generation family owned business is no small feat. What has made New System so successful and long lasting?
A: First and foremost is our family’s commitment to keeping the business running and continuing great service to our customers, new and old. Secondly are the people that make up the extended New System family. Each and every person contributes to the overall success and longevity of the company.
Q: What advice do you have for other family-owned businesses?
A: Many challenges face family businesses, from delegating and tough decisions to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and a key to keeping the ship running smoothly is to be sure that ownership is kept with those that truly want to work in the business. It is all right to do something else if you are not fully engaged in it; don’t let feelings of guilt and obligation keep you from pursuing your dream career. Family will always be there for you to support you through whatever decisions you make.
Q: Do you see your own children going into the family business?
A: They are still a bit too young for that, ages 10, 8 and 3, but my wife and I feel very strongly that no matter what direction they decide to take their lives we will support them 110%. If that means carrying on the tradition, that’s great, but if their dreams take them onto other ventures, as I mentioned before, they will have full support of their family.