Tag Archives: management

Efficient garment storage and retrival management operational systems

Mananaging a highly efficient garment retrival and storage operation isn’t as easy as you might think. The first mistake most people make when considering running such an operation is to think that it is easy. By following this guide you too can learn how to run, manage, operate, integrate and searate all your garment management functions for conference occasions. 


This article uses highly technical and specific terminology relevant to garment retrival and storage operations, please familiarise yourself with the terms below before moving on to the main article.

Garment – A thing somebody wears. Typically in winter this is a coat. When people come inside they usually take off their outer garment and have to put it somewhere. Storage and retrival of such garments is our business.

Cloakroom – Shorthand for a garment storage and retrival service.

Tickets – The lifeblood of your garment storage and retrival service, without a ticket the efficiency of garment retrival is heavily compromised.

Conference – A distraction from the garment retrival and storage service. People turn up to meet each other and listen to yet more people speaking about things which they find interesting. Do not let yourself get distracted from the main business of garment retrival and storage by the conference events. To do so is to invite chaos and disaster.

Garment storage and retrival unit  – another term for the individuals who actually do the garment storage and retrival operations. Like most individuals they can be motivated by smiles, praise for efficient operation, tips and chocolate treats.

Desk – an item of furniture which is used to prevent members of the public from entering the garment retrival and storage area. Should members of the public or conference guests get behind the desk then you will need to ask them to politely return to their designated area.


Like any well run organisation, the secret is a highly motivated team of dynamic individuals working together as one.

When thinking about and organising your garment storage and retrival operation, simply bear in mind these five points to avoid going wrong, making mistakes or disappointing your garment retrievers.

The five tenants of garment retrival, according to me:

Rule 1 – Respect the garments.

Garments are peoples prized possessions, you are being entrusted with them for just a short period of time and it’s important to take care of them. To ensure a successful relationship with your customers it you should avoid the following disrespectful activities:

  • Setting fire to things
  • Performing fashion shows with deposited garments
  • Loud music, especially when the music shows bad taste
  • Rain, wind or extreme weather events
  • Fighting (with anyone)
  • Excessive partying during the opening hours of the conference.

Rule 2 – Organise, everything.

Organisation is the key to success. Numbering everything is the key to organisation, which is the key to success. Tickets are the key to numbering everything, which is the key to organisation, which is the key to success. 

Because chaos leads to confusion leads to lost garments leads to fear leads to the dark side.

Because chaos leads to confusion leads to lost garments leads to fear leads to the dark side.

Rule 3 – No pets or live animals

Working with live animals in a garment storage and retrival service is to invite disaster, wether they be wild animals, strays or domesticated pets. When customers are checking in their garments be sure to inspect them for signs of animals hiding inside pockets or sleeves. Should you discover after the fact that a customer has deposited an animal in addition to their garment, their pet should immediately be moved to the lost and found desk even if it is very cute.

Rule 4 – Form an orderly queue

Persuading members of the public and conference guests to form an orderly and directed queue for the storage or retrival of garments. Equally, if your garment storage and retrival units get out of line be sure to put them in an orderly queue as well. 

For some reason this symbol reminds me of Halflife.

For some reason this symbol reminds me of Halflife.

Rule 5 – There is no rule 5

Because I got bored of this article at Rule 3, and probably so did you. Likewise, if you’re still reading this and haven’t realised it’s a spoof then the joke is on you 😉

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Lessons Learned?

Today I started to create a ‘lessons learned’ document for the major project I’ve been working on since last year. Initially I sat down and wrote out all the various headings for the project and it occured to me that the number of lessons learned was very large and they cover literally all aspects of the project. Obviously such a long an exhaustive list is going to take a long time for me and other members of the project team to assemble, and a long time in the future for anyone wishing to read the outcome. So whilst I was driving home I started to think about ways to sort through this information and produce a more lightweight, punchy and pertinent document. Here is the result:


  1. Divide the project into 9 topics, by discipline. In the case of my project this will be something like: design conception, specification, tender process, documentation, low voltage electrical, high voltage electrical, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and safety
  2. Brainstorm the learning points for each of your selected topics with the whole team
  3. Sort the ideas in order of pertinence for each category and ignore anything that isn’t at least in the top 10.
  4. Provide a detailed description (from a page to a paragraph) for the first 3 items in each category
  5. For any items 4 and above a summary description will be sufficient.
  6. Pick out the 10 most important points across all areas (you should already have written out the detailed descriptions for these items, some abreviation might be necessary if you have 10 full pages).
  7. Create an executive summary and put the 10 points you selected in there.

I’m going to try this method over the next week or so and see how it works. All the major projects I’ve worked on previously have had a day or two of workshops at the end devoted to exactly this kind of process. The normal tangible outcomes of such a process are either a very large excel spreadsheet or a lengthy word document that isn’t finished until +1 year after the project. The documents themselves are seldom, if ever, read after the event and by those outside the team that created them. However there is still value in these kinds of process, the majority of which is captured by the participants who are able to crystalise the knowledge gained and apply it personally to their own future work. My aim is to make something that can be retained and integrated a little better within the institutional memory of the organisation, which will be more accessible to those outside the core project team.

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