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Spotlight: Leslie Cross – Management Support

Welcome to our Spotlight series, where we delve into the stories of our Alsco Uniforms employees; exploring their experiences, career trajectories, and the unique insights they’ve gained along the way. This interview features Leslie Cross, our Management Support at Alsco Uniforms. We sat down with him recently to unpack his time within the company and gain valuable insights into his professional journey.

How long have you been at the company and when did you start?

I initially started in the Service Department as a Service Delivery Person in 1979. When I left Alsco in 1981, I had become a Service Delivery Manager. My partner had to attend a course of training that was only available at RMIT in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I worked for Princes Fabricare Services in Melbourne, a private laundry business, on a personal recommendation of the Auckland Branch Sales Manager, as he knew the Princes family. That company was eventually acquired by Alsco, has become Alsco Mulgrave.

I was contacted in the last month I was staying in Melbourne by both the Auckland Service Manager and the Auckland Production Manager to see if I was interested in coming back to Alsco. On returning from Melbourne in 1981, I decided to try the Production Team environment as I’d only ever seen this aspect of our business as an outsider when working in the Service Department. I then proceeded to garner experience by working through the soil checking in area, the washroom section, where my trainer had been there 10 years already and is still with Alsco today. I then progressed to the finishing area and became a production supervisor. I stayed in the Production Team for approximately three years before moving back into the Service Team for another six years, then moved to the Textile Manager role for another six years. I finally moved to our Head Office as a Support Person for the IT Projects Manager in 1996 and have been at our Support Centre for the last 28 years. 

There have been many exciting changes in our business operations, in our team structure and in technology during that time. We basically are the same service company, but business aspirations and methods have evolved so much in 40 years, and that’s what makes Alsco Uniforms such an interesting company to stay at long term. The chances to be involved in changes and making an aspirational choice for success of those changes and growth in yourself.

What advice would you give someone considering a career at Alsco?

There is the opportunity to learn from so many experienced and passionate people. Those who start at Alsco tend to stay for a long time. We’ve had people start as an entry level employee and progress to many different managerial roles such as Branch General Manager and even as far as becoming the CEO. We’ve had people move to Alsco operations in other countries because the opportunity exists when we are a company that spans 5 continents.

What’s your favourite part about working for Alsco?

It is a cliché, but people are my favourite aspect of working for Alsco. Your day goes so easily when the colleagues you work with excel at what they do and extend their knowledge and use that to become gold bricks where they are, or to gather experience to grow in the company as leaders and examples to everyone that’s here and everyone who wants to know what Alsco is about.

Have you received any training or qualifications through Alsco?

Yes, I have received training. In the simplest example of training received for something we take for granted today. When I started at Alsco, we did not have desktop computers. We had dumb terminals, and when I got my first desktop computer, I was sent on courses on how to start one! And simple things in Excel and Word. Amazing today looking back on such simplistic things. 

What would you say your biggest achievement has been in your career with Alsco?

Actually, I have two achievements I will mention:

  1. I never expected to be here this long! But the work life has been so interested that the work itself has been so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work at all.
  2. Working on projects and processes that will leave a legacy for success of Alsco and its people, now and into the future.

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