OSHKOSH, Wis. — Most laundry owners don’t look extensively into washer programming. Perhaps they should. While many washer brands offer controls allowing for various levels of programmability, some laundry operators default to factory settings. In doing so, they might miss out on opportunities to cut utility costs, generate additional revenue and fuel store profits.
In this column, I delve into how washer programmability can work to benefit a laundry’s bottom line. In Part 1, I looked at understanding the control and began assessing individually modifiable programs. Let’s continue:
INDIVIDUALLY MODIFIABLE PROGRAMS
Generally, a washer control offers several programs that can be individually modified, including “Hot,” “Cold,” “Warm,” etc. Think about adjusting the following parameters within each option:
Program Time — This is the time it takes to complete a program, such as Hot, Warm, Cold and “SuperWash.” Longer program times consume more energy and create higher utility costs. They also contribute to bottlenecks at the washer during busy periods. The default settings for program time are generally elevated. Lower the wash, rinse and spin time by seconds or minutes to serve more paying customers per day while simultaneously using less energy.
Number of Rinses — Some programs offer up to four rinses. Evaluate the programs and decide if it’s possible to produce quality results with fewer rinses. Eliminating one rinse on a 30-pound washer can save up to 6-8 gallons per fill. Over the course of a year, at three turns per day, this saves up to 8,760 gallons. Imagine the water and dollars saved for an entire laundry.
Bath Level — The water level of each bath (prewash, wash or rinse) can also be adjusted for significant savings in water costs. Continental’s ProfitPlus® Control, for example, offers five levels, from 0 “without water” to 4 “extra-high level.” A slightly lower water level will likely produce the quality results customers expect, at a lower cost.
Automatic Detergent Dosing — A few washers on the market allow for automatic dosing of detergents, bleach and softeners. There’s high profit potential in offering this convenience to customers. Automatic dosing can be programmed into compatible washers.
Vend Price — Of course, each program can be assigned a vend price depending on the utilities consumed and customer demand. For example, an owner might charge more for Hot and Warm cycles. Some controls also allow time-of-day and day-of-week pricing. This allows the automatic modification of the programs during busy and slow periods based on a calendar or promotion. Smart vend pricing can help laundries draw customers and offset energy costs. Similar to the car wash industry, some laundry owners are choosing to raise prices during busy periods and offer standard pricing during non-peak periods.
Modifiable Extras — Occasionally, washers go beyond the normal program options of Hot, Warm and Cold by offering an “extra” wash, rinse or spin. While the extras come preprogrammed with factory default settings, owners can tweak those variables to further conserve utilities and improve profits. In doing so, they can adjust water levels and temperatures, wash/rinse/extract times, extract speeds and vend prices. And, each time a customer selects an extra, the vend is a bit more for that load. Extras can significantly contribute to greater revenue per turn and improved store profits.
At the end of the day, it’s important that any program tweaks make sense. Evaluate how each change might impact your customer, as well as your laundry’s bottom line.
Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.