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Counting Down Top 10 Stories from 2018

Publication creates countdown of its most-viewed online articles

CHICAGO — Many of us will be counting down tonight until the clock strikes midnight and 2019 is officially here. In the spirit of a countdown, we’ve reviewed all of our online stories from the past year and come up with a Top 10 based on page views.

In instances where the Top 10 story was part of a larger series, we linked sections of the headline to the other parts so you can easily read the entire article.

So, without further ado, here is our Top 10 for 2018:

10. JUMP INTO IRONING, EXPAND SERVICES

Vended laundry owners who’ve mastered full-service wash-dry-fold are perfectly positioned for business growth by adding a flatwork ironer, wrote Continental Girbau’s Joel Jorgensen.

For the first time, your laundry will quickly and automatically iron sheets, pillowcases, napkins and tablecloths, making it more attractive to healthcare, food and beverage, and hospitality clients. You’ll get your foot in the door with clients you couldn’t service before, benefit from a new revenue stream, and strengthen wash/dry/fold business – all while growing the value of your enterprise.

9. REWARD THOSE WHO GO THE EXTRA MILE

You want your staff to be helpful, pleasant and attentive, wrote Speed Queen Commercial’s Tom Fleck. And we all want to be noticed, recognized and rewarded for going the extra mile and doing things the right way in serving customers, but how do we spur those around us to go just as far ... or farther?

8. ALLIANCE LAUNDRY TO DISCONTINUE PRIMUS BRAND IN NORTH AMERICA

Alliance Laundry Systems made the decision to discontinue selling Primus-branded equipment in the United States and Canada as of Nov. 1, 2018. The brand continues to be sold globally outside North America, and Alliance continues to support installed Primus products in the U.S. and Canada through parts availability and its service and support network.

The decision to discontinue Primus sales in North America came after “significant research” as well as evaluation by Alliance’s executive team, Rick Pyle, president and chief commercial officer, wrote in a press release.

7. BENCHMARKS: MANAGEMENT BY THE NUMBERS

How do you know your store is performing up to expectations? Are you missing opportunities for service expansion? What about the potential for expanding your business to include a second store?

In order to make these types of determinations, you need two things: performance goals and performance data. Benchmarks can help a store owner decide if his/her operation is running well or if it might be time to make some changes.

American Coin-Op polled representatives from several laundry equipment manufacturers and payment systems makers, all of which offer data collection and/or management tools, to review how store owners can crunch the numbers, then act on what they find.

6. EXCELLENCE IN LAUNDRY CONFERENCE DRAWS LARGEST CROWD TO DATE

The Coin Laundry Association’s (CLA) biennial Excellence in Laundry Conference continues to grow. The two-day members-only May gathering in Naples, Florida, had a “head count” of 206, making it the largest since the event began in 2012, said CLA President/CEO Brian Wallace.

Excellence in Laundry was created to provide top-quality industry education and unparalleled networking opportunities to self-service laundry operators during years when there is no Clean Show.

5. 2017-2018 STATE OF THE SELF-SERVICE LAUNDRY INDUSTRY

Our annual survey focused on 2017-2018 business conditions, pricing, equipment, common challenges, turns per day, and utilities cost. More than 77% of store owners reported a boost in their 2017 self-service business.

Drop-off service also ticked upward in 2017. Roughly 68% of operators reported that drop-off service business (in gross dollar volume) increased for them in 2017, compared to 61% in 2016, 52% in 2015 and 18% in 2014.

4. IN THE BEGINNING ...

Think back to the time when you were first thinking of becoming a self-service laundry owner. Remember the work you put in researching the industry, sizing up equipment, studying the market where your store would be located? Does your reality of today differ from your expectations of yesterday?

Our story visited three relatively new store owners from around the country—Vivian “Vivi” Bueno, of Vivi’s Laundry in Carson, California; Gilbert and Mary Valenzuela of Tornado Laundromat in Amarillo, Texas; and John Templin Jr. of Laundry Lounge in Winslow, Maine—who spoke about their experiences during the brief time they’ve been operating.

3. PWS – THE LAUNDRY COMPANY TURNS THE BIG 5-0

2018 was a big year for PWS – The Laundry Company, but the California-based distributor of laundry equipment knows a thing or two about big. After all, it considers itself the largest full-service commercial laundry distributor. PWS celebrated its 50th anniversary. The company founded by Mort Pollack, John Wickham and Bernie Steinberg got its start distributing for Speed Queen in Los Angeles in 1968, but bought out a Northern California distributor within a few years to expand its service area to the entire state.

2. WHIRLPOOL CORP. COMMERCIAL LAUNDRY INVESTS IN OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Whirlpool Corporation Commercial Laundry, a division of Whirlpool Corp., made “substantial investments” in its facilities, products and services with the intent of moving the industry forward, the company said. At mid-year, the company celebrated the completion of investments in its Fall River, Massachusetts, commercial laundry production facility and distribution center. The $35 million project included upgrades to the 300,000-square-foot facility—which is now Whirlpool’s largest plant in the world dedicated to commercial laundry—giving the Maytag® Commercial Laundry brand customized washer production capabilities.

1. MESSE FRANKFURT ACQUIRES CLEAN SHOW

Messe Frankfurt, the German-based trade fair organizer responsible for Texcare shows in Europe and Asia, announced via press release Dec. 5 that it had finalized a deal to purchase the U.S.-based Clean Show from its five sponsoring associations.

Atlanta’s Riddle & Associates, which has been managing Clean Shows under contract since 1993, will manage Clean 2019 on behalf of Messe Frankfurt. That show is scheduled for June 20-23, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Clean Show attendees and exhibitors will see “no changes” in New Orleans from prior shows, according to Ann Howell, who handles public relations for Riddle & Associates.

The previous sponsors—Association for Linen Management (ALM), Coin Laundry Association (CLA), Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA), and TRSA, the association for linen, uniform and facility services—will “maintain their close involvement” with the show, Messe Frankfurt said.