RIPON, Wis. — In today’s world, technology is constantly advancing and has greatly improved the way we communicate and do business. Whether traveling for work or relaxing at home, having access to e-mail and the capabilities to work remotely 24/7 provides a peace of mind for many people. And the same rings true for the laundry industry. In recent years, equipment has undergone major advancements, and today’s industry-leading controls allow store owners to completely program, monitor, audit and manage their business from any Internet-connected device.
This revolutionary technology combines equipment controls and programming into one central computer to wirelessly network a store. This platform provides an easy-to-use store management solution that will let you adjust your cost structure, reduce utility costs, maximize revenue and increase customer satisfaction.
Paul Spangenberg, owner of Speed Clean Laundry in Antioch, Calif., opened his first store in July 2015. He knows first-hand the benefits wirelessly networking his store provided, and shares how it helped set him up for success his first year of business.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WIRELESS NETWORKING
For first-time store owners, whether opening a brand-new store or acquiring an existing location, there is much to learn about the business and industry. Distributors are an expert resource who can provide a broad range of support services to help a store become profitable as quickly as possible.
Distributors can also help maximize the benefits of a cutting-edge control system by showing how the reporting features provide a comprehensive look at the complete business operation.
Not only is this information critical to track revenue, it can be incredibly useful for a store owner to help increase the understanding of their business, and their customers’ behavior – such as what time of day is most busy, what machine capacity is most used, what cycle preferences customers are selecting, and more.
“I view my reports daily, but during my first few weeks of business, I was running the usage reports multiple times a day,” says Spangenberg. “By reviewing the reports, I was able track my turns per day and know what machines were being used most often. Having this detailed information not only confirmed we were hitting our numbers, but it really helped me develop a strong understanding of my customers’ needs early on.”
Through the increased understanding of the business and visibility to machine operation, store owners can make informed decisions and immediate adjustments to ensure they are generating the most profit.
“I worked closely with my distributor to help set my prices, but in reviewing the analysis within the first few weeks of business, we saw opportunities to further increase revenue,” he shares. “Without access to these reports early on, we would not have been able to make these adjustments.”
Through wireless networking, store owners have complete control over their equipment at all times, allowing them to make adjustments that reduce utilities and increase revenue at any time and from anywhere. By customizing wash settings and adjusting price points from any Internet-connected device, store owners can constantly make modifications to maximize revenue without being present in the store.
“I found the equipment technology very easy to use and operate,” says Spangenberg. “While everything is connected to the computer at my store, I use my phone and computer at home to manage my equipment. Having control over my machines at all times has been invaluable, especially as a new person in the business.”
Advanced controls provide many opportunities to increase profits, such as cycle modifiers, multi-level pricing and time-of-day pricing. Having a wide variety of wash cycle options, such as medium- or heavy-soil programs and warm or cold rinses, allows store owners to create tiered pricing, as the premium cycle selections will come at a premium price. In fact, creating a heavy-soil program can increase washer revenue by 4-5%.
“I have six cycle options for my customers to choose from,” Spangenberg says. “The default cycle is set to the medium wash. If a customer chooses a double wash with a warm temperature, it will increase the cost of the cycle, whereas selecting cold water will reduce the cost by 25 cents. A lot of my customers select the heavy-wash cycle, and they appreciate having the options to meet their needs.”
Additionally, time-of-day pricing lets store owners customize price settings according to their traffic volume to take advantage of peak laundry hours and boost usage during slower periods. Store owners can set machines to charge premium prices when their store is most busy, and offer special rates during off-peak hours to optimize revenue. An additional benefit is that an owner using an advanced control system can have everything pre-programmed with the exact day or time of day so the adjustments take place automatically.
Prior to opening his store, Spangenberg worked closely with his distributor to determine the best way to use his equipment to maximize his profits. His distributor also shared initial monthly and yearly revenue projections for Speed Clean Laundry, so that the owner could track his revenue against these goals.
“Within my first two months of business, my profits exceeded the six-month revenue projections my distributor shared, and within my first year of business, my profits have surpassed the two-year projections,” Spangenberg says. “I’ve been personally involved in my business from day one, and as the only initial employee, I got to know my customers quickly. Through working hard to build a strong relationship with my customers, keeping the store clean and offering efficient and reliable equipment, I have had a lot of success in my first year.”
Check back Thursday for the conclusion!
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected] .