OSHKOSH, Wis. — When your washers and dryers are aged-out or inefficient, it’s time to retool for greater revenue and profit. While planning that equipment retool and comparing brands, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will the new equipment set your laundry apart from the competition?
- Will it attract and serve more self-service customers?
- Will it increase customer turnover for more paying customers per day?
- Will it deliver the flexibility and features you need today and into the future?
In a nutshell, look to replace aged-out equipment with new washers and dryers offering performance, flexibility and customer convenience.
This is measured by reliability, efficiency and productivity. Choose equipment that offers a quicker wash and dry, for more rapid customer turnover, while saving water, electricity and natural gas.
High-production commercial and industrial plants have used freestanding soft-mount washers for 50 years. Don’t confuse these high-performing washers with the homestyle, domestic front-load washers found in appliance stores. While both hard- and soft-mount washers are efficient, soft-mount washers deliver more advantages to positively impact profits.
- Long-Term Operational Savings: While the cost of a soft-mount washer is a bit more than a hard-mount washer, soft-mounts will lower operational costs—especially natural gas usage—considerably. This is because soft-mount washers generate and sustain extract speeds up to 400-plus G-force compared to traditional hard-mount machines and their 100- to 200-G-force extraction. Thus, they remove significantly more moisture from a load, slashing the resulting dry time by up to 50%. Soft-mount washers will also reduce operational time, extending equipment longevity and cutting natural gas costs.
- Improve Customer Turnover: A laundry with soft-mount washers can serve more paying customers per day, increasing customer turnover, when compared to a store equipped with hard-mount washers. Customers can get in and out, in less than 60 minutes, saving time. Customer satisfaction? Check!
- Installation Without Bolt-down: Soft-mounts will also save installation costs. They can be placed in the same area as replaced hard-mounts without the added expense of reinforced concrete foundations of 8 to 14 inches.
Machines should offer features and capabilities that bring flexibility to how you operate your laundry. Look for a highly programmable control and the ability to integrate ozone or automatically inject chemistry (detergents, brighteners, microbe kill additives and fabric softeners) into the wash cycle to provide sanitization.
- Programmable Control: A quality control allows owners to program virtually any variable of a wash cycle, so it’s simple to shorten or extend wash/rinse times and to control water temperatures, extract speeds and vend prices. It will also interface with payment systems to allow quick and complete control over your machines and laundry.
- Control Upgrades: Do you have the ability to upgrade your control if needed in the future? Some manufacturers provide upgrade kits — keeping your washers relevant.
- Sanitization-Capable: Offering customers a sanitized wash is a great way to stand apart, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can sanitize laundry using ozone or chemistry, so be certain the machines you choose are ozone-compatible or offer automatic chemical injection.
- Monetizing Simplicity: Be sure the washer control offers a way to monetize sanitization or an extra wash or spin. When customers select one of these options, they’re automatically charged a bit more in vend price, adding to your profit.
Machines should bring an extra measure of customer convenience and satisfaction to the table. Choosing soft-mount washers with extra wash options, selecting large capacities, offering sanitization and providing automatic chemical injection, especially on large machines, will help set your store apart.
- Soft-mount washers allow customers to complete laundry in 60 minutes or less.
- Washer controls with extra wash options give customers more control over how their laundry is processed.
- Laundry sanitization makes customers feel safe and sets your store apart.
- Big machines allow customers to quickly wash bulky items and family-sized loads.
- Automatic injection of chemicals in big machines eliminates the need to lug and load detergent while providing greater customer turnover during busy times.
At the end of the day, a retool is about generating more revenue and profit, so remember that the equipment-buying decision you make today will impact your store for the next dozen years or more. Make your equipment choice based on flexibility, performance and customer satisfaction, not simply on purchase price. Utilities are a vended laundry’s greatest uncontrolled expense, so do your research and retool with machinery that delivers now and into the future.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].