Professional laundry operations, whether outsourced or done on location, can be incredibly hectic to manage. As technology keeps advancing, operators have more tools and resources available to them, but they are having to be strategic with what they choose to embrace and implement given the costs associated. The advancements made possible with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) are helping operators as the industry and technology continues to evolve and shift.
In particular, laundry machines are becoming smarter and smarter, offering new features and capabilities to further simplify commercial laundry operations. Part of their smarter technology includes their ability to communicate with other machines through managed connectivity. As laundry machines continue to advance, the key to their functionality and overall success is ultimately their ability to connect reliably.
Managed connectivity includes remote monitoring, real-time status updates, and much more. These are all things that are imperative to a streamlined connectivity experience. Today I want to talk about my experience in commercial laundry, how the market has evolved, and what role managed connectivity is playing in the space currently.
A Market Ripe for Change
I entered the commercial laundry space about five years ago, after a long career in vending. I was working for PayRange at the time, a mobile payment solution. During this time, I was approached by a close friend who was a laundry distributor in upstate New York; he said he was frustrated by the limits of current technology being offered. Additionally, the purchase process for the user of the machines was creating unnecessary friction and inconvenience, which was throttling revenue optimization.
It was clear that the commercial laundry market was ripe for change. Operators wanted laundry machines that had more functionality, and customers wanted a more simplified experience. Initially, there were a variety of credit card and debit card systems on the market which helped address the need for cashless payment to the machine, but more consumers were expecting and demanding much more than just cashless payment, they wanted a completely frictionless experience that was fast and simple.
As time went on, we started to see advancements on the operator side as well as the consumer side. We now see laundry machines that can track and monitor specific data for operators like water temperatures, repair alerts, and transaction tracking. On the consumer side, clients are able to get notifications to an app to see when a load is done, when a machine becomes available, and more.
All of these features are keeping laundry operations on the edge of technology, but they are not possible without internet connectivity. Operators are able to get to market faster, have a more reliable connection, less downtime, and more time to focus on running their business by partnering with a connectivity expert like OptConnect who manages the entire spectrum of connectivity so all they have to do is plug the wireless modem in the rest is taken care of. They have one point of contact with 24/7 customer support and lifetime warranties included as well as a customer portal where they can monitor and manage their own devices from anywhere. The complexity, frustration and hassle of typical connectivity deployments is completely removed by partnering by OptConnect.
Why Managed Connectivity?
Today, the commercial laundry industry connects to the internet through Ethernet, LAN, Wi-Fi, and Cellular. However, communication needs are changing rapidly, and network security has become more of a priority. Many operators find themselves unable to join a location’s Wi-Fi network due to an IT manager locking down the network and not allowing any 3rd parties to access it or losing connectivity when passwords or settings are changed and not having a quick and reliable way to reconnect.
This has catapulted managed cellular connectivity to the forefront for commercial laundry operators. This is because managed connectivity offers many benefits, like:
- Single source of contact for 24/7 support
- Ease of installation for virtual plug and play. When specific routing or settings are needed, dedicated technical support to assist set-up
- Security, connectivity, profiles, firmware are handled
- Ability to have multiple carriers and just pay one bill
- Carrier options to provide the best coverage and bandwidth in any given area
- Purchase and lease options available
- Data overage risk mitigation
- Lifetime warranty on equipment
Supporting Commercial Laundry
As the premier wireless data provider for commercial laundry, OptConnect has the hardware, the network connections, the software, and the monitoring and support to make your commercial laundry deployment simple and secure.
OptConnect provides a fully-managed service, supplying hardware, network connections from all of North America’s major carriers, and support services. Managed, end-to-end service allows commercial laundry operators to add OptConnect to laundry machines without introducing a complicated, time consuming new step in the process.
To learn more about OptConnect’s connectivity solution for commercial laundry, please call us at 1.877.678.3343 or click here.