In every industry, operators must keep up with market demand and innovation, and commercial laundry is no different. For decades, when people would think of a laundromat, they pictured the rustic push-pull, coin-operated machines of the past. However, as we move into the next decade, innovation and change are continuing to reshape commercial laundry as digital and convenient.
Recently, Planet Laundry released a 2019 industry report recapping all of the changes and innovations within the laundry space. Today we’re going to highlight some of the key findings and discuss their impact on 2020.
Alternative Payment Methods. Throughout 2019, we saw continued growth of alternative payment methods available, mobile applications, and fully integrated payment processing built directly into the machines. Convenience is a major buying factor for many consumers, and having options to pay with a credit card or through a mobile app is more appealing than scrounging your couch for quarters.
Increased Competition. Additionally, there has been a large increase in competition, leading companies to ramp up their marketing strategies. Faster turn-around time is a primary target as machines become more energy-efficient, but many competitors have even started to offer free dry.
Energy Efficiency. Maintaining operating costs has become increasingly difficult, and many operators have moved toward investments in new technology and new construction with the help of investors. Energy-efficient laundry facilities have become more and more important to investors and customers. The latest equipment has shorter dry times, uses less water, and has temperature and level adjustment, making facilities eco-friendlier with lower utility bills and lower energy consumption. The nation’s near-record low unemployment rates affect the ability to hire laundry attendants.
Added Features. An influx of tech-savvy investors has led to premium-featured equipment with technology-based solutions for a better experience. Added programmable controls give the customer options to customize their load, with add-ons, extra time, or spins with a variety of options and opportunities for added revenue for the owner.
Connectivity. Connectivity helps manage your machines to limit unnecessary maintenance requests and the ability to drive analytics around your business. The ability to draw analytics from connected machines continues to allow operators to monitor performance through usage, control levels, managing downtime, and many others. This makes cost controlling much more manageable as well, as you can see what your usage is in real-time, rather than waiting on your utility bill. In addition, by analyzing data from their machines, operators can generate insights on machine performance and how the machines are being used by customers.
As the laundry market continuing to grow and change, it will be interesting to see what the next decade brings. With connectivity being one of the biggest changes to the market, here at OptConnect, we are focused on simplifying and managing connectivity for commercial laundry deployers. With our solution, you’ll get all the reliable connectivity and uptime analytics you need.
Let our connectivity experts manage your commercial laundry facility. Give us a call today at 877-678-3343 or click here to visit our website for more information.