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Repair or replace: that’s the age-old question. It can be tricky to decide whether you should strap on the tool-belt, call the repair service, or decide that it’s time to swap out your current commercial laundry equipment for new machines. Fortunately, we have identified five signs that it’s time to upgrade your commercial laundry machines, no matter what type of facility you operate.
High utility costs
No bones about it, utility prices are going up and up. Rates for water, natural gas, and electricity have risen, and according to forecasts from the US Energy Information Administration, that trend is not changing anytime soon. You have likely already factored this into your business plan, but there are ways to mitigate some of these rising costs. One of these ways is to upgrade your commercial laundry equipment.
If you are finding that your utility costs are higher than you are comfortable with, swapping out your current laundry equipment for newer models may help you get back into the black. There are many options that are more energy efficient than your current machines, saving you money every month. Many new commercial laundry machines are built to reduce water usage, and newer washers often extract more water than older ones, saving energy by reducing dry times.
Broken or out-dated equipment
Nothing lasts forever, including commercial laundry equipment. If you are finding yourself spending more time and effort repairing your machines (or more time waiting for your current service to show up), then it may be that your equipment has passed it’s useful lifespan.
According to the Coin Laundry Association, the expected life of commercial laundry equipment is as follows:
Topload washers (12 lbs. to 14 lbs.): 5-8 years
Frontload washers (18 lbs. to 50 lbs.): 10-15 years
Dryers (30 lbs. to 60 lbs.): 10-15 years
Heating systems: 10-15 years
Coin changers: 10-15 years
Heavy use, or abuse, can make these even shorter. If your equipment has seen some things, it may be time for an upgrade.
But there may be other really solid reasons to upgrade even if your commercial laundry equipment is still operating correctly. Perhaps it’s mechanically sound but beat up physically. Maybe it doesn’t fit the overall aesthetic of your facility. It could be that it’s time to switch from a coin-operated machine to one that features more payment options (like phone applications or credit/debit cards). All of these are pretty good signs that it may be time to upgrade.
Changing times cause changing demographics. Changing demographics can create changing expectations for the commercial laundry user experience. If your users are unhappy, they may opt for a different laundry solution, so it is ALWAYS worth your time to pay attention to what your customers want.
Some expectations are clearer than others. Commercial laundry customers want clean facilities, high-quality machines, and short wait times. They seem to prefer high volume machines, allowing them to wash or dry multiple loads at the same time. And as technology improves, many want a variety of payment options. Does your current commercial laundry equipment meet or exceed these expectations? Does your competitor’s?
Dissatisfied with current commercial laundry equipment service
Have you ever spent all day waiting for your laundry equipment service to show up for a maintenance call? How long was that out-of-order sign on the bill changer? Are you really sure that your service is accurately reporting revenues for each machine? It’s a good idea to think through these types of questions, because the answers may DEFINITELY be signs that it’s time to upgrade not only your equipment, but your vendor. Or, maybe it’s time to cut out the vendor altogether and venture into self-ownership (with or without a service and maintenance plan).
Have you taken the time to really explore the benefits of owning your own commercial laundry equipment? Self-owned laundry machines take the guesswork out of your profit/loss statements by allowing you to track the performance of your equipment (instead of leaving it to a vendor). Not only that, but you may be able to increase your laundry revenue stream 80% by leaving your route operator and moving to a self-operated laundry solution–while still enjoying the benefits that a route operator promises.
Now that you know a few of the signs that it’s time to upgrade your commercial laundry equipment, SelfOp Laundry is ready to help! Contact us today to discuss the right solutions for your facility.