Mac-Gray News

When the Honeymoon is Over...

April 16, 2010

Today, there are many laundry program and equipment vendors competing for your attention. Choosing one will usually result in a relationship that will last for many years, so how do you find the one that will keep you happy after you sign the contract?   Like most business decisions, it boils down to a good long look at what’s really important. Here's a checklist of attributes you should consider.

Are they financially transparent? Whether they are a large or small company, make sure that they are financially sound before you make your final decision. Look for a company that gives you access to current financial information including collections and service history, whenever you need it. Also ask about theft prevention if they collect cash from the laundry room.

Make sure they offer the latest high-efficiency equipment.  Your vendor should offer you a range of equipment choices from top-quality manufacturers, particularly high-efficiency equipment which costs them more, but saves you money. Water and utility expenses can cost your bottom line thousands per year if the vendor installs the wrong equipment. But the latest high efficiency machines can save thousands in water, sewer and energy costs, year after year. You need to take advantage and insist on getting a comparison of utilities expenses before signing a contract. If you lack floor space, make sure your vendor can provide stackable high efficiency machines. Keep in mind: all high efficiency units are not created equal. For the latest information, visit the ENERGY STAR® website and learn more about the guidelines that are set for commercial laundry equipment.

Find a vendor with technicians that are well-trained and responsive.  Ask the right questions. How many service technicians does the vendor employ? Have they been trained by the manufacturers?  In an emergency, instant access to well-trained service personnel can make all the difference. You want to work with a company that takes your calls efficiently and professionally (voicemails after hours are a red flag.) If you have on-site management, you want to be able to place service requests quickly online. It should instantly notify the technician of your issue. These practices will reduce your machine downtime, increasing your revenue, and are indications of a company with top notch service.

Do they provide innovative solutions to increase resident satisfaction? You may consider laundry a rather low-tech activity, but technology in the laundry industry is actually rather advanced.   New technologies are being created everyday including systems that allow residents to view laundry room availability without leaving home, state of the art cashless payments systems and of course technology that enables quicker response to problems.  Ask about innovations that the company has in place, because they could help increase your resident satisfaction as well as provide greater revenue opportunities for you.

Service. Technology. Transparency. Sustainability. These criteria can go a long way in helping you separate the strong candidates from the weak. Make sure you ask the right questions to ensure you choose a vendor who can provide the resources and expertise you need to maximum the potential of your laundry program.

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