Key Things to Look For When Purchasing Commercial Laundry Equipment
Published: January 18, 2019
Written by: Martin Ray Laundry Systems
Choosing the right commercial laundry equipment can be overwhelming. Not only are you looking through different brands, but the washers and dryers all have different capacities, features, and specifications to consider. On top of all that, you're dealing with the normal day-to-day businesses tasks and the plethora of other to-do's that come with starting or running a business. The laundry experts at Martin-Ray Laundry Systems are here to help. To help you focus and narrow things down, we've put together some of the key things to look for when purchasing commercial laundry equipment.
Cost & Financing
Of course, cost is always a main consideration for any business purchase. Commercial laundry equipment is no different. You'll want to plan and budget for this investment appropriately and consider how the purchase plays into your long term business plan.
Start by doing your research and planning out a realistic budget. Then, be sure and stick to your budget when you actually make the equipment purchase. Many commercial laundry distributors, like Martin-Ray Laundry Systems, offer flexible financing options tailored to laundry investors to help with this process.
Don't forget to check out the equipment warranties as well. As a proud Speed Queen distributor, we're happy to note that Speed Queen offers an industry-leading 10-year warranty on certain machines, which can save you tons of hassle and money in the long run.
Size & Capacity
What size and capacity commercial laundry equipment you'll want to purchase varies upon your industry and your facility. Some industries, like hotels and medical facilities, may want large capacity equipment that can handle a heavy volume of sheets and linens. Others, like a fitness center or salon, may benefit from smaller machines that allow them to do smaller loads of towels on a more continuous basis.
The space of your facility may also impact what machines you should buy. There's no benefit to buying a large capacity machine if it will take up more space than you can afford to lose. If you're unsure or building a new facility, a distributor can help design a functional laundry space for you, your staff, and your customers. Keep in mind, you should also consider future growth, expansion, and remodeling plans. Would the equipment work in the redesigned space or as your business grows?
It's common knowledge that utility costs are one of the leading concerns facing laundry equipment investors. In fact, about 40% of laundromats spend a quarter (or more) of their gross revenue on utilities, according to Speed Queen. The more you can reduce your water and electricity costs, the more profitable and successful your business will be, whether it's a vended laundromat or on-premise or multi-housing laundry room.
With all that in mind, looking for eco-friendly machines that'll cut down on water and electricity use is in your best interest. It's especially important to consider if your machines are 5+ years old, as design and equipment technology improvements are happening quickly. Combined with advanced controls, Speed Queen machines are designed to conserve water and use less energy, maximizing your savings and efficiency. Research has shown new Speed Queen machines can save investors more than $1,000 a year per machine.
As noted above, technology is changing quickly in the laundry industry, so it's important to consider your options when buying new equipment.
Advanced controls and technology can help you save money and improve efficiency at your laundry operation. When picking machines, consider problem areas and hiccups you've run into in the past at your business, such as long wait times, controls that were difficult to use, or a tedious process for tracking revenue and machine maintenance. You want to purchase equipment that can help you solve these and other common laundry issues from the get-go to make life easier for you and your customers. Speed Queen Quantum Controls have all sorts of features — like multi-level pricing, cycle modifiers, and management — that can help you take your laundry business to the next level.
Another thing to consider is how easy the controls are to use. No one wants to use complicated, clunky controls. They should be self-explanatory and easy to pick up on. This is especially important to reduce training and onboarding time if you're in an OPL or multi-housing facility where employee turnover is high. Also, don't forget to dive into what your customers want. It's no secret that it's all about convenience these days. Take a look at various card payment system options, apps, and other technology that coincides with your machines to make the laundry process smoother and more efficient.
A Commercial Laundry Distributor
Last, but certainly not least, you'll want to consider working with a top-notch laundry distributor. A successful laundry business is about more than just purchasing the right laundry equipment. It takes expertise, planning, and support — all of which the right distributor can provide.
While you could opt not to partner with a distributor, why wouldn't you? A quality laundry distributor will help you work through your equipment purchase from beginning to end, including finding investment opportunities, laundry room design, installation, and ongoing support and maintenance services.