The coronavirus crisis has created a coin shortage nationwide, that has left retailers like laundromat owners, who rely heavily on coins, struggling. Many have found themselves short on the quarters needed to refill changers.
The Federal Reserve has recently revealed that the pandemic “significantly disrupted” the supply chain and circulation pattern for America’s metal money. The U.S. Mint has slowed the production of coins, in order to take measures meant to protect workers amid the crisis.
Coins just simply aren’t moving – certainly not at the volume they were pre-COVID. Closed bank locations, limited grocery store visits and retail transactions that slowed during shutdown, have all contributed to the shortage.
With the unpredictability of events such as this, it’s important to have options – a safety net. When the unthinkable happens, you need to be able to run your business in order to survive times like these.
Give yourself some peace of mind, and invest in the future of your business.
Contact us today for your free quote!
Your customers are the key to the success of your laundromat. Understanding what their needs are, what they have come to expect in a laundromat, and their frustrations can help you increase customer satisfaction and in turn, the profits of your laundromat. On the other hand, failing to understand those needs can be detrimental to your business.
Below are four common laundromat customer complaints and how you can turn those problems into opportunities, by using the latest technology in your store.
A large percentage of your customers rarely, if ever carry cash and find that it’s a big hassle to obtain cash and quarters. With our world becoming a cashless society, people don’t want to have to visit a bank or an ATM to do laundry, carry around a bag of coins or find out they can’t keep a load of laundry going because they’re shy a couple of quarters.
Eliminate the need to pay solely with coins by offering card acceptance. Give your customers the choice to pay any way they choose! CCI systems allow you to accept credit/debit cards and loyalty cards. With FasCard, customers can even insert some coins and swipe their card for the remaining balance.
Smartphones play an integral role in our lives. Today’s smartphone wallets store credit cards, tickets, coupons and more. Everything that was once in a consumer’s physical wallet is now in their digital wallet on their phone. Customers want to be able to pay with their phones and have come to expect to be able to do so with most goods and services.
CCI’s FasCard system has a smartphone app that acts as a loyalty card. Customers who use the app no longer need to own a physical card but can use the app in the same way. They can take advantage of any of the loyalty programs you offer, and the app will keep track of it all.
Our complete card systems allow you to accept mobile payments, credit/debit payments and can even work with existing coin laundry machines.
Your customers have busy schedules and don’t want to spend leisure time doing laundry. Their time is valuable, and they don’t want the process of doing laundry to be time-consuming. If a customer’s laundry takes longer than expected due to events such as all machines being in use, it can create frustration and turns the experience of doing laundry into a negative one, likely preventing them from returning to your store.
FasCard App users can see what machines are available without needing to physically be in your store, and they can also see the remaining cycle time of machines currently in use, giving them time to plan their commute and how long it will take to do their laundry. In addition, app users can request cycle completion notifications and even start a machine. When your customers do have to wait in your establishment, consider making it convenient by providing amenities such as free Wi-Fi or coffee (which can also increase your revenue).
It’s like the lyric in the Cheers theme song, “You want to go where everybody knows your name”. It’s cheesy but true. Customers desire to feel like they are wanted. They want to be appreciated and treated like a valuable part of your business. If a customer doesn’t feel welcome, they will most likely go to a competitor, and might even leave a negative review on your Google or Yelp page.
FasCard and LaundryCard loyalty programs offer personalization by letting you establish discounts for certain groups (i.e. college students) or giving bonuses near your customer’s birthday. They also provide the ability for your customer to choose the language they prefer, and the system will remember their language preference and continue to display appropriately in the future. CCI systems offer many features that help you truly get to know your customers and effectively market to them, creating a memorable customer experience that can increase loyalty to your store.
FasCard and LaundryCard from CCI offer the industry’s most advanced card payment systems, designed with both the operator and end user in mind. Contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the right technology can help you meet the needs of your customers and increase the profits of your laundromat business!
FasCard is an electronic payment and management system designed to allow laundry businesses an easy way to improve profitability by allowing their customers multiple payment options. FasCard is perfect for any business that currently accepts cash or coin payments on laundry equipment that wants to either eliminate coins or supplement coins with debit and credit card acceptance. FasCard can also be configured to accept loyalty cards which can greatly improve customer retention and increase profitability. FasCard not only provides additional payment options but can monitor the existing coin/cash payments.
FasCard readers can be installed on almost any kind of self service equipment that natively accepts coin or cash. FasCard not only lets you accept debit cards, credit cards and loyalty cards on your washers and dryers, but now also lets you accept these alternate payment options on your vending equipment. By installing FasCard on your vending machines and accepting card payments, you can increase your revenue and provide a faster, more convenient experience for your customers.
FasCard is compatible with many different makes and model vending machines, as long as the host vending machine is MDB Level 1 compliant. Increase your soap sales and install FasCard on your soap vending machines. FasCard is compatible with all of the electronic vendors from Vend-Rite Manufacturing, including the VendMaster 360, VendMaster 240, and all Vision glass front vendors.
When your customers are able to use card payments on your vending machines you will sell more products and bring in additional revenue to your buisness. Ready to install FasCard in your facility? Contact us today to learn more about implementing FasCard in your laundromat!
The FasCard system works with existing coin laundry machines and allows you to accept credit/debit, physical loyalty cards and app loyalty cards along with coins at your laundromat. It’s not just an alternative payment system – it’s a holistic laundromat management system that gives laundromat owners all the tools they need to succeed. One popular tool of FasCard and its latest release is the Employee Work Schedule feature. This feature makes running a laundry business easier and less time consuming by allowing you to manage work schedules and view employee hours worked. It lets your employees and attendants perform their job effectively by enabling them to clock in and out of work and view work schedules remotely.
FasCard’s Employee Work Schedule feature gives you the opportunity to automate and manage employee schedules remotely. Through the FasCard admin portal, you can create, edit and monitor one-time and ongoing employee work schedules for multiple locations. Recurring shifts may be scheduled to recur on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. You can display scheduled shifts for individual employees and view work schedules by day, week or month. Employees may view scheduled shifts when logged into the FasCard loyalty mobile app by selecting the ‘Schedule’ option and the schedule scrolls vertically when swiped to show future shifts.
The FasCard system’s Employee Work Schedule feature simplifies employee time management. Employees can now clock in and out from any FasCard reader in the store. An employee may swipe their dedicated card on a reader to clock in and clock out or scan a FasCard reader bar code with the Mobile App. You have the option to schedule a clock out ‘Grace Period’ for your employees which can help managed forgotten clock outs. When configured, the ‘Grace Period’ allows users to clock out within X minutes of scheduled end of a shift. If the employee does not clock out before the grace period expires, the system automatically clocks the user out. ‘Max Clock-In Hours’ denotes the maximum number of working hours within a given 24 hour period for users not currently scheduled – Users exceeding this maximum limit will be automatically clocked-out. Operators may verify the hours for completed shifts using the Employee Hours Report.
A FasCard system is a great choice for owners because it offers several management tools such as the Employee Work Schedule feature to help you automate and run your laundromat. Both the FasCard and LaundryCard systems simplify your life as an owner and take the stress out of managing a laundry business. Contact us today and let our experts help you find the best system solution that fits the needs of you, your attendants, and your customers!
Incremental vend pricing proves to be a huge advantage within the laundry industry. This strategy enables owners to increase their pricing by an amount less than the traditional quarter. When utility rates increase, laundromat owners can take advantage of incremental vend pricing by slightly increasing the cost of their washers. This increase not only helps to offset the increase in utility expenses, but also helps owners in other areas of their business strategy.
Here are just a few of the advantages to utilizing incremental pricing in your laundromat:
Because incremental pricing can mean increases in vend price by just a few pennies, customers don’t feel the weight of the rising utility costs. Consumers remain satisfied and therefore loyal to their trusted laundromat. While other laundromats may notice pushback as their customers’ pockets get heavier due increasing costs, LaundryCard members often don’t notice the change. Incremental pricing helps to not only retain loyal customers, but also attracts new consumers in the market.
“By raising prices consistently but in small increments, we get very little pushback from customers and most don’t even notice. This allows us to keep ahead of utility and other cost increases. Our competition has to raise by an entire quarter which provides us with a competitive advantage.”
– Bill Norteman, Chicago Area Laundromat Owner
Incremental pricing allows for a competitive edge in a saturated marketplace. As the cost of water continues to rise, laundromat owners must look for ways to counteract increases in utilities. Typically this looks like an increase in the cost of the laundromat’s services. While traditional laundromats must increase their machines in increments of $.25, LaundryCard owners can increase their cost of service by much less. This slight increase in vend price allows LaundryCard owners to remain competitive in the market as an affordable solution to the customers needs.
When asked what trends are quickly evolving, Karl Hinrichs, president of HK Laundry Equipment, Inc., responded saying,
“Laundry card systems are the way of the future. The biggest evolutionary jump is eliminating the quarter. With card operated laundromats, there is no limit to the number of laundromats you can operate and you can spend your time focusing on managing your business rather than processing quarters.”
– Karl Hinrichs, President of HK Laundry Equipment, Inc.
Card systems allow customers the freedom of a quarter-less pocket, and allow owners the ability to focus on their business as a whole rather than counting quarters. Limitations to pricing, loyalty programs, growth, and management are all removed as a card system like LaundryCard is implemented.
See how much a small increase in your prices can affect your bottom line and offset rising utility costs by using our profit calculator.
One of the main goals for any business owner is to expand their business and grow into a more profitable, more effective enterprise. A laundromat owner is no exception. While owning a single laundromat can be a successful endeavor, there is no doubt that growing your laundromat business and expanding to multiple locations can be even more lucrative.
At some point, as a laundromat owner yourself, you may feel ready to take on the challenge of opening another location. Laundromats represent convenience, and what’s more convenient to the customer than multiple locations? But the promise of a greater bottom line does not come without its own unique tests and complications.
Assuming that you are financially capable of opening a new store, the first (and biggest) challenge you’ll encounter is managing it. How will you manage more than one location? How will you split your time between more than one store? How will you handle training your new employees? How will you oversee them when you are not there?
The next challenge is equipping your new location. Will you use the same equipment you are using at your current store? Are you equipping the store entirely from scratch or are you taking over an existing laundromat? If you are taking over a store, will you need to upgrade the equipment?
The final obstacle is time. Managing more than one location will add a lot of time to your already busy day. Will you have the tools to help you manage that time effectively and efficiently? Without them, you could easily become overwhelmed and not have the time to give either location the attention it deserves.
How can you be sure to expand your business in the best way possible? A key to owning multiple laundromat stores is having well-trained employees, high quality equipment and tools that make running several stores easier. Each makes your job as the owner of multiple laundry facilities easier and allows you to be more efficient.
One way to do this is with a holistic laundromat management solution like LaundryCard. LaundryCard gives store owners all the tools they need to effectively manage multiple locations in one integrated system. It replaces all of the traditional coin mechanisms with networked card readers in a store, allowing for several features that make managing multiple laundromat stores easier and less time consuming.
LaundryCard is designed to work with any device that has an internet browser. You can remotely control, view, and configure the system from a smartphone, tablet or PC. Run sales reports, configure specials, change vend prices all from the comfort of your home or office. You are no longer limited by distance when opening new stores because complete remote management is now possible.
Every employee has a dedicated card in the system that highlights their responsibilities. When you hire a new attendant, they are issued an Attendant Card, which enables them to clock in and out of work, view work schedules, see scheduled duties, and check off when they have completed tasks. These features will help your employees perform their job effectively, even when you aren’t physically able to be in each store overseeing staff.
Multi-Store Networking allows you to distribute loyalty cards anywhere and lets your customers use them in any of your locations. For example, customers can purchase a card in Store A and use the card in Store B or Store C as well.
Opening another laundry location can be a worthwhile endeavor, but not without tools that can help you manage multiple businesses. LaundryCard is totally automated, completely coin-less, and helps you run your business and increase profits. Learn more about the laundromat business by downloading our owner’s guide to running a profitable laundromat, or contact us today to get started with our holistic laundry management system in your next location!
Recent technological innovations introduced by machine manufacturers and Card Concepts Inc. provide laundromat owners and operators unprecedented freedom to manage their businesses from locations of their choosing. By providing access via the Internet to a comprehensive overview of the operational status of a laundromat, the LaundryCard and FasCard solutions empower owners to oversee every facet of their business from the convenience of their mobile devices.
Whereas the need to collect coins from machines requires employees or owners to make frequent trips to a laundromat, multi-unit building or facility, the introduction by machine manufacturers of coinless laundry payment systems permits longer intervals between servicing. Not only does coinless payment reduce the demand to employ onsite help, but it also facilitates greater recordkeeping accuracy and automation.
LaundryCard by CCI leverages this new technology by substituting networked card readers in the place of mechanical coin receivers.
Customers purchase a reusable loyalty card with cash or credit card from a card kiosk. Each coinless cycle transaction is recorded automatically, permitting effortless online analysis with LaundryCard’s application. And because money collection in centralized at loyalty card kiosks, collecting the cash is a quick and painless procedure that may save hours of owner labor.
Simplified payment collection is only one of many advantages of the LaundryCard and FasCard solutions. Remote monitoring from a smart phone, tablet or PC of machines in use or in need of repair allows owners to schedule maintenance whenever necessary. Owners can also respond in real-time to periods of slow activity by adjusting rates and offering customers discounts with the digital laundry payment systems that CCI offers.
Not only do these smart card laundry systems help eliminate the burden of collecting physical monies, they both also have more subtle advantages.
For example, if a laundromat or multi-housing building does still utilize coin mechanisms, FasCard monitors the level of coin boxes so that owners can arrange for a pickup and then follows up with a confirmation email when collections are completed. LaundryCard even helps owners manage their employees by automatically recording hours worked and reminding staff of tasks needing completion. With remote control of so many crucial operational factors, owners can devote their time to other pursuits from anywhere Internet is available.
Coinless laundry payment and remote monitoring with LaundryCard and FasCard provide the essential oversight needed to maintain off-site supervision, but other technological luxuries contribute to the ease of remote management.
Many applications and online tools offer owners helpful resources that simplify the routine tasks of running a business from afar. The additional complexity involved in managing a laundromat from off-site demands extra attention to detail and high levels of organization from owners, and a few tools can help them keep track of key aspects of the business.
Because owners monitor remotely, it’s important that all management resources are cloud-based and accessible from the Internet. Owners interested in remote management should consider incorporating the following applications into their management routines:
Potential investors seeking opportunities that allow them ample time to commit to other jobs or pursuits will discover that industry experts such as CCI provide easy and secure remote management solutions. Combined with widely available project management and accounting tools, these resources make an already proven business model an ideal option for off-site management.
For a more in-depth treatment of managing laundry rooms and laundromats both in store and remotely, download our free whitepaper, Must Know Tips on Managing a Multi-Unit Laundry Room.