Posts tagged "card operated laundromats"

CCI’s products are not just card systems that allow you to accept alternative payments. Our products are advanced automation systems that provide you a holistic solution to running your laundry business. We are continually making improvements to our products to take your laundromat to the next level, and we are excited to announce our latest upgrade for LaundryCard, Version 9. At CCI, we design all of our products with both the operator and end user in mind and Version 9 for LaundryCard is no exception. With innovative features that benefit both end users and store owners, Version 9 is a must have for all LaundryCard customers!

Here are some of the great new features that come with the Version 9 upgrade for LaundryCard:
 

1) New User Interface

Version 9 introduces a brand new user interface, providing a refreshed, customizable user experience for both customers and store owners. We’ve simplified the old interface to be more appealing, with an updated design, easier navigation and a great new voice over.
 

2) Prize Package Program

Store owners have a unique marketing feature to keep their customers coming back with Prize Packages! As customers do laundry, they earn ‘wash points,’ which they can redeem for physical prizes at the store. Owners can choose what prizes they would like to offer and how many points it will take customers to earn each prize.
 

3) Customizable Management Screens

One of the most commonly requested features from CCI’s current customers was to have the ability to allow employees customized access to the LaundryCard system. With Version 9, they can! Owners can assign which screens their employees have access to, using the Customizable Management Screens features. Employees will only be able to see the menu items they have access to.
 

4) Optional EMV Integration

In order to accept EMV enabled  debit/credit cards, EMV hardware must be integrated with the LaundryCard system. An upgrade to this EMV hardware also gives owners the added benefit of accepting NFC payments. That means customers can use their smartphones to add value right at the X-Changer!
 

5) Lost Card Recovery

With the Lost Card Recovery feature, in just a few quick steps, selected employees can assist customers with lost cards right at the X-Changer. The employee is able to search by a customers registration information and dispense them a new card with the same details and balance. Once this is complete, the lost card is marked invalid.
 

6) Optional Integrated Camera Feature

With the optional Integrated Camera feature, owners can monitor who’s interacting with the X-Changer. A webcam within the X-Changer will capture images of users purchasing and adding value to cards. This is a great added security benefit for store owners.

Version 9 is available now and orders are taken on a first come first serve basis, so make sure to get signed up today! Click here to learn more about all of the great features of LaundryCard Version 9.  If you’re interested in learning more about LaundryCard or implementing CCI’s solutions in your laundromat, contact us!

Are you thinking about purchasing a card system for your laundromat? Do you have worries about it being an investment without a return? Here are three reasons why investing in laundry card technology has a high ROI and benefits laundromat owners and investors.

 

1. A Laundry Card System Increases Revenue

Build Float By having customers pay first and use a card system, it establishes customers with a sense of loyalty and encourages them to return. Float is the amount of money added to cards but has not been spent yet. As customers add more value to their cards, the ‘float’ of your business increases.

Ability to Sell Upgrades increase profits with a card system by offering your customers the ability to upgrade their cycles. Offset utility expenses by charging more for hot water.

Time of Day Pricing With a card system, you can charge different prices at different times of the day or different days of the week. This allows you to offer specials during slow times to attract business and raise prices during busy periods to maximize profits.

Marketing Tools Entice new business and reach new sales goals with marketing programs available through a card system like Loyalty Points, Bonus Packages, Free Dry and Group Discounts.
 

2. A Laundry Card System Makes Managing a Laundromat Easier

Simplify Employee Management Remote management of employees is possible with a card system. Create, edit and monitor one-time and ongoing employee work schedules for multiple locations. Allow employees to clock in and out for their shifts using the system for hands-off time management.

Remote Monitoring of Your Laundromat When you can’t physically be at your store, it is comforting to know that you can always access your laundromat from any remote location. Configure vend prices, specials, run reports, configure alerts, and monitor the status of the system and equipment in real-time from your laptop or smartphone.
 

3. A Laundry Card System Will Save You Time and Money

Make the Most of Your Time Collecting coins from each machine in your facility is a time-consuming business and your time as an owner is valuable. As vend prices rise and stores get bigger, the physical task and limitations of accepting coins becomes greater, making eliminating the need for coins with a card system a popular choice.

Take Control of Your Revenue If you are paying another company to collect coins for you, that is money out of your pocket, combined with the uncertainty of how much is actually being collected. With a card system, you can see real-time profits and sales data for each machine without having to collect coins.

Decrease Security Risks Having to collect coins and carry around bags of money can compromise the safety of you and your employees. Your machines are susceptible to vandalism and theft, that can leave you with costly damage plus the loss of revenue until those machines are repaired. With a card system, you can minimize or eliminate these issues.

All of the features above can be found in CCI’s payment systems. Whether you’re just starting out in the laundry business or a long-time owner of multiple stores, CCI has a laundry card system to fit your needs. Our FasCard system is a hybrid solution that allows you to accept both coins and cards. The FasCard system works with existing coin laundry machines and doesn’t have a minimum card reader purchase, allowing you to start small with card readers and add more over time. If you are looking for a ‘card only’ solution for your Laundromat, our LaundryCard system is perfect for new and existing stores with 40 or more machines. LaundryCard is completely coinless, totally automated and rich in features.

If you’re a laundromat owner or investor looking to set your business apart from the competition, contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the right technology can benefit your laundromat business!

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.

Customer Complaint #1: “I never have cash on me.”

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.

Solution:
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.

Customer Complaint #2: “I don’t carry a wallet. My wallet is my phone.”

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.

Solution:
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, NFC payments, credit/debit payments and can even work with existing coin laundry machines.

Customer Complaint #3: “I don’t have five hours to sit and wait for laundry.”

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.

Solution:
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).

Customer Complaint #4: “I want a personalized experience.”

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.

Solution:
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.

Upgrade Your Laundromat

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.

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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!

FasCard Release 14 is full of optimizations that benefit your laundromat in more ways than one. A specific development that should be noted is the new Schedule Tasks feature. This feature gives you more control of your business while helping to keep you organized. Below are three key ways your laundromat benefits from the Scheduled Tasks feature!

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Repeating Tasks

Scheduling repeating tasks helps keep your employees on track without having to micromanage their daily schedules. The system’s automation helps you organize without taking time out of your day. An operator now has the ability to set up repeating tasks like the ones listed below:

  • Sweep floors twice a day
  • Clean out dryer lint traps once a day
  • Check the restrooms once an hour
  • Wipe down windows twice a week

Remote Management

With this new FasCard feature your staff uses their smart phone to keep track of outstanding tasks. Attendants can view and edit the status both open and completed tasks, keeping you updated on store progress, and unlocks a whole new level of remote store management.

Comprehensive Reports

The Scheduled Tasks feature allows you the ability to run comprehensive reports on your attendants progress and their daily work. This opens up more opportunities to stay on top of your store while taking note of key employees and their efficiency.

Ready to get FasCard and the Scheduled Tasks feature in your laundromat? Contact us today to get started.

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:

Little to No Customer Pushback

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

A Competitive Edge

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.

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Less Limitations

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.

 

Challenges to Opening Another Laundry Location

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.

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Expanding Your Laundry Business

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.

Remote Management

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.

Employee Management

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

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.

 

What’s the best solution?

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!

Laundry card systems do much more than simply provide an alternative payment method. Laundry cards build customer loyalty. Customers can obtain a loyalty card by inserting cash or a credit card and then use the value added to the loyalty card to start a machine. By having customers pay first and use the system, it establishes customers with a sense of loyalty and encourages customers to return. In addition to the payment cards themselves boosting loyalty, FasCard and LaundryCard have many advanced loyalty programs built into their systems for you to use.

Loyalty card programs serve as your base of operations for both customer retention and the forward-thinking marketing promotions that drive new business. Today we are going to cover a few of the loyalty programs that FasCard and LaundryCard offer.

Bonus Packages

Bonus Packages lets you give your customers bonus dollars for adding value to their loyalty card. For example, you could give your customers a $2 bonus for adding $20. Your customers will be encouraged to pay you in advance and you now have them committed for $22 in service! As your customers add more value to their cards, your business will build a ‘Float’. Float is the amount of money added to cards but has not been spent yet. By encouraging customers to add more money to their cards, you will increase customer loyalty through the float.

Free Dry

Free Dry time is enticing advertising to laundromat customers. The Free Dry program allows the system to reward customers with Free Dry time based on their wash usage. Free Dry can be scheduled for certain days of the week or you can choose to only award customers Free Dry credits on specific machines. For example, you can offer customers Free Dry only on your largest machines. You can control how much ‘free’ time your customer earns and our Free Dry program will keep track of all the details for you.

Discounts

The system enables you to configure any discount amount to any card. You can establish discounts for groups and market to specific customers. For example, you could offer 10% off for all military personnel. You can create as many groups as you wish and assign a unique discount to each group. As each group member uses the machines, not only will they receive their discount but you will get valuable sales information regarding each group. This program gives you the ability to create an endless number of marketing programs to promote your store. This helps you target your primary audience and focus on building loyalty within those markets.

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Loyalty Points

The loyalty points program is a great way to reward your most loyal customers. This program allows customers to earn Wash Points when they use laundry equipment and the system will automatically reward these customers when they reach a certain point goal. The program allows you to set how many points customers earn for every dollar spent and how many points they need to earn to be awarded the bonus. Not only is a points program a great way to promote loyalty but it’s also a great way to encourage card retention.

Coupons

The coupon program lets you create custom coupon codes that can be distributed to prospective and existing customers. You can configure a coupon code and distribute via direct mail, coupon circulars, email and even social media. With LaundryCard your customer simply enters the coupon code on the X-Changer Kiosk and with FasCard your customer can redeem it through the FasCard mobile app. The systems will redeem the reward automatically. Coupons can be configured to provide a temporary discount which expires on a specific date or designed to issue a bonus to a customer’s loyalty card.

Birthday Bonus

With the LaundryCard system, the birthday bonus allows you to give a gift to your customers on or near their birthday. You can set up a birthday bonus that will automatically be applied to their card with a set number of days before or after their birthday. When customers visit the store on or near their birthday, they will be greeted with a special birthday message and a bonus at the X-Changer kiosk. The birthday bonus program is a personalized way to reward customers and creates a memorable customer experience that will influence loyalty.

Registration Bonus

The LaundryCard system has a registration bonus program that will reward users bonus money for registering their contact information at the X-Changer kiosk. For example, if a customer enters their registration information, the system will apply a $2.00 bonus to their card. The program and bonus amount are configurable by the operator.

By implementing LaundryCard and FasCard’s advanced marketing and loyalty programs, you can take your laundromat business to the next level. Competition is everywhere and giving your customers reasons to do business with you versus your competition begins by encouraging loyalty. If you’re a laundromat owner or investor looking to set your business apart from the competition, contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the technology can give you more ways to increase your laundromat business!

Karl Hinrichs has been in the commercial laundry business since 1980 and is the president of HK Laundry Equipment, Inc. Since 1967, HK Laundry Equipment, Inc. has been serving New York and Connecticut with laundry equipment, service and repair and training and support. HK Laundry Equipment, Inc. is a distributor of CCI’s FasCard and LaundryCard systems.

How did you get involved in the commercial laundry industry?

In 1967, my father and neighbor formed a partnership equipping stores with washers. When I was 13 years old, I would bring my toolbox up there, and by the time I was 16 years old, I was out fixing the machines. In 1980, I was working as a chemist and my father made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I went to work with him and I have not looked back. I’ve now been in the business for 36 years.

What are the challenges that laundromats are facing today?

The biggest challenge is maintaining profitability with the increase in water and sewer rates. Water and sewer costs have become a very expensive utility expense for laundromats. Many water supply and sewer improvements have caused huge capital costs that local towns and counties have passed along to water consumers. Laundromats are one of the biggest consumers of water and are at the mercy of local water municipalities and their water rates. To maintain profitability, laundromats need to keep an extra eye on their expenses and increase vend prices accordingly. 

What major trends are you noticing in the laundromat industry today?

More and more people are going to a cashless society. This month I saw a study come out that said over 50% of transactions are now electronic. The time spent in coin laundromats emptying quarters out of the machines, counting them, and filling bill changers two to three times per week is very non-productive. Until you go to an alternative payment system, you are going to max out at 12-16 stores, because after that you are running around processing quarters all day long. 

What trends do you see for the future?

Laundry card systems are the way of the future. The biggest evolutionary jump is eliminating the quarter. There is a high initial entry price, however, laundromats save money and time in the long run and the operator doesn’t need to physically run the store. 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.

What are your thoughts about laundromats using incremental vend pricing with card systems in order to be able to raise a vend price by a few pennies instead of a quarter? 

I like it. I’ve done it with pennies but I actually prefer nickel incremental pricing. Incremental vend pricing is a huge advantage of implementing LaundryCard over FasCard, because you are able to increase your pricing by an amount less than a quarter. When your water rates go up, you can take advantage of incremental vend pricing by increasing the cost of your washers to help you absorb the increase in utility expenses. 

What’s the best way today for a laundromat to increase the value of their laundromat business?

Investing in a card laundromat system. You know exactly up front what the revenue is for the store and operating that card store is much easier. With coin operated stores, you have to be there at least 2-3x per week. With a card store, all you need is a trusted individual to collect the paper receipts because you know your true business numbers and exactly how much is in there. When you’re buying a business, it’s based on profitability. You can increase the value of a laundromat by increasing the multiple at which the store is valued. If your store has laundry equipment with a card system, then you are increasing the multiple because the store is worth more. The more automated and hands free you can make your laundromat, the higher the multiplier of the profit and the higher the value of the store. A card laundromat is an investor rich system whereas a coin laundromat is an owner operated system. 

What advice would you give a new store owner just getting into the laundry business?

I would suggest doing as much research as possible. A laundromat business is capital intensive and you really want to make sure you have the best distributor, equipment and location. You want to partner with a distributor who has been around at least 10-15 years, knows the area, and knows about running a laundromat.