2013 Clean Show and What's Hot
The Clean Show is the industry wide event that is held every other year. Clean is the showcase event where manufacturers reveal new and exciting products and their latest innovations.
This year, did not have the ground swell of innovations as in past years. This year all of the laundry equipment manufacturers were showing minor improvements to their product lines. For instance Huebsch was displaying different colored overlays for the fronts of the washers. This is similar to Dexter and the Black or Blue instruction panels; Huebsch was showing green, blue and an earth colored orange color that would be great in a Hispanic žearth toneÓ colored Laundromat. Electrolux displayed a new controller for the microprocessor washer. All of the benefits of the new Electrolux controller were on the backend of the system where the owner or distributor could view the information and not on the customer side.
The real exciting work appears to be in the area of Hybrid laundry card systems. The Hybrid Laundry Card systems are a universal payment system that accept quarters, credit cards and loyalty cards. Both ESD and CCI have added significant features to their Hybrid Card Systems, while SpyderWash and WashCard seem to have remained pretty much un-changed. The Standard Easy Pay central pay system also was exhibiting and they were going to rolling out a mobile interface in the near future.
Both ESD & CCI were exhibiting loyalty card dispensing devices so that un-attended Laundromat could now dispense loyalty cards. In addition both companies have cloud based applications were the Laundromat customers can access their account from mobile devices. Some of the new and exciting features shown by one or both of these companies are:
- ability to choose your own Merchant Services provider,
- start machines from any smart phone,
- customers can see their laundry activity via smart phone,
- customers can get a cycle end notification via email,
- customers can earn loyalty points.
The trend in the Hybrid Laundry Card arena is that the manufacturers (especially CCI and their FasCard system) are adding more owner & customer rich features to the system platform. These features can be accessed from smart phones or from any web enabled device.
For Store Owners, we are seeing many more Promotions that are available to the Hybrid card systems for the store owner to promote their Laundry. These promotions include Time of Day promotions, Customer Loyalty points (that can be used towards a Free wash), Big Bill Bonus where if a customer adds value to their loyalty card then you can give them a Bonus. In addition the store owner can remotely turn on a washer for Free to assist a customer who may have lost money in a machine. All the owner needs is a smart phone and access to the internet. Owners can also get notification when the money boxes start to get full. A neat feature.
The Laundromat Customers now has access to their own personal account on the web so they can review their laundry activity and also gain Loyalty points. In addition the customer can receive an email notification just before their laundry is finished (another neat feature).
My biggest take-a-way for this year's Clean show was how Hybrid card systems are more than just credit card acceptance at the machines site. Hybrid card systems are blurring the lines and are becoming much closer to the traditional full featured Laundry Card systems. The ability to provide a full range of promotions and now email notifications has brought the Hybrid Card systems to the next level. The only question for anyone considering a laundry card system is whether to accept quarters or not. That will define which platform you embrace.
HK Parts Specials:
Overlay for Huebsch Stack Dryers
List Price $ 35.76
HK Special Pricing $ 16.09
Rollers for Huebsch / Speed Queen Dryers
List Price $ 30.89
HK Special Pricing $ 16.98
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