CLA Connect Open Forum

Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

  • 1.  Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 10:54
    Guys,

    I've been running E-cycles for over 7 years now.  Although originally developed as a nuclear solution to a brand new express laundromat that opened too close to my laundromat in 2010 (that laundromat closed within 10 months), 32 of my 34 washers are now E-cycle washers.  Here are my impressions of E-cycles:

    Pros:
    1.  E-cycles speed customers through their washing chore.  For loads with average soil, customers choose the basic E-cycle (Wash, Rinse, Extract) which decreases total wash time by about 20% or 5 minutes.  Most customers use the basic E-cycle most of the time.
    2.  E-cycles allow customers to add an Extra Wash and/or an Extra Rinse for heavily soiled loads.  Each option is a dollar up-charge.  When a customer buys one or more of these optional baths, the cycle is longer but I'm getting an additional 1 or 2 dollars as well.
    3.  Customers tend to stay in the laundromat.  A basic E-cycle is about 20 minutes long - too little time to efficiently run an errand.  Thus washers are promptly unloaded when the cycle is done.  The attendant does occasionally unload one of my non-E-cycle washers though.
    4.  Washers turn over 20% faster.  I need fewer of each size of E-cycle washer to handle customer demand as each washer can handle .7 more turns per hour.  Thus, I can provide plenty of elbow room for my customers (wide aisles, large folding tables, single pocket dryers, etc.) instead of jamming the place full of very expensive equipment.
    5.  Most customers hate doing laundry and love getting done quickly and getting on with their day.  Thus E-cycles provide a competitive advantage and command a higher vend price ($4 for a 20 lb. washer).
    6.  My parking lots empty out quicker as customers use each parking space for a shorter period of time.  This means that the prime spaces nearest the entrances are available to more customers every day.

    Cons:
    1.  Spanish customers who habitually demand long, 4 - 5 bath cycles may not like E-cycles.  The Muskegon market has few Spanish customers so I can't really say how they would react to E-cycles.  I do have a few Spanish customers but not enough to draw any conclusions in this regard.

    2.  Customers must learn to be responsible.  They cannot just dump in 5 cups of detergent and expect the washer to resolve the over suds problem that they caused.  My customers are careful and thoughtful when adding detergent.

    3.  On rare occasions, a new customer will try to add an optional bath after starting her washer.  On my Huebsch washers, any desired optional bath must be selected and paid for prior to starting the washer.




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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
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  • 2.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 11:05
    Larry,

    1. Are you using cold water for all cycles?

    2. Is your E-cycle the default program or does your customer have to scroll through the list of programs to find it?

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    Richard H
    Store owner
    B.C. Canada
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  • 3.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 11:34
    Richard,

    I always appreciate your thoughtful questions.

    . Are you using cold water for all cycles?
    Richard Heighington,  04-15-2018 11:05
    My Huebsch E-cycle washers offer the following 6 cycle selector buttons:  Hot, Warm, Cold, Blankets Cold, Delicate Warm and Delicate Cold.  All rinses are cold water regardless of the cycle selected.

    2. Is your E-cycle the default program or does your customer have to scroll through the list of programs to find it?
    Richard Heighington,  04-15-2018 11:05
    No scrolling ... ever.  All 6 of the above cycles are actually basic E-cycles (Wash, Rinse, Extract).  I programmed these for E-cycles by removing a rinse that was programmed in at the factory along with some other minor changes.  These cycles vary by wash water temperature and type of agitation.  The customer can modify any of the 6 cycles by adding an extra wash or an extra rinse or both to the basic E-cycle.  The displayed price will change according to the optional baths selected and/or deselected prior to pressing the Start button.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
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  • 4.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 19:45
    Larry,
    Are you  vend all your 6 basic E-Cycle at same price? you don't up charge for warm & hot cycles ?  Why not? do you think you leave some money on table if you don't up charge for warm&hot  cycles?
    Thanks

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    Linh Nguyen
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Mobile AL
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  • 5.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 20:01
    ​Linh,

    I charge $4 for 20 lb., $5 for a 30 lb., $7 for a 40 lb. and $12 for an 80 lb. washer. Does this sound like I am leaving money on the table?

    No, I don't up charge for hot or warm water. These prices are for the basic E-cycle (wash, rinse, extract).

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 21:03
    Larry,
     I know your vend price is very very high ,but I still think that you didn't capture all the potential revenue as much as possible  such as warm and hot cycles , my vend price is not near high as yours but very time a customer selects warm she/he must pay an additional $.50 and $1.00 for hot on most of my washers. Not to mention the extra wash as yours .
    And I want  to say Thank to you for E-cycle,Dollar coin and single pocket dryer concept , I'm sold on these .oh Huebsch too .
     This is my future store and still thinking about Dollar coin only or Dollar coin mostly .
     Thanks
    YC8bxzhXTGWnJDld5IsK_IMG_2221.PNG

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    Linh Nguyen
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Mobile AL
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  • 7.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-16-2018 08:52
    Linh,

    There are just a couple of things I'd change on your layout.  Make the entrance door an automatic door set at an angle (if possible).  This will enhance the entrance and customer convenience.

     Move the dryers back 6" so that you have just a 24" service space behind the 55 lb. dryers.  Also move the dryers down by eliminating that 4' dryer access door.  Put your dryer access door off of the utility room and use a 24 - 28" wide door.   This change will allow additional dryers to be installed later (if needed).

    Move the washer bulkhead 6" to the right.  The combination of moving the dryers back 6" and moving the washer bulkhead to the right 6" will result in 7' - 6" aisle between the washers and dryers.  This will work much nicer for customer flow.

    The seating by the side window should be two, 2 seat units and they should be relocated out of that area for improved customer flow to those washers.  In fact, that area by the side window would be okay for cart storage since carts will go into use as the place gets busy thus opening up that aisle.

    I am impressed with what you've come up with in less than 2100 sf.  Good job.


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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
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  • 8.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-16-2018 18:04
    Edited by Larry Adamski 04-16-2018 18:09
    Linh,

    I was looking at your layout some more this afternoon.  I see the rated washer capacity is 800 lbs. and the rated dryer capacity is 900 lbs. so you're a little heavy on the dryer side.  With today's 200g washers, I like a 1 to 1 ratio (washer capacity to dryer capacity).

    I'd also buy 2 bill changers rather than 1 as it's nice to have some redundancy here.

    Unless you're right next door to a dollar store, you might consider a few vending machines for detergent, pop and snacks.

    Also, I'd try playing with another layout where those HCN060 washers are built into the wall in the left lower corner.  Then I would put the dryers into the remaining left and right walls where there are no windows.  Then I'd put the remaining washers down the middle and see how all that looks.  Isn't it fun to play with a blank sheet of paper and see what you can come up with?


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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-16-2018 20:10
    Edited by Linh Nguyen 04-16-2018 20:34
    Larry,
    Thank you for taking time to at my layout and I will try  with your suggestion , but so far I want all washers pack in same bulkhead the reason is less concrete ,less utilities and less plumbing works thus saving some costs .
     The reason for only one change machine is I will use Hamilton with XE valilators machine,this machine is a true workhorse along with dispense Dollar coin I think I'm be ok , two machines is better than one but I don't want to attract the thief and crime .
     I like the idea to move dryer back 6" and move washer further 6" that's way I can pickup another 12" for isle , I like to have 30" clearance behind dryer but since I'm using single pocket which is more reliable than stack ,I don't think I will be in behind dryer often so I will change to 24" . The dryer will vent straight out, no elbow as you know the 35&55lbs their exhaust very low only 2" above floor .
    The 4' service door at bottom left corner is a must per local code,architecture recommends and how I want it ,because its there for emergency escape you don't want to get trap in the middle of dryer when you behind it  and dryer catch on fire then you stuck .
     Soap machine is inside,snack&drink machine will be outside.
    Automatic door is too fancy , but will look into it
    Thanks again


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    Linh Nguyen
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Mobile AL
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  • 10.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-17-2018 07:46
    ​Linh,

    Is this a free standing, existing building?

    If so, will the floor have to be cut open?

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
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  • 11.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-17-2018 10:13
    Edited by Linh Nguyen 04-17-2018 10:14
    Larry,
    It is a existing free standing building and the concrete will be cut for opening drain trough .

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    Linh Nguyen
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Mobile AL
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  • 12.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-17-2018 18:36
    Linh,

    When building a new laundromat in an existing building, the most important consideration should be customer convenience.  This is why I suggested setting aside layout 1 and working on layout 2 just to see if you can improve traffic flow or customer perception.  Pencil lines on a blank piece of paper are much easier to change than the physical construction.  With 2 distinct layouts in hand, you can choose the best and work to improve it even more.  Some of my best layouts appeared on the second or third fresh attempt.

    To be clear, layout 1 is not bad at all ... in fact, I like it.  I understand that code requires an additional exit from behind the dryers but I don't like that the door has to waste 16 sf of valuable equipment space.  That really bothers me.  Have you considered putting the exit door in an outside wall thus freeing up that 16 sf of floor space for equipment?



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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-18-2018 01:02
    Yes I did and the reason for that is I want to put four  75lbs dryers and reduce number of 35&55 down from 10&10 to  8&8 .

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    Linh Nguyen
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Mobile AL
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  • 14.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-18-2018 08:49
    Linh,

    Interesting.  So you're seriously considering putting in 3 sizes of dryers.  I think there is some risk with those 75 lb. dryers in that situation.  Obviously, there is some cost advantage when installing those very large dryers.  My concern is that the 75s won't be used enough to justify the space they require.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-18-2018 09:55
    Larry
    in one store I have two 75lbs and other store I have three. These babies runs almost 10 tpd (30 full dry cycle)

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    Linh Nguyen
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Mobile AL
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-15-2018 22:19
    Larry ,

    thr godfather is smelling something fishy here.

    If the other mat closed within 10mos. And you have NO head to head comp mat. Then why have you not increased prices since you are the price leader and operate the mat as the cream of the cream......

    why not just have a normal cold or quick cold set up as 1 w/e/s and the others as normal so the spanish and other folks will like a better quality wash. Coz it dont matter how new or how the G speed on washer....u still need water to get clothes soaking n splashing around in a tub full of water.

    I assume you had said a long time ago on this forum that you did the nuclear option by reducing price by dropping a rinse-E cycle. Not much of a saving by reducing it a $1 for last rinse which can be set to a low of 2gals cold water.
    In my part of the area....others will anihiate you with their brand new shiny dexter washers with free dry with 5k-9k sqft mats in heavy hispanic area. You talk of nuclear option...we have here the Ebola option, another one is the Bubonic plague option....to answer the e-cycle.
    something fishy larry....



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    ORIGINAL GODFATHER
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  • 17.  RE: Reflecting On 7 Years of E-cycles

    Posted 04-16-2018 07:29
    Bob,

    I never said I didn't have head to head competition. I said my goal was to somehow eliminate the new competitor. Developing E-cycles was my Manhattan Project.

    My E-cycles do NOT have low water levels or only cold water because that was never my intent. In fact, I have INCREASED the water levels on most of my washers from their factory settings.

    I don't have the benefit of a large Spanish population in my market. Those mega Laundromats, of which you speak, would never get to first base here.


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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    ------------------------------