Howard Herman, a beloved industry veteran, retired from full time employment with Laundrylux and predecessor Wascomat (Bermil Industries) after 43 short years.
“Howard has been a stalwart of our industry for more than four decades, with friends at virtually every manufacturer and distributor across North America. His knowledge, dedication, hard work and especially people skills helped make the Wascomat brand what it is today,” shared Neal Milch, Laundrylux CEO.
“Howard started in the warehouse after being hired by Bernie Milch and worked his way up to President of Laundrylux. Howard’s unique blend of talents won’t be equaled any time soon. Though he will be missed in the office everyday, Howard is continuing to make a difference on a part time basis and will continue to serve on the Board of the Coin Laundry Association until 2017.”
“I myself recently spent time with Howard on important company business outside the USA, and he is personally following up on defined sales opportunities,” Milch adds. “The entire Laundrylux team celebrated with Howard and his wife Terry at the Company’s annual holiday party last year, when we commemorated our 60th year in business and status as Electrolux’s longest continuous customer relationship in the world.”
Howard will be contributing to the industry throughout 2017 as a member of the Coin Laundry Association Board of Directors.
Laundrylux hires industry veteran Corey Simonson for on-premises commercial laundry business development
Laundrylux recently announced the addition of industry veteran Corey Simonson to its
On-Premises Laundry division. Simonson has been hired as OPL National Sales Manager and is charged with growing business and supporting the Electrolux and Wascomat distribution network.
Simonson brings with him a wealth of industry and sales experience. His laundry industry expertise spans over three decades and includes success in commercial laundry, wholesale, service, and retail environments.
Most recently, Simonson served as Director of Midwest and Canadian Sales for a North American dryer manufacturer. Prior to that, he managed regional commercial and route sales for a laundry company. In addition, Simonson has consulted with numerous clients in the laundry industry on expanding their markets, reducing costs, and increasing sales and profitability.
“I am very excited to be part of the Laundrylux family,” Simonson said. “and extremely proud to represent the Electrolux and Wascomat brands in North America. The company and products are incredible and I am looking forward to providing my customers with the highest quality laundry equipment on the market. I am so impressed with the energy efficiency, water savings, advanced technology, and unique features and benefits of the products – and with the service and support of the Laundrylux team.”
Cody, Milch, Vice President of OPL and PLUS, adds, “We are very happy to welcome Corey to the Laundrylux team. With his level of experience and background, we see great things ahead for our Electrolux and Wascomat distribution network. We are confident he will be an invaluable resource to us and to our customers.”
Did you know that Electrolux and Wascomat commercial washing machines use 97% less dead water than competitors’ washers because of its unique drain valve assembly? Would you like to save thousands of gallons of water every year? This video compares the water usage / dead water from competitors’ 30 lb washers to the water usage / dead water of the Electrolux and Wacomat 30 lb models. Since Electrolux and Wascomat washers use the same Drain Valve System, the water savings will be consistent across both brands.
With Electrolux and Wascomat commercial laundry equipment you’ll save water and energy, lower your costs, and at the same time, make a positive impact on the environment.
Let us show you how to make your laundry more profitable.
To learn more, please contact: John Olsen, Vice President
(800)862-1752 • firstname.lastname@example.org
To see more of our videos, please visit our Laundrylux YouTube channel.
Electrolux has once again been ranked Industry Leader Household Durables in the RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook, an annual rating of the sustainability performance among more than 2,000 of the world’s largest companies.
It is the fifth consecutive year that RobecoSAM recognizes Electrolux in the yearbook as Industry Leader, a distinction awarded to the top performing company in each of 59 industries. RobecoSAM, which also publishes the globally prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), said in the yearbook it had measured companies based on their sustainability performance in three dimensions: economic, environmental and social.
“Sustainability is an integral part of the Electrolux business strategy and through an extensive engagement program over the past year, we have defined clear priorities to ensure we continue to perform well while making a real difference in people’s lives and for our planet,” said Henrik Sundström, Vice President Sustainability at Electrolux. “Our biggest priority is efficiency – continuing to cut down the energy and water our products use, extracting fewer resources, minimizing hazardous substances and shrinking the impact of our operational footprint.”
In addition to being named Industry Leader, Electrolux received the Gold Class award, which goes to the companies with the highest scores in each industry.
Congrats Electrolux! We are proud to be your partner in North America!
It’s the perfect time to buy, but act quickly! Offer ends 12/31/15.
To learn more, please email email@example.com today!
Laundrylux recently completed a major upgrade to its communications systems to support Customer Care and business growth in North America. The new system is designed to enhance the customer experience with advanced technology and cutting-edge software capabilities. Laundrylux has partnered with telecommunications provider LightPath to provide dedicated fiber optic Voice and Data circuits to a new ShoreTel voice system which is integrated with Laundrylux’s Epicor ERP software. ShoreTel is a leading provider of cloud, onsite, and hybrid business telephony and unified communications (UC) solutions.
The result is seamless data integration, faster responsiveness, higher data security, and greatly enhanced functionality for Laundrylux Sales, Customer Care, and management teams. ShoreTel vendor BrightStack, designed the system with Laundrylux’s IT team headed by Phillip Beissner. “This is the latest significant investment by Laundrylux management to support our business,” comments Beissner, “and once again, we have chosen state-of-the-art technology.”
“This investment will benefit our customers and distributors across North America,” according to Jessica Orenstein, Customer Care Director at Laundrylux. “We are now better able to manage call flows, call center queues, external assignments, and much more with seamless integration to cell phones, iPads, and our corporate Epicor software which runs the day-to-day business. Our customers will gradually notice the increased responsiveness and accuracy as we bring many features online.”
“We believe an advanced unified communications platform is one of the most critical aspects to providing best-in-class service,” said Phil Beissner, IT Director. “We know the new ShoreTel system will have a positive impact in terms of call clarity, faster response times, and a better overall customer experience.”
A few short years ago, Annette Freking worked as a registered nurse, while husband, Jeff, farmed and tended to his real estate properties. The pair often spoke about opening a business together, yet didn’t exactly know what entrepreneurial venture to pursue. However at that time, they would never have imagined themselves as the proud owners of Perry Creek Laundry, located in Sioux City, Iowa.
“Owning a Laundromat was the furthest thing from our minds,” said Annette. “Jeff spent a lot of his free time on the Internet researching potential ideas. Then one day he was browsing on Craigslist and spotted an ad for a ‘Vended Laundry Investment Opportunity’.”
Soon after the couple was sitting down with the industry professional that placed the ad – commercial laundry distributor, Jon Glover, of BDS Laundry Systems. “It was an eye-opening introduction to the business,” shared Annette. “Jon gave us so much pertinent information in our very first meeting.”
Some of the benefits of laundry ownership that were particularly attractive to Annette and Jim were the low fixed costs, the overall manageability of the business, and of course the potential for a strong return on their investment.
So what started out as a business idea that never even occurred to them now became Annette and Jeff’s number one business option. Subsequently they began their extensive laundry research online and in person, visiting roughly 15 Laundromats. They also investigated different equipment brands, prices – and other distributors.
A trusted partnership is formed
However the Frekings felt no one could compare to Jon’s expertise, professional attitude, as well as patience. “He always returned Jeff’s calls, which were many,” chuckled Annette. “Ultimately we knew that Jon, and the whole BDS Laundry team, was the best fit for us.”
Moving forward with Jon by their side, the first item on the agenda was finding the perfect location. “Jon helped us scout around and counseled us on what to look for,” said Annette. “When we found a corner lot just one block off of Hamilton Boulevard, one of the busiest streets in Sioux City, we knew this was the spot for our laundry.”
The location also provided inspiration for the perfect store name – Perry Creek Laundry. “On one side we have this bustling boulevard,” said Annette. “And on the other side of the property is this babbling creek called Perry Creek. So we thought ‘That’s it, that’s our name!’”
The build took roughly two years from the time Annette and Jeff decided to enter the laundry business to Perry Creek’s opening day. Their “must-have” laundry list included a front door that opened and locked automatically, lots of windows, an office with a service counter, free Wi-Fi, convenient parking, and plenty of seating – inside and out. “The outdoor tables and chairs give our store a little something extra, something special,” added Annette.
The Frekings relied on Jon’s know-how to design a store that offered an excellent work flow, maximizing every inch of the 2,500-square-foot space. They layout called for the largest washers, two 75-pound and four 60-pound, to be placed in the front of the store, while the dryers held sway along the back wall. The design also included two roomy folding areas. “The whole space has a great feel and flow to it,” said Annette. “It functions extremely well and our customers just love it.”
Additionally Jon made the recommendation to purchase Electrolux laundry equipment.
Reducing energy costs and water consumption are a savvy business move for any Laundromat owner. With an eye on utility savings, Jon introduced Annette and Jeff to the Electrolux brand. “Right off the bat, we liked the color and design of the machines,” said Annette. “The Electrolux washer’s doors and drums were noticeably larger than its competitors. And when we learned about all the cost-saving features, we were sold.”
The Frekings once again had done their research, finding that soft-mount equipment was the most cost effective. That’s why they chose to install Electrolux Professional 450 G-Force high-speed extraction washers. The G-force removes more water from the load of wash, minimizing dry time. “We’re already seeing a significant savings in our electrical and gas bills,” said Annette. “And our customers like the machines because they are in-and-out so much faster.”
Besides making drying faster, the soft-mount washers make for an easier installation process on wood floors, upper levels and over basements. The heavy-duty construction of the equipment ensures a trouble-free operation as well as a longer machine life.
The dryer selection boasts an array of 14, 35-pound dryers; eight 50-pound dryers; and three 83-pound dryers. “The Electrolux dryers can quickly dry a large wash load efficiently and effectively,” said Annette. “Exactly what any customer is looking for in a laundry.”
What’s more, Perry Creek Laundry is the only store in town that has the Electrolux brand. “That’s saying a lot,” shared Annette. “Our customers rave about how good the equipment is. They love that they can even receive a text message telling them their wash is done. Without a doubt, Electrolux sets us apart from our competition.”
In addition to superior equipment and time savings, Perry Creek Laundry offers its patrons wash-dry-fold services. The store takes coin, credit, debit, and loyalty cards. Partially attended, Perry Creek has eight security cameras, three televisions, and a Vendrite soap and snack vending machine.
All in a day’s work…
Jeff and Annette go to their store every day. “My first task of the morning is getting the coffee ready for our customers,” shared Annette. “Next it’s on to sweeping, mopping, and cleaning the lint traps, making sure all the machines are clean and ready to use. I’m also on hand if anyone needs any help or just to say ‘Hi’ and chat for a bit. Then it’s on to more cleaning. It’s very low key work, yet I am busy every minute.”
Perry Creek Laundry caters to a diverse market that includes young professionals and a large rental community. “We have many customers with access to washers and dryers at their apartment complexes,” said Annette. “But they prefer coming to our store thanks to our large capacity washers and the effectiveness of the Electrolux equipment. Their laundry gets done faster.”
One of the very best aspects of running a Laundromat are the customers themselves, according to Annette. “The people are the absolute highlight of this business,” she said. “Before moving to Sioux City, Jeff and I lived in a small town. We really enjoy the diversity of people that come into the store and have a lot fun meeting them.”
Annette also shared that some days in the store are downright funny. “There are so many great personalities that walk through our doors,” she said. “There always seems to be a lot of liveliness and laughter during the day, which Jeff and I just love. I think it’s because we each grew up in large families with lots of little kids so we thrive on that kind of energy.”
It’s the simple stuff that makes the biggest difference
A clean store, machines that actually work, and a friendly atmosphere are the trade secrets to Annette and Jeff’s business success. That, and partnering with a trustworthy industry expert. “Jon and BDS Laundry Systems helped us with every aspect of our business,” shared Annette. “And they continue to be an integral to our success.”
In mid-January 2015, Perry Creeks enjoyed its Grand Opening offering its customers a week’s worth of free dry days and daily drawings to win free loyalty cards. Leading up to opening day, the couple ran a local radio spot and passed out brochures in the community. “We are also on Facebook and of course, word of mouth has been tremendous for us,” shared Annette.
Annette and Jeff caution other hopeful Laundromat owners to do extensive research. They also advise keeping such a venture close to the vest. “We didn’t mention our new adventure to very many people,” said Annette. “It takes an enormous amount of time and energy to start something new. Better to focus that energy on doing your due diligence than talking about it.”
“The great thing about the laundry business is that it’s so simple, but a lot goes on behinds the scenes,” shared Annette. “Jeff and I are so excited about what’s next for Perry Creek and feel very fortunate that we made some very wise decisions – from the Electrolux equipment to our laundry distributor.”
When multi-store owner, Steve Mendez, looks out over the well-appointed Wascomat equipment in his latest Senor Bubbles Laundromat, located in Ocala, Florida, his first thought is “home.”
“The Wascomat brand has always reminded me of my home– the south side of Chicago,” shared Steve. “I might have been born and raised in the grocery store business, but I was so intrigued by my friend’s Laundromat, which of course had all Wascomat equipment. I remember really liking the name ‘Wascomat’ and the look of the machines. It made a big impression on me.”
But before taking the plunge into the laundry business, Steve spent his time learning the family business. “My father opened his first grocery store in 1971 and he taught me everything he knew,” shared Steve. “He’s the kind of guy that would take matters into his own hands. If the floor was a mess, he’d get down on his hands and knees to clean it. Then it would be my turn.”
In 1996 after leaving Chicago for Clearwater, Florida, Steve opened his very own grocery/eatery, called Pepe’s Grocery and Mexican Restaurant. “The space was originally a beauty salon of all things,” said Steve. “Yet I had no problem envisioning it as something entirely different.”
Flanking Pepe’s was another unique storefront – an antique mall. When it came on the market in 2005, Steve had another vision and quickly purchased it. “The entire front of the building is glass,” said Steve. “I thought to myself this would make a great Laundromat. I imagined myself taking down the old green canopy and shining up the enormous window to reveal rows and rows of washers and a whole back wall of dryers.”
A year later, Steve’s fantasy became reality. However after the build and the installation of his brand new Wascomat equipment was completed, Steve suddenly got cold feet. “It was silly really,” he chuckled. “I knew so many people in the community because of Pepe’s, plus my only competitor in town was a rundown Laundromat. Yet, still, I was scared to open my doors.”
Finally Steve’s dad stepped in. “He said, ‘Give me the keys, I’ll open it.’ Six hours later I had my first customer. Two months later I had to hire staff.”
All it takes is one…
What started as a Laundromat dream quickly grew into a full-blown Laundromat addiction. Over the next several years, Steve opened a total of four Laundromats located in Clearwater, Live Oak, Gainsville, and Ocala. His father’s tutelage was paying off. “Everything I learned from my dad about the grocery business holds true for the laundry business,” shared Steve. “’You’ll get out of it what you put into it’ that’s what my dad always said.”
In 2014, Steve set his sights on opening Laundromat number five, also located in Ocala, by purchasing a 6,500-square-foot space. He turned to his longtime distributor, Marlon Reese, of Alabama Laundry Equipment, to help him once again on his latest build. “I first met Marlon in 2005, as part of my due diligence on the laundry business,” recalled Steve. “I was looking for my Wascomat equipment, and Marlon was the local Wascomat representative. He came to my restaurant; we sat and talked. I really liked what he had to say and decided he would make a great partner. That’s how we began working together.”
Over the years, Marlon’s honesty and expertise has proven invaluable to Steve. “He’s patient, knowledgeable, and always reachable,” said Steve. “I can call him on a Sunday and can get him on the phone. It’s so important to be able to get answers, especially if there’s any troubleshooting needed. He’s always there for me.”
Wascomat Generation 7 – a tradition of excellence
The latest Senor Bubbles is Steve and Marlon’s biggest build to date, with 68 washers and 68 dryers – all Wascomat. As a teenager, Steve might have been smitten by the equipment’s cool-sounding moniker and sleek look. However as a laundry owner, Steve is head over heels with Wascomat’s efficiency and durability.
“I have found that Wascomats truly are built to last and take the abuse of a coin laundry,” explained Steve. “Both washers and dryers have heavy-duty construction. And if there is a problem, they are easy to service.”
The Gen 7 washing machines are designed to lower water and energy usage. “The laundry environment is a very demanding one,” said Steve. “But thankfully year after year my Wascomat washers perform, giving my customers a superior wash experience – and saving me money on my utility bills.”
Senor Bubbles patrons are gravitating to the Quick Wash feature, according to Steve. “That’s where the wash cycle is cut in half; only 15 minutes instead of 30. It’s less money too – $1.75 vs. $2.50. And it’s proving to be a big hit with my customers.”
Not to be outdone, the sturdy Gen 7 Wascomat Dryers greatly improved dryer time and reduced energy consumption by 25 percent. “The dryers get so hot and clothes dry incredibly quick,” shared Steve. “My customers really appreciate saving money and time. I can’t tell you how many have shared their old-dryer horror stories; how other machines would ‘eat up all their quarters’ just to get their clothes dry.”
The massive laundry boasts a play area for the kids with games, flat-screen televisions, and ample seating. It also has all the latest technology features, including no less than 32 security cameras. The laundry’s high ceilings give the space a bright, open feel.
Like its predecessors, the newest Senor Bubbles, has a design element of cascading bubbles down its walls. It even has a little store that sells soap, fabric softener, snacks, and drinks, which makes perfect sense given Steve’s grocery background. The fully attended laundry offers wash-and-fold services and, above all else, is spotless. “I’m a neat freak,” said Steve, “I like my ducks in order. But seriously customers want their Laundromats to be clean, well-lit, and safe. After these three conditions are met, then they look at prices believe it or not. ”
Grand Opening Day
The new Senor Bubbles opened its doors on April 2, 2015 to much excitement and fanfare. “The Chamber of Commerce was there as well as some banks,” shared Steve. “There was also a wonderful turnout of potential new customers. The Ocala Township has a great mix of ‘snow birds’ as well as a large rental community.”
In addition to offering wash and dry specials, Steve offered up something truly unique – the chance to win a brand new bicycle. “Every time I open a new laundry I raffle off a new bike,” he exclaimed. “The customers love it and so do I. I’ll raffle off a bike each month for the whole year. I just announced the March winner in my other Ocala laundry. It’s always a fun thing to do and very gratifying.”
Steve relies on conventional marketing techniques as well, such as placing ads in the Ocala Coupon, a local paper; papering apartment complexes within in a three-to-four-mile radius with flyers, and word of mouth. “A recommendation from a customer is truly the best advertisement of all,” said Steve.
Now that his most recent store has taking off, Steve is already scouting locations for the next Senor Bubbles Laundromat. “I have to keep moving,” joked Steve, “it’s in my blood.” And as you might imagine, being a hands-on store owner of multiple stores, in multiple cities, Steve is constantly on the road. So how does he successfully manage his businesses and grow his empire? It’s a combination of high tech and human touch.
“Today’s technology is incredible,” explained Steve. “Thanks to all the security cameras, at the click of an app, I have eyes everywhere. The Wascomat equipment is amazing.”
Of course technology is wonderful, but only goes so far without a team of trusted people. “I certainly wouldn’t be able to maintain or grow the business without the support of my staff at each Senor Bubbles,” said Steve. “I’m forever grateful to them as well as Alabama Laundry Equipment distributor, Marlon Reese, who reconnected me with the Wascomat brand, and is always there if I need his guidance.”
But most of all Steve would like to thank his dad for modeling a strong work ethic and having nerves of steel. “I can’t thank him enough for all he has done for me,” shared Steve, “especially opening the doors to my very first store when I couldn’t do it myself.”
The Indian Railways is the largest rail network in the world. It’s the first mechanized laundry of its kind in the Railways, commissioned by Southern Railway in Chennai and operated by Orion Ventures since October 2011.
Amid frequent complaints from passengers about the poor quality of bedrolls in upper class coaches, the Railway Ministry announced that it would open laundries under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) scenario.
The Comprehensive Linen Management by Orion Ventures for Southern Railways includes:
- Collection of soiled linen
- Washing of linen in the mechanized laundry
- Packing of linen
- Loading of linen in the train
- Transporting of soiled and washed linen from station to mechanized laundry and vice versa
- Providing manpower for distribution of linen
Orion successfully set up a mechanized laundry on the land at Basin Bridge Junction yard, provided by Railways. The six-ton capacity (per shift) laundry involves steam wash, automatic drying, pressing and folding processes. It has the capacity to handle 18 tons in three shifts, and it is presently catering for 42 trains on average per day.
“The laundry under BOOT scheme is yielding the desired results. The Electrolux equipment installed offers energy and water savings, in addition to high quality wash results. The Electrolux dryer gives us excellent drying results, shorter drying cycles, and less creasing of linen. The life-cycle of the linen is enhanced thanks to the smart, eco-friendly programs of Electrolux laundry equipment. With hygiene of linen being maintained, the number of passenger complaints has come down drastically,” says Mr. Arif K, Partner, Orion Ventures.
The Laundry equipment installed at Orion Ventures for Indian Railways Laundry in Chennai include 3 Electrolux Professional Soft Mount Washers (W41100H) and Dryer (T41200), and 2 Electrolux C.Flex Ironers.
“Electrolux washers & dryers give the owner significant utilities savings and the innovative equipment features fulfill the Operator’s needs for reliability, low energy and water consumption without compromising performance, and quality results. Our equipment is robust and heavy-duty, and can withstand the most demanding environments. With such high capacity daily use of equipment at the Southern Railway Laundry in Chennai, we at Electrolux Service offer our full support and expertise in service to maintain the equipment life-cycle,” says Saj Kumar, Head of Service, Electrolux Professional India.
“Buoyed by the success of the Chennai laundry operation, Orion has also executed a similar project in Trivandrum, with Electrolux Professional Laundry equipment. With our high-performance products and innovative solutions, we look forward to transforming the challenging mechanized laundry environment in India to a successful and profitable business,” says Animesh Sharma, Sales Manager – Laundry, Electrolux Professional India.