Your profit rests in the quality and performance of your machines. Replacement can be intimidating and the factors that influence the decision to replace will be different for every store. Those “whys” can tell you a lot about how you can best approach the replacement process—whether you should be considering a full retool or would benefit from a stepped approach, and what equipment to replace first.
The financial benefits of replacement are clear. Replacing aging equipment with new equipment can help you optimize your operating expenses, reduce your maintenance costs, potentially open up new revenue opportunities and help keep customer satisfaction high. All of which will keep your business running smoothly. Recent CLA research shows that when considering replacing machines, 75% of owners surveyed said they are considering a gradual, or stepped, replacement as their primary approach.1
A stepped approach offers the flexibility of replacing by bank, by machine type or simply as needed. Each of these strategies offer different benefits depending on why you’re replacing. Let’s talk about how that works.
Replacing an entire bank of machines every few years shows your customers you’re continually investing in your store. Because banks tend to be the same type of machine installed at the same time, they’ve most likely aged at the same rate, making replacing them together an obvious choice. Going bank-by-bank can make it easier to increase vend prices, and the consistency can help with business budgeting and planning. Depending on the size of your store, it can also provide flexibility to adjust machine mix.
By Machine Type.
Because similar machines tend to be grouped together, replacing by type or capacity of machine can be very similar to replacing bank-by-bank, with the same advantages. It’s a good strategy if you’re trying to increase vend prices, especially if you’re taking the opportunity to move up in capacity (for example, swapping out top-load machines for 20 lb. multi-load machines). If utility costs are a concern, determining which machines are the least efficient and replacing them first can make a big impact on utility costs.
If you’re in a market without much competition, or with just a few years left on your lease, replacing as needed could be the simplest answer. It’s a good option if repair costs are an issue, but you don’t have much capital to spend. It provides the least amount of flexibility for switching up your machine mix but does allow you to replace top-loaders with higher-capacity front-loaders with the same footprint.
Replacing just a few machines per year may not make a big dent in utility costs, however. It can also be difficult to raise vend prices on new machines when they’re next to less-expensive options.
A Stepped Approach Still Needs a Plan.
If you choose to replace by bank or type, take the time to plan and minimize downtime. Consider where in the store the bank is located and be sure to plan for traffic flow and ease of use of other machines so customers can still use your store safely and meet their needs. Help customers understand the replacement process and the new machines with clear signage. Alert them to the incoming machine upgrades and once in place, display clear instructions on what the machines offer and how to use them.
CLA research shows that customers will pay up to 20% more to use new machines and they seek those upgrades.2 As you replace a type or bank of machines, track available inputs like turns per day to help determine return on investment. This information will help you plan—and perhaps pay for—your next replacement.
Consider the Benefits of Retooling with Maytag® Commercial Laundry.
As you replace machines, remember, the name on your machines matters. Consumers have depended on the Maytag name for generations. Replacing your equipment with our machines helps you leverage that familiarity with your customers. Retooling your store with 100% Maytag Commercial Laundry machines gives you access to exclusive resources and tools like:3
- Design guidance for everything from store layout and machine mix for the common store sizes to fittings and fixtures.
- Marketing tools and materials to help promote your store.
- A variety of in-store signage, from instructional signs to creative graphics.
- Comprehensive support from Maytag Commercial Laundry to help you build your brand and improve your store’s profitability.
Connect with your distributor today to discuss how stepped replacement could work for your store and how Maytag Commercial Laundry can help you power your store.
1CLA, Equipment Replacement – Understanding Laundromat Owner Attitudes, Approaches and Motivators
2CLA, Deciding When to Replace Laundry Equipment
3Terms and conditions apply