Electrolux up for any size challenge!
Holland Shipyards BV is a young shipbuilding company uniquely located on the Merwede River. Covering an area of more than 6 acres, the shipyard offers a great deal of potential in the form of a shipbuilding shop with a work surface area of more than 17,000 sq ft., a slipway that can be used for the construction of vessels of up to 328′ in length, and an 804′ mooring quay.
In the marine industry, Holland Shipyards has a reputation of delivering fast solutions to clients and delivering a high level of quality. The company chose Electrolux Professional equipment because it provides robust performance and heavy-duty construction that can withstand the most demanding environments.
Since Holland Shipyards has the capability to handle a wide variety of challenging projects worldwide, it needed a supplier with a strong global presence and service support. Electrolux Professional fit the bill exactly. Electrolux offers an extensive network of skilled, authorized partners for installation, service, and maintenance.
Electrolux Professional’s high-performance products and innovation provided the perfect solution for Holland Shipyards BV.
Electrolux has published the annual Sustainability Report for 2013, highlighting a new target to halve the Group’s CO2 impact by 2020 compared to 2005.
The report, available here, focuses on how the business strategy and the approach to sustainability are intertwined.
“At Electrolux we want to deliver smarter, more resource-efficient solutions to more people around the world. To make this kind of positive difference every day, sustainability has to be fully embedded across our organization and right at the core of our business strategy,” said Keith McLoughlin, President and CEO of Electrolux.
Addressing energy constraints, maximizing product efficiency and reducing carbon emissions are top management priorities. The new carbon target to halve the climate impact by 2020 compared to 2005 will cut greenhouse gases from approximately 50 to 25 million metric tons in four key areas: product use, manufacturing, transport and elimination of gases with high global warming potential. Click here to read more.
Other report highlights:
- A review of Group’s sustainability strategy, now in its fourth year, and targeting three main areas: Products, services and markets, People and operations, Stakeholders and society.
- An illustrated overview of the Group’s value chain, providing a helicopter view of where impacts occur, which partners need to be engaged, and how the greatest value can be created for Electrolux and its stakeholders.
- With sharp focus on areas within human rights, Electrolux is working harder to align new acquisitions, such as in Egypt, the Ukraine and Chile, to our high Group standards. Click here to read more.
Have you ever walked past a downtown coffee shop and glanced in the window? What did you see? A counter full of people perched on stools staring back at you. So why, in our industry, do we think our customers should sit with their backs to the window and stare in? Is watching a stainless steel cylinder spin our unmentionables in soapy water that interesting?
These are the types of questions Colleen Unema asks. The answers, and in some cases a lack of decent answers are the foundation for how she built her Bellingham, Washington-based Q Laundry. Yes, retirement may have taken Unema, a former teacher, out of the classroom, but that doesn’t mean her thirst for learning stopped…or that she might not be poised to teach the vended laundry business a thing or two.
Scientific approach… proper investigation and research
Unema didn’t jump quickly into the coin laundry business. No, this nationally certified science teacher formed her hypothesis, questioned, researched, and interviewed over the course of two years.
“We never came across a ‘game over,’” she said of not finding a sticking point in her business plan, which started with an exit strategy first.
Along the way, Unema crunched numbers, talked with industry veterans, and studied the competition. She also stressed how important it was to surround herself with good people, those who forced her to be firm in her plan and numbers. She jokes that her brother, a CPA, and a “conservative” one at that, “holds me to the fire” on pro forma projections.
Electrolux distributor, Rich Boyd, owner of SeaTac,Washington-based CESCO Laundry Systems, was another of her team of trusted experts. “He is much more than our consultant; he has become a trustworthy friend,” Colleen shared. “We leaned heavily on his advice, recommendations and insights.”
The culmination of best practices – and something completely different
When it came time to put her plan to action, Unema adopted industry best practices, and as the “Monty Python” show used to say, “…and now for something completely different.”
So in an industry as mature as ours what could possibly be new? Well, you won’t find a 50-inch HDTV…or any TVs for that matter.
“We have a great sound system,” Unema said of letting her music soundtrack set the atmosphere of her 3,000-square-foot laundry. But that’s not where the atmosphere stops.
Forget about those tired, old drop tile ceilings, boring white walls, and cold lighting. Q Laundry features natural wood, warm colors, and complementary lighting. How about that hole in the wall that an attendant peeks out from? Not here. At Q Laundry, the service counter is an attractive, sweeping, focal point.
“It’s artistic and crafty…it’s not what everyone would do,” Unema said. Very true. Not every store boasts a custom chandelier from Italy hanging above the front counter.
“I wanted to raise the bar and create a whole new laundry experience – and Electrolux was the perfect partner to help make that happen. It’s important to me that my customers know we chose equipment that is not only innovative and produces great results, it fits with our community’s philosophy on sustainability,” she added.
The ABCs of community and custom
Bellingham is an outdoorsy community situated 90 minutes north of Seattle and about 45 minutes south of Vancouver, Canada. There are a lot of rentals within a mile of the store and houses within the community are mostly small. “You can’t really get big machines in most of the homes around us, so our laundry comes in handy,” explained Unema. The store is near a big university and two community colleges as well.
This is the type of place where the term “green” means something to people. So when word spread that Unema was installing a laundry that wasn’t just “green” in name, but had ultra-efficient Electrolux Professional laundry equipment to be green in practice, people wanted to be part of it.
How else do you explain a man stopping in during construction to tell Unema one of his cedar trees fell over and he was going to use the wood to make her custom coffee tables and stools…for free? Or the concrete contractor who decided stained concrete would work well with her store’s color pallette and did the staining work for free?
Clearly, there was a buzz in this small community well in advance of her grand opening.
“People just want in on this,” Colleen shared. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in building this business and serving my community.”
Plenty of other custom elements await the Bellingham community. A local sail-maker is creating custom bags to fit Q Laundry’s carts, while folding tables feature solid butcher block tops.
What Q Laundry customers won’t find much of is plastic. Those stiff, slippery plastic chairs that are almost standard issue for many laundries have been replaced by comfortable wooden stools.
The green machines
Unema explains that machine selection was one of the first decisions she made. And this science teacher wasn’t going to be fooled by green claims. The company she chose wasn’t just going to be efficient it was going to be dedicated to manufacturing in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“I’ve been watching what they do,” Unema said, adding that Electrolux’s role as one of the most sustainable companies in the world is impressive. Every year since 2006, Electrolux has been named sector leader in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for long-term economic, environmental, and social performance. Equally impressive, however, is the company’s track record of customer satisfaction, durability, and world-class products. “I wanted a machine that’s going to last 15 years or more.”
Q Laundry offers customer 39 washers, ranging from 62 and 45-pound capacity solid-mount units to ultra-high 350 G-Force extract soft-mounts in Energy-Star rated 18-, 25-, and 45-pound capacities. Eighteen Electrolux 45-pound capacity stack dryers complement the washers. Even the installation of the washers veered from the norm. Those with a keen eye will note there are no chases — those narrow walls that run from the ceiling to the bulkhead to house utilities. CESCO installed the equipment with utilities hidden in the floor and bulkhead.
“I’m really proud to offer the community the Electrolux products I have!” Colleen exclaimed. “Whenever I’m asked the question ‘what makes your store green,’ the answer is simple: It’s the machines. The Electrolux models use less water and less energy – plus they dry faster, which my customers appreciate. Electrolux delivers on its promises and I couldn’t be more satisfied.” Rebates the business received for installing the efficient products are a testament to their green status.
Elevated customer service
Those arriving at Q Laundry with baskets and bags of bulky items to wash will find unique amenities to help them efficiently accomplish their task.
Unema programmed her Electrolux Professional washers with special cycles for materials like Gore-Tex, fleece, nylon and canvas. She added a roll up overhead door for ease of loading and unloading. With Bellingham being a hub for outdoors activities, she also created a unique drying area that utilizes a hanging metal frame for hoisting laundered tents for drying. The space has floor-to-ceiling tile and two large fans to make short work of the drying process. It’s the perfect spot for really tough clean-up jobs.
Customers are also treated to free wi-fi access and a store that is fully attended. In addition to offering drop-off service, once a week Q Laundry hosts a professional to perform alterations.
“Go big or go home,” Unema joked of her approach to the business, including a heavy focus on marketing to the community.
With Q Laundry’s location in a busy strip mall that’s anchored by a Trader Joe’s, the store is sure to see ample traffic and excellent visibility. There is also a large university and two community colleges nearby.
“We have a great neighbor in Trader Joe’s, an amazing and supportive community, and a great landlord,” Unema said. “Top that off with Electrolux Professional equipment and we have a real recipe for a sustainable and successful business. We are thrilled to be part of it all.”
Take a look at this clip sent in by one of our satisfied customers! It’s a testament to the strength and reliability of Wascomat products. Pat Hays, owner of Dukes Coin Laundry, still has an old Wascomat Blue Top washer in her store, going strong since 1970. Serviceman Keith Long’s dad sold the laundromat to Pat about 32 years ago and he remains Pat’s serviceman today.
“I have customers that specifically want to use that machine,” states Pat. “It’s still kicking and doing a great job 44 years later. Works great, cleans great, and still has the old style timer. I believe in Wascomats. They can really take the abuse of a coin laundry environment.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” shares Keith. “It’s in really great shape. Works like it’s brand new.”
We thank Keith and Pat for sharing this story with us.
One might be inclined to think the demands facing an athletic department laundry room at a university aren’t that great. However, such an assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a lot more than homogenous loads of towels, towels, and more towels.
Terry Schlatter, director of equipment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will tell you the challenges placed on his laundry rooms were tremendous. So much in fact, that he turned to Wascomat and Mark Litsky at Integrated Sports Specialties (ISS) to help the department undertake a massive laundry re-tool.
“Our goal was to centralize our laundry operations into one location and share it with football and our Olympic sports,” Schlatter said of the two-year remodeling project.
Litsky said the key to success in this undertaking was being involved in the planning right from the start. “We were lucky enough to be involved from step one…that way we were able to craft the best overall plan,” said Litsky, who has extensive experience as an architectural engineer, in addition to decades in the laundry business.
Equipment operating in the laundry was dated, inefficient, and experiencing far too frequent breakdowns. The capacities of the machines were also too high and were rarely fully loaded. Combining operations within Dave McClain Athletic Facility would require a lot of planning in order to choose the right equipment necessary to overcome the challenges and increase production.
“They were hardly using the full capacity of the 125-pound washers,” Litsky said, adding that such underloading conditions can mean additional wear-and-tear on major components of the machines.
Reliability and efficiency, however, were only part of the focus for new equipment. Machines also would need to be able to handle a variety of load types, and deliver wash and finish-quality that matched the high expectations of the Wisconsin Badgers.
“We see a variety of items, from team uniforms and daily practice t-shirts and shorts, to socks,” Schlatter said. Combining operations brought additional items such as custodial rags, and food and beverage tablecloths. “Laundering everything from technical athletic gear to table linens is a tremendous challenge. This isn’t a case of just filling the cylinder and hitting start. Our operation required a high degree of programmability to ensure quality results. Wascomat definitely delivered on all fronts.”
Litsky recommended six Wascomat EXSM665 65-lb capacity hardmount washers and eight Wascomat TD83 83-lb capacity dryers. These capacities would ensure full loads were always running to maximize efficiency, while an extract speed of 300 G-Force would significantly reduce dry times, save energy, and increase productivity. The laundry gained additional efficiency by replacing the steam-heated dryers with gas units. But this was more than a simple removal of the old equipment and install of new machines. Schlatter was impressed by the commitment of Litsky and ISS staff to fine-tune all the wash and dry cycles.
“ISS was excellent in installing and programming our new Wascomat equipment,” Schlatter said. The Wascomat washers came equipped with the fully-programmable Clarus Control® which offers room for up to 192 custom wash cycles.
That extra effort appears to have paid dividends in not just finished results, but the overall efficiency of the operations.
“The wash results for our practice and competition apparel has been outstanding,” Schlatter said, adding that, “By combining our equipment we were able to cut down on evening and weekend staff hours.” The root of those reductions in staff hours is centered on the speed and efficiency of the Wascomat equipment.
“With Wascomat washers and dryers in the operation, we dramatically shortened cycle times while improving results,” Litsky said. Fast cycle times and high extract speeds on the wash side help set up for the big finish.
“These Wascomat units dry amazingly fast,” said Litsky, whose company designs and installs laundry rooms at some of the country’s top universities.
Even with ISS’s extensive list of impressive installs, Litsky counts the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a highpoint. “We use our University of Wisconsin-Madison laundry room design and installation as an example for other schools,” he said.
Global leader Electrolux continues to grow and advance its message of innovation. Read below to learn more about its recent Waldorf Astoria installation. To read more about satisfied Electrolux Professional Laundry customers around the world, click here.
January 2013 a new Waldorf Astoria opened its doors in Berlin, Germany. It has since been the top address for guests from all over the world looking for a luxurious experience with impeccable service. The 31-story hotel with 152 rooms and 80 suites needed a laundry service to provide reliable results at the highest standards. In choosing Electrolux, hotels see lower energy and water consumption, greater reliability and flexibility, increased productivity, and quality results.
Advanced Electrolux innovations not only make training laundry room staff easier, they practically eliminate human error by displaying only the programs you want your operators to use. Programmable and customizable controls with displays in multiple languages help make the laundry process that much easier and more productive. In addition, Electrolux Professional’s Compass Pro microprocessor has up to 55 programs and a real time clock for delayed start. Laundry operators can program the washers to start in the morning and be processed and ready for the dryer when staff arrives.
The Waldorf Astoria in Berlin, one of the top addresses for excellent service and luxurious suites and spas, relies on Electrolux Professional laundry equipment everyday. Click here to learn more about Electrolux Professional on-premises laundry solutions.
PLUS is the revolutionary new innovation from Laundrylux where we deliver and install your new Electrolux Professional Laundry equipment for FREE. You have zero capital investment and no long-term lease or contract! Simply use the equipment as needed and pay ONLY for what you use. Imagine, no expensive linen rental or commercial laundry contract – and no warranty worries because parts and service are included for life.
PLUS means no surprise repair bills, no down time, no capital investment in equipment, and no more laundry headaches. PLUS frees up your capital for more urgent business priorities.
Satisfied customer Tommy Ciccarone, owner of Parkway Cleaners in Pennsylvania, sees his business growing because of PLUS. “We have one large plant that does all the work for our 10 satellite stores and our 6 pick-up and delivery commercial accounts. I had ordered a Wascomat wetcleaning machine because our business is growing, but cash flow issues hindered us from buying another drycleaning machine which are very expensive. By putting in a wetcleaning machine, I was able to increase my production for a quarter of the price. Since about 85% of all stains coming into a drycleaning shop are water-based, the wetcleaning model worked out perfectly and was a great solution. Then my distributor, the O’Mara brothers whom I know for a dozen years, told me about PLUS by Laundrylux. With this new program, I received 2 Electrolux Professional high-speed soft mount washers at no cost up front, not even for the installation and delivery. It’s a “pay as you go” system – you only pay for what you use. I now have 3 high-speed washers and they are cranking out the work. On top of this, the PLUS washers spin faster and have two special features – AWS and Smart Dosing – which save on chemicals and water. I could not be happier.”
Please click here for additional information on PLUS:
This expansion, the second in three years, will help support the Electrolux Professional and Wascomat commercial laundry equipment brands as they continue to grow in North America.
The new six-floor, 375,000-square-foot building featuring LEED certification and solar panels, is needed to meet Electrolux’s 3-year plan to hire 810 new employees. The jobs are in the areas of research and development, marketing, design, engineering, supply chain, finance, IT and executive management.
“We are excited to see Electrolux expanding as Electrolux Professional and Wascomat laundry equipment brands continue to rapidly gain market share in North America,” states Neal Milch, Laundrylux CEO. “Electrolux is a global leader in sustainability and innovation, and we are proud to have our distributors come to Electrolux North America’s world-class facility for hands on product training. This expansion further illustrates the company’s commitment to its customers and partners.”
Reprinted with permission from American Laundry News
Each year, a number of laundry projects are completed around the country, resulting in brand-new or retrofitted plants primed and ready to convert soiled goods to clean textiles for the benefit of end-users and customers. But before one of these plants goes online, there are months, sometimes even years, of effort spent in preparation. As a way to celebrate all the hard work that goes into funding, designing, building and equipping a modern laundry plant, American Laundry News has created this feature coined Designing Success to feature portraits of memorable plant installations…
Booth Centennial Healthcare Linen Service (BCHLS) is owned by its member hospitals. They serve 120 healthcare facilities, of which 40 are senior care facilities.
The organization was using old, inefficient machines that were wasting water, time and energy, and decided that it needed new equipment. Therefore, Booth executives decided to install new, energy-efficient Electrolux Professional laundry equipment to save water and energy, plus boost productivity. Ontario Laundry Systems, a distributor also based in Mississauga, was hired to oversee installation and to service the new equipment.
The 300,000-square-foot facility offered a good amount of space. Electrolux Professional washers and dryers were installed in a special area called the COG (customer-owned goods) room, where BCHLS processes personal clothing for residents of long-term care facilities, as well as hospital curtains, uniforms, mattress liners and other healthcare laundry from their hospital clients. It’s also ready and able to handle regular linens, and serves as a backup for that.
Electrolux Professional washers come standard with AWS (Automatic Water Savings), which reportedly saves Booth Centennial up to 40% in water. With each wash cycle, AWS determines the weight of the load and adds precisely the right amount of water, resulting in reduced water consumption and energy costs. AWS communicates directly with a Softrol computer network, reducing the volume of chemical injection to match the load and water volume for precise concentrations. This extends linen life by eliminating excessive chemical exposure, and adds up to lower costs, lower detergent consumption, and a superior wash.
The machines also use new Compass Pro technology for easy programming. Booth can program the washers so that operators see only the programs they use, reducing human error and increasing productivity.
Other features include Residual Moisture Control (RMC), which prevents damage to linens caused by overdrying, and reduces lint and wrinkles by automatically stopping the dryer when the exact pre-set moisture level is reached.
Electrolux Professional laundry equipment installed new or replaced as part of the BCHLS project included four 135-pound washer-extractors, two 65-pound washers, four 135-pound dryers and two 83-pound dryers.
Once the project was completed, Booth Centennial began benefiting from savings in time, water and energy. The facility can now process more than 90 million pounds of critical healthcare laundry annually.
Advanced Laundry Systems, authorized Electrolux and Wascomat distributor based in Colorado, bolstered its commitment to the coin laundry market with the addition of Hana Kim to its sales team. In this newly created position, Kim will focus on growing coin laundry sales for the company.
“Hana comes to us with a wealth of sales experience and an impressive track record of success,” said Diane Burgess, sales representative at Advanced Laundry Systems. “Her fluency in Korean will be an asset and enable Advanced to reach a broader segment of the coin laundry market.”
Kim comes to Advanced from CarePoint Financial Services, where she served as sales and marketing director and managed a team that posted up to $500 million in annual sales. She also was responsible for launching three companies under the CarePoint umbrella.
“I am truly looking forward to the challenges of this new position with Advanced,” Kim said. “It’s exciting to not only work for a distributor that is a leader in the Colorado market, but also represent well-respected coin laundry brands like Wascomat and Electrolux.”
Burgess said, Kim is extremely active in the coin laundry business but will continue to expand her knowledge of the business. She is visiting area vended laundries daily, as well exploring possible locations for new stores. Kim has a bachelor of science degree, actuary major, from the University of Colorado.
Advanced Laundry Systems is the authorized distributor of Wascomat and Electrolux commercial laundry equipment in Colorado and Wyoming. The company boasts more than 20 years of experience, offering sales, service, and a large parts department. To learn more, visit www.advlaundry.com or call 1-877-432-2504.