WASH Ups the Ante

New research center is devoted to laundry technology.
SQ_STACK_DRYERS-01-01 thumbnail

One of the best perks of being a nudist is not having to do as much laundry. But for the rest of the clothes-donning population the chore of washing, drying and folding is pretty much inevitable. The folks at WASH Multifamily Laundry Solutions know this and recently announced the opening of the WASH Technology Center in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., where the company’s IT Team can research and develop creative and efficient systems for multifamily laundry facilities.

“At WASH, we are continually exploring new technologies and how we can apply them to the laundry room so that we can enhance the overall laundry experience for both residents and managers,” WASH’s Cathy Jackson, vice president of marketing, tells MHN. “One area of focus is mobile applications. With the popularity of smart phones it really opens up a lot of new possibilities.”

The new Tech Center features open work areas and stations for teams to collaborate. The space will also be used to showcase the company’s technology to customers and investors and features interactive displays of coinless card systems, mobile apps and dispatch routing technologies in the center’s lobby.

Coming up with new technology

One of the newest technologies that WASH is in the process of rolling out is the company’s FixLaundry app for Amazon. The FixLaundry product, which is already available for iPhone and Android users, allows residents or community staff to report broken equipment by scanning a barcode on the machine with their smartphone. After scanning, information about the location of the machine is generated and when the user submits, a service call is generated.

“Through these systems property managers and owners can receive alerts when laundry machines go offline or need service, which simultaneously are sent to service technicians,” Jackson says. “Before residents may even know there is a problem, help can be on the way. By minimizing the downtime of laundry machines, property owners also can maximize laundry room revenue and save time they might have spent inspecting machines or calling service staff.”

With regards to product development, Jackson notes that the way people are paying for things today has created a “cashless society” and because of that, WASH has adopted technologies such as electronic card systems and is looking into other innovative payment applications systems.

One particular area of WASH’s research—currently in the pilot phase of development—is creating a predictive pricing formula that utilizes a sophisticated algorithm to forecast the impact of price changes on laundry room use.

This research capability is made possible by WASH’s state-of-the-art routing and dispatch system, which is constantly being updated. The company also recently upgraded internally to Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based product that Jackson says has allowed for “enhanced information sharing” within the organization.

Green laundry catches on

On the green front, WASH says that reduced energy usage is a burgeoning trend and that manufacturers are striving to develop new washer and dryer models that comply with the strict guidelines set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Another trend that has increased in popularity is the refurbishing of machines.

“It’s a great way to reduce costs for customers but also responsibly re-use and recycle,” Jackson says.

Environmental responsibility is a high priority at WASH. The company is an Energy Star Partner and offers energy efficient machines that prevent greenhouse gasses to its clients, with brands including Speed Queen, Maytag and Whirlpool. All of WASH’s machines, which are available in both new and refurbished models, include a 135-point inspection and come in energy efficient top-load, front-load and stackable options. Additionally, WASH promotes the Green Laundry Campus Program, as well as offers tips on natural resource conservation and reducing carbon emissions.

“Our goal is to minimize the environmental footprint as a company and to create meaningful ways for our clients and their residents to do the same,” Jackson says.

To comment on this story, e-mail Joshua Ayers  at jayers@multi-housingnews.com