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Smart Ways to Monitor Your Laundry Machines

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Industrial laundry machines are built to last, but that doesn’t mean that they are invincible. They can break down for a number of reasons. It only takes one hapless person who “doesn’t know laundry” to cause your machine to break. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of the wrong parent letting kids into the laundry facility and having the wrong prank pulled. Even more often, it’s just a need for maintenance.

In order to keep your commercial laundry machines running like a dream, you need to make sure that they are monitored well. At Smart O Mat, we know how important it is to keep an eye on industrial laundry machines. That’s why we came up with a guide on what business owners need to know.

Why should you monitor your laundry machines and laundry room?

The easiest way to explain it is that stuff happens. It’s a matter of both security and functionality. Sometimes, laundry machines get jammed up, or a dryer overheats. Other times, it’s a matter of having a person who just used too much soap.

The sooner that a business owner becomes aware of the mishaps they have in the laundry room, the better off they’ll be. Problems left to fester become harder to fix. They can address problems faster, potentially save on repairs, and also keep their machines in ship shape.

Of course, monitoring doesn’t just mean watching for hooligans and keeping up on repair schedules. It also can mean keeping an eye on money spent in the room or keeping watch over resources being used in each load.

No matter how you cut it, monitoring makes it easier to run a profitable, safe, and effective laundry room. The more that you learn about the inner workings of your laundromat, the better off you’ll be.

There are five different types of laundry room monitoring.

In order to understand what we mean by monitoring your washing machines, we want to point out that it can mean monitoring any of the following issues:

  • Access. Who is in the laundry room? Are you okay with giving them access? If your commercial laundry room is meant exclusively for the residents of a certain building, access monitoring is a good choice.

  • Repair + Maintenance. Even the most durable of washing machines will break down eventually. Are you ready to catch it when it happens? Rooms that have monitoring of units’ health will be able to mitigate problems as they happen, often for cheaper.

  • Security. If you want to make sure that your area is safe from vandalism and theft, then you will also monitor laundry room activity. After all, your community laundry room won’t be very popular if people don’t feel safe leaving their belongings there or staying alone there.

  • Utility Usage. Even the most eco-friendly washing machines will use up a fair amount of water and energy. Commercial washing machines are increasingly focused on monitoring the resources they use on operation. It’s a way to keep your laundry room cost-efficient and compliant with local water restrictions.

  • Money Intake. Do you have coin-operated washing machines? If so, then you probably want to know how much money each unit is making. Monitoring the money intake from each unit can help you determine which units to keep, which ones are not profitable, and if it’s time to upgrade your gear. Besides, your accountant will love this perk!

Let’s look at the many, many ways you can monitor your industrial laundry machines.

Now that we explained the “why,” let’s skip to the smartest ways that you can keep an eye on your company’s laundry room…

Hire a live assistant.

Though this is not always the most cost-effective method to keep an eye on commercial laundry machines, but it does have a lot of perks. A good laundry assistant can make sure that all machines are well-maintained and put to good use.

The bigger reason why people hire a live assistant is the human element of it. A watchful assistant can prevent a kid from putting too much soap in the laundry machine and can call a repairman the moment that a machine breaks down. People also tend to feel better when they see others attending to their laundry needs. This is why they are most commonly seen in commercial laundromats. It’s both a comfort thing and a matter of keeping things in top shape.

Live assistants are often a bit too expensive and can hold their own liabilities. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

Install cameras around the perimeter of the laundry room.

If your property is prone to vandalism and mishaps, then having a live assistant may be a bit of a splurge. Many people simply don’t want to work in places where they have to worry about personal safety.

A common alternative to a live assistant is to have a security camera system linked up to the washing machine along with a phone number to call if things have gone awry. This choice is great as a standalone in some cases, but it also can be a smart addition to a laundry room that has a bit of chaos in it.

The cameras are there to help ensure that people are using the laundry room correctly, and to make sure that you have evidence if someone has made the decision to vandalize your machinery. They can also help spot a flood on the floor, which is another bonus.

Many insurance companies will also add a discount to your premiums if you include a security camera as part of your room’s setup. So, along with being able to watch your machines, you also might get a nice insurance perk. (Ask your insurer before you rely on this discount, okay?)

Install smart washing machines and smart dryers in your room.

Cameras are great for catching hooligans, but they can’t always catch what happens when you use the wrong soap. That’s why many industrial washing machines are using smart technology as a way to monitor the activity in laundry rooms.

Smart washing machines have taken the industrial washing machine world by storm because they are able to monitor things that are going on inside the machine. For example, a smart washing machine can potentially do all the following:

  • Monitor the number of loads it did in a day and send a report to you. They can also be monitored through certain machine or brand-specific apps. So, you can actually watch the reports happen in real time.

  • Monitor load sizes and stop machines that are overloaded. Smart washing machines are famous for this. They can help prevent damage and monitor issues before it gets out of hand…or out of machine, in this case.

  • Notify you when a machine is in use. Certain commercial washing machines will allow you to monitor use in real time and let you see which machines are being used.

  • Self-diagnose issues that may have arisen and recommend repairs. Did your machine’s drum suddenly get knocked off-kilter? The right smart washer will be able to tell you and also give you a diagnostic code for easier repairs.

  • Decrease the amount of energy and water your machines use. Most smart washers and dryers have special AI tech that helps regulate water and energy use. This tech can give you beautiful, fluffy piles of laundry while using less water than ever before.

  • Alert owners to the need for regular maintenance. This can include anything from checking to see if lint traps need refreshing or to do a regular cleaning of washer tubs. Either way, you can expect to get notifications on your phone or in your inbox if you need to call someone for repairs.

  • Allow you to stop and pause washing loads. This is a good possibility if you have a specific time when you want to shut down your laundry room. It also is a good choice for business owners who worry about reckless loading or similar problems.

  • Monitor money spent by clients. If your commercial washer machines are coin-operated or take payments, you will be able to see how much money each unit pulls in. This can help you manage your accounting better and also determine the best price per load for each unit.

  • Give regular reports regarding energy and water use. It’s always good to have a fair idea of how much energy and water your laundry room uses. A smart washing machine will help you see how much you use. Having multiple machines of the same type means that you will be able to monitor usage unit by unit.

Smart washers have sensors that allow you to see what’s going on inside your machine—including the kind of loads that your machines are used to washing. It’s a simple upgrade that makes a world of difference when it comes to how efficient your machines are.

Use apps that work across multiple appliances.

While smart washing machines might be taking the world by storm, it’s important to remember that they are not the only smart devices you can have in an industrial laundry room. You can also have smart dryers, smart locks, and smart plugs, too.

If you are a business owner who has a need for heavy monitoring of all items being used, the right app can help. In order to make this happen, you will need to coordinate your commercial laundry machine purchases alongside any other smart tech you want to monitor.

There are several different apps that allow machine use monitoring with unit-by-unit stats. Some are brand-specific, while others are third-party apps that are compatible with a wide range of different units. It’s a good idea to check out the major names in this industry, such as LaMetric TIME.

Use an access card system to limit who’s in there.

Do you have a lot of clients who come in and out of your laundry room? Perhaps it’s a matter of keeping track of accountability with your employees. Either way, controlling who comes into your room via an access card system is a great move for both security and monitoring purposes.

How to set up your own commercial washing machine monitoring system

There are three main things you’re going to have to do in order to monitor your industrial laundry room:

  1. Figure out what you want to monitor and why. Each room is different. You will need to determine what needs to be monitored, whether you need additional resources, and if security is an issue.

  2. You’re going to have to pick out your equipment. You can talk to an industrial washing machine and commercial laundry room management company to help you out here. The right experts will be able to pair you with a system and equipment that will work for you—and also teach you how to use it.

Finally, you’re going to actually have to start using your monitoring equipment. If you chose a good company to work with, they’ll make this easy for you. Once your system is set up, you’ll be able to monitor your rooms and also get alerts when things need to be fixed. In most (if not all) cases, a good commercial laundry room management company will also keep your monitoring system updated too.

Need help finding the right monitoring plan for your laundry room?

Getting the right washing machine monitoring system for a commercial endeavor isn’t easy. There are a lot of options to choose from and there also tends to be a need for installation. At Smart O Mat, you can rest assured that you’ll have a team that will make it easy for you to get the monitoring services you need.

We’re here for our clients every step of the way. If you aren’t sure what factors you need to monitor, which units work best for your room, or just need help setting things up, call us. Our job is to make your commercial laundry room run as smoothly as possible.

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