The old adage still holds true today – you get what you pay for. It’s certainly accurate as we look at the equipment options available to on-premises laundry managers. Often, the lowest priced equipment ends up costing laundries more over their lifetime, due to inefficiency. 

What buyers sometimes forget is that the idea of getting what you pay for can extend into the distribution partner. As laundry managers put a focus on equipment that can deliver excellent return on investment over their lifetime, they should also be putting a premium on their distributor’s total package approach. So, what does that mean? 

Service matters. When we are buying anything new – a car, a home appliance or a high-priced piece of commercial laundry equipment – we don’t want to think about it encountering a problem. However, anything working eight hours or more, 365 days a year will likely need service. Will your distributor be there for you when it happens? Managers should work with a distributor that has service technicians on staff. They should be factory trained and experienced. Ask your partner how many technicians they have on staff. Are they close to your facility or will they be hours away when you need assistance (remember, laundry doesn’t stop and hours matter). Do they have virtual service options – with the current pandemic, the best in the business are leveraging technology to better serve customers. 

Stocked shelves? The total package in a distribution partner requires a significant spare parts inventory. A large service staff does you no good if they don’t have parts in stock. You want a partner with a significant parts department and a parts manager with industry experience, who knows what key parts they must have on-hand for the most common service calls. 

Inventory. Again, down time isn’t an option. So, in the event your laundry requires equipment replacement, does the distributor carry on-hand inventory to expedite replacement? The best in the business stock popular washer-extractor and tumble dryer models. 

Install crew? A true distribution partner has their own install crew to ensure proper installation. These installers know the ins and outs of the specific brand and what’s required at installation to ensure years of worry-free performance. 

Value-added services. Anyone can sell you a piece of equipment. However, a total-package distributor can assist in other ways with financing, layout and design, a needs analysis and more.  

We all need someone in our corner, not just at the time of purchase, but after the sale and beyond. Laundry managers are making a significant investment when they purchase industrial laundry equipment. They need to ensure that they have a total-package partner dedicated to serving them for the long term.