Almost 20 million students will attend colleges and universities this fall, according to the National Center for Education Studies. That’s a huge number of students — especially after the COVID-19 pandemic halted everything for a year — and it’s continuing to grow year after year as teens start to compete and prepare for the jobs of the future.
It also means that universities have to work harder as they compete for students against more than 4,200 other higher-education institutions in the United States. Whether you have a campus of 40,000 or 5,000, laundry is an incredibly important part of residence life.
When was the last time you took a look at your university’s laundry services? Are you seeing the results you want as far as performance and profits? Are students happy with what’s offered or are they turning to off-site facilities?
With all that in mind, here are several good reasons to improve your university’s laundry services.
LOWER UTILITY AND OPERATIONAL COSTS
This is big — colleges and universities continue to deal with budget cuts and tuition freezes across the country. Cut costs and make all operations as efficient as possible, and that starts in the laundry room.
Old and outdated equipment can be costing you more than you think in water and utility costs, especially when being used regularly throughout the school year. In fact, Speed Queen commercial laundry products are so efficient that they can save you approximately $1,000 per year per washer-extractor.
Now, think of that per machine on campus. Updated equipment can save your university thousands of dollars per year, allowing you to put more funds where they’re needed most — in the classroom.
INCREASED REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES
Not only can upgraded laundry equipment save you money, but it can also provide some extra revenue options. Quantum Controls from Speed Queen, for example, allow laundry room managers and maintenance crews to set time-of-day and multi-level pricing, which can bring in more profits during peak hours of the day or for premium wash items.
There are also cycle modifiers and customizable water levels, which you can automatically adjust the price for as needed. Plus, there are all sorts of other revenue-increasing upgrades you can make to your university laundry room, such as vending machines for soaps, snack and beverage options, and fluff and fold services for students.
INCREASED ENGAGEMENT WITH STUDENTS
As you look to better connect with your students and meet their laundry needs, Speed Queen helps with that too. Did you know 95 percent of teenagers use or have access to a smartphone and spend on average 10+ hours per day online? With Speed Queen Insights, you can connect with residents to make their experience on campus as enjoyable as possible through the mobile app. Features tech savvy students will love include:
- The ability to check machine availability
- Automatic alerts when cycles are complete
- Rewards through the app
It helps reduce wait times and forgotten loads of laundry, which can be a problem on campuses. Plus, advanced reporting and analytics help you to understand the needs of your campus community better, which makes it easier to spend your laundry and maintenance budget appropriately.
You may not always think about it, but a modern, high-performing and technologically-advanced laundry room can actually be used as a selling point during the recruitment process. Students no longer carry around change and sit around waiting for their clothes to dry. Now, these digital-natives crave experiences and convenience.
As potential students tour dormitories and residence halls, tour guides can talk about the laundry room’s advanced features. In fact, a recent issue of Talking Stick, a popular publication focused on campus housing, notes that East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania includes information about laundry technology as part of their new student presentations and tours, as well as on their website. And they’re not alone, either.
Tech-savvy Gen Z students are sure to love the ability to pay right with their smartphone app, earn rewards, and get alerts when their clothes are done. It’s just another way to show how ahead of the curve your campus is and help you stand out from other universities. While the university laundry services may not be the deciding factor for students, it certainly can’t hurt.