Delivering Laundry and Profits to Georgetown University

February 11, 2016 7:39 AM Comment(s) By Gabriel

Sustainable, Mission-Driven MBE created big results in new agreement with Georgetown University

Within 60 days of solidifying their first laundry package partnership, Georgetown University received a commission check upwards of $20,000 from Wash Cycle Laundry. And that’s only the beginning of the capacity to grow the participation with campus residents, while building on the University's sustainability goals and creating meaningful employment in their own community.

University missed out on Laundry revenue

Wash Cycle Laundry’s consumer research shows 72% of personal customers already have access to laundry equipment within their residence, proving having washers and dryers within residence halls does not completely fulfill students’ laundry needs.  Georgetown University students were turning to unvetted providers who accessed the dorms without permission and created ill will with overcharges and unreliable service. Plus, Georgetown missed out on the revenue from these students’ laundry usage. Wash Cycle identified the following opportunity: Laundry Plan Sales Potential
  • 7,600 campus residents
  • 16 Residence Halls
  • Potential for participation from over ⅔ of students

Developing Mission-Aligned Laundry Plans

When deciding to work with a provider for laundry packages, Georgetown University wanted not only a great service, but alignment with the school’s values. Wash Cycle Laundry, a triple bottom line MBE, creates jobs for returning citizens and utilizes bicycles for delivery. This partnership earned a positive response from the student population, as included in the school paper's announcement of the agreement.

“Management, service, price, company mission, sustainability and employee welfare are just a few of the many factors that we evaluate during the process,” - Loren Sumerlin, Director of Business and Operations, Georgetown University, The Hoya, August 2015 

Not only would working with Georgetown University create 3 full time jobs for Wash Cycle’s team in Washington, D.C., the memorable bicycle delivery vehicles would act as an engine for organic customer acquisition while serving students without clogging up campus roads with an idling truck. The school and the laundry company worked together to design a simple laundry plan, encouraging advance purchase much like a meal plan. Plans are a single price regardless of weekly volume, include secure pick-up locations in each residence hall, and offer next-day turnaround. The additional messaging around Wash Cycle’s mission-alignment with the University’s values created positive buzz with students and parents. Upon finalizing the agreement one month before move-in, Georgetown University reached out to campus residents via email to start the flurry of sales. Wash Cycle Laundry's marketing team initiated an online advertising campaign, included print materials geared to parents and students in orientation welcome packets, and staffed a table on campus throughout move-in week. This led to nearly 120 new students signing up for the service before the first day of classes, with new registrations continuing on a pro-rated basis throughout the semester.

Limited Investment, Big Results

With limited time and a small financial investment for both Georgetown University or Wash Cycle Laundry, the two organizations fulfilled a need for students with limited time, and even less interest, in doing their own laundry.
  • $24,000 Commission to Georgetown University for Q1 Sales
  • 2.5% initial buy-in of of Campus Residents, with just 30-Day lead time for marketing
  • Created 3 full-time jobs for Washington, DC residents
  • Laundry Plan breakdown:
    • 47% Single Semester Plans / 53% Full Year Plans
    • 10% of students opting for service twice per week at a higher price
    • 46% Freshman, 37% Sophomores, 17% Upperclassmen

Continued Growth and Lessons as the Partnership Continues

As the first semester of service came to a close, Wash Cycle Laundry began renewals for spring. Over 70% of fall purchasers signed back up for the spring. With new customers signing on, the overall participation within the first week of the second semester had increased by 10%. Further growth is anticipated through growing partnerships with Auxilliary Services and Residential Life, as well as the hiring of an intern on campus to build relationships and visibility with clubs and residence halls. Overall, this partnership seeks to maximize revenues for Georgetown University while creating a valuable service for its students. The use of nimble, cost-effective marketing continues to promote the value of the service's convenience and affordability while highlighting the students' participation in Wash Cycle Laundry's social and environmental impact.   To learn about how Wash Cycle Laundry can provide laundry solutions for your students while driving revenue for your University, please send an email to Joel Hommes, Director of Business Development.   
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