Author Archives: RonGarfunkel

SDi Laundry Solutions: Better Than Ever

A lot has been happening since our new alliance with Coinmach last October. Joining Coinmach enables us to benefit from the resources of a nationwide organization, with the purchasing power and volume leverage that affords. We’ve had many changes in our organization, with some aspects of the business being merged with Coinmach’s systems. But after more than 60 years in business, there is no way I’m going to let SDi’s reputation for the finest service in the industry slip. We are committed to providing our customers with the same stellar personal service they have come to expect from SDi.

SDi continues to be a leader in Smart Card laundry systems, operating an almost purely coinless business, which allows us to stay “Green,” reducing our carbon footprint by keeping coin-collecting trucks off the roads. Our online Smart Card revalue system makes life easier for our customers, avoiding the hassles involved in needing to have the right cash on hand, struggling to get bills accepted into revalue machines, etc. Our instant Smart Card online refunds ensure that any problems you have using your card will be rectified immediately.

Bob Doyle, Coinmach’s CEO, shares our vision for improved customer service, and has invested heavily in improved service call quality and service response times. As Bob says, “In many ways, partnering with SDi aligns perfectly with the direction we were already headed from a service standpoint. As we integrate SDi’s high-touch service standards with ours, I’m confident we’ll deliver an even greater customer experience.”

We at SDi will continue to deliver the high standards of both service and equipment that our customers have always expected from us. We look forward to serving you into the future, and welcome your comments and suggestions about how we can make your laundry experience the best it can be. Please feel free to contact me directly at rgarfunkel@SDiLaundrySolutions.com or call us at 800-945-WASH. Thank you!

Ron Garfunkel, President/CEO of SDi Laundry Solutions, with Kamilah Ifill, Director of Client Relations, at the Buildings/NY Show last year. They are committed to providing the best possible service in the industry.

Laundry Rooms Can Be Customized To Meet Residents’ Needs

The owners at Steven Ames’ Upper West Side co-op were unhappy with their laundry room. There was always a wait for the dryers, the machines weren’t clean, and their laundry company didn’t respond quickly to service calls. But thanks to a determined effort of research, bid analysis and contract negotiation, they have a brand new SDi laundry room that meets all their needs.

“About a year before our contract was up, we started doing research, established a laundry committee, and narrowed the search down to three mid-sized firms,” says Steven, who is Vice President of the Co-op Board. “The first two gave us standard proposals, basically replacing the machines we had in the laundry room. But SDi Laundry Solutions took a different approach: they said, well, let’s look at your issues and your usage. They saw right away that we had a problem with our washer/dryer ratio: our dryer capacity was half that of our washer capacity, and that’s why we had frustrated residents with laundry baskets filled with wet clothes waiting for dryers.”

A Creative Approach to Problem-Solving

The laundry committee at Ames’ 260-unit co-op were impressed with SDi’s  problem-solving approach, and hired them to redo their laundry room. The residents have been happy ever since.

“They determined that we needed more large washers that had extra wash and rinse cycles so our residents had a tiered approach—if they wanted to put more time on the machines, they could,” explains Steven.

Our team of technicians, overseen by Bill Waters, Vice President of Customer Support Services, also addressed electricity and venting issues that had caused problems for years in the building’s laundry room. In addition, a new folding area was added, and the extra dryers were stacked to fit them into the existing space.

“Our residents use the machines much more often now, and there is never a wait for machines. The service is excellent; the conversion was completed earlier than expected, went ‘live’ earlier than planned; and the transition was very simple,” says Ames.

Stephen Ames and the residents of his Upper West Side co-op are pleased with the major improvements made by SDi in their building’s laundry room.

Creative problem-solving was also used to address the issue of soap build-up in the machines. The washers were programmed to run themselves at 4:30 every morning to clean out soap residue and other messy build-up. In addition, they made the room more pleasant as well as more energy efficient.

A Pleasant and “Green” Place to Do the Wash

“They power washed the walls, painted, and did an overall redesign and upgrade, doing the entire transition in ten days.”

Across town in Robert Upper East Side co-op, residents had a similar experience working with SDi.

“The residents are extremely happy with our new, high-quality machines and our renovated laundry room,” says Robert, who is on the co-op’s Board of Directors. “While doing laundry is a chore, it is much more pleasant in a well-lit, clean space.”

“The laundry room is a convenience that adds value to the building,” Robert adds. And the funds generated by the laundry room are a big help: “The Laundry room certainly assists us in our budgeting process, as funds go towards the building.”

Smart Card Convenience and Prompt Service

Using Smart Cards instead of cash or coins also makes a big difference. Residents have the option of adding value to their Smart Cards online or in the laundry room, using a credit or debit card. Thus there is no risk of vandalism, and no need for anyone to come around collecting money. It’s all done electronically. The resulting income is a welcome budget item for the building, and the convenience and satisfaction in having a well-run laundry room on site is a great amenity for residents. Whether your building has four units or 400 units, a laundry room is a great amenity that also brings in revenue.

When it comes to service, not all laundry companies are equal. “We’ve had machines sit unusable for weeks on end,” says one East Side Condo Board President. “We’ve been very dissatisfied with the service and will be sure to switch companies when our contract is up. Unfortunately we got locked into a contract that we can’t get out of for quite some time.”

Use Caution When it Comes to Contracts

Be sure to get references when considering a laundry company, and speak to other customers about their experience. Does the company offer live customer service representatives on the phone? Are they available 24/7? How quickly do they respond? How easy is it to make a service request?

And be sure to ask whether the company has delivered on its promises of paying a monthly fee to the building. Some contracts promise a set monthly fee while others offer a percentage of the revenue generated by the machines. But if there are frequent breakdowns that last for days—or even weeks—that will cut into the income your laundry room can generate, and thus will hurt your building’s bottom line.

Boards should always be sure to speak to several laundry companies when considering installing a new laundry room or upgrading an existing one. Be careful of certain clauses in the contracts—such as automatic renewal, service response time, and determination of monthly payment. And make sure the laundry company’s proposal addresses any problems or issues that your residents are currently experiencing so you can hire the best company to solve those problems for you. It’s wise to have your building’s attorney look over any contracts before you commit. For more information on laundry room operations, visit ServiceDirections.com or call Dan Donohue, Vice President of Sales, at 800-945-WASH (9274).

Stain Removal Tips from the Stain Master

Today's guest blogger is the Stain Master! She knows just what to do to remove even the toughest stains.

Here are a few stain removal tips from the Stain Master. Think of her as the mother or grandmother who always knew what to do when you spilled something on your favorite item of clothing. Let us know if you have success with these techniques, and send us your own stain removal tips. You can post them on our facebook page at facebook.com/SDiLaundrySolutions.

GRASS STAIN—Rub detergent into the stain with a bleach that contains no chlorine and is safe for all washable fabrics. Wash in machine.

MUSTARD—Work glycerin into stain or sponge with rubbing alcohol

FRUIT—Run hot water through the back of the stain over the sink. Making the water as hot as you can will force the stain back out through the fabric.

KETCHUP—Soak in cold water then rub detergent into stain and wash

BLOOD—Scrub by hand with cold water and plain soap such as ivory, then wash in cold cycle in washing machine.

RUST—Cover with lemon juice and salt then place in the sun

GREASE—Soak in club soda

COFFEE—Pour boiling water through stain

LIPSTICK—Rub detergent into stain until outline disappears then wash with warm wate

CHOCOLATE—Soak in cold water or sponge with hydrogen peroxide, rinse and wash

MUD—Let stain dry then brush well. Soak in cold water, wash in hot water, sponge with rubbing alcohol

INK—On cotton, apply rubbing alcohol to the spot, then wash. On polyester, spray liberally with hair spray and pat with a clean, dry cloth. Then wash.

WAX—Put area between brown paper bag and press with warm iron

Not sure what to do when you've spilled on your favorite blouse? Ask the Stain Master!

Text Us for Service

TEXT US! Now you can Text us your service requests! If you have a problem with a machine, just text 914-396-2220 with your address and the number on the machine that is having the problem.

SDi is constantly striving to provide better service to all our customers. Keeping up with technology is just part of our efforts.

Text us at 914-396-2220 if you need service.

The Results Are In! Hundreds Responded to Our Survey

Thank you to everyone who took a few moments to respond to our Customer Satisfaction Survey (you can take it too at svy.mk/KYSChU)! We go lots of great feedback and suggestions, and we are addressing every one of them individually. If you sent in your contact information, you’ll be hearing from us directly. If you reported a problem and provided your address, we’ve already stopped by or we will soon. If you preferred to submit anonymously we will take all your suggestions seriously.

Overall Survey Results:

• 71% of our respondents were satisfied with their laundry room.

• 74% were satisfied with the servicing of their equipment

• 79% were satisfied with the response time of service calls

• 88% were satisfied with their Customer Service experience.

Our goal is to satisfy ALL our customers, so we are constantly working on making our service and our products better. We want you to be happy with your laundry experience all the time.

If you haven’t done it yet, send us your feedback. Take our Customer Satisfaction Survey at svy.mk/KYSChU. Thank you!

Cyberserve Laundry Rooms Are a Great Amenity: They Improve Quality of Life and Reduce Carbon Footprint

What is Cyberserve and what’s so special about it?

Cyberserve is what we call our coinless, cashless method of doing laundry:

• High-efficiency washers and dryers that run on Smart Cards, not quarters or dollar bills.

• Smart Cards that can be revalued by going to our website, using a credit or debit card, and getting a PIN code to punch into the Coded Value Adder in your laundry room.

• Eliminating coins and cash to add safety to your laundry room.

• Reducing your carbon footprint, because no longer do trucks have to drive all over town to empty the cash machines or quarter boxes.

• Reducing fuel and water usage with high efficiency washers and dryers that use much less gas, electricity and water than traditional machines.

• Using much less detergent, providing another way to save money.

“We appreciate SDi’s commitment to providing ‘green’ machines that cost less to run, and to making it easy for residents to re-value their Smart Cards online,” says Scott Rotblat, a Manhattan landlord and a green energy reseller.

Scott hired SDi to upgrade the laundry rooms in his Upper West Side apartment buildings.  “It helps me keep my building fully rented because my tenants feel they are living in a high class building at affordable prices because of this great amenity,” he says.

Louis Romano, who had SDi install a two-machine facility in his four-unit apartment in Northern New Jersey, adds, “My tenants love the fact that they don’t have to schlep their laundry into town. That makes the apartments more valuable, and helps me to keep the place full. I’m not as concerned about the income as I am keeping the place full and the tenants happy.”

Scott adds,  “Now we have new high efficiency washers and dryers, tables for folding laundry, a sink and nice lighting. Our tenants love it. The new machines run with Smart Cards and our tenants can access their accounts online, so they no longer have to worry about finding the right change.  In fact, our residents are using the laundry room much more often since the upgrade.”

Because the machines use less energy and water to run than the old ones did, the high-efficiency machines help Scott with his mission as both a landlord and a green energy reseller: to save money on gas and electric bills and to help reduce his buildings’ carbon footprint.

Find out more about Cyberserve by calling our office today. We’ll have one of our technicians come to your property to do an assessment and discuss your options. (800) 945-WASH (9274).

Scott Rotblat had SDi install new high-efficiency washers and dryers in his Upper West Side buildings. You can learn how Scott can help you reduce your gas and electric bills at viridian.com/arenergy.

SDi Provides Laundry Solutions at Frank Gehry-Designed 8 Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan

SDi is thrilled to have been chosen to install and manage the central laundry room at the latest Frank Gehry-designed building in New York. Located in the heart of the Financial District, near City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge, 8 Spruce Street is—at 876 feet—the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere.

Featuring Gehry’s signature undulating exterior made of stainless steel, the building’s 76 stories high, enclosing 900 spectacular residential rental units. Amenities include a 50-foot swimming pool, wraparound sundecks, fitness center and spa. SDi has installed a state-of-the-art laundry room on the 6th floor; conveniently located one floor below the health club. The commercial-size washer and dryers are big enough for residents to wash quilts, blankets and large loads, and will dry them much faster than the small washers and dryers located inside the apartment units.

Designed by Frank Gehry, 8 Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan is the tallest residential building in the hemisphere. It features fabulous amenities, including a central laundry room designed, installed and maintained by SDi Laundry Solutions.

“Central laundry rooms, also known as ‘back-up’ laundry rooms, are so much faster and do such a better job than the small machines installed in each unit, that we are hoping that residents will come down and take advantage of them,” says Ron Garfunkel, President/CEO of SDi. “We are proud to have been chosen to provide this amenity at one of New York’s premiere residences.”

Cyberserve: The Best Laundry Service in the Business

Lou Romano is pleased with the laundry room SDI installed for him at his 4-unit building in NJ.

What is Cyberserve? Cyberserve is the simplest way to operate a laundry room. Cyberserve makes operating a laundry room easy for residents, building owners, and property managers.

• Residents pre-pay online using their credit or debit card

• No need for coins or cash

• Residents can pre-pay along with rent or common charges

• Owners and managers never worry about collecting cash or coins

• Eliminates security issues of theft or tampering

Cyberserve works in ANY size building, from three units to three hundred units! SDI will come to your building and set up a laundry room at little or no cost to the property owner. Residents will be thrilled to have this on-site amenity, and owners can relax, because SDI will maintain and service the machines. No collections are needed, because residents use Smart Cards to run the machines, which are loaded by paying online with a credit or debit card. OR, property owners can offer pre-paid $10 or $20 Smart Cards to residents that they can buy any time from the landlord, or pay for along with their rent. Property owners pay a reasonable monthly fee to SDI for installing and maintaining the machines, and keep the rest of the laundry room income. It’s a WIN-WIN solution!

“The SDI machines are the best,” says Lou Romano, owner of a four-unit residence in River Edge, New Jersey. “I love the fact that I’m not counting quarters. I feel like I’m part of the new world of technology, especially when the checks come in.  My tenants are thrilled as well.”

“Your staff performed a difficult installation with zero problems and we were able to open the laundry room as promised to the tenants of this building,” says co-op board member Robert Blum. “Your team did a great job in welcoming tenants and teaching them how to use the equipment.”

Colleen Fay, one of our customers in White Plains, tells a story of how SDI staff helped her solve a problem in her laundry room: “I encountered a problem with one of the washers in my building which stopped in the middle of the cycle and would not restart. I called the “800” number on a Saturday night about 9PM. The customer service people were very friendly, they suggested some things to try and then contacted a service rep who called me back within 15 minutes.  He told me how to get the machine open and then called me back to be sure I was able to get my clothes out of the washer. The following morning (Sunday) someone called me to be sure the problem was resolved and assured me I would be refunded for the additional use of the machine. So often these days customer service leaves a lot to be desired, but these folks did their job well. I wanted to thank you and them for their help.”

“SDI suggested we install Smart Card machines into our larger buildings, which we did. We increased the prices, increased revenue and SDI helped make the process totally smooth,” says Karen Fry of Columbia University.

US Department of Energy Standards Require High-Efficiency Washers Here’s How to Get the Best Results From Them

Your Central Laundry Room Saves Water and Fuel!

With the cost of municipal water rising every year, conservation has become an important budgetary as well as environmental consideration. If your building has a central laundry room, you can save hundreds of gallons of water by using it, even if you have a washer and dryer in your own unit. A central laundry room also uses much less energy than home units. Here are some important facts:

• Your building uses 300 percent less water each year by having a central laundry room

• You could be saving as much as 8,000 gallons of water per unit per year with a central laundry room

• Central laundry rooms use 500 percent less energy than in-unit laundry machines

• Commercial washers and dryers hold more and work faster than in-home units

If you have any problems with your central laundry room, speak to your building staff. Most day-to-day problems can be solved by simple routine maintenance like cleaning, emptying filters, etc. Be sure to report any machine malfunctions to SDI right away, by phone at 800-945-WASH (9274), email at service@servicedirections.com, on our Facebook page (SDi Laundry Solutions) or through our website service request form at http://sdilaundrysolutions.com/form_service.html.

High-Efficiency Washers Save Water, Fuel, and Detergent!

• Front-load washing machines were developed to reduce the environmental impact of doing your laundry.

• They use 60% less water that traditional washing machines because the clothes tumble through a layer of water as the drum rotates, rather than sitting in a tub.

• Front loaders use 75% less soap than top loaders.

• They save electricity because your clothes dry faster. Why? Because they spin twice as fast as top loaders, removing more water from the clean clothes.

• They hold 50% more than top loaders, so you can do more laundry in less time, fewer loads overall, and you can even wash comforters in them.

• They are smaller and take up less space and can be stacked.

• Only High-efficiency laundry detergent should be used, and only a tiny bit per load (a quarter cup or less). This soap hardly produces any suds, but does a great job cleaning.

• Too much soap can damage the machine and your clothes.

• High-efficiency detergent works in cold water, so you save even more money on fuel!

Too Much Soap Hurts Your Clothes and the Machines

Many people think that more soap means cleaner clothes, but when it comes to doing the laundry, LESS IS MORE! Your clothes will wash better and your washing machine will last longer if you use just a little laundry detergent. Too much soap can even lead to breakdowns and service calls. So save money and get better results: use less soap.