Mac-Gray’s LaundryView eMonitoring System now does instant messaging. The new edition expands the company’s Internet-enabled laundry equipment monitoring–in place at Northeastern colleges and soon to move into Florida schools–to deliver notifications directly to a student’s desktop through the major instant messaging services.
MONTREAL, PRNewswire– Mac-Gray Corporation (NYSE: TUC – News) has announced at the annual conference of the Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I) an important upgrade involving Instant Messaging to its LaundryView(TM) eMonitoring System. Mac- Gray is the nation’s premier laundry facilities contractor and a provider of other amenities to the multi-housing industry, and the largest provider of such services to the college and university market.
The LaundryView(TM) product, initially deployed in colleges, enables students to monitor the status of the washers and dryers in their campus laundry rooms from any device with a web browser. Announced in late 2003, the system is currently in operation at colleges in New England, New York, New Jersey and Kentucky, and will be expanded into North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida over the summer, with more than 3,000 washers and dryers connected to the Internet in over 200 laundry rooms.
The new edition of LaundryView(TM) (Version 2.1) further extends Mac- Gray’s dominance of Internet-enabled laundry equipment monitoring. In addition to the existing options of computer, PDA or cell-phone, the new version of LaundryView(TM)will deliver notifications directly to a student’s desktop using their selected Instant Messaging (IM) service. LaundryView(TM) will support all major IM services, including AOL, MSN and Yahoo. The addition of IM capability to LaundryView(TM) makes it the only product of its kind.
According to Bob Tuttle, Vice President, Field Technology at Mac-Gray, “With an estimated 74% of teenagers using Instant Messaging to chat with friends online, IM-ing is the new way for the next generation to communicate in the information age. Our own research indicated that IM is the preferred means for college and university students to get a message from the laundry room. Students gave us an overwhelming endorsement for IM, choosing it almost four to one over other options for receiving a notification from one of our washers or dryers.
The LaundryView(TM) eMonitoring System is generating strong interest among managers of student housing at colleges and universities. “We have many schools scheduled for installation over the summer and fall,” said Mr. Tuttle. “Schools that we expected to test the service in one or two laundry rooms have decided to have it installed campus-wide because of its ability to save time for their students.”
After LaundryView(TM) was installed at the University of Louisville, the response to the system from Mr. Lionel Maten, Associate Director for Facilities, reflected the sentiments of many housing managers. “LaundryView is better than anything I could have imagined. It’s awesome!” Maten said.
According to Philip Clay, the Assistant Dean of Student Life at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, “We’re always looking for better ways to provide basic services to our students. LaundryView is one that is truly cutting edge.”
In addition to being a timesaver for students, LaundryView(TM) also saves time for college and university administrators by eliminating the need to place service calls for many of the common equipment problems. “One of the aspects of LaundryView(TM) that I’m most excited about is the automatic reporting system, which alerts Mac-Gray when a machine is down,” said Mr. Clay. LaundryView(TM) can detect when a malfunction has occurred, or is about to occur, and automatically notifies Mac-Gray that service is required, without any involvement by the students or administrators.
Neil F. MacLellan, Mac-Gray’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said, “Although LaundryView(TM) is one of the most important developments for laundry service at colleges and universities in decades, installation of LaundryView(TM) is not limited to only customers of Mac-Gray. The system can be installed in any part of the country and is capable of interfacing with machines operated by other laundry facilities contractors. We see it as a way to make our service more valuable to existing clients and one part of our ongoing focus to employ technology to improve the quality of campus life. Demand for the initial product has exceeded our expectations, and the IM upgrade is the result of listening to students and making this cutting- edge product even better.”
About Mac-Gray Corporation
Mac-Gray derives its revenue principally through the contracting of card- and coin-operated laundry facilities in multiple housing facilities such as apartment buildings, colleges and university residence halls, condominiums, and public housing complexes. Mac-Gray contracts its laundry rooms under long- term leases. These leases typically grant Mac-Gray exclusive contract rights to laundry rooms on the lessor’s premise for a fixed term, which is generally seven to ten years, in exchange for a negotiated portion of the revenue collected. Mac-Gray’s laundry facilities business consists of approximately 35,000 multiple housing laundry rooms located in 28 states in the Northeastern, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States, and the District of Columbia. Mac-Gray also sells, services, and leases commercial laundry equipment to commercial laundromats and institutions.
Through its MicroFridge® division, Mac-Gray sells its proprietary MicroFridge® line of products, which are combination refrigerators/freezers/microwave ovens utilizing patented Safe Plug(TM) circuitry. The products are marketed throughout the United States to colleges, the federal government for military housing, hotels and motels, and assisted living facilities. MicroFridge® has also entered into agreements with Maytag Corporation to market Maytag’s Magic Chef, Amana and Maytag lines of home appliances throughout the United States. MicroFridge® products bear the ENERGY STAR® designation. To learn more about Mac-Gray, visit the Company’s website at www.macgray.com.
LaundryView is a trademark of Mac-Gray Corporation. All other product names, service marks, and trademarks mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.
Contacts: Robert J. Tuttle Vice President, Field Technology Mac-Gray Corporation 617-492-4040 ext. 305 Email: [email protected]