Open 24 hours around the clock with a special multiservice card that is regularly updated to cater to the user’s needs. Here’s how a company from Macerata has happily entered into the hearts and habits of a steadily growing number of customers
“We are the time you don’t have enough of” reads the Facebook page of the Europa laundry. Inspired by those healthy marketing principles which, as in the famous novel by Marcel Proust, go “in search of lost time”. To find it and make up for it.
Time lost and found again.
Working hours that are so “continued” they are never interrupted.
Which means deliveries at every imaginable hour.
Even at 2 in the morning when a customer needs to catch a plane at 8 with those three shirts in his suitcase, and with the jacket with that cuff that needs to be mended by the tailoring service. All you need is the company’s “card” and picking up your laundry in the small hours becomes as easy as withdrawing money from an ATM.
Because “We are the time you don’t have enough of”.
When the communication is right on target this means it is not just plain advertising.
An example of this is the Europa laundry in Macerata which was magnificently handed down to Laura Bravi from her father Angelo to be transformed from an everyday store into a business that has all the must-haves of marketing manuals.
A laundry that also transcends the physical boundaries of the store concept to become a virtual yet concrete room divided into several apartments when you don’t have the time or space to keep certain clothes in your closet looking their best. Be it in daily life, or for those unrepeatable occasions such as trips, ceremonies and parties on the events calendar. A laundry that becomes “a household name” because it is easy to access, familiar, as well as something that every loyal customer cannot do without.
You see this by looking at the various aspects of the business that Laura manages along with husband Massimiliano Piano. The “time you don’t have enough of” refers to a service that is so complete, so 24-hour and adapted to the customer’s needs, it can become a Service-Model and not just at a local level.
At this point a visit to Europa opens your eyes to a possible future, or perhaps to the ”only possible future” of a laundry modeled around new needs, new social customs, the new prospects of an ever-changing society. “I’ve just finished talking on the phone with a client from outside town – said Laura Bravi – who wanted the details about the next delivery. Even these conversations are an important part of our all-round, 24-hour service tailored to an increasingly more diversified public. On the other hand, only by pushing our customer service to the limit, as well as the adaptability of our services, can I attract those customers who will even drive 20 kilometers just to be served by us”.
The turning point in this beautiful story that goes by the name of Lavanderia Europa was the successful business partnership with Sarc, a Bologna-based company which, thanks to the genius of its founder Luigi Bargiacchi, has always set out to make laundries in general a profitable activity. The key to this “mission” which Sarc has pursued ever since it went into business 30 years ago, is an ever wider range of related services that are simple and can be targeted to the needs of various customers. The Bravi family in Macerata understood this right away. It has now become the forerunner in Italy of how customers can hand in and pick up their clothes and laundry at any time of the day or night using their personal access code. All they need to do is to put money on their “card”, as needed.
The success of this “24 hour” company policy has obviously had a positive spin-off on all the other services offered by this laundry which has won over the hearts of its ever growing number of loyal customers. This goes for tailoring, shoe washing, a special offer on duvets and an online consulting service with the latest eco-friendly offerings that span from baby clothes to home cleaning.
“We are the time you don’t have enough of” therefore becomes “time found again”, just like at the end of that famous, monumental, beautiful novel.
It’s like having a little bit of Proust in the spin dryer.
Lavanderia Europa was established in 1995 based on an idea by two partners who had taken over a previous business. Thanks to its big rooms, the laboratory was upgraded with new dry cleaning machines, washing machines, wet cleaners, and shirt pressers. The services it offers include washing, dry cleaning, carpet, leather and fur cleaning and repair, and wet cleaning. When new employees were hired, a service point in Piediripa was set up. The service was then streamlined by introducing an electronic delivery system using a personal card.
The increased workload meant that the work had to be better organized, to avoid any mix-ups with clothes, and more streamlined so that customers could pick up their clothes without queuing. Every customer has a card with a bar code to hand in garments for cleaning to the person behind the counter who uses a computer to identify the garments with another bar code.
After the garments have been cleaned, the operator uses a scanner that is attached to another computer and places each item on a circular conveyor belt using the bar code that was attached when the garments were first handed in. Once all the items belonging to the same customer are put together, they are placed on another conveyor belt that is operated by the automatic door computer. Customers insert their card in this computer and pick up their garments without having to go to the staff.
Less than 10 years after this sophisticated equipment was introduced, it was upgraded by creating a 24-hour self service area where customers can pick up their garments any time of the day or night, holidays included.
Lavanderia Europa has completed its range of services with a drop-off point for garments to be laundered. Customers can ask to have a personal pre-paid card to drop off garments as well. The garments are simply left in a special box connected to the automatic door computer which recognizes the customer and accepts the items for cleaning.