If you’re one of our clients or have been following us, you know that we love talking about cloud-based software. It’s what we do. But this doesn’t mean hardware is evil—actually it’s essential to house our software.

So for once—or maybe twice—let’s talk about hardware for the dry cleaning industry.

Get Yourself a Brain

As a business owner, you are the brain of your store. You know everything about it—from the basics like the business plan and financials to the more important things like what snacks or drinks your vending machine offers. 

We trust that your brain is pretty smart, but your store needs another brain—a computer or tablet. 

As you know, this device will help you store and organize all the data about your products, services, customers, and more. There are many options to choose from that can match any budget. Just choose a device—Windows, Apple, or Android—so you can then run software such as Enlite. 

OK…it looks like we can’t refrain from talking about software. But it’s because once you have Enlite installed, that’s when the magic happens. It’s software that you’ll be interacting with the most: inputting repeat customers, selecting garment types, automating messages to clients, creating invoices and receipts, and so much more!

Tag! You’re it!

What do missing cat posters, your daughter’s homework, and garment tags have in common? You need to print them. Let’s focus on tags for now. Tags keep your garments organized to avoid having a customer walk back into your store wearing a leopard-print jacket a few sizes too small asking where his gray hoodie went. 

So if you want customers wearing their own clothes, get yourself a printer for a few hundred bucks. And of course you can also print receipts if your customers request them. However, it’s easier than ever to send digital receipts to a customer’s email with Enlite. In the end, you choose what’s best for your business and your customers. 

In some not-so-distant future we’ll probably write an article on how to use 3D printers to print missing garments without customers noticing a thing.

Let’s Play Laser Tag

Tags aren’t of much use if you don’t have a barcode scanner that will automatically tell the Enlite software which garment you’re looking at. Yes, you could type the barcode manually, but we know you don’t want to. So do yourself a favor and get a barcode scanner for a few bucks. Plus, who doesn’t get endless satisfaction from pointing the laser and getting a beep in return?

Show Me the Money

With so much talk in the news about cryptocurrency, you might start wondering if that dollar bill in your wallet has much value. Yes, even though payments nowadays tend to be mainly with plastic or numbers on a screen, you don’t want to reject a customer who comes in with a briefcase full of cash—although you might be suspicious of such a customer. 

You might not need a bank vault to store your money, but a simple cash drawer will do the job and you can get it for under $100. Depending on the drawer you get, it can communicate with the Enlite software to make the cashier’s job even easier. 

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

You might be thinking: what will happen when robots take over the dry cleaning industry?! Well, they’re kind of already here, but don’t worry, they’re on your side. You might not think of it as a robot, but that’s pretty much what an automatic assembly machine is. It allows one human being to process thousands of garments per day without moving more than a square foot, although it’s recommended to allow the employee some breaks and meals. Joking aside, using automatic assembly greatly reduces staffing costs and increases productivity. Despite the large initial investment, you’ll save in the long run. 

As you might have expected, yes, automatic assembly can link perfectly with software such as Enlite. 

Do Clothes Weigh More When Dirty?

Guess how scales are used in the dry cleaning industry…If you guessed that they’re to test how clean garments are by doing a before and after weigh-in, then you’re wrong. Yes, dirt and dust have weight, but you should know better. The real reason is that some dry cleaners choose to charge select garments or special items by weight instead of per item. As you know by now, of course you can link the scale to the Enlite software. 

Time for a Quiz

Here’s a little test to see if you read the entire article. 

Which of the following statements best summarizes this article?

  • A) Software is way better than hardware
  • B) Hardware is granite-like hard and software is soft and fluffy
  • C) Software and hardware are related to Tupperware
  • D) Dry cleaners need both software AND hardware to run their business smoothly

We like to think that option A is true, but it’s an incomplete statement. If you chose option B or C, then please call your doctor for a checkup. The correct answer is D. 

Although we’ve talked about several hardware devices, in the end you choose what is best for your business. Some stores can get away with a basic setup, while others need a more complex hardware and software ecosystem. 

Whatever setup you end up with, you can use Enlite for any configuration. You can even call or email us to get hardware suggestions tailored to your business. We have some great partners that can help you out with your hardware needs. 

We didn’t even get to talk about how to integrate your phone or mobile device into the equation. But we’ll leave that for another time.