Full Line, Multi Line, OPL, Route Operators
Distributors in the commercial/vended laundry industry purchase washers and dryers from Manufacturers and are in the business of selling these machines to these three laundry segments. 1. Coin Laundromats, 2. OPL or On Premise Laundry some of which include Hotels, Motels, Gyms and Car Washes, 3. Multi Housing or Apartment laundry facilities. Some of the more familiar commercial brands that are sold by Distributors are Speed Queen, Maytag, Electrolux, Dexter, Wascomat, Continental-Girbau, Huebsch, Milnor and Whirlpool. There are few different types of Coin Laundry Distributors which include: 1) Full Line Distributors, Multi Line Distributors, OPL Distributors, and Route Operators. Full Line Distributors carry one brand of equipment which means they are loyal to one Manufacturers brand of washers and dryers and they are exclusive to that brand. Larger Distributors sell to all three laundry segments but they primarily focus their business on one of those segments and smaller Distributors might focus on only one segment typically Coin Laundromat Sales.
Manufacturers have asked the larger Full Line Distributors to support the brand by maintaining a salesforce, parts department for warranty and replacement parts, a fully trained service department and a warehouse. Having this in place larger Distributors get the full support from Manufacturers and greater territory while smaller Distributors who don’t support the product in this manner get less support from Manufacturers. 2) Multi Line Distributors are the same as Full Line Distributors with the difference being that they carry two or more lines of laundry equipment. Usually they have a primary line and need to supplement that with a smaller line. The reason for this is that the primary line that is purchased from a Manufacturer might only be a partial line where a Manufacturer only produces Top Load and Front Load Washers and a Distributor will have to purchase Tumblers from another Manufacturer to complete the line they sell. In other cases, a Distributor might carry a full line of equipment from one Manufacturer and have a secondary smaller line but in this case a Distributor might not get the full support from the Manufacturer that a Full Line Distributor receives.
As with Full Line Distributors depending on their size, Multi Line Distributors are asked by Manufacturers to support the product in the same manner as Full Line Distributors. 3) OPL Distributors focus on only one segment of business and that’s to Hotels, Motels, Gyms and commercial types of businesses. They usually carry one brand of equipment and on occasion multi brands. The reason for this is that one Manufacturers brand might go up to 100 lbs. and a second brand might be used to fill in machines that are above that poundage. OPL Distributors regardless of what size are asked by Manufacturers to support the brand with as salesforce, parts department, service department and warehouse. 4) Route Operators sell, lease or operate a route in the Multi-Housing segment. Their primary focus is operating a route where they install vended washers and dryers in Apartment Laundry Facilities and collect the revenue that is generated by these machines and work out a split of that revenue with the owners of the apartment. Route Operators have a contract with an apartment owner for a period of time and during that time a Route Operator will furnish and service their equipment at their own expense. When a Route Operator is unable to install machines to their route they have the ability to lease machines where they’ll install washers and dryers into an apartment laundry room and collect a monthly fee from the apartment owner or sell the equipment direct to an apartment owner.
Full Line, Multi Line and OPL Distributors all have territories. The size of the territory a Manufacturer gives to a Distributor depends on these two factors. 1) Population. In some areas where population isn’t as dense a Distributor might have multiple states to distribute product. 2) Size of the Distributor. If you’re a larger Distributor a Manufacturer will give you a bigger territory because the size of your business allows you to manage a larger territory where a smaller distributor will get a smaller territory to sell into. Manufacturers usually give Distributors exclusive territory which means you’re the only one distributing that brand in your territory. Route Operators are not bound by territory or have exclusivity from a Manufacturer in a territory. Route Operators are free to add machines to their route in any area.
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