Someone in the media fraternity once told me that with the birth of social media, traditional media and journalism had changed from the way we knew it. He was quick to argue with suggestions of how traditional media should adapt and fit the new normal instead of trying to fight it or stay rigged.
In the chat, I was also quick to make a contribution to the conversation with an example of how Nokia’s refusal/delay to adapt to Android and sticking with symbian was detrimental to the company’s future.
Likewise, in this internet age, a business that refuses to embrace digitalization seems to put its own future at stake. And as different economic industries across the globe go digital, the laundry industry has not been left behind. From the hightech laundry machines and dryers, laundry service providers have taken their business online by leveraging on the free different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc, some have created websites like Netherlands based “Dobbi” with its https://dobbi.com/ while others have gone the extra mile to create mobile apps such as laundrapp in UK (https://laundrapp.com/en/), who have since been acquired by laundry heap and Dobbi among others.
And in a similar vein, HobyClean has come on board to further digitize the global laundry industry with revolutionary technology. HobyClean was inspired by the solution and transformation it brings to the lives of everyday ordinary folks, the middle-class families, and businesses in the medical and hospitality industries and is changing how these different cluters do laundry forever.
What is HobyClean?
HobyClean is a brand of Appleton Group LLC., a technology start-up incorporated and headquartered in the state of Delaware, the United States about two years ago and began ideation and prototyping the technology a little over a year ago. The brand is now fully developed with full Intellectual Property Rights in Uganda.
Labeled as Laundry 2.0, HobyClean is a revolutionary technology, an e-commerce platform presenting the online laundry marketplace connecting laundromats as service providers and users as customers together through its website and mobile apps (Android and iOS).
Why is it labeled as “Laundry 2.0”?
HobyClean is labeled Laundry 2.0 because unlike its global competitors/exiting laundry apps such asLaundrapp in the UK, 2ULaundry and Bibbentuckers in the USA, Aberdeen Laundry Services in Scotland and Laundryheap in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), HobyClean is not a traditional laundry service provider.
HobyClean is the world’s first laundry e-commerce platform offering a 100% marketplace that digitally brings professional laundry service providers closer to their customers via web and on a mobile app. Assessing the technology of its competitors, HobyClean are by far the most advanced and yet the most simplified and cost-effective laundry e-commerce technology that affects the bottom line of its primary and secondary clients, the laundromats and users respectively.
Having said that HobyClean is not a traditional laundry service provider and 100% a marketplace, one would note or wonder why in the not so distant past, and particularly in Uganda, it advertised “Dobby Services”. Well the simple answer is that although HobyClean is not a traditional laundromat, they did set up a dobby service center as part of its prototyping strategy to develop the Wash and Fold concept especially on a Monthly Subscription Basket/Package basis.
This was based on the realization, upon sufficient research, that the traditional laundry sector largely targets the upper end of the market with specialized garments and only a certain economic class can access the service, leaving out a huge segment of the market (individuals, working families, small businesses, etc.) that remain largely unserved or underserved.
And to develop an effective as well as economically viable service package that targets the need of this segment, as part of the brand research and development strategy, HobyClean set out to rebrand the dobby services to market it to ordinary folks. The HobyClean Dobby Centre, based in Kira, was set-up as a demonstration lab for this purpose. Over the last year or so, they have been using that to test the market.
And are now glad to report that it is a very viable concept/mode of service that they encourage laundry service providers to adopt so as to serve the ordinary folks and middle-class families, among others.
So how does the HobyClean system work?
HobyClean, as a laundry technology to laundromats and customers; digitizes and synchronizes the front end of everything through the “Vendor App” with the built-in Riders’ interface. This enables the laundromats to directly interact with customers while seamlessly managing the customer journey such as:
But in addition to this, HobyClean have included Wash and Fold services (often called Dobby in Uganda and a few other countries) for general and individual items including your regular garments, carpets, traveling bags, mosquito nets, curtains, etc.
Its premium service is the Monthly Subscription Basket (as a wash and fold service) targeting the average and everyday folks like you and me as individuals, families and all sizes of businesses especially in the medical and hospitality industries. The Monthly Subscription Baskets come in different sizes and quantities of items based on the size of your family and business with very-very affordable prices offered at the highest quality in the sector. With this service, they are now providing relief to working-class families, single parents, and businesses with an estimated up to 35% cost reduction in their overhead costs resulting from savings on laundry labour, water, electricity and laundry detergents.
Why HobyClean and what problem does HobyClean seek to address?
While reflecting on the “Why HobyClean” question, the co-founder that this has always brought deep reflections on her story as a girl child in an African society and a typical family, but also today as a woman, a wife, a mother and a professional.
As a woman with a career today, a wife to a husband and mother of 4, laundry occupied at least 40% of her weekly chores with serious demands on her time and impact on her and with serious impact on her health as well as the performance on her job.
She however acknowledges that this is not her story alone. It is the story of millions of girls, women, wives and single parents around the world. The modern everyday society has in one way or another increased the burden of household chores with more people being involved in either formal or informal employment, leaving little time for most to juggle work and home responsibilities. With women playing traditional caregiving roles, it is logical to estimate that more and more of these chores will fall to women and for the most part, has remained a burden and often oppressive.
I have always wondered about this, she continues. It seems, as long as the human race has existed, housework or household chores has remained often oppressive, “Invisible, repetitive, exhausting, unproductive—not directly linked to income generation for the family, and an uncreative” part of the family endeavours so frequently relegated to women or housewives. Occupying an average of 4,000 hours of their lives according to WHO; an equivalence of 11 calendar years, the 2007 GALLUP POOL in the United States reveals that even in most advanced societies like the United States, laundry occupies the biggest household chores of women at 68%, followed by house cleaning, preparing meals, and grocery shopping respectively. This often comes with dissipating effects on the role of women in the world of work.
So the question is, What if they could turn all this around, reducing the burden of household chores by eliminating about 68% of the problem and outsourcing it to the professionals in a more effective, efficient, and affordable way that brings convenience to individuals, families and business? Would this not allow people to concentrate on the real issues that matter to them? Like running their families, building their careers and businesses?
HobyClean wants to help its customers move away from relying on maids, the “Dobby women” who sometimes fall short in their quality of service.
In addition to affecting the bottom line by reducing the overhead cost of families and businesses, this is part of the problem HobyClean seeks to solve.
Pre-HobyClean, the traditional laundry industry largely targeted the upper end of the market with only certain categories of clothes taken to the laundromarts and accessed by only a certain economic class, leaving a significant segment of the market including individuals, families and small businesses like yours unattended too.
The introduction of the almost all-inclusive Monthly Subscription Basket gives individuals, families and small businesses an option to enjoy the convenience of affordable laundry services.
HobyClean’s Vision is to become the “Washer of the World ”. To implement this Vision, its Mission is to “Put Hobyclean in every phone and every home”, making it the family laundry companion and the digital laundry platform of choice.
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