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Car Wash Retrofit Case Study

Car Wash Retrofit Case Study

In this car wash retrofit case study we cover how one regional car wash was able to retrofit to a PDQ Vehicle Wash LaserWash 360 Plus for immediate growth.

Car Wash Retrofit Case Study

Originally installed was an aging Water Wizard, in bay automatic, that was not producing a quality clean. It was clear this site was not fulfilling it’s potential with the current equipment. It was retrofitted with a LaserWash 360 Plus with dryers, high side blasters & OverGlow. In addition, the substandard chemical that was previously used was replaced for the far superior Blendco soaps (which we recommend to all of our customers). This vastly improved the clean, the customer experience & the perception within the local community.

As part of this car wash retrofit, adjustments were also made to the wash packages, menu-board signage, self serve bays & pump room which are detailed below.

Car Wash World Retrofit Laserwash 360 Plus

WORK UNDERTAKEN:

  • Retrofitted Water Wizard to a LaserWash 360 Plus (inclusions dryer, high side blasters & OverGlow).
  • Entry system changed to a Hamilton – meaning the site can use RFID & wash club packages.
  • Increased the price of the wash packages & reduced it down to only 3 choices from 4.
  • New signage for the wash packages with the top wash taking up the majority of the space on the board & highlighted in yellow. Consequently the percentage of sales of the top wash is now a huge 84% after these changes.
  • In both the automatic & self serve bays introduced Blendco chemicals replacing the cheaper generic brand. Creating a far superior wash result & over time actually reducing cost per wash.
  • Added Splatterwax with Carnauba to the self serve bays & a general upgrade of equipment.
  • The addition of tap & go payments to self serve bays.
  • Major fine tune of faulty pumps & plant equipment which was compromising the integrity of the wash finish & increasing overheads.
  • Improved lighting & security for after hours cleaning.

car wash retrofit laserwash 360 plus

THE RESULTS:

  • Increase of 100%+ on numbers of cars through the automatic wash. Increase on ROI with the introduction of dryers, OverGlow & high side blasters adding both an actual dollar & consumer perceived value to the wash package.
  • Average dollar in the self serve bays increased from $5 to $7 on average per car. (Amendment – since going to print, self serve is now $8)
  • Blendco chemicals providing a much more thorough & consistent wash result & reduced the amount of chemicals required to clean a vehicle leading to lower cost per wash.
  • Positive user feedback was received as opposed to complaints. The wash acquired many new regular customers as well as gaining back some previously unhappy customers.
  • Maintenance overheads were lowered significantly by replacing an aging machine.

Is not spending money on upgrading costing you customers? This is question you’ll need to ask. Sooner or later there will come a time where you need to  assess if your car wash is living up to it’s revenue potential based on offer, catchment, demographics etc. As shown above, making an investment into your car washing equipment can help grow your business & lessen some of the stress that unreliable equipment puts on operators.

If you’d like to talk about how to achieve these sorts of results at your own car wash follow this link: www.carwashworld.com.au/help

 

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Carwash World now distributing Tommy Tunnel Car Wash Systems

Carwash World is proud to announce that we’re now Australia-wide distributors of the premium Tommy Tunnel Car Wash Systems.

This addition of Tommy Tunnel Car Wash Systems to our suite of quality car washing equipment is due to the increased desire of car wash operators to clean a high volume amount of cars in the shortest space of time possible.

Tommy--tunnel-car-wash-systems-australia

Tommy Car Wash Tunnel Systems are free standing, conveyor tunnels designed for high performance using state-of-the-art stainless steel equipment. In addition their innovative designs ensure a quick & efficient installation process. The Tommy Transporter Dual Belt Conveyor moves cars smoothly through the wash with no guide rails. This reduces the risk of vehicle damage and equipment breakdown. With over 45 years in the tunnel washing industry, Tommy Car Wash Systems are a tried & trusted supplier of equipment.

Tunnel car washing is a staple in the US marketplace. Now starting to be recognised by early adopters in Australia as a means to generate a considerably higher ROI compared to an in bay automatic set up. Express Car Wash Tunnels at capacity, have the ability to clean in an hour the same amount of cars an IBA can clean in a day.

Clean more cars. Faster.

Carwash-World-Tommy-Tunnel-Car-Wash-Tunnel

Using a combination of soft cloth friction, high pressure water & precise chemical application these tunnels can clean & dry a car in under 3 minutes all while the next vehicle is just centimetres behind, easily loaded onto a wide, easy access drive on conveyer system.

Ideal for unusual or difficult long blocks that don’t suit a traditional set up. The future of high volume car washing is here.

If you’re interested in washing 400+ cars per day – contact us here to learn more.

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10 Car Wash Business Commandments

Is your car wash business delivering on our Top 10 Car Wash Business Commandments?

Owning a car wash can be a lot of work. Staying on top of employees, marketing, social media and ensuring your equipment is delivering the best possible wash to name just a few responsibilities.

In the interest of not complicating things, we’ve put together a list of 10 Car Wash Business Commandments that you should be trying to focus on to ensure that your customers are satisfied and you’re profitable.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re running a single in bay automatic or a 40 foot tunnel – these non-negotiables stay the same.

  1. Focus on offering both value and speed – customers who use automatic car washes are looking to have their car sufficiently cleaned in the shortest amount of time possible.
  2. Keeping your site super clean and well maintained – just because it’s a facility to clean your car doesn’t mean it should look dirty. In fact, it should look as clean as possible to show how much pride you take in your car wash. This means no chipped paint, no broken equipment and certainly no build up of dirt, sludge or mould.                                 
  3. Clear signage, great lighting & quality cameras – communicate your offer, value & promotions with clear, concise signage. Great lighting is a wonderful marketing tool & also makes your customers feel safe. Quality cameras are also a must.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  4. Ensure equipment is simple to use for customers – yes, YOU use the equipment every day but your visitors do not. If something is confusing or intimidating (ie hard to access wash bays, triggers on hoses that get stuck) chances are people won’t come back.
  5. Don’t have too many wash options to chose from – customers want choice but not too many. Research shows that too many options leads people to feel overwhelm. We suggest no more than 3 options for your automatic car wash – ditch the cheap, budget wash & watch your profits grow.                                                                                                                                                 
  6. Maintaining & servicing your equipment – you have spent a considerable amount of money on equipment so you must service regularly to avoid unnecessary breakdowns or repairs. Downtime = Loss.
  7. Making sure your chemical delivery is on point – especially important for a touchless car wash but also relevant to any car wash. Running test washes & making tweaks to chemicals regularly is a must.
  8. Creating relationships with customers – building & maintaining a relationship with customers is imperative for repeat business. Utilise your attendants & their customer service skills as well as social media to communicate how much you value their business.
  9. Invested staff – your employees need to have synergy with your brand & offer. They need to hold the businesses values front of mind. It’s important that they have been trained to have a broad knowledge of the equipment & the product delivery.
  10. Strong offers & promotions – keep things fresh & inviting by creating deals your customers will get excited about & to entice new customers. Discount codes, giveaways on Facebook & Unlimited Wash Clubs are all excellent ways to add more value.

No matter how busy you are in business, if you simply ensure you focus on the 10 Car Wash Business Commandments above you’ll have yourself a popular car wash that the locals love to visit.

 

 

 

 

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Car Wash Technician in South Australia

Car Wash Technician South Australia

Exciting news! Due to growth & demand Carwash World now has a full time car wash technician in South Australia.

car-wash-technician-south-australia

Ryan is joining the Carwash World team from October 1 & will be the full-time car wash technician in South Australia. He will be available for car wash maintenance & repair work from this date.

Carwash World Director, John Sewerle said it was time that Carwash World had a permanent technician on the ground to ensure the needs of South Australian customers were met quickly & efficiently. ‘Carwash World has seen a considerable amount of growth over the past 18 months. Our focus is to ensure that our customers, who are our number 1 priority, have access to great technicians at all times.’

To find out the benefits of using a trained car wash technician you can read our blog post here.

For any servicing or repair enquiries – feel free to call John O’Neill 0405 133 929 or email service@carwashworld.com.au

 

 

 

 

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Car Wash Water Recycling Systems for Australia

We’ve all seen the news & are aware of how dry it’s been this Winter. Now is good time to discuss the benefits of using Car Wash Water Recycling Systems.

Given that Australia is experiencing one of it’s worst droughts in years, it’s a poignant reminder that this lack of water could in fact affect car wash businesses like it did in the early 2000’s.

Between 2001-2003, the water crisis was so severe that local bodies were looking at introducing restrictions on car wash businesses. Even going so far as to propose locking meters & preventing trade. It wasn’t until the Australian Car Wash Association stepped in to negotiate & introduce sustainable car wash practices. Car washes had to show these governing bodies that they were using Car Wash Water Recycling systems & were not completely reliant on a fresh water supply. In fact, for car washes that were using recycling units, their impact on water usage was less than households who were at that time restricted to using water on odd days.

Given todays climate, we encourage you to answer the question, are you prepared?

 

Aside from the ability to continue trade, the benefits also consist of immediate savings when you invest in a water recycling system. Without a water recovery unit not only are you going to be paying more for water usage but also for wastewater removal & disposal.

 

 

As a guide, our users can recycle at least 80% of the water consumed in their automatic car wash using a water-recovery system. Using recycled water, you save approximately 200 litres per car at a minimum. Immediately lower your overheads by reducing your use of fresh water supply.

Carwash World has been proudly distributing Con-Serv car wash water recycling units Australia-wide for many years. We have over 100 units out in the field.

The unit has the smallest footprint at only 1.5 x 1.5m in size. Cleaning the filter basket is a simple 10 minute per week job. The main filter automatically back-washes after every car.

A water recycling unit is definitely something to at least consider for the benefit of your business.

Got questions? We’re here to help – you can contact us here.

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Using a trained technician to service your car wash equipment

Benefits of using a trained technician to service your car wash equipment

Your equipment is the lifeblood and income generator of your business so there should be major importance on using a trained technician to service your car wash equipment. If I asked you, do you service your own car? Most of you would reply with ‘of course not’. Yet a lot of car wash sites are servicing their own equipment without the proper equipment knowledge. Worse still is that some car washes are not servicing their equipment at all!

I read a fabulous quote online the other day. It’s a great reminder to any business owner who fails to see the value in maintaining their machinery.

qualified-car-wash-technician-australia

 

You may have staff at your wash sites who’re mechanically minded. Perhaps you’d consider them pretty well versed with your equipment. You’re possibly still on the fence as to why you should be using a trained technician to service your car wash equipment.

Here’s some things to consider as to why your car wash business will benefit from using a trained car wash technician for both service work and troubleshooting.

 

trained-technician-to-service-car-wash-equipment-adelaide-nsw

Let’s go into a little more detail:

  • If a technician services your equipment regularly they will be very familiar with your business. That means equipment, site set up, plant room etc, should you be having issues.
  • Service work can be booked in advance. This gives you time to ensure you have the funds allocated when the time comes rather than forking out for a surprise breakdown!
  • Technicians are factory trained to identify, diagnose and solve issues. This means making adjustments during routine services to ensure your equipment is running to its full capacity and avoiding unnecessary breakdowns.
  • Owners & staff are generally time poor. Their emphasis is on customers and the needs of the business. Owners and managers should assess whether that time could be better allocated to dollar producing, customer attaining and retaining tasks.
  • Technicians can solve issues faster. Their intimate knowledge of the equipment means you’ll be up and running much faster than you trying to do it yourself.
  • Sometimes technicians have the ability to dial in remotely to assess and troubleshoot any issues you’re having. Often techs can fix an error without the need of an on-site visit.
  • Carwash World techs offer phone support for errors and breakdowns. Perhaps you’re encountering an issue and you’re unsure of its severity. Just give us a call. The first 2 phone calls regarding a single incident is free of charge & any calls thereafter are charged.

The expert service you receive when a qualified Carwash World car wash technician maintains your equipment will give you piece of mind that your equipment is fully maintained and operational. In the event of mechanical issues our team will have you up and running as quickly as possible with a goal for a first-time fixed resolution.

Carwash World has technicians on the ground in New South Wales & ACT as well as South Australia. If you’ve got questions about servicing your equipment Contact Us today, we’re here to help.
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What are the set up costs for a new car wash business?

Need to know info – the set up costs for a new car wash business

cost-of-setting-up-a-new-car-wash-site

Love the idea of a car wash but have no idea of the set up costs for a new car wash business? To be honest there is certainly no fixed, one-size-fits-all, dollar figure for this type of thing. There are so many variable factors depending on what sort of car wash you want to set up. We will cover some very broad numbers to get your head around the finances.

Setting up a brand new car wash business from the ground up is probably more expensive than most people anticipate & it can be a fairly lengthy process. A typical site of one Automatic In Bay Car Wash & 3 Self Serve bays will cost anywhere around the $700,000 mark to build & approximately $350,000-400,000 in equipment costs.

These numbers include everything from building & construction, plumbing, wiring, installation, soaps, softeners & more. Basically everything you would need to trade from opening day.*

The costs above might sound a little confronting to those who have little knowledge of the industry. So where do all these costs come from?

Construction, Council Regulations & DA’s

Cost-to-set-up-new-car-wash

Construction costs are your biggest overhead in the set up costs for a new car wash business. It’s just not as simple as hooking up to the water supply & washing cars. Check what’s in your DA & engage a designer who specialises in designing car wash sites, as their knowledge will be invaluable during the process. We recommend Tracey from TMC Design Group. Tracey has been designing car washes since 2004. She has a clear understanding of what makes a successful wash site & how to avoid lengthy delays & building variations.

You need to manage your design & construction right from the start. Building costs & council requirements can blow your figures out if you’re not dealing with people with actual industry experience. Car washes require underground pits to deal with the water requirements from local authorities. All of the contaminated run off & sludge has to be collected & disposed off so as not to pollute the stormwater drains. Whatever you do, seek advice from industry professionals. We’re happy to give you some guidance & advice – you can contact us here.

We also have some tips below on how to reduce costs when setting up your new car wash business.

How long does the process take?

As a rule this process should take around 12 months IF you have a motivated architect. Your design must have accounted for all council stipulations & your builder needs to be reliable. Over the years we’ve seen set ups completed as quick as 6 months. Others have spanned out to the 2 year mark. If you use someone who is well versed in car wash design the process will be much shorter than going in blind.

So is a car wash business profitable?

Yes of course (we even own our own car wash sites so we know this for a fact). A well-designed site with high quality equipment, in a good location is, in our opinion, going to be successful. Since Carwash World started in 2005 & we are witnessing steady growth for all of our customers.

IBISWorld reported that the Australian carwash industry is now forecast to be worth approximately $585 million by 2020. Between 2010-2015 the industry saw 2.5% growth. In the IBISWorld, report, the article stated within the carwash market, automatics account for 46.5 percent, & self serves for 37.6 percent with the remainder hand washing. Environmental concerns & higher density living is making services such as car washing much more popular. Car owners love the convenience of a drive in, drive out option.

How can I save money in the set up for a new car wash business?
  • Take over an existing car wash. This is an excellent way to avoid all of the build & set up costs. You’re simply buying the business at market value with an aim to grow it. You can then retrofit with new & updated equipment without the need to spend on construction.

Car-wash-self-serve-retrofit

  • Don’t over engineer the build – we see a lot of wasted money spent needlessly on elaborate designs when a simple construction would suffice.
  • Get quotes for a fixed price build.
  • Know your council & DA requirements or have someone on your team that does. We cannot stress enough the importance of an educated team assisting you in this process. A great example is a designer who misses the fact that some councils require doors on automatic car washes – this alone would add between $15,000-30,000 to your budget.
  • Shop around on things like LED lights & alarm systems etc. But BEWARE, cheaper is not always better. As we know when it comes to car washing equipment, opting for the cheapest option can cost you more down the track. We encourage you to speak to other car wash owners about what works for them.
  • Something that is not an immediate saving but certainly a long term one is adding Recycled Water to your car wash site. The initial expense will save you from purchasing 200 litres of fresh water every time a car goes through the automatic. It will also enable you to continue to trade if we encounter water restrictions again.

Car Wash Water Recycle System

  • There’s also loads of other cost saving options we know of, like putting your automatic on a frame instead of being load bearing, opting for prefabricated items such as sewer pits & using lucabond panels instead of tiles on self serves bays.

For further advice on a car wash business your planning or for more tips on how not to over-capitalise we welcome you to contact us here.

 

*this can vary depending on your individual site requirements

 

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Car Wash Chemicals and Weather Conditions

Car Wash Chemicals and Weather Conditions

With the change of seasons comes a change to washing conditions.

Now is a great time for you to be testing and adjusting your car wash chemicals as the seasons change. With this subtropical ridge across a lot of the country, it doesn’t quite feel like Autumn in Australia even though it is April. However the cooler temps and rainfall is just around the corner. Small tweaks will vastly improve your wash results in the future.

Are you noticing the lower panels on vehicles are still dirty after washing in your automatic car wash?

If so, it’s time to check titrations – you may need to adjust the low pH to remove this surface grime, especially after frequent bouts of rain. You’ll then need to reevaluate and readjust again once Autumn comes to a close & Winter begins.

We recommend at the change of each season that you also titrate your soaps. This ensures that you’re offering the best chemical delivery and eliminates any customer complaints about poor wash results.

Also now that Daylight Savings is finished, are all your lights working? Don’t leave your customers in the dark!

If you need some help with getting your chemical offer right, the team at Carwash World are happy to divulge with you our knowledge from years of testing and tweaking.

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Why the PDQ Laserwash 360 Plus is dominating the touchless car wash market in Australia.

It’s no secret that the PDQ Laserwash 360 Plus holds an exceptional reputation within the car washing community. Why is it dominating the touchless car wash market?

laserwash-360-plus

The Laserwash 360 Plus signage alone proves a distinctive selling point to customers for car wash owners. You’ll see the Laserwash signage being directly imitated by competitors trying to pass their machines off as the same thing.

With over 350+ PDQ Manufacturing Automatic Car Washes in Australia alone, there’s no surprise it’s the touchless car wash of choice.

For Carwash World, as a supplier of premium car washing equipment, the Laserwash 360 models are our biggest seller. The machine’s reputation & benefits helps sell itself before a customer even reaches us. A lot of people have already done their due diligence & know it’s the equipment they want at their car wash.

Regardless of the Laserwash 360 Plus’ reputation & popularity, it’s still important for you to know exactly what the capabilities & limitations of any machine are. You want to ensure that you’re purchasing the right equipment to best service your needs & customers. You’ll need weigh up your thoughts on touchless versus friction equipment. Then if touchless is your preference you need to compare all models available in the marketplace today.

Here’s a comparison of a Laserwash 360 Plus with a run-of-the-mill friction model to start to get us started.

Contactless

The fact that the equipment & the parts make zero contact with vehicles is a major reassurance for yourself & your customers alike. The Laserwash 360 Plus’ design eliminates the concern for damage altogether, in comparison to a friction system that cleans using direct contact on the car for the majority of the wash cycle.

Organic Matter & Contaminants

Baked on bugs, dried bird pooh & lime dust are a test for any touchless on the market due to the lack of friction, (ironically also it’s biggest selling point). Very stubborn contaminants simply will not be as easily removed from a customer’s car without the use of friction. Even though those same customers are adamant they want a touchless wash! This is where consumer education & a great attendant make all the difference to your business. Simply guide customers on what to do in a self serve bay to loosen & remove these contaminants before using the touchless. Ensure customers know how to get an optimal clean of their vehicle depending on what’s on their exterior.

Less maintenance

The Laserwash 360 Plus has less moving parts, a wide-open wash bay & no contact with a vehicle. It’s sleek, innovative & friction-free design means you experience less wear & tear on the machine. Regular scheduled servicing & replacement of consumables ensures this machine is a tried & trusted work horse. Carwash World suggests servicing your equipment every 6 months & for some high-volume sites, every 3 months.

Chemical Monitoring

Being touchless, you’re relying on ensuring you have the optimum chemical delivery running alongside your high-pressure water at all times. This requires regular monitoring & titration testing to provide superior cleans. Friction washes can be a bit more set & forget in this area as the brushes do more of the work when it comes to dirt removal.

Downtime

Less moving parts & no contact add even further benefits over & above the minimal maintenance discussed above. The Laserwash 360 Plus machines overhead design has been refined & simplified further than other touchless designs. It incorporates an aircraft grade anodized aluminium bridge & main rails. Constructed of non-corrosive materials such as stainless & aluminium, with the welded manifolds replacing assemblies of fittings reducing leak points. Furthermore each design feature has been incorporated to decrease overheads & increase your ROI.

Consumer Perception for Vehicle Safety

Whether warranted or not, friction/brush car washes still have a reputation with customers for doing damage to paintwork. Brush technology has indeed come a long way. From hard plastics to now soft neoprene brushes, truth is these brushes still come into direct contact with a vehicle. If the brushes are not clean & maintained regularly, the likelihood of surface damage to paint is high. We see this often in some of the cheap & cheerful petrol station washes that don’t have dedicated staff regularly maintaining equipment to a high standard. A quick scroll of Google reviews of an array of different car wash businesses quickly highlights customer’s positive perception of touchless car washing & in particular the Laserwash, as a reliable & safe car washing option.

Ease of Use for Customers

 

Here’s a comparison of a Laserwash 360 Plus’ open, overhead wash bay versus a competitor’s design with ground rails. Any rollover style, friction or not, makes it much more narrow access for customers. These rails often come into contact with a vehicle’s tyres, causing damage to rims. Consequently this type of access can often be intimidating to both nervous, young or elderly drivers. In conclusion, it’s really important in a business where you are selling a service to limit any barriers to purchase. From uncomplicated entry units, simple payment solutions through to how easy it easy to drive into the wash bay.

Whilst this article does discuss the many benefits of touch-free cleaning, there is definitely times where brush washing can & will suit your business better. Car dealerships, fleet & commercial businesses often opt for brush cleaning as it’s more practical for their business model & end goals.

Got questions about anything Car Washing? Contact the team at Carwash World. We’ve got 35+ years car washing experience & we’re here to help.

If you want to check out some of our Recent Work –  click this link.

If you want to see what our customers are saying about us – click this link.

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Improving Customer Experience at your Car Wash

How owners can look at improving customer experience at your car wash.

2018 is well underway for the team at Carwash World. No doubt you’ve probably set yourself + your car wash business some new goals & milestones to achieve in the coming months. One of those goals will undoubtedly be how you can go about improving customer experience at your car wash.

Car Washing is a retail business & we’d encourage you to look at everything from your customers perspective.

iWash Vending Machine

Just because you know where everything is & how to operate it, doesn’t mean it’s that easy for your customers. Take a step back & do some people-watching to identify if everything is a seamless as you hope. You’ll be surprised to find that something you find very straight-forward, often confuses your end user.

It’s easy to forget some of the little details when you’re down & out busy, but the upkeep & presentation of your car wash is paramount.

Studies show that well maintained, tidy car washes are far less likely to experience vandalism & theft. Bright, inviting lighting makes people feel secure after hours & markets to people driving past. Quality security cameras will act as a deterrent for pointless vandalism & opportunistic thieves. Remember, no car lover wants to clean their car with dirty equipment in unkempt surroundings – it’s the equivalent of not wanting to eat from a restaurant when you can clearly see the kitchen is dirty & messy. I’ll pass on the food poisoning thanks!

Complete our Site Review Checklist to help you refresh & refocus for the New Year.

Download & print this Site Review Checklist. It’s recommended you perform a regular site ‘Walk Through’ by using this list (or one similar) to identify & rectify any items not up to scratch at your car wash . The implementation of daily, weekly & monthly lists gets you & your staff into a committed routine where improving the offer & experience of your customer is front of mind.