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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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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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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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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.

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How to Take Care of Your Car Wash Equipment

How to take care of your Car Wash Equipment

how to take care of your car wash equipment

Do you know how to take care of YOUR car wash equipment? The profitability of your car wash business is determined by how well your car wash equipment and tools are working. Therefore, maintenance is downright essential to keep them functioning for longer. 

Needless to say your car wash tools and equipment are the backbone of your car wash business. Your business achieves customer satisfaction and profitability as long equipment is up and running.

Sadly, elements of car wash equipment are prone to break down and damages, given that they undergo heavy use. You never know when a component ceases to work in the middle of car cleaning, causing inconvenience to both you and your customer. It prompts you to pay a hefty repair bill every now and then and not to mention a huge loss in profits due to downtime.

Therefore, it is essential to take care of your car wash equipment to ensure uninterrupted function and minimal repairs. Simple maintenance tips can keep your car wash equipment functioning for longer. Here’s how…

Clean Your Car Wash Equipment Regularly:

Car cleaning equipment is in constant contact with dirt, grime, hard water and corrosion. It not only affects their functioning, but also shortens their life expectancy over the time. Make sure your attendants are cleaning everything down frequently.

car wash equipment australia

Replace Worn Out or Old Parts:

Even a single worn-down hose can bring your entire car washing machinery to a halt. So it makes sense to replace worn out, damaged or corroded parts of the machinery as soon as possible. A quality part version ensures that you can deliver a better customer experience. Don’t forget if something is hard to use, chances are your customers are not happy.

Regular servicing by car wash professionals:

When you purchase your new car wash equipment you should be allocating funds for regular, scheduled maintenance by the supplier of your equipment. These technicians are well versed in how best to maintain and run these machines and will often be able to identify an issue before it turns into a breakdown.

Treat your new equipment like you would your car. You wouldn’t buy a new car and not have it serviced by a professional so this should be no different.

Give Special Attention to Heavily Used Equipment:

As we have said earlier the most exploited equipment is most likely to be worn out sooner. Therefore, you will have to clean, repair, replace such parts more often. Don’t wait for a hose to split, replace them on a regular roster to ensure they are always in working order.

Educate Your Staff:

how to maintain your car wash equipment

Considering that car washing equipment is overseen by your staff most of the time, it makes sense to educate them about maintenance of the system. Apart from that, make sure to allocate attendants the maintenance duties of each specific piece of equipment. Companies like Prowash Australia offer a Carwashing 101 course that will help site owners get staff up to speed with things such as titration, water softening and much more.

With the help of these maintenance tips, you can keep your car washing equipment in function for longer with minimal breakdowns plus you can avoid expensive repair bills and hassles in the long run.

Hopefully these tips are helpful – feel free to Contact Us with any questions.