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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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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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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.