A Season for Preparation
As the calendar transitions into the final quarter of the year, we can feel the Fall air around us and know that Old Man Winter is right around the corner. Fall is a season of preparation; trees lose their leaves in preparation for the upcoming snow, and some animals prepare for hibernation. For the car wash operator, Fall should be your season for preparation. Do you have enough staff, and are they trained accordingly? Have major maintenance projects or renovations been completed? Is your budget ready for the next year? Is your wash set up for success?
Focused Car Wash Solutions believes that the main drivers of success in car washing are Processing, Consistency, and Value. There are several factors that influence “value,” including labor, damage claims, and cost per car. Each of these factors are controllable. You can staff according to the ebbs and flows of a busy period. Installing quality cameras can potentially prove that damage was preexisting, minimizing the number of claims.
The amount of, and therefore, cost of, each chemical being applied to the vehicle determines the Cost per Car. The most common way to determine the amount of a chemical being applied is by looking at volume. The common form of measurement in the industry is milliliters, or mLs. Using some math, mLs can be converted to gallons, and then calculated in the cost per gallon of the chemical, or the cost per car for that soap. When performing this volumetric calculation, it is important to measure volume on a variety of vehicles. For example, a long bed pickup truck will use more mLs of a soap than that of a two-door sports car.
A car wash operator may boast about only using 2mLs of presoak per car but may neglect to see their increased number of “rewashes” as a result. For a Full-Service location, using minimal drying agent may save on Cost per Car, yet labor costs rise from the increase in staffing to hand towel dry the vehicles.
Just as important as the amount of chemical being applied, is the concentration of that chemical being applied. Determining the concentration of a chemical is done by titration. If titrated too low, a chemical may not be as effective as it could be. For example, a weak presoak could cause cleaning issues. On the other hand, a drying agent that is too strong could cause spotting issues afterwards. Water quality goes a long way to determine the efficacy of a product.
In conclusion, as Winter quickly approaches, it is time to prepare for it. Bringing value to your customers will prepare you for success in the future. It is important to remember that mLs vs. Titration and Cost vs. Strength can add to the value you provide. Being fully prepared will bring you a successful season. If you need help in bringing value to your customers, visit www.focusedcarwash.comto learn more.