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Business Operations / Sonny's-Carwash College™ Tip of the Month

The 80/20 Rule at Your Wash

CarWash College™ Tip of the Month

February 27, 2013
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The 80/20 rule was originated in 1906 by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. He observed that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the people. He then observed that 80 percent of the peas in his garden came from 20 percent of the pods. This led him to the conclusion that for many events about 80 percent of the effects came from 20 percent of the causes. So what does the 80/20 rule have to do with how you run your car wash? Let's take a look.

  1. Unnecessary Change.
    So let's start with a decision we often make to change the way we do things. Some car wash locations take antennas off all the cars they wash. Why – because they have had problems with 20 percent of the cars. This results in the process getting slowed down and/or more broken antennas from the 80 percent group as a result of removing them. The above is just an example, my point is that I often see people making changes to the way they do business trying to change things for the 20 percent and they end up doing more harm by adversely affecting the 80 percent. Any time you make a change you need to take this into account. It's human nature to remember the problem and forget the success.
     
  2. Making Your Day Easier.
    You can also use the rule when it comes to things that make your day a little harder by identifying the 20 percent of the things that are causing 80 percent of your problems. By spending more time on the 20 percent causing the problems you can get up to 80 percent more time to focus on things that are more important.
     
  3. Employee Performance.
    The rule can also be used when looking at the performance of your staff. It has been proven that at most businesses, 80 percent of the work comes from 20 percent of the staff. That can be a scary pill to swallow, but think about, do you see it? So using this to your advantage you would schedule the 20 percent at your busiest times. Your best service advisor on the busy days, your best loader etc. Think of the impact that could have! I could go on and on about how this rule helps in this area. For instance, only 20 percent of the people that read these articles (or any for that matter) and apply the concepts they learn will see 80 percent of the results.
     
  4. Growing Your Business.
    Keeping customers happy is the key to growing your volume. The place you will get the most growth is by keeping people returning to your wash for multiple visits. Yep, you guessed it - 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your customers! The percentages may change a bit based on your model. The idea however remains the same, keep 80 percent happy and you're on your way.

Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College. Robert can be reached at RAndre@sonnysdirect.com. For more information about CarWash College certification programs, visit www.carwashcollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.