- Buyer's Guide
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Hello everyone and welcome to spring 2014! Hope you all had a pleasant winter. As you know, we are starting a whole new series of articles for this new year which will focus on my personal experience as a car wash owner/operator and all the nuances and fine details associated with operating a carwash here in Southern California. In my dealings with clients on the East Coast, much of the same methods and techniques apply and we in fact share ideas and operating procedures.
First of all, let’s get a brief overview of what things we’ll be focusing on over this next year and this new series of articles and their topics.
I would like to focus on three different popular carwash models and give a run through of how each one breaks down operationally, and the ins and outs associated with each. I will break down each model into two articles since this is a bi-monthly column.
First let’s start with the full-service model. For years, full-serves have been the most popular model in and around the country and abroad; to this day it is still the go-to model for the greater Southern California area (where my carwashes are located) and most of the West Coast in general. But, gaining fast is the express model which we will visit in the next segment of the year.
So on to the operations and methods of full service…
The first thing we look at is where the customer pulls in and the area known by most as the ticket island or greeter station. How is the appearance of both the island/station itself and the service advisor or ticket writer?
Next we want to look at the drive-on station and the arrangement of the wheel cleaners, prep-guns, CTA’s and roller spacing.
If we have looked at these carefully, then we are ready to enter the tunnel and begin the wash process. Depending on if you are running a hand or machine wash, the process from the entrance of the tunnel forward will differ (i.e. prep guns and wheel cleaners being applied manually vs CTA’s and auto prep cycles).
Next let’s look at the show you are going to put on for your customers in the tunnel as they look on with great amusement.
This concludes the first half of the two part series on the Full-Serve model and the finer points and details therein (no pun).
In the next half of the series (the May 2014 issue), we’ll look at the quality control (QC) area, the detail area and last, but not least, the cashier and the vital importance this member of the team can play in retaining sales, dealing with questions and solving key concerns.
Until next time, watch for your queues!