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I've been sitting around all day trying to think of something more boring than doing the routine maintenance around the car wash.
Do you know what I came up with? Not much! Watching grass grow or paint dry come to mind, but at least you can do those from a reclined position with your favorite beverage or cigar in your hand.
Doing maintenance, however boring though, is vital to the life of your wash, so why not try to make it fun?
How do you make it fun, you ask? Great question. All it takes is a little imagination, a little ingenuity, and maybe, a little cold, hard cash...
Make some of the most mundane tasks into a little competition between the techs.
For instance, play a greasing game:
How about, "Beat the bearings"? Go through your equipment and get a count on the total number of bearings that need to be greased either weekly, or monthly. Divide the number by 2 and have a contest between your two techs (always have 2 qualified techs working together for safety reasons) to see who can get them done quicker, but while also maintaining all safety standards and cleaning up as they go.
If you don't like that idea, how about the "missing link"?
When the next time comes that you need to remove links from the chain, time the crew to see how long it takes but don't tell them that you're timing them. (If they know they might get some cash the next time if they beat their previous time, they'll take all night). The next time chain maintenance is scheduled, make them aware of the time they spent last time and see if they can beat it. You'll be surprised how motivating a crisp piece of paper with monetary value can be, no matter the denomination! Gift cards work just as well.
One more, "do you WANNER rebuild an unloader"?
I'm sure most of you have Wanner pump stations in use at your washes. If not, you probably have another brand of 20-30 GPM pump with an expensive unloader. Did you know most of these can be rebuilt? Have extra re-build kits on hand and have them compete to see who can rebuild one quicker, with no leaks! Same contest for Flo-jet pumps.
I'm sure you can come up with a few on your own.
The point is to try to take the monotony out of your maintenance plan for the employees charged with completing these tasks. In most cases, these employees are your managers, or assistants, who have already put in a long day before they start doing the maintenance and will sometimes try to cut corners just to get done and go home. By making it fun (well, as much fun as greasing and pulling links can be anyway) and a little financially rewarding, you'll see a lot more energy put into your maintenance plan and as we all know, a well maintained wash, is a happy wash!
Bob Fox is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at BFox@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.