In a perfect world...
Every car leaving a bay or a tunnel would be perfectly clean, dry and shiny.
In a perfect world, every wash would enjoy and benefit from 100 percent uptime.
Finally, in this perfect world, every wash would be operating every day at 90 percent capacity or higher.
Alas, we live and work in a flawed and imperfect world.
The good news, and wonderfully so, is that each of these shortcomings is correctable.
Indeed, 20 years ago, having an equipment uptime standard of 98 percent seemed a huge and unachievable reach.
But now, 30 or more carwash manufacturers are designing and distributing machines which can reach or exceed that once lofty goal.
Likewise, the amazing gains in safe, consistent cleaning and exceptional wash quality by two dozen or more innovative chemical companies can not be overstated.
This is another encouraging example of a once-troubling industry problem which was properly identified and understood by industry leaders, and now solved.
This brings us, then, to the marketing piece.
Why are operators not washing more cars?
It is truly ironic and troubling to me, that just as the suppliers are providing state-of-the-art machines which are both incredibly reliable and very cost-effective, many operators seem to be washing fewer cars.
Something is amiss here.
But wait. I see this as only another industry challenge which needs to be confronted, identified, understood and then duly corrected.
Do you agree with me?
Do you believe, as I do, that marketing support in the field is the unmistakable third leg of a still imperfectly balanced platform?
Marketing support is urgently needed now, I believe, to help the industry reach another, higher level of financial performance.
This insight is critical, and corrective action is needed.
A timely call for action is especially important now, because all retail and service businesses are claiming to be more “customer-focused.”
It only remains to be seen, which forward-looking suppliers and operators in our industry will take a leadership role in this imminent “marketing revolution.”