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Writing in favor of express exterior management

December 29, 2006
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Writing in favor of express exterior management
George Heim, Jr.

Our Ultimate Express Exterior Wash and Pet Spa is located in Williamsport, PA, the home of Little League Baseball. Of course, baseball is popular. However, my goal is make the advent of the express exterior carwash popular, too.

The popularity of express exterior washes is becoming more and more evident over the country and I can speak from personal experience that it is very popular in my area. Why? People want a quality, fast, safe exterior wash at a great price.

From the owner's standpoint, management headaches are minimal compared to a full-serves, flex-serves and in-bay automatics. Using well built, sophisticated equipment is another key to success.

Our express carwash

Our ultimate express carwash was the brain child of Classy III INC., Orwigsburg, PA, and Ed Mady, president. It uses ICS auto sentrys and extensive software with remote access to make the computer a partner in the management process.

Using computers and a good deal of automation gives the owner/operator the ability to out-perform the competition. For example, 175 cars per hour can be washed without compromising quality, and with a staff of two. We've considerably cut our labor costs, while instilling a level of quality that is sure to please our customers.

In an in-bay automatic operation, when you're broke down, you lose business until a person comes there physically to fix it. The majority of these sites are unattended, and that is part of their business plan. Most express exteriors, on the other hand, are planned with the idea of a staff of one to two people being used to ensure smooth operation.

Management of chemical usage and parts and breakdowns is much more complex for in-bay automatics because of that labor shortage. The touchless wash system also requires more chemical usage and more equipment down-time than is typical with the express exterior carwash. In-bay automatic carwashes are also considerably slower than expresses.

If you have picked the right system, managing an express exterior carwash is easy. Your computer system is there to work with you as a tool. I'm not trying to make this article an advertisement for anyone, I'm just stressing how important it is to join the right products together to get what you want to accomplish.

Repeating our success

We are in the process of constructing our next express carwash, and its all about service, speed, and quality. In the fast moving environment we live in today, the express wash gives customers a feeling of security. On top of that, we are offering free use of vacuums which sets us above the competition.

I must say you are only as good as the company you keep. The support I have found from Classy III Inc. has been outstanding. When I need them, they are there. This is keeping great company.

A wise man, the late Ed Mady Sr., told me two things are needed for success: Number one, and probably most important, "Get a clean car and you will make money," Number two: "Out hustle your competition."

The express wash makes those words become reality. Do your research and due diligence. Compare data. Interview other owners. Spend a day observing. Feel free to e-mail me to hear personal stories from my years of management experience. Good luck. Work hard and work smart!

George F. Heim Jr. is president of The Auto Washery, www.theautowashery.com.

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