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Articles by Phillip Lawless

Reporting live from The Car Wash Show™

LAS VEGAS — Keynote Speaker Mike Ditka sets a positive mood for the world's largest carwash show, telling attendees, "You people are the backbone of America."


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Profile in Success: Expecting the unexpected

Marketing prowess and on-site experiments have helped quirky Paradise Car Wash succeed.

Plato's ancient saying is widely known: Necessity … is the mother of invention. And if ever there was an era in the carwash industry that called out for invention and new ideas, it was the past few years. While some owners and operators chose to hunker down during the destructive financial storm, others soldiered on armed with fresh intentions and do-it-yourself ideologies.


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Initiating impulse sales

Displays, placement and pricing help operators push impulse profits and increase customer traffic.

Putting high-profit products within the reach of paying customers is one of the oldest tricks in the book. While general stores piled up penny candies, the grocers of today have selected slick magazines and cold sodas. And, for many decades now, carwash owners and operators have gotten into the act.


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Turning tunnels "green"

Earth-friendly technologies provide fertile ground for growing greater margins.

Predicting the future of the carwash industry can be a tricky affair. While some subjects require a powerful psychic or a crystal ball, others need no talismans or tea leaves. One area where ESP is not needed is energy usage. There is little doubt that decreased utility usage and increased tunnel efficiencies will drive carwash profitability in the future.


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Map out a new menu

Capture customer attention by selecting new services and updating offerings and packages.

There it hangs, the same as always. The criss-crossed cobwebs and thick coating of dust bear witness to the fact that this carwash's menu has not changed in quite a long time. Yet, as that menu has hung dingy and ignored, carwashing costs and the number of competing washes have climbed exponentially.


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Tackling theft and vandalism

How effective security systems prevent profits from walking off the property.
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Reclaiming profitability

If an owner is not reclaiming wash and rinse water, they are basically losing free and usable water. Therefore, combat out-of-control water and sewer costs with the newest advances in reclaim technology.
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Sizing up shiners

This popular automated service pops up in self-serve washes and in-bay automatics.
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Remember the tires

As customers are looking for one-stop shops for their car upkeep needs, air pump machines can be the perfect profit center addition for many carwash locations.
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Information at your fingertips

Remote management systems use multi-site reportage and real-time responses to make mobile devices carwash smart.
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