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The unexpected midday announcement yesterday that Ryko Solutions was planning to acquire MacNeil Wash Systems may have caught many industry insiders by surprise.
Some may have asked, “What business does a recovering in-bay company have in moving directly now into the traditional tunnel market?”
Others no doubt noted: “Don’t they have conflicting business models?”
My first reaction was predictable: “How will operators benefit?”
During the past 20 years, there have been many important and influential “buzzwords” which have gained industry prominence.
Experienced operators will surely remember them. At different times, operators have sought out suppliers who talked with religious fervor about “wash quality,” “throughput,” “open bay,” and now, “total cost of ownership.”
To be sure, the Ryko-MacNeil deal will change the industry landscape considerably.
But I continue to ask, knowing that only the future will provide a clear answer: “How will car wash operators benefit?”
In his magnificent biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson noted that part of Jobs’ brilliance, was his unmatched, innate ability for the “and” solution.
Did anyone marry technology and innovation better than Jobs? He was fanatical, apparently, about creative design and ease of use.
When will a carwash manufacturer, I wonder, marry its engineering and factory competencies with effective on-site marketing for operators?
Sometime this year, perhaps as early as the upcoming The Car Wash Show next month, I expect a reliable and now more customer-centric OEM, perhaps Ryko, but maybe not, to make this game-changing breakthrough connection.
“We make great carwashes and we help operators make more money,” Steve Jobs would say, if he had been in this industry.
That imminent paradigm shift will allow industry leaders, both operators and their valued added suppliers, to grow enormously, as they work together as partners to build a larger customer base.