Dan Blessing, president of Arcadian Services, a company offering a full line of carwash chemicals, equipment and parts, started Arcadian in 1988; but it was 20 years before that that he got started in the carwashing industry. “I was raised in the carwash business since the age of seven (I'm 52 now). My family started with a 140' tunnel and then bought and built self-serve washes and then more tunnels and some in-bay automatics.
In the 1970s his father, Jerry Blessing, sold his carwashes and decided to go full-time into selling and building washes. He started a company that would later become known as Best of America Car Wash Systems and built several hundred washes throughout the country.
“I had an opportunity in the late 1980s to buy the chemical portion of his company and that is what became Arcadian Services,” said Dan. My intention at first was to only sell chemicals and develop a ‘mail order’ type of business directed to customers. The internet was just coming around but we knew through using industry magazines and journals that I could advertise direct. We started with only three chemicals and grew rapidly. Our average sales growth since 1988 has averaged 22 percent, with many of the early years far beyond that. Today we sell far in excess of 100 products.”
Growth and support
Although the plan was to start selling carwash chemicals only, word spread rapidly in the industry of Arcadian’s expertise thanks to Jerry’s many years in the business. “My staff and I were very knowledgeable about wash systems and we were able to provide technical support, ideas and small improvements to many wash owners, just as a friendly gesture,” Dan shared. “That grew into a position where we were being approached by many wash owners to add optional systems like foam brushes, tire cleaner, etc., to their washes.”
Then, the company grew to where they wanted Dan and his team to build full washes. Today, they represent some of the largest, most professional equipment companies in the world, including Belanger and Wash World.
“We have remodeled, updated equipment or build new wash facilities in over half the nation. Besides providing our services and chemicals to many private distributors, we also supply some of the world's largest corporations ― including Sam's Club, Enterprise Car Rental, and some automobile factories like Hyundai and Kia. We also provide a complete line of equipment parts and supplies for many of the industries systems,” Dan said.
Keys to success
The two things that have made Arcadian business so successful is simple. It’s a winning combination of great employees and great customers. “Our employees truly care about their customers and have a reputation of going the extra mile continually,” said Dan. “In an age where customer service lacks deeply and true follow up on promises made are rare, we have been able to provide to our customers the level of service and knowledge that allows us to be the only company they would choose nationwide for all of their wash needs.”
As for the customer, Dan said they have been blessed by having some of the best customers around. “The customers we have are very dedicated and open to learning as much as they can about their wash operation and we are the company to provide the information, support and knowledge they need.”
Dan said their company has a unique philosophy when it comes to their relationship with the customer. “We want our customers to be as independent as possible,” he said. “Time has proven that well over 95 percent of all the issues and problems wash owners face can be fixed in a just a few minutes if they have availability to good technical support with someone that truly knows their system. This allows owners to have far more up time and less waiting on service when they work with a company that wants to keep the customer "in the dark" or not really want them truly independent.”
Today the company continues to provide unique answers to problems wash owners face. From providing special computer programs or custom designed wash systems for very small bays ― they cater to their customers’ needs. Because of the wide service base they have across the nation, Arcadian is faced with situations where many customers face different problems than you may find when you work in one geographic area. Special cleaning presoaks is one example. “We have learned over our many years that not all products work in all areas. We have made special products for unique environmental cleaning problems owners face. This has allowed us to be responsive to their needs and insure they have the products they need to provide superior service to their local customer base,” said Dan.
It is that keen sense of customer attentiveness, responsiveness and compatibility, that has aided Arcadian on its first 25 years of success. We here at Professional Carwashing & Detailing congratulate the company on their anniversary and wish them continued success.