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Sonny's CarWash College

SONNY's Carwash College™ Tip of the Month

When is tinkering too much?

Don’t tinker on your own — do the smart thing and get help from the professionals.

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I consider myself to be an avid golfer.

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Knowledgeable and skilled enough to fake it, but never make it. I watch golf on the weekends and always see the pros doing some new pre-shot routine or trying a new putting style and, of course, I immediately try it for myself to see if it works for me. But why? I’m still trying to answer that question myself: If my game works for me, why tinker?

The answer to that got me thinking about carwash owners and operators. As we try to wash more cars daily, monthly and yearly, we too often sacrifice the customer’s satisfaction because we tinker.

Let me explain. If a carwash is currently washing 100 CPH (cars per hour) and has the ability to wash more on weekends, it may make sense to speed up the conveyor. For the moment, you feel satisfied because you’re washing more CPH and see your daily numbers slowly climb. However, since you’ve tinkered with the speed of the conveyor and nothing else, you are decreasing your quality and, over time, will eventually lose customers due to lack of satisfaction, the reason being that they aren’t getting the same product/service you once provided them.

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When we tinker, we often time don’t create the correct solution. Let’s say we have increased the conveyor to 125 CPH; however, your wraps are spinning at speeds for a 100 CPH, the air pressure hasn’t been increased, and now they aren’t cleaning the front or rear of the car as they should. What do you, as an operator, do? You become unhappy with the cleaning of the vehicle and need some assistance. Calling the manufacturer or the local support group is always a start; however, techs charge by the hour. Now your simple conveyor speed increase has cost you money instead of making you money.

When we speed up the conveyor, we must do many things; adjust chemistry, air pressure, timing in the controller, brush speeds and also train employees how to load cars faster. Understanding that it isn’t easy, some operators may still want to tackle the problem; however, in the time it takes to do it right, have you gained anything? Chances are you’ve probably only gained a lot of heartache and loss of income.

When I need a swing adjustment, I head to the local club pro and ask for help. Tinkering leaves me with more problems. Don’t tinker on your own — do the smart thing and get help from the professionals.

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Preston Picard is a Regional Sales Manager at Sonny’s The CarWash Factory and a guest instructor in CarWash College with nine years of industry experience. He can be reached at [email protected].

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