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Sometimes You Just Have to Change Your Game

Sometimes You Just Have to Change Your Game

For the past decade or so as the express tunnel gained footing and then began to dominate the car wash world many of my self-service customers complained to me about these changes. At first, I heard "The customer is getting Lazy"; then "Those machines will never wash as good as doing it yourself at a self-service"; followed by "Those things are so expensive – they'll never make money"; and finally, "Have you seen how much damage those things do to cars!?"Now 10 years later I'm hearing "How can I compete with free vacuums?", "Those damn things are everywhere – how do I compete!?"  

Very early American Football was a smash mouth brutal running game.But every once in a while, a team would try a forward pass to get leverage on the other team, much like the car wash owner that added an IBA to their site.In 1895 the score was tied, and time was running out when the North Carolina Tar Heels were playing the Georgia Bulldogs.It was fourth down and a punting situation for the Tar Heels. Georgia put on a rush that was designed to block the ball, but the punter made an impromptu dash to his right and tossed the ball which was caught by George Stephens who ran 70 yards for the touchdown.Thus, the forward pass was born, and North Carolina won the game 6-0. Well, the forward pass was attempted before that, but North Carolina likes to take the credit. 

In the early years of the Tunnel conveyors most of the business that used them were full-service car washes.The cost of this service was high for most car owners, so they washed at home with the garden hose and a bucket.Then came the self-service experience with high pressure soap and rinse.In the early days – if you built it, they would come.During the next 50 years or so the self-service car washes added features like Wax, Foam Brush, Spot Free Rinse, clear coat, and triple foam to name a few. And so it was until about 2006 when the concept of the Express Tunnel began to really take root.The car wash game moved from a running game to a passing game…… and the fans loved it.

In 1906 the forward pass became legal in professional and college football and much like the Express Tunnel Wash some 100 years later became a hit among the public.Some might say that they couldn't imagine football without the forward pass just like some say today they couldn't imagine a world without the Express Wash.In 1906, Coach Eddie Cochems' St. Louis University Billikens went 11-0 out scoring their opponents 407-11 using the new forward pass. Princeton opened its season with a 22-0 win over Stevens Institute of Technology using the pass and went on to share the National Champion title with Yale whose use of the forward pass gave them a victory over rival Harvard in front of 32,000 fans.

The Game had changed forever but the running game still exists, just like self -service car washing, but now teams had to adjust their playbooks to be more competitive.The great coaches of this era combined the running game with the passing game to bring their teams to victories and championships.Coaches like Knute Rockne, Glen "Pop" Warner, and John Heisman used both running and passing to give their team advantages pass only and run only teams didn't have.

Today in the car wash business the smart self-service owner is adding the mini–Express Tunnel.Much like the running game in football, self-service will never go away but to have this as your only strategy to compete in today's car wash business is limiting your team and business to one dimension.Self-service operators need to investigate adding machines that are convenient, efficient, and fast.

The ModBrite Mini modular express Tunnel was designed specifically for the Self-Service and In-Bay Automatic owners.A dual belt modular conveyor system it is available in 35ft to 65ft lengths and is designed to fit into an existing self-service or automatic bay.The 35ft ModBrite can wash 42 cars per hour while a 65ft ModBrite can wash as many as 72 cars per hour.This gives the self-service owner the flexibility of two styles of washing at one facility. The modular design makes it easy to install and the belt conveyor is easy to maintain and your customers to use.

As football progressed over time different offenses were developed to compete in the game.The Pro-Style or Pro-Set, the Triple Option or Wishbone, The Run and Shoot, The Spread offense or Spread Option were all developed to use both the running game and the passing game to be competitive in the modern world of football.

In today's modern car wash world, it will be the cleaver owner who learns to combine all the elements of the great assets available so they can compete.Self-service, In-Bay Automatics, Express Wash, touch free or friction, today's car wash owner has an abundance of options at their disposal. And, like the great football coaches of old, they will develop business tactics and strategies to make their team competitive and change those strategies as the rules change.Will you be like those coaches?

The future is changing rapidly and in interesting ways.The electric car is growing in popularity, the self-driving car is almost a reality, and the auto manufacturers continues to develop finishes that need less maintenance.Today's car wash owner can never settle that what they are doing today will last forever and, like the modern successful football coach, find the best assets, tactics, and strategies so their team can win.

About The Author

Lawrence Stovall is the President of AutoBrite Company and a contributing writer to the company blog. He is a witty engineer, owner of multiple businesses, a retired Officer and a graduate of the Naval Academy. Lawrence was born in San Antonio and traveled the world extensively, particularly Asia, with his military career. When not working (because working is fun) he spends time reading, hunting and enjoying his Texas Hill Country home with his family. 

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Tuesday, 28 March 2023