Building and Managing Volume at Your New Car Wash

August 24, 2021

Selecting the right business model, location, equipment and point-of-sale system form the foundation upon which you will build a successful car wash business. Once you have those foundational elements figured out, you can start thinking about how you will set your wash up for continued growth.

There are additional tools and services that can boost your volume, prepare your tunnel for that increased volume and help you achieve consistent revenue.

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Unlimited Wash Plans

The most important thing you can do to drive volume and revenue to your site is to establish a monthly unlimited wash program. In these programs, customers pay a monthly fee to wash their cars as often as they would like.

These subscription plans have proven to be a boon for the car wash industry, providing recurring revenue that smooths the peaks and valleys washes experience due to weather and economic factors. They also create activity at the wash. Activity creates activity – people see others washing their cars and think maybe they should get a wash, too.


Your car wash point-of-sale (POS) system should provide robust, cloud-based reporting to help you keep on top of your business from anywhere. You can use those metrics to make improvements to your operations.

One of the key things your POS reports can tell you is your wash volume and revenue. Over time, you’ll begin to identify patterns. You may notice that certain times of the day or certain days of the week are typically slow. You may want to run special promotions that are good only during these times to create activity.

Our partner SUDS® can help you take these analytics to the next level. SUDS is a full-service marketing agency, specializing in data and analytics, that works exclusively with the car wash industry. They can apply predictive analysis to the data points provided by your POS system and prescribe effective marketing strategies. They also utilize consumer psychology concepts to help you select the most effective pricing structure and wash menu design.

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NoPileups™ – A Great Tool for Driving Operational Excellence

nopileups-full-tunnel-optimization.pngIt’s important to not only build volume but to have processes and tools in place to manage it efficiently. You need to be able to get cars through the tunnel quickly to ensure customer satisfaction and keep your revenue up.

One thing that can hamper your efforts is the threat of in-tunnel collisions. This threat has grown due to automatic braking technology that can kick in in the middle of the tunnel and cause rear-end collisions. Many car washes mitigate the risk by increasing the space between cars, but that slows down production.

NoPileups is a full-tunnel optimization service that uses advanced video and machine learning to automatically stop the conveyor or belt when collision threats are detected. This reduces downtime caused by collisions and also allows attendants to confidently load vehicles at optimum levels to better manage high volume.

nopileups-reports.pngNoPileups will also provide you with weekly reports delivered to your email inbox. These reports provide metrics that answer questions such as:

  • How closely are we loading cars? You will likely develop a company standard for this, but these reports will tell you if that standard is being followed and if retraining may be needed.
  • How much productivity am I losing to conveyor downtime? NoPileups breaks downtime into categories so you can better identify what is causing it so you can fix the issues.
  • Where are the high-risk areas in my tunnel? You may notice, for instance, that cars tend to hop rollers at a specific place in the tunnel. This could indicate a problem with the conveyor. Once you fix that issue, you eliminate that source of conveyor stops.

These reports will also allow you to compare multiple sites. You’ll be able to see underperforming sites where you might want to increase marketing efforts. Or you may identify a site that is doing particularly well and duplicate their processes to boost performance at other sites.

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CarPics® – Increase Productivity Accuracy and Efficiency

The faster your crew can make adjustments on the fly, the faster they can process cars and the more they can wash every day. Therefore, having advanced queuing technology is key to managing your volume and keeping revenue flowing.

CarPics Touch displays pictures of each queued car on a large screen, allowing loaders to quickly adjust queue positions, apply retracts and report any pre-wash damage with the touch of a finger. CarPics also saves retracts for plan members, so you don’t need to set the retracts the next time the member visits. They also help attendants monitor wait times so they can cut down prep time during peak hours.

Maximize Your Wash

One of the fun things about the car wash industry is there are always ways to improve and drive more volume and revenue. Using these tools and services will help you do that.

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Download New Investor Ebook

For more insights on investing in the car wash industry, download our ebook “The Car Wash Journey: A New Investor’s Guide to Point-of-Sale, Optimization and Business Success.”

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