The car wash owner who experiences true success is one that typically identifies and builds a strong, lasting, trustworthy partnership with a proven and reliable distributor. In fact, there are six noteworthy ways that a current or prospective car wash owner can leverage the distributor relationship in optimizing their business.
1. Do due diligence
Before even reaching out to a potential distributor, do due diligence and research the market area in which the car wash would operate. Talk to the local Chamber of Commerce, for example, to see what they can say about the distributors in the area, including any significant successes they’ve had or, on the flip side, any complaints that might have been received about them. If feasible, reach out to other operators in the area and ask about their experiences with the local distributor. Some may not be willing to talk, but those that are can offer invaluable insight. The end game is identifying a distributor with a strong reputation that can be a good ally through the site selection, permitting, equipment selection and installation processes.
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2. Rely on local knowledge
This is especially true if moving into a new market. A distributor that knows the area can provide important information regarding population demographics, wash patterns and other variable pieces of information that have to be considered when setting up a wash program. The distributor can also provide background on any competitors in the area and maybe even offer some tips on what has been successful or unsuccessful for them.
3. Take advantage of product expertise
The best distributors are the ones that know the systems that they represent inside and out. This knowledge can be indispensable when the operator is trying to decide—for instance, if the best car wash solution is a friction or touch-free, in-bay automatic or tunnel, or what the best type of entry system to deploy is.
4. Maximize the bottom line
Once the car wash is installed and ready for operation, the distributor can offer advice regarding pricing based on experience with other customers in the area. The distributor can also aid in selecting ancillary profit centers or loyalty programs that can also contribute to the bottom line.
5. Prepare for the future
A distributor that is in tune with any changes or enhancements in equipment technology can help keep the car wash operator on the cutting edge. This can include next-generation remote-access technologies that can keep the operator in touch with the wash and aware of its operational and maintenance patterns—as well as allow the operator to make adjustments to those patterns—from anywhere in the world via computer or smartphone. Better, more efficient wash technologies can also lower operating costs, which will lead to a healthier bottom line and a more environmentally friendly wash operation.
6. Have a plan in case of emergency
There is always a chance, especially as systems age, that an equipment breakdown will occur or some form of preventive maintenance will be required. To ensure that profit-robbing downtime and repair or replacement costs are kept to the bare minimum, partner with a distributor who not only has vast knowledge of the complete car wash system, but also employs a staff of expert technicians who are able to respond quickly and confidently to any equipment emergency.
PDQ Manufacturing, Inc., is thoroughly aware that a strong operator-distributor relationship is a critical component in ensuring the success of the car wash operation, one that does not cause any unnecessary stress of confusion and can meet the daily needs of its customers. The bottom line is that the best distributors are the ones that can offer the wash operator a complete package of services, from site and equipment selection to ancillary profit center advice and on-time maintenance service. In the end, for the car wash operator, a strong distributor partnership is worth its weight in gold.
This post is sponsored by PDQ Manufacturing, Inc., part of OPW Vehicle Wash Solutions