Data Analytics Company Launches to Optimize Operations, Financial Insights for Car Washes

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By WashMetrix

Palmer Dean is no stranger to competition in the car wash industry. The Dallas-Fort Worth area where he owns and operates Alpine Car Wash is a highly competitive car wash market, with entrants to the market seemingly every day.

“The days of not wanting to build on top of each other are long gone,” Dean said. “So, we’ve got to make sure we’re operating really efficiently, and able to maximize every financial aspect of our business.”

For Dean, that meant he needed to find a way to get a more comprehensive and unified picture of their operational & financial performance. “I was constantly running all of these manual reports from different systems to try and figure out my net costs, profit, and my spend across my sites,” he said. “It was labor intensive, and at the end of the day I wasn’t confident I had numbers I could trust. I questioned everything.”

The answer came in the form of two friends he’d known since kindergarten. 

Rex Womble and Chetan Chouhan, Co-Founders of Archeio Technologies in 2014, were no strangers to solving operational challenges with technology. Archeio Technologies was acquired by one of the world’s largest oil and gas software companies, Quorum Software in 2019. “We created software solutions in the oil and gas industry that provided the kind of automation & business intelligence that was needed to run a better business,” Womble said. “When Palmer and I started talking about what was going on in the car wash space, it seemed like a great opportunity to help them optimize their back-office workflows and streamline operations.”

Chouhan, who prior to founding Archeio led custom software development for Fortune 300 utility company Vistra Energy, brings his leadership to round out the founding trio of WashMetrix. WashMetrix is a unified data analytics company, purpose-built for car wash owners to optimize site operations and financial insights. “We built our last company around providing purpose-built, affordable and intelligent software solutions designed specifically for the industry,” Chouhan said. “At the time, the horizontal software vendors did not address the specific needs of the customers in that vertical, resulting in sub-optimal business processes. Today, the car wash industry is in a similar space and in dire need of modern technologies to help them scale & optimize.”

The company’s software offering is designed for car wash owners to leverage all their data in one centralized dashboard to streamline workflows and reduce back office administrative expenses. This helps car washes make quick, data-driven decisions during a period of continued growth and consolidation in the more than $15 billion industry.

The U.S. car wash industry is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% through 2028, according to market research firm Grand View Research. In all that growth, and at that pace, there are certain to be growing pains.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of leading car wash companies who all have similar challenges,” said WashMetrix Co-Founder Rex Womble. “As the race to consolidate happens, you run into several different hardware and software systems in play, with no easy way to make them communicate. That means you either need to replace everything, hire people or build your own custom solution to get an integrated view of all your data in one place.”

Womble is dead-on in his assessment. A recent article in CAR WASH Magazine, the industry’s preferred source of information, cites several major car wash brands creating their own data warehouses and analytics solutions to solve the problems Womble cites. “You have to have one integrated source of truth when it comes to your data,” he said. “And when you’re working with several different point-of-sale providers, different controllers and accounting software … being able to centralize, normalize, and leverage that data in useful ways makes all the difference to operate more profitably.”

Michael Murry, CEO of Champion Xpress, is an early adopter of the WashMetrix platform and said it’s helping them look at their operations in ways that simply weren’t possible before. “To keep a sharp sword as you’re building washes and running washes you have to stay on top of your data,” Murry said. “It’s one thing to be able to collect the data; it’s another to be able to be creative with the data and use it to find ways to keep the customers happy by providing a better experience.”

Champion Xpress is a growing company with 24 washes across several states. With a growth strategy centered around greenfield development, the company expects to be above 40 locations by the end of 2023. None of that is possible without a solution like WashMetrix to free up their human capital.

“We’re growing fast and compiling and analyzing our data was taking up a lot of time for us – pushing a lot of ideas we wanted to explore to the back burner,” Murry said. “WashMetrix frees up our people to go back to those ideas. With the creative ways we’re able to segment the data we can make informed decisions and stay nimble.”

WashMetrix integrates with all point-of-sale (Sonny’s, DRB, Micrologic, ICS) and accounting systems (QuickBooks, Sage, NetSuite, and others) to display a consolidated view of an operator’s true financials and operational metrics enabling owners to easily identify trends, find variances, and benchmark site performance effortlessly. Notably, WashMetrix synchronizes with existing point-of-sale and accounting systems to transform raw data into a unified dashboard of analytics & display mission critical KPI’s to track performance. “We’re taking the raw transactional data and turning it into actionable insight for today’s car wash business owners to streamline the wash operations on a site location or brand level.”

Maybe more interesting is that WashMetrix is removing the need to hire data analysts to make sense of the information by providing easy-to-use dashboards with KPIs proven to make a difference to operations in the car wash market. “Sure, I could hire a team of people to pull reports, extract data into excel models and then analyze to provide recommendations for my washes,” said Dean. “But if I have a reliable, automated and fully integrated software solution that can give me the KPIs I need in an easy format, without all of the overhead and manual workload, why would I do anything else?”

This hits home for Andrew Zamora, CEO of Racer Classic Investments. Zamora completed the successful sale of Racer Classic Car Wash to International Car Wash Group in 2021 and has been growing a new brand – All American Car Wash. Now up to 10 locations, Zamora’s washes have two different POS systems.

“The more locations we have, the more time pulling and reporting on the data takes,” Zamora said. “If we can utilize WashMetrix at a relatively inexpensive cost to speed up the process and free up our people … how could we not use it?

In the last two years, the car wash market in the U.S. has experienced a period of frenzied mergers and acquisitions activity. This means that those in the industry need to focus on a comprehensive view of their operations to ensure they are staying competitive and remaining profitable. “As our business was growing and we continued to make acquisitions, we had to deal with multiple systems and disconnected data. I knew we had to do something to give us faster access and a reliable 360-degree view of our business financials and operations” said WashMetrix Co-Found Palmer Dean, who operated Alpine Car Washes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “My team and I were constantly pulling reports from different systems and couldn’t be sure that the data I was getting was accurate, let alone current by the time we got through the hours of manual labor to analyze and take action.”

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