By Palmer Dean, Co-Founder and COO
A stream of important financial and operational data is necessary to make good decisions in the car wash business. But traditional point-of-sale and accounting systems are not set up to generate that data in an easy-to-use format.
In the past, car wash operators had two unappealing choices – make decisions in the dark or spend time and money to create custom spreadsheets and hire people to run reports that track key data points, typically finalized several weeks after the end of the month. Now, advances in data tracking and visualization have made it possible to eliminate these manual workflows and still get necessary data in near real time. After all, does your car wash company want to become a software development company?
Banish the Spreadsheets, Save Time
WashMetrix is a data analytics software built specifically for the car wash industry. It integrates real-time, raw transactions happening at the point-of-sale with accounting systems to give users an accurate and easy-to-understand picture of their car wash operations.
Not many car wash operators would say that they love their point-of-sale systems, but they are critical to run operations and relay wash package detail to equipment controllers. Most systems require users to step back in the 1990s and run reports to find summary transactional data. None of these POS systems are built to integrate with accounting systems that paint the actual picture of profitability.
There are more than 62,000 car wash locations in the United States, and most car wash operations are small to medium-sized businesses. Every site generates its own set of transactions.
Even within the same business, different locations may use various points-of-sale or accounting systems. With each new system comes a new way to record transactions, making comparing performance across multiple locations a tedious, time consuming process.
WashMetrix solves this problem by cleaning, organizing, and synthesizing all these streams into a uniform set of data points purpose built for the car wash industry. It doesn’t matter how many different point-of-sale systems a business has; WashMetrix is compatible with all of them.
By unifying these disparate systems, WashMetrix gives owners, operators, regional directors, and multisite managers the data they need to make better decisions right now. And it does that without requiring time and money to aggregate reports, or capital intensive up front and on-going costs to “build your own software”, freeing employees from creating an already three-week-old report with last month’s data.
Find Insights with Plug-and-Play Tiles
While there are different types and sizes of car wash operations, the core competencies of washing cars remain the same. Car washes need specific key performance indicators to properly understand what is happening in their operations.
Like all business people, car wash operators need to understand the current profit-loss position of the company. But in addition to PNL, operators want specific indicators like costs per car metrics, conversion rates, penetration rates, membership churn/growth, and so on. Just running your operation on POS reports alone means getting to the net numbers is a discipline most do not have time for.
In the WashMetrix system, users can visualize “tiles” to instantly view and track critical data and build out their own “Workspace” that acts as a favorites page. A quick glance can give you the information you need to understand where you are today – rather than waiting for a compiled report weeks from now when the data has become stale.
Car wash operators also can use tiles to slice data by specific criteria – like locations or types of operations. They also can further analyze tile data with what we call “drillables,” which are graphs that include trend lines and historical performance from a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly perspective across all key performance indicators (KPIs) in the system.
Make Decisions Based on Facts
With access to updated information, car wash operators can make important decisions based on fact instead of instinct. Car wash operators also turn to WashMetrix to make financial predictions and track important expenses without having to do the calculations themselves.
Take, for example, a car wash operator looking at December. Previously, a manager might turn to a one-off report on cars processed per month. That report makes it look like December will be a really profitable month!
But fail to consider the annual $60,000 in property taxes that come due in December, and that manager might make some unwise spending decisions based on their projection. With WashMetrix, all the data points are consolidated, so you will see historical expenses and revenue together.
With strong business analytics, managers can quickly and easily generate the information needed to make better decisions. Customers using WashMetrix to automate their reporting processes can save up to 90+ percent of the time formerly spent collecting, analyzing, and reviewing site data.
Consolidate Your Operational Data
Let us give you a unified view of your car wash operations with our customized business intelligence software. We want to help you spend more time thinking about ways to improve your business and less time shuffling paper.
Contact us today for a free demonstration of the first business analytics and visualization software built just for the car wash industry.
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